23rd March 2007
MP’s researcher sends rude email to anti-gay activist
5:32 PM — A Nottingham MP has said one of his staff was wrong to send an abusive response to an email from a Christian activist.Dries De Coster, a 19-year-old theology student, had group e-mailed every MP calling on them to oppose the Sexual Orientation Regulations.Paul May, a researcher for Nottingham MP Alan Simpson, responded to Mr De Coster's email.
Stonewall raise £230,000 at Blair dinner
5:15 PM — Gay equality organisation Stonewall said they were delighted that last night's Equality dinner raised nearly a quarter of a million pounds.The money raised will help Stonewall's ongoing campaigns, such as Education for All, which tackles homophobia and homophobic bullying in schools.
£62 million spent on civil partnership ceremonies
10:33 AM — New research shows that civil partnership ceremonies are more popular than ever, with UK couples splashing out an estimated £62 million on getting hitched and 28,000 ceremonies set to happen over the next year.Three years on from the publication of the Civil Partnerships Bill, research from Direct Line Home Insurance reveals that over 15,000 same-sex ceremonies have taken place with a further 28,000 set to happen this year, costing on average £4,000 to host.
22nd March 2007
Tony Blair’s gay speech in full 3
10:42 PM — The Prime Minister was speaking at the Stonewall Equality dinner at the Dorchester Hotel, central London, this evening.He was introduced by Stonewall's chief executive, Ben Summerskill. Ben Summerskill: I would like to welcome all of you here tonight. I am delighted to introduce our opening speaker. I first met him 14 years ago, when my job was to show him round Harrow Rd police station in west London - don't ask.
Tony Blair: civil partnerships make me proud 2
9:18 PM — The Prime Minister this evening told a gay audience that the fact that civil partnerships are legal in the UK makes him proud.Speaking at the Stonewall Equality dinner in the Dorchester Hotel in central London, Mr Blair said it was a positive development that every major party leader supports equality and he is hopeful that will not change in the future.
Welsh celebs host night to celebrate free LGBT counselling
4:27 PM — A host of celebrities to attend an event next week to celebrate a new service for the gay community in Wales.Free counselling will be available in Swansea for the first time thanks to an arrangement between the LGBT Cymru Helpline and Lynne Wager's Counselling Practice.Stonewall Cymru called the free counselling "fantastic news" for the lesbian and gay community.
Gay’s The Word facing closure 1
3:36 PM — The most famous gay bookshop in Britain will have to close unless it can raise £20,000 to pay the rent.Gay's The Word, in London's Bloomsbury district, first opened its doors in 1979. A host of gay and lesbian authors have spoken about the unique place the bookseller has in the capital's gay fabric.The shop is renowned for its back catalogue of titles, some of which are very difficult to obtain.
US Anglicans reject gay advice 1
12:46 PM — The bishops of The Episcopal church in the United States have decided to reject the instructions of the worldwide Anglican communion over gay issues.Their decision makes a split in the church more likely.Last month a meeting of the primates from across the world instructed the wayward American church to stop ordaining gay bishops and to desist from giving church blessings to same-sex couples.
Activists and politicians welcome Lords pro-gay vote 5
12:21 PM — The final passage of new rules to protect gay, lesbian and bisexual people has been welcomed by gay rights advocates.Ben Summerskill, chief executive of gay equality organisation Stonewall, said they were delighted with the Lords vote.The Sexual Orientation Regulations were approved by the House of Lords last night.
Gay adoption rules approved by House of Lords 5
10:20 AM — The Sexual Orientation Regulations have been approved by the House of Lords and will become law on April 30th.A motion by Tory peer Baroness O'Cathain seeking to strike down the regulations was defeated by 168 votes to 122.They outlaw discrimination against gay, lesbian and bisexual people when they access goods, services and facilities.
21st March 2007
Elton John’s rails against global homophobia 1
5:07 PM — Elton John has urged people to stand up against homophobia in an interview with the New Statesman. Sir Elton, who celebrates his 60th birthday this weekend, used the interview to raise the case of William Hernandez, a gay rights activist from El Salvador.Sir Elton also spoke about his relationship with long term partner David Furnish.
Exclusive: On the front line with Christian protesters 10
4:30 PM — Religious groups gathered around Parliament today to protest against the Sexual Orientation Regulations, which will be debated in the House of Lords tonight.Around 300 to 400 protesters attended the demonstration, carrying banners with the slogans: "Gay Aim = Abolish the Family" and "No to Gay Sex Lessons."Event organiser Phil Whealy told PinkNews.co.uk that the demonstration was supported by people across the UK.
HIV+ employees still reluctant to disclose status
3:55 PM — New research has found that the majority of workers living with HIV are still reluctant to disclose their status to their current or potential employer for fear of facing discrimination.Since 2005, employees living with HIV have been protected from discrimination in the workplace from the moment of diagnosis under the Disability Discrimination Act.However, many employers and people living with HIV are still uncertain of what this change in legislation means.
Income tax cut in Brown’s Budget
2:51 PM — In his 11th Budget as Chancellor, the man most likely to succeed Tony Blair as Prime Minister later this year announced modest rises in taxes on beer and wine and no change in the duty on spirits.Tax exemption for capital gains will rise to £18,400 for civil partners and married couples, Mr Brown announced.The Chancellor revealed that the basic rate of income tax will fall back to 20% from April 2008.
Gay film festival opens in London
1:02 PM — The BFI London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, now in its 21st year, opens this evening.The LLGFF runs until 4th April, showing over a hundred films and shorts as well as hosting a range of discussions and club nights.The opening gala tonight will screen Itty Bitty Titty Committee, the latest offering from But I'm A Cheerleader director Jamie Babbit.
Comment: Eurovision: no place for serious artists 1
12:33 PM — So it is to be Scooch. The UK picked its latest Eurovision entry last weekend, a camp airline-themed pop anthem. Will it win?Ben Leung forces himself to relive some of the music that the Eurovision has been responsible for and asks if any credible musician should enter. Twenty-two years ago this May, the terribly-named female duo of Bobbysocks won the Eurovision Song Contest for Norway with the annoyingly catchy La Det Swinge.
Welsh gays urged to use their vote wisely
10:48 AM — Stonewall Cymru are encouraging LGBT people in the principality to make their votes count in the elections for the Welsh Assembly in May.Tomorrow the gay equality organisation will present a report at the Senedd building in Cardiff on inequality in healthcare in parts of Wales.The Inside-Out report highlights concerns about the varied attitudes of health professionals towards lesbian, gay and bisexual service users.
Gay rights more important than Christian ones, claims bishop 6
10:16 AM — A senior Church of England clergyman has complained that gay people's rights take precedence over everyone else's.The Right Reverend Michael Scott-Joynt made his comments ahead of a vote on the Sexual Orientation Regulations in the House of Lords later today.The regulations were approved by the House of Commons on Monday night by 310 votes to 100.
20th March 2007
New website gives advice on work discrimination
5:25 PM — The first website solely designed to help employees and employers fight discrimination in the workplace has been launched today.Discriminationonline.com is a website run by Brabners Chaffe, specialists in discrimination law.It contains useful information for anyone who thinks they are being discriminated against.
JP Morgan tells law firms to focus on gay equality
3:25 PM — One of the world's largest financial services companies has told law firms it uses to bring their policies on gay and lesbian staff up to standard.JP Morgan has invited 15 external law firms to attend a meeting with Stonewall next month to learn about best practice towards homosexual and bisexual staff.The company's assistant general counsel and managing director Tim Hailes told The Lawyer: "The firms' commitment to this agenda will be a relevant factor."