14th March 2008
Iranian gays still facing deportation from UK 7
2:25 PM — Gay activists have told PinkNews.co.uk that the government need to reconsider the cases of other gay asylum seekers following the reprieve of Iranian teenager Mehdi Kazemi's.Home Secretary Jacqui Smith announced yesterday that in the light of "new circumstances" gay Iranian Mehdi Kazemi should have his case reconsidered upon his return from the Netherlands, where he fled when his first application was denied.The 19-year old, who has lived in Britain since 2005, was facing deportation and possible execution in Iran, where homosexuality is illegal.
Galloway claims Iran executes sex offenders, not gays 16
2:00 PM — Outspoken London MP George Galloway has said that the boyfriend of Iranian asylum seeker Mehdi Kazemi was executed for sex crimes.The Respect politician made his claims on Channel Five show The Wright Stuff yesterday morning.Mr Kazemi is claiming asylum in the UK. He claims his boyfriend was arrested by police in Iran for being homosexual, forced to reveal the names of men he had relationships with, and executed.
New rules on HIV prosecutions released 4
1:10 PM — New guidelines on how prosecutors should deal with cases involving the intentional or reckless transmission of STIs have been published by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) today.The CPS has devised a public policy and guidance statement that covers the Code for Crown Prosecutors and how it should be implemented in all cases.The guide also outlines offences the CPS will consider in relation to cases of the intentional or reckless sexual transmission of infection.
Gay community “right” to recall Nazi persecution 53
12:30 PM — The chair of the Holocaust Educational Trust has defended the right of gay people to commemorate the Holocaust.Lord Janner's comments follow the remarks of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Motherwell, who said earlier this week that the "homosexual lobby" attend Holocaust memorial events to create for themselves the image of a group of people under persecution."Between 5,000 and 15,000 gay men were held in concentration camps by the Nazis as members of an "anti-social group."
13th March 2008
Gay Iranian teen’s case will be reviewed says Home Office 21
3:02 PM — An Iranian teenager who was facing deportation and possible execution will have his case reviewed.The decision was announced moments ago. Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said:"Following representations made on behalf of Mehdi Kazemi, and in the light of new circumstances since the original decision was made, I have decided that Mr Kazemi's case should be reconsidered on his return to the UK from the Netherlands."
Lords try to stop gay teenager’s deportation 21
2:30 PM — Senior peers, including former Speaker of the Commons Betty Boothroyd and former Lord Chief Justice Lord Woolf, have asked the government not to deport a gay teenager back to his home country of Iran.More than 60 members of the House of Lords signed a letter to Home Secretary Jacqui Smith urging the government to "show compassion" to Mehdi Kazemi, who fears he will be executed for homosexual acts if he is returned.
Bigot bishop’s comments raised in parliament 53
1:20 PM — The Bishop of Motherwell's recent outburst about gay people and the Holocaust could be debated in the Scottish Parliament.Patrick Harvie, the Green party MSP for Glasgow Region, was so incensed by the bishop's comments that he has tabled a motion condemning his comments.Bishop Joseph Devine, speaking at an event on Tuesday, accused the gay community of "aligning itself with minority groups. It is ever present at the service each year for the Holocaust memorial, as if to create for themselves the image of a group of people under persecution."
Charity calls for HPV vaccines for boys
1:10 PM — The UK's leading dental charity is appealing to the government to include males in a planned vaccination programme to guard against the sexually transmitted HPV virus.The British Dental Health Foundation's appeal was in response to a new large scale US study of 46,000 mouth cancer cases.It found that the number of deaths caused by the sexually transmitted HPV virus has increased by a third over the last 30 years and is now the highest it has ever been.
Bishop claims gays use the Holocaust to get “sympathy” 53
12:20 PM — The Roman Catholic Bishop of Motherwell has claimed that the "gay lobby" attends Holocaust memorials "to create for themselves the image of a group of people under persecution."The Right Reverend Joseph Devine was giving a lecture entitled Sectarianism and Secularism: Bugbears for the Catholic Church in Scotland on Tuesday night when he made his comments.The bishop said there is a "giant conspiracy" going on and claimed he is taking on the forces of secularism.
Brighton and Manchester Pride want you
11:50 AM — Two major gay celebrations in England are inviting people to get involved.Pride in Brighton and Hove is holding an open meeting for anyone who is interested in joining the parade, applying for a grant or having a stall at this summer's event.Manchester Pride, celebrating its 18th year, is urging people who wish to take part in 2008 to submit applications as soon as possible.
