18th February 2008
Sopranos and ukuleles at Drill Hall fundraisers 6
4:30 PM — Two benefit concerts in aid of The Drill Hall, the renowned gay theatre and arts centre off Tottenham Court Road, are to be held in April.It is facing closure after its Arts Council funding was recently withdrawn.A high-profile fundraising campaign is under way to replace the £250,000 annual grant and rescue the venue, which is located just off Tottenham Court Road in London.
Gay groups welcome Paisley resignation 5
4:00 PM — Ian Paisley Jnr's announcement today that he is to resign from the Northern Ireland Executive has been welcomed by groups working for gay equality in the province.Mr Paisley Jnr was a junior minister in the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister, the department responsible for equality in the power-sharing executive.He resigned today amid allegations that he lobbied on behalf of a property developer in relation to a £50m government land deal.
Scientists locate grave of King’s gay lover
2:15 PM — The remains of a gay lover of medieval king Edward II have been located by scientists at Hulton Abbey in Staffordshire.Anthropologist Mary Lewis believes her team have positively identified the body of Sir Hugh Dispenser the Younger, a man once described as "a sodomite, even it is said, with the King."Edward, who reigned between 1307 and 1327, had a string of gay relationships and has long provided material for writers and film makers alike.
Homophobic minister Ian Paisley resigns from government 6
1:02 PM — A junior minister in the Northern Ireland government who was heavily criticised last year for calling gay people repulsive has resigned.Ian Paisley Jnr has come under pressure over his links with property developers and lobbyists."With a certain degree of sadness I have informed the First Minister of my intention to resign from ministerial office," he said.
No Cardiff Mardi Gras in 2008 11
12:15 PM — A lack of community and financial support is being blamed for the cancellation of Wales' largest Pride event.The Cardiff Mardi Gras organising committee has announced the event will not being going ahead this summer.Despite the huge success of Mardi Gras in recent years, "high demands placed on committee members have made it difficult to retain volunteers and attract new ones," the committee said in a statement.
Cameron’s wife changed his mind on Section 28 3
10:20 AM — A new documentary examining the political influences on Conservative leader David Cameron has revealed that he was persuaded to drop his support for Section 28 by his wife Samantha.Nick Boles, the Tory prospective parliamentary candidate for Grantham and Stafford and a close friend of the couple, told the Radio 4 programme that Mrs Cameron was instrumental in turning her husband into a moderniser.Mr Cameron, who became an MP in 2001, married Samantha in 1996.
15th February 2008
Who gets your vote for Mayor of London? 57
2:20 PM — PinkNews.co.uk is inviting readers to take part in an exclusive poll to find out which candidates for Mayor of London are most popular with the gay community.The campaign so far has been exciting, with the three main party candidates scoring acres of press coverage and considerable TV exposure.Only readers who live in London are eligible to 'vote' in the PinkNews.co.uk poll.
Police warning on crystal meth use 6
11:15 AM — A report from the Association of Chief Police Officers predicts a rise in the number of people taking methamphetamine, commonly known as crystal meth.An ACPO spokesman told the BBC that at present it is still a "relatively minor" problem in the UK but there has been a "gradual rise in the reporting of the use and manufacturing of the drug."Research published in July 2006 claimed that up to 20% of gay men questioned at sexual health clinics and gyms in London had taken the drug.
No hope for HIV vaccine claims expert
10:55 AM — A Nobel Prize-winning scientist has said that the HIV virus cannot be controlled by vaccines and immunisation and efforts should be focused on stem cell and gene research.Professor David Baltimore, president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), was speaking at the assocation's annual meeting yesterday.His work has made a major contribution to the discovery of HIV. In 1975 he won the Nobel Prize for Medicine.
Lib Dems win Grell council seat
10:41 AM — The Liberal Democrats have won a seat on the London Borough of Waltham Forest council vacated by a Labour politician convicted of smearing one of her gay opponents.Winnie Smith took back the seat for the Lib Dems yesterday in a by-election in Leyton.She won 1360 votes. Khevyn Limbajee for Labour won 695. In September former councillor Miranda Grell, 29, was barred from public office for three years, fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £3,000 costs by Waltham Forest Magistrates Court.
14th February 2008
ONS explains thinking on gay census question 5
6:15 PM — The Office for National Statistics has spoken to PinkNews.co.uk about why it does not propose to ask a question about sexual orientation in the 2011 Census.Earlier this week gay equality organisation Stonewall joined forces with the Trades Union Congress to press for the inclusion of such a question.A spokesman for the ONS told PinkNews.co.uk that they do not propose to ask a question in 2011 as they consider that there are better ways to collect "timely and reliable" sexual identity information.
Government funds gay sauna training scheme
5:35 PM — The Department of Health is funding a new "code of good practice" scheme for gay saunas and other venues where sex between men occurs.Play Zone: Code of Conduct has been developed by HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust as part of the national HIV prevention programme."The Department of Health gave £20,000 of funding," a THT spokesperson told PinkNews.co.uk.
London mayor candidate backs Page 3 girls 1
5:30 PM — The Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London has told The Sun that the pictures of topless women on published on page three of the paper "shows that you don't need to be stick-thin to be attractive."Brian Paddick also said that if elected he may withdraw millions of pounds worth of funding from London Fashion Week in protest at the use of "size zero" models.He told the paper: "Sun girls are proof you can be curvy and gorgeous, unlike the stick-insects you see on the catwalk."
Comment: Peter Tatchell on sexing the future 1
4:10 PM — February is LGBT History Month, with hundreds of events taking place across the country to promote awareness of the contribution to society of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.In a culture that has, until recently, persecuted queers and suppressed us from public life, this reclamation of hidden LGBT history is a welcome and much needed historical correction.But history is about the past. What about the future? As we progress towards a post-homophobic society, how will this transition to understanding and acceptance affect the expression of human sexuality?
England vs Scotland in gay football match
2:02 PM — The first LGBT football team north of the border are to take on London's Leftfooters FC this Sunday, the first time gay teams from England and Scotland have clashed.HotScots FC was founded last year with the aim of organising socials and regular kick-abouts and to provide a social outlet for LGBT people who wish to watch and participate in football with other like-minded people.The club now boasts more than 75 members and hold kickabouts every Thursday and Sunday.
13th February 2008
Rainbow flag flies over police headquarters
5:15 PM — A police force named as the best employer for gay, lesbian and bisexual people in Scotland is celebrating LGBT History Month by flying the rainbow flag.The public display of support at Lothian and Borders Police headquarters in Edinburgh has been welcomed by gay rights organisation Stonewall, who compile the list of top employers.However, not everyone was pleased.
Census question is about sexuality not sex 5
4:50 PM — A proposal to include a question on sexuality in the next UK-wide census has been backed by trade unionists and the Green party, but caused confusion among some people.A senior researcher who is an expert on LGBT issues told PinkNews.co.uk that any question must focus on sexual identity and not orientation.The academic, who asked not to be named, explained: "Some have put forward the argument that such a question involved someone's private sexual behaviour.
Heavy metal star encourages fans to come out
3:00 PM — The lead singer of legendary British heavy metal band Judas Priest has spoken about being a role model to his gay fans.Rob Halford came out in 1998 in an interview with MTV. The band, nicknamed "Metal Gods," have sold more than 35 million albums.Halford left Judas Priest in 1993 after 20 years, but rejoined in 2003.He said coming out was like "freeing yourself" and said that his action had helped other metal fans to do the same.
Brighton walk will raise money for Stonewall
11:01 AM — Gay and lesbian people and their friends have been signing up for a major gay day out in Brighton during the May bank holiday.The 5th Annual Equality Walk is a demonstration of solidarity against hate crime, a nice day out, a good bit of exercise and an opportunity to do a bit of star-spotting.The 10km stroll begins at the Pavilion Gardens at 2pm on Sunday May 4th.
Academics to discuss gay identites in eastern Europe
10:50 AM — A conference to be held in London is to examine the emergence of LGBT identities in central and eastern Europe.School of Slavonic and East European Studies at Universtiy College London is to hold a one-day conference on Friday 11th April.Since the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989 new gay communities have emerged in many countries, and led to social and political unrest regarding their rights and visibility.