21st December 2007
Spanish embassy unaware of civil partnerships agreement 170
1:55 PM — The Spanish Embassy in London was unaware UK civil partners should now receive the same benefit as married couples in Spain, despite advice from the British government that Spanish authorities should be contacted for guidance on the matter.When contacted by PinkNews.co.uk today Fernando Villalba, the Spanish Embassy press councillor, said: "This is the first time I have heard about that. I haven't seen it in the news."He said he had no advice for same-sex civil partners wishing to claim marriage benefits.
Christian MPs want to amend hate crime legislation 102
1:40 PM — A cross-party group of MPs has tabled an amendment designed to ensure that homophobic Christians can continue to express their views on gay people.Devout Roman Catholics Ann Widdecombe and Jim Dobbin are among the MPs attempting to amend the government's proposal to make incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation a criminal offence.Christian Concern for our Nation is urging its supporters to pressure MPs into supporting the new amendment.
Gay volunteer recognised with local hero award
12:05 PM — A Stonewall volunteer has been honoured for his charity work.As well as his prestigious Bank of America Local Hero Award,John Leander was given £3,000 for his nominated charity, which he donated to Stonewall.Mr Leander has volunteered full-time at Stonewall for 4 years, making a key contribution to their work promoting equality and justice for gay people.
Organisers appeal to gay community’s Olympic spirit 1
11:30 AM — Next year the countdown to the 2012 Olympic Games begin in earnest. August 2008 marks the start of London's Olympiad.To kick-start the activities, London 2012 and the London Development Agency are launching the Get Set London roadshow on Wednesday 9th January in Trafalgar Square.This is a great opportunity for Londoners to find out how the 2012 Olympic Games Paralympic Games will benefit jobs and skills, culture, sports, business and regeneration in the capital.
Interview: Exorcising the spirit of Section 28
11:15 AM — "I'd put entertainer," Rikki Beadle-Blair says with a grin, when I ask him what he puts down as his occupation when he fills in official forms.The reason for my question is that Rikki seems to be good at everything. He wrote his first play at the age of seven and started directing at eleven.He has enjoyed success as an actor, director, screenwriter, playwright, singer and songwriter; and in his spare time, if he gets any, he teaches aerobics and dance.
20th December 2007
Men plead not guilty to Royal blackmail charges 25
4:30 PM — Two men charged with attempting to blackmail a minor member of the Royal Family pleaded not guilty at the Old Bailey today.Ian Strachan, 30, and Sean McGuigan, 40, were arrested in October after police mounted a sting operation.They are alleged to have demanded £50,000 not to release a video showing an aide to a member of the Royal Family discussing engaging in oral sex with his employer.
Stephen Williams promoted in Lib Dem reshuffle 1
2:28 PM — Bristol West MP Stephen Williams has been appointed Liberal Democrat frontbench spokesman for Innovation, Universities and Skills.He becomes the only gay man in the party's 'Shadow Cabinet.' In his previous roles as an education spokesman he gained prominence for his fight against homophobic bullying in schools.Mr Williams, 40, was elected to Parliament in 2005. Last year he was nominated for Politician of the Year at the Stonewall Awards.
Frontline role for Charlie in new Lib Dem team
2:15 PM — Nick Clegg has announced the first appointments to his frontbench team since becoming Liberal Democrat leader on Tuesday.Former leader Charles Kennedy returns to frontline politics, and in an unusual arrangement he will speak from the frontbench on Europe but not be the party's official Europe spokesman.London MP Lynne Featherstone has been appointed as the party's youth and equality spokesperson, shadowing the equality team led by Harriet Harman.
EHRC offers funding to grassroots organisations
12:58 PM — A grants programme worth up to £10 million aimed at funding grass roots organisations across all areas of equality was launched by the Equality and Human Rights Commission yesterday.The funding scheme has developed three areas for priority funding.Applicants from organisations working to promote good relations, highlight equality and human rights and case work will be encouraged. Examples include reducing the impact of hate crime.
Arts Council cuts threaten Manchester cultural festival 1
12:49 PM — A leading LGBT arts organisation is facing a bleak future after its funding for next year has been cut.queerupnorth was the first queer festival and was the first of its kind in the UK and Europe and describes itself as "the most adventurous and creative queer arts cultural producer in the UK."Arts Council England has announced plans to end £98,000 of funding of queerupnorth in March 2008.
19th December 2007
Ewan McGregor and Jim Carrey sign up for gay roles 1
5:45 PM — A new Hollywood movie, already dubbed Brokeback Prison, will see comedian Jim Carrey play a married prisoner who falls in love with another inmate, played British actor Ewan McGregorProduction is due to begin on I Love You Phillip Morris in spring.It is based on the true story of Steve Russell, a convicted conman, who fell for his cellmate, the Morris of the film's title.
Equality commission to review trans hate crime law 1
5:10 PM — The chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission has told PinkNews.co.uk that it will be reviewing the evidence regarding the need to criminalise incitement to hatred against trans people.The government has brought forward a new offence of incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation, but said that there was insufficient evidence to extend the measure to the trans community.A meeting of the EHRC commissioners last Thursday backed the new incitement legislation.
MP’s “baffling” attack on Hazel Blears 2
3:40 PM — A veteran Labour MP has accused the Communities Secretary Hazel Blears of acting out of "venal and personal reasons" with regard to the merger of councils in Cheshire.In an unusual attack, Gwyneth Dunwoody said: "I have seen the crawlers. I've seen those whose sexual preferences were of interest to others."I've seen those who've demonstrated a great commitment to their own interest, irrespective of the political parties they were supposed to be representing.
Paddick confident of Sir Elton’s support 6
12:50 PM — International superstar Elton John and his partner, the film producer David Furnish, will be supporting the campaign of the only gay candidate for Mayor of London.Brian Paddick, a former Metropolitan police Deputy Assistant Commissioner, told LBC radio this morning of his celebrity backers.During his time at the Met Mr Paddick was the UK's most senior out gay police officer.
Tatchell calls for clear policy after Pogues debacle 13
12:10 PM — The reversal of a decision taken by BBC Radio 1 to bleep the word 'faggot' from the Pogues and Kirsty MacColl Christmas song Fairytale of New Yorkhas been attacked by a leading gay campaigner.Peter Tatchell, who leads the Stop Murder Music campaign, which targets homophobic singers who advocate the killing of gay people, said that a consistent policy was needed.BBC Radio 1 had previously decided to censor the song over concerns it may cause offence to gay people.
Blue Peter presenter joins GaydarRadio 1
11:50 AM — A former children's TV personality is the latest face to join the GaydarRadio lineup.Former Blue Peter presenter Stuart Miles will host a three hour afternoon request show for the digital channel.He was one of the presenters on the BBC's flagship children's programme from 1994 to 1999.
18th December 2007
Radio 1 backs down over Pogues ‘faggot’ ban 6
5:46 PM — A BBC radio channel has reversed its decision to bleep out the word "faggot" from the Pogues and Kirsty MacColl Christmas song Fairytale of New York.BBC Radio 1 had previously decided to censor the song over concerns it may cause offence to gay people.But in a statement released this afternoon station controller Andy Parfitt said the decision was "wrong" and would be reversed.
Tory MEP: US HIV rules are “double discrimination” 2
4:15 PM — New regulations issued by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) which claim to offer a "streamlined," "categorical" waiver for HIV-positive people visiting the country have been criticised by an English Euro MP.London Conservative MEP Charles Tannock, a former NHS doctor, said the proposed arrangements amount to "double discrimination."He has raised the issue with senior EU officials after being contacted by constituents.
FCO confirms Spanish recognition of UK partnerships 170
3:50 PM — The British government has published information on an embassy website confirming the new agreement between the UK and Spain regarding recognition of UK civil partnerships.Gay couple Paul and Martin Ward signed the civil partnership register in Devon on Valentine's Day this year, having been advised that it would be recognised in Spain, where Paul lives.When they found out this was not the case, they began a campaign to receive recognition for their partnership.
Lesbian politician attacks Ian Paisley Jnr
3:05 PM — The Speaker of New York City Council, Chrissie Quinn, has said that comments from junior Northern Ireland minister that he found gay people repulsive should never have been made.During a five-day visit to Belfast Ms Quinn, who is one of the most prominent lesbian politicians in the US, attacked Ian Paisley Jnr, who is the son and namesake of the Democratic Unionist First Minister.He told Hotpress magazine in May that lesbians and gay men harm society.