7th February 2008
Interest rate fall good news for homeowners 1
1:45 PM — LGBT homeowners will benefit from another reduction in interest rates by the Bank of England, the second in three months.The Bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted to reduce rates by a quarter of one percent to 5.25 per cent.An average £100,000 mortgage will only reduce by £16 and not all mortgage holders will see a reduction.The US Federal reserve last month slashed rates by a total of 1.25 per cent.
Christians present petition opposing gay adoption 9
12:55 PM — A lobby group called the Christian People's Alliance (CPA) has presented a petition with 838 signatures to Sheffield City Council protesting that gay people can adopt.The action was inspired by the case of former magistrate Andrew McClintock, a leading member of the CPA, who tried unsuccessfully to opt out of approving gay adoptions on religious grounds.A key part of his case was that as a magistrate he has to act in the best interests of the child and that placing them with gay people was detrimental to them.
Met Police host History Month conference
12:20 PM — February is Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) History Month, and among the hundreds of events across the country, the Metropolitan Police Service hosted a one day conference at New Scotland Yard on Monday.Met staff and officers joined others from the Crown Prosecution Service, youth workers and local LGBT forums to discuss compound discrimination, homophobic bullying and hate crime research.A number of events including MPS LGBT community forums will be taking place across London.
Hate preacher refused UK entry visa 19
12:05 PM — An Islamic preacher who has called for gay people to be put to death has been denied entry into the UK for medical treatment.Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, 80, was at the centre of a row in 2004 when he spoke at an event in City Hall as a guest of London Mayor Ken Livingstone, who was then heavily criticised by gay rights campaigners and Jewish organisations for inviting him.The spiritual leader of Islamicist organisation the Muslim Brotherhood, Dr Qaradawi is known to have supported suicide bombings in Israel.
6th February 2008
Kids drama that introduced gay teachers is axed
5:15 PM — A children's television programme that tackled gay themes is to cease production after 30 years on air.Grange Hill caused controversy by introducing a gay teacher in 1992. Mr Brisley remained part of the fictional staff until 1999.However, it was not the first controversy the show had stirred.In the late 1970s it was tackling the dangers of paedophiles and in the 1980s it found unparalleled popularity with its campaign against heroin.
Gay couple make GQ’s power list
4:00 PM — Sir Elton John and partner David Furnish have been recognised as among the most powerful men in Britain by GQ.They are jointly listed at number 30 on the magazine's 100 most powerful men list, the only joint entry.The magazine says the couple, who entered into a civil partnership in 2006, are worth £225m. GQ chose Tory leader David Cameron as the most powerful man in Britain.
Keep up to date with Stonewall’s work for gay equality 2
3:00 PM — Stonewall, the UK's leading gay, lesbian and bisexual equality organisation is actively involved in a range of areas, from campaigning for legislation to working towards workplace equality, from media monitoring to tackling homophobia in schools.Now you can keep up to date with Stonewall's work by signing up to their monthly e-bulletin. Sent straight to your inbox, it provides a regular update of progress in the charity's vital work for justice and equality. To sign up, simply click here.
Fundamentalist Christian poster breached advert code 27
12:10 PM — A advertising poster for the Christian Congress for Traditional Values which claimed that gay people want to abolish families has been found to breach the advertising standards code.In an adjudication released today the Advertising Standards Authority judged the poster to be in breach of rules on social responsibility, decency, substantiation, truthfulness and matters of opinion.A mobile poster for the CCTV showed a family consisting of a man, a woman and a young son and daughter. Body copy beside it stated "GAY AIM: ABOLISH THE FAMILY."
Alleged rape victim is HIV positive 1
11:50 AM — A court at the Old Bailey has been told that a 26-year-old man who accused a BBC Radio 4 reporter of raping him is HIV positive.Nigel Wrench, 47, was open about his status and had made a documentary, Aids and Me about his experiences living with HIV and a later diagnosis of AIDS.He is accused of drugging and sexually assaulting the 26-year-old after inviting him back to his flat in north London after meeting him at a New Years party.
5th February 2008
University launches gay network
6:10 PM — Ice skating and drinks at Camp David will mark the inaugural event for a new professional LGBT network at Newcastle University.The network has been called Mosaic to reflect "the inclusivity of the network while recognising the individuality of its members and connoting that joining the network will be a positive contribution to the bigger picture."It is open to students, staff and alumni of the university, which is home to more than 23,000 people.
Play to explore Gielgud’s gay sex conviction
5:00 PM — A new play opening in London later this month will examine one of the most scandalous incidents in 20th century British theatre.In 1953 acclaimed classical actor John Gielgud, who had recently been knighted by the Queen, was prosecuted for persistently importuning for immoral purposes, more commonly known as cottaging.He was devastated by the attendant publicity and feared his career was over, but he was greeted with a standing ovation the next time he appeared on stage.
Bishop regrets actions over gay cleric’s promotion 3
3:40 PM — The Bishop of Liverpool has said he "deeply regrets" his public opposition to the promotion of Canon Jeffrey John and said that in his view "gay rights are civil rights."Dr John was forced to step down as Bishop of Reading in 2003 amid controversy about his sex life. He is now Dean of St Albans.The Rt. Rev. James Jones was one of nine Diocesan Bishops who objected publicly to the proposed consecration of Dr John because he was in a gay relationship.
Boris upset at Elton’s support for rival 2
12:55 PM — The Tory candidate for Mayor of London has revealed that he is on Sir Elton John's Christmas card list and was shocked and disappointed when the star gave his backing to Lib Dem hopeful Brian Paddick.The Conservative, who has the dubious honour of being backed by nightclub owner Peter Stringfellow, told LBC radio this morning that he hopes to recruit troubled singer Amy Winehouse to his campaign.
Welsh gays to meet police about hate crime 1
12:30 PM — Stonewall Cymru has joined forces with a local LGB group to fight homophobic hate crime in Merthyr Tydfil.Working with the South East Wales Lesbian Gay and Bisexual Forum, Stonewall will facilitate a series of meetings between local lesbian, gay and bisexual people and South Wales Police Hate Crime Officers to address issues of homophobic hate crime in the area.It is hoped the project will help to establish a local LGB network in the Merthyr area.
4th February 2008
Minister questioned at LGBT education conference 8
5:35 PM — A junior education minister defended the government's new guidance on homophobic bullying at last weekend's Schools OUT conference.Kevin Brennan, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, told an audience of around 100 who packed into London's Drill Hall that the new guidance was a major step forward."While we cannot force a positive attitude through law or through a policy, however robust, you have to have an environment, and schools must promote an environment, based on respect," he said.
Gay Radio 4 presenter raped New Year party man, court told 8
5:35 PM — An openly gay BBC Radio 4 presenter drugged and raped a man that he met at a New Years party, a court heard today.Nigel Wrench, 47, who is a regular presenter of the radio station's flagship evening news programme PM invited the man back to see his art collection and sit in on his show, the court was told.The Old Bailey heard that Mr Wrench snorted cocaine with the 26-year-old man and then poured him a glass of champagne, which made him feel "not at all well."
Speaker calls for transparency on MPs allowances 31
4:40 PM — The Speaker of the House of Commons has urged MPs from all sides to move quickly to reform of the allowances system.A meeting of the Members' Estimates Committee is to consider new rules, including a ban on employing relatives with public funds.Speaker Michael Martin, a member of the committee, made a statement to MPs this afernoon. "We must take fully into account the public interest in transparency," he said.
Get walking to fight hate crime
4:01 PM — Preparations are underway for a major gay day out in Brighton during the May bank holiday.Gay and lesbian stars will join hundreds of others on a fundraising walk in the popular seaside resort.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 10k walk begins from the Pavilion Gardens at 2pm on Sunday May 4th.
NHS surrogates may be used by gay couples
3:14 PM — A Primary Care Trust in England is considering an application for funds to pay for a surrogate mother to have a baby for an infertile couple.While it is illegal to pay both surrogate mothers and egg donors in Britain, North East Essex PCT is considering paying up to £15,000 in 'expenses' to carry a baby to full-term, which is allowed under the law.However, the option is at present only under consideration by one of the 152 PCTs in England.
Boles donates money to Boris campaign 7
1:45 PM — A leading gay Tory has donated £20,000 to the campaign to elect Boris Johnson as Mayor of London.Nick Boles was the frontrunner to be his party's candidate for Mayor until he withdrew from the race after being diagnosed with a form of cancer.Now it has emerged that he is among a list of donors to Boris' campaign, alongside property developers, hedge fund managers, lobbyists and art dealers.