7th April 2008
Gay Iranian faces uncertain future back in UK
1:00 PM — Mehdi Kazemi, a teenage Iranian who is fighting deportation to his homeland where he claims he faces execution for being gay, has returned to the UK.He was previously in a detention centre in Holland but was released on Friday from a Rotterdam detention centre and returned to England. He is staying with his uncle.Mr Kazemi, 19, had unsuccessfully applied for asylum in the United Kingdom following the execution of his partner by Iranian authorities after being found guilty of sodomy.
Tatchell held during Olympic torch protests
12:20 PM — Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell was one of scores of people detained by police as yesterday's parading of the Olympic torch through the streets of London descended into chaos.Despite hundreds of police officers deployed on the streets there were repeated attempts to stop the 31-mile procession, as campaigners vented their anger at China's actions in Tibet and its wider record on human rights.At one point a man almost succeeded in grabbing the lit torch.
New social network for gay adoptive parents 1
11:00 AM — A gay couple have created a new online social network aimed at lending support to same-sex couples going through the adoption process.The New Family Social group has been set up by Andy May and gives lesbian, gay and bisexual adopters around the UK a chance to chat online and meet with other couples in the same situation.There are currently 60 families registered on the site, which offers free membership and a private discussion board where users can contact other adopters in their area.
4th April 2008
MEP’s campaign against US policy on HIV travellers 6
5:40 PM — Liberal Democrat MEP Baroness Sarah Ludford has launched an online campaign to end an American policy which effectively bars HIV positive people from entering the country.Under current US immigration law, any foreign national who tests positive for HIV is "inadmissible," meaning he is barred from permanent residence and even short-term travel in the United States.There are waivers available to this rule, but obtaining them has always been difficult.
Sir Ian McKellen: coming out politicised me 5
4:10 PM — Last night veteran gay rights campaigner and co-founder of Stonewall Sir Ian McKellen gave the keynote speech at the gay equality organisation's annual Equality Dinner.540 guests attended and more than £320,000 was raised.For many people, the highlight of the evening was the following speech by Sir Ian, exploring the history of Stonewall and what its priorities are for the future. "It was 20 years ago. The biggest story regarding gay people in this country was about AIDS."
Gay chatline calls cost NHS Trust £1,000
3:30 PM — A health trust employee ran up a £1,000 calling a premium rate gay chat line from work.The bill was discovered by a telecoms consultant who was reviewing telecommunications at the Havering Primary Care Trust (PCT), which runs GP and dentist surgeries across the borough as well as St George's Hospital in Hornchurch.He estimated the employee had been calling the line for up to a year during 2006,.
Guest pays £20,000 for tea with Blair at Stonewall dinner 5
1:25 PM — Last night's Stonewall Equality Dinner raised £320,000 for the gay equality organisation.Auctioned at the event were a range of items including art by Kobi Israel, the award-winning photographer, a civil partnership reception and dinner at Cliveden, one of the world's finest hotels.The opportunity to have tea with Tony Blair secured a bid of £20,000. All funds raised will go towards Stonewall campaigns such as Education for All, tackling homophobic bullying from Britain's schools.
EXCLUSIVE: Trans trucker wins at employment tribunal
12:50 PM — A transsexual who claimed she was hounded out of her job as a trucker after she began her transition from her former male gender has triumphed at her employment tribunal.Vikki-Marie Gaynor, 37, from Wallasey in Wirral, is waiting to hear the exact sum of compensation she will be rewarded following her successful claims of sexual discrimination against Exel Europe, part of delivery giant DHL, and recruitment agency Blue Arrow.The ex-soldier got her HGV licence through the Royal Corps of Transport.
LGBT History Month goes health-conscious
11:30 AM — The Department of Health has become involved with an annual event to celebrate the history of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans communities.A new addition to the LGBT History Month website from the department and the NHS provides resources, links and LGBT health-specific event ideas.These pages, which will be regularly updated and expanded, provide useful information designed to help individuals and NHS trusts.
Gay Iranian will be returned to UK as soon as today 6
11:20 AM — The Dutch Minister of Justice has told the country's parliament that she completely trusts the UK asylum system.Nebahat Albayrak, speaking in a debate about the plight of gay Iranian teenager Mehdi Kazemi, said she would not be asking the British counterparts for any assurances about his case.Boris van der Ham of the D66 party secured the debate with support from the Green party, the social democrats and other opposition parties.
3rd April 2008
Ian McKellen met Gordon Brown at gay ‘wedding’ 5
11:10 PM — Veteran gay rights advocate and award-winning actor Sir Ian McKellen has revealed that he has only met the Prime Minister once.Speaking at Stonewall's annual fundraising dinner at the Dorchester hotel in London, Sir Ian said the occasion was the celebration of the civil partnership ceremony of gay MEP Michael Cashman and his partner Paul Cottingham.He told the 540 guests that he had worked with Mr Brown, Tony Blair and John Major on gay rights.
Livingstone: I’m not gay but have 5 children with 3 women
6:45 PM — Ken Livingstone says he's not gay but has fathered five children with three different womenAs well as his two young children with his current partner Emma Beale, Mr Livingstone has three children from previous relationships. He fathered two daughters by one woman and a son with another. He told the BBC: "I don't talk about my private life; it seems like only yesterday the press was trying to imply I was gay."
Manchester gay foundation to auction off lesbians 1
5:33 PM — On Sunday 22nd June lesbian women of all ages, shapes and sizes will be auctioned off to raise funds for the Manchester-based Lesbian and Gay Foundation (LGF).The event will take place at the Vanilla bar in the city's gay village, and the foundation is seeking volunteers for the auction.Highest bidders from the evening will be sent on a date the following week with the lesbian of their choice.
PinkNews.co.uk editor to chair Stonewall hustings 1
5:10 PM — The editor of PinkNews.co.uk has said he is excited about the upcoming gay hustings with the Mayor of London candidates after it was announced he will chair the event.The incumbent Mayor and Labour candidate Ken Livingstone, Tory candidate Boris Johnson, the Lib Dem's Brian Paddick, Green party candidate Sian Berry and Lindsey German, the Respect - The Left List's candidate, have all confirmed their attendance.Hundreds of people have already contacted Stonewall to indicate they will be attending.
MPs amused by the Harriet and William show
4:40 PM — Secretary of State for Equality Harriet Harman made history yesterday when she became the first woman from the Labour party to answer Prime Minister's Questions.Ms Harman, who is responsible for gay rights issues, is also Leader of the House of Commons and Deputy Leader of the Labour party.Yesterday she was faced with former Tory leader William Hague, filling in for David Cameron. The Prime Minister was at a NATO summit in Bucharest.
COMMENT: Straight male machismo underpins all tyranny 3
1:30 PM — In a speech to the European Feminist Summit in London last month, activist and human rights advocate Peter Tatchell argued that by challenging traditional heterosexual masculinity, the queer emancipation movement can contribute to the liberation of all of humanity.Queer liberation is not a mere minority issue, nor purely a questionof personal lifestyle, civil rights or sexual freedom. It is, or canbe, socially transformative, with the potential to aid allemancipation struggles everywhere.Queers deviate from traditional masculinity. We reject the orthodoxmodel of what it is to be a man.
Booze ban on the tube is latest campaign pledge
1:05 PM — The leading contenders in the Mayor of London election have unveiled more eye-catching promises as the campaign moves into a more active stage.With four weeks to go, Tory candidate Boris Johnson has said that if elected he will ban the consumption of alcohol on the Tube to further crack down on anti-social behaviour and public disorder.Londoners go to the polls on May 1st to elect a Mayor and the 25-member London Assembly.
Bourne to debut Dorian Gray in Edinburgh 2
12:15 PM — One of Britain's most successful choreographers and the mastermind behind the all-male Swan Lake will premiere his latest production in August.Dorian Gray, is desrcibed as a "dark fairy tale that tells the story of an exceptionally alluring young man who makes a pact with the devil."Amongst London's beautiful people, Dorian Gray is the "It Boy" - an icon of beauty and truth in an increasingly ugly world."
Gay people not getting a fair deal says Paddick 2
10:01 AM — The Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London has welcomed a report into perceived homophobia in British society.The Stonewall report is based on responses to a YouGov poll of more than 1,600 gay, lesbian and bisexual people across Britain.It found that respondents thought they would get worse treatment on the grounds of their sexuality in employment, political representation, housing, health, education, the police and the criminal justice system.
2nd April 2008
Arts Coucil finds sexual orientation controversy “ironic”
6:01 PM — Artists seeking funding for their work are being asked to reveal their sexuality.Any individual or group who apply for Arts Council funding will be asked whether they or any of their management committee are bisexual, gay, heterosexual or lesbian.The Arts Council is compiling the information so that they can report to the government the success rate of different applications.