12th March 2008
Tory MP hostile to gay rights is sacked from party 3
5:50 PM — A Conservative MP who has attempted to fight gay rights laws is at the centre of a bizarre series of events in the Commons today.Bob Spink has had the whip withdrawn after threatening the Chief Whip with resignation. He accused the party of not doing enough to stop him from being deselected from his Castle Point seat.Since entering the Commons in 1992 Mr Spink has consistently opposed gay rights.
G-A-Y venue cannot be saved says Ken
4:30 PM — A report from the Mayor of London released today has confirmed that London venue The Astoria will close as part of a redevelopment of the Tottenham Court Road area.The Astoria is best known as a live music venue and the home of popular club night G-A-Y.Despite protests from famous musicians and petitions signed by tens of thousands of people, the building will be pulled down as part of the construction of the new Crossrail project.
US ban on HIV+ travellers challenged by MEPs and Senators 6
3:40 PM — The Lib Dems are calling on EU members states to raise the current American policy on HIV+ visitors to the United States at tomorrow's meeting of justice and security ministers.On Friday the same issue will be raised in the US Senate.The Committee on Foreign Relations is due to discuss the ban after Senators John Kerry and Republican Gordon Smith added a provision to repeal the ban to Senate legislation to reauthorising PEPFAR, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.
Gay hate crime bill moves forward in Lords 100
3:02 PM — An amendment to the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill that would make it an offence to link homosexuality to paedophilia was discussed in the House of Lords last week.The bill seeks to create a new offence of incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation.Liberal Democrat peer Lord Thomas of Gresford told the House: "We are concerned about the suggestion very frequently made by the British National Party and others that homosexuality and paedophilia are directly connected and that a person who is homosexual has a propensity to be a paedophile."
Candidates looking forward to gay hustings 1
3:01 PM — Two men vying to become the next Mayor of London have said they are looking forward to the Stonewall hustings event next month.The hustings, on Saturday 19th April, will give the capital's gay and lesbian community an opportunity to question the candidates ahead of polling day on May 1st.PinkNews.co.uk is proud to be the media partner for the Stonewall hustings, which will be held at the BFI Southbank.
Darling hits bars and cars in first budget
2:30 PM — The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling delivered his budget earlier today.Among other measures, he announced an increase in duty on alcohol and high polluting cars.Like the rest of the drinking industry, the gay scene will be hit by a six per cent increase in alcohol tax with a two percent rise each year until 2012.
Little Britain and Tracey Emin raise funds for THT 1
12:02 PM — The Lighthouse Gala Auction raised more than £200,000 for HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust on Monday night.A walk on part in Little Britain USA raised £9,000 and Tracey Emin's neon 'I promise to love you' raised £26,000.Tony Blair's last party conference speech as Prime Minister made £4,200.Now in its 12th year the auction, sponsored by Barclays, was attended by high profile supporters.
EU criticised over ‘pass the parcel’ asylum policy 21
11:44 AM — A London MEP has called for an end to the "shameful shuffling" of gay and other asylum-seekers between EU member states.Tomorrow the European Parliament will vote on an emergency resolution calling for an Iranian teenager currently in Holland not to be sent back to the UK.19-year-old Mehdi Kazemi had unsuccessfully applied for asylum in the United Kingdom, following the execution of his partner by Iranian authorities after being found guilty of sodomy.
11th March 2008
Gay peer speaks out against deportations to Iran 21
6:10 PM — A gay member of the House of Lords has demanded the government take action to stop a gay teenager being deported back to Iran where he could face the death penalty.Today it was revealed that 19-year-old Mehdi Kazemi, who was refused asylum in Britain and fled to Holland, will be deported back to the UK.He had unsuccessfully applied for asylum in the United Kingdom following the execution of his partner by Iranian authorities after being found guilty of sodomy.
Manchester police lose chief constable 1
5:45 PM — A police chief known for being gay friendly has died. As Chief Constable of Greater Manchester police, Mike Todd was in charge of the service when they joined the Stonewall Diversity Champions scheme.Manchester, the second-largest police force in the UK, was last year was placed joint 43rd on the list of top 100 employers for gay people in the Stonewall Work Equality Index.The city is home to one of the largest gay scenes in England.