8th April 2008
MEP’s Home Office meetings about gay Iranian 21
11:30 AM — The President of the European Parliament´s Intergroup on Gay and Lesbian Rights is today holding a series of high level meetings with senior members of the Home Office.Michael Cashman, who is one of two openly gay MEPs, is meeting the government officials following the return to the UK of Mehdi Kazemi."I trust that the UK government will do the right thing in relation to Mehdi," he said.
7th April 2008
Driver and paparazzi blamed for death of Diana 3
6:50 PM — An inquest that heard lurid rumours that Diana, Princess of Wales was pregnant and murdered at the behest of the British Royal Family has concluded that she was unlawfully killed.However, the jury of five men and six women said the driver of the car that crashed in Paris on 31st August 1997, Henri Paul, and the paparazzi who chased the vehicle into a tunnel, were to blame for her death.Diana died shortly after the crash, her boyfriend Dodi Al Fayed and driver Paul also died in the collision.
Suicide prisoner was victim of trans bullying
6:10 PM — A woman who hanged herself in her prison cell with shoelaces had complained that she was being victimised and picked on by other inmates because she had transitioned from being a man.Lisa Woodhall was serving a four and half year sentence after she slashed the throat of her boyfriend's ex-lover.Woodhall, who had undergone gender reassignment surgery in 2004, pleaded guilty to wounding with intent at Plymouth Crown Court in September 2005.
Interview: The vibrant support network for LGB soldiers
3:30 PM — The issue of gay people serving in the Armed Forces still divides politicians in the US.For the rest of the countries in the NATO alliance, the claims and counter-claims about unit cohesion and the "influence" of gays on fighting men seem like echoes from another time.The Dutch lifted their ban on gays in 1974, Australia followed in 1992 and Canada soon after. In 2008, most of the member nations of NATO have removed their bans.
Magistrate investigated after linking gay men to paedophiles 3
2:35 PM — Comments made in a regional TV documentary about gay people in Wales has led to an investigation into a local magistrate.Byron Butler, a former Deputy Lord Lieutenant for