6th July 2007
Campaigning MP welcomes government bullying commitment 1
11:31 AM — Stephen Williams MP, a Liberal Democrat who has campaigned against bullying in schools, has welcomed the commitment from the Minister of Children to stamp out the problem.The first Commons investigation into bullying by the Education Select Committee was instigated last year at the request of Mr Williams.The committee heard evidence from charity Anti-Bullying Alliance that between 30-50% of young people in secondary schools attracted to people of the same sex will have directly experienced homophobic bullying.
5th July 2007
BBC’s attitude to homophobic language ‘damages children’ 8
7:11 PM — The decision by the Minister for Children to unequivocally criticise broadcasters' acceptance of homophobic language has delighted gay activists.In a speech to Stonewall's Education for All conference today, minister Kevin Brennan, a former teacher, said that homophobic bullying and the use of words like 'gay' and 'poof' by radio and TV presenters are linked."Just one example is the casual use of homophobic language by mainstream radio DJs," he said.
Boris Johnson might smash gay mayoral ambitions 7
4:41 PM — The race for the Conservative party nomination for Mayor of London became more interesting today with the revelation that the party's Higher Education spokesman Boris Johnson is seriously considering throwing his hat into the ring.If Mr Johnson, one of the most popular Tory MPs in the country, does decide to run it will end the ambitions of two gay prospective candidates.Earlier this week Nick Boles, an openly gay man, withdrew from the race to undergo treatment for cancer.
Jazz showman and master of ambiguity dies aged 80
2:53 PM — George Melly, a man who defied labels thoughout his life, has died.He will be remembered for his love of jazz, his legendary performances at London club Ronnie Scott's and his strong support for the gay community.Mr Melly, 80, was suffering from cancer and demenita. His wife Diana was with him when he died at his home in London in the early hours of this morning.
Analysis: Homophobia rampant in British schools 1
2:22 PM — Homophobic bullying plagues the majority of UK schools and shocking levels of bullying are meted out to school pupils and teachers who either are gay or perceived to be gay.That is the conclusion of a wide-ranging study carried by gay equality organisation Stonewall.Nearly two thirds of LGB students reported instances of such harassment. That figure jumps to 75% of young gay people attending faith schools.
Big Brother contestant censured over gay jibe 8
2:00 PM — Channel 4 has responded to complaints that they treat homophobia less seriously than racism in the reality TV programme Big Brother after a contestant used the word 'poof' for a second time.PinkNews.co.uk readers had complained that earlier in the series the use of the word 'nigger' had seen one housemate removed, but the 'poof' incident went unpunished.A spokesperson told PinkNews.co.uk: "We took the initial view that Laura's use of the word 'poof' in reference to Liam was not derogatory."
Government committed to stamping out gay bullying 1
1:12 PM — The newly-appointed minister for Children, Kevin Brennan, has committed the government to working with Stonewall to eradicate homophobic bullying from British schools.Speaking at the gay equality organisation's Education for All conference in London, Mr Brennan said the new Department for Children, Schools and Families would focus on the security, well being and success of children in all aspects of their life, not just academic achievement, and that stopping bullying in all forms was a key part of that mission.
Minister slams casual homophobia of DJs like Chris Moyles 8
12:44 PM — Kevin Brennan, the new Minister for Children, told an audience of education professionals and activists in London today that homophobic language used on TVand radio is unacceptable.Speaking at the Stonewall Education for All conference, the minister said that the perception that the use of words like 'poof' or 'gay' is 'just a bit of harmless banter' contributes to homophobic bullying in schools.
Harman and Follett emerge as ‘part time’ Ministers for Equality
12:01 PM — After much confusion, Harriet Harman has emerged as Minister for Women and Equality. Initially it was believed that the role would be combined with that of Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government as it was with Ruth Kelly.Hazel Blears, who was appointed as the Secretary of State for Communities, was thought to be keen to play a role in Equality.Barbara Follett is Junior Minister for Women and Equality.
4th July 2007
Who exactly is the minister for gay rights? 1
5:00 PM — There is confusion as to which member of the Brown government will be taking responsibility for women and equality issues.The appointment of Harriet Harman as Minister for Women last week seemed to indicate that she would be in charge of gay rights and other issues that fall under the remit of the Women and Equality Unit.However, the unit is part of the Department of Communities and Local Government, headed by Hazel Blears.
UK marriages down as civil partnerships flourish
3:50 PM — The number of marriages in Wales and England has dramatically fallen to the lowest point on record.The drop in the number of couples tying the knot showed a 10% fall to 244,710 weddings in 2005, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show.Other figures showed that 18,000 civil partnerships took place in the UK since they were introduced in December 2005 and the end of December 2006.
Lib Dems appoint new equality spokesperson
12:55 PM — Liberal Democrat leader Ming Campbell has appointed Jo Swinson as the party's spokesperson on women and equality issues.Ms Swinson, 27, is the youngest MP in the Commons, referred to as the Baby of the House. She was previously the party's Scotland spokesperson.The party's former spokesperson on women and equality issues, which includes gay rights, was Lorely Burt.
No July edition of Attitude magazine 1
12:21 PM — Gay lifestyle magazine attitude has failed to appear for the second time in six months.The Press Gazette reports that staff have not been paid since April, as the magazine's parent company, Giant Clipper, goes through a financial crisis.Newsagent chain WH Smith has delisted the magazine over unpaid bills. However, insiders told PinkNews.co.uk that there are a range of interested parties willing to invest in the title.
Ignorance lives on 25 years after Terry Higgins died
11:24 AM — Today's 25th anniversary of the death of Terry Higgins has been marked by a new survey from the charity set up in his memory.Mr Higgins was among the first people to die with AIDS in the UK.Despite the work of the Terrence Higgins Trust to educate the British public about the dangers of the virus, the survey reveals ignorance among all age groups.
Gay hedonist found dead from a suspected overdose
10:40 AM — A German aristocrat famed for his libertine lifestyle has been found dead in his apartment in London.Count Gottfried von Bismarck, who was 44, was discovered by paramedics over the weekend. It is thought he died of a drug overdose.The Count was first thrust into the tabloid limelight as a student at Oxford in 1986, when the 22-year-old daughter of Tory Cabinet minister Paul Channon died at one of his notorious parties.
3rd July 2007
Big Brother’s “double standards” over homophobic language 8
6:13 PM — PinkNews.co.uk exclusive Channel 4 has defended itself against accusations that it treats gay slurs less seriously than racist language on reality show Big Brother. On Sunday a female contestant called one of the men a 'poof,' yet no action was taken against her. PinkNews.co.uk readers have expressed their disgust at what they see as a double standard.
Gay candidate for Mayor of London withdraws from race
12:21 PM — Nick Boles, a Conservative seeking his party's nomination to run against Ken Livingstone in next year's election for Mayor of London has withdrawn from the race.The 42-year-old has been diagnosed with cancer and is pulling out to undergo treatment.Mr Boles, who is openly gay, was a parliamentary candidate in the 2005 election. He came within 500 votes of winning Hove.
Gaydar Radio named station of the year 4
11:30 AM — GaydarRadio added yet another trophy to their cabinet yesterday, after being named Commercial Radio Digital Station of the Year at the Arqiva Commercial Radio Awards 2007.Earlier this year they won a Gold Sony award and was named UK Digital Terrestrial Station of the Year in April.The Arqiva judges said GaydarRadio, "had established a presence in major gay community events and added diversity to digital broadcasting."
Homophobia on the rise in Scottish schools
11:20 AM — 70% of young gays and lesbians in Scottish schools have also revealed their feelings towards they unsafe environment they have to endure on a daily basis.Scottish schools are realising that bullying is a issue among young people and represents a living hell for most.Homophobia can be directed towards its victim in many ways and can be extremely damaging whether it is physical, emotional or verbal, between young people.
2nd July 2007
Cameron appoints two gay men to shadow Cabinet 3
6:05 PM — Nick Herbert, the MP for Arundel and South Downs and one of only a handful of openly gay Tory MPs, has been promoted to the shadow Cabinet by David Cameron as part of a reshuffle.Mr Herbert only became an MP in 2005 and is seen as a rising star. He was the first ever out gay man elected as a Tory MP. Fellow openly gay MP, Alan Duncan was reappointed to the shadow Cabinet.Francis Maude, who spoke exclusively to PinkNews.co.uk about the death of his brother from AIDS, has been moved from the key role of Party Chairman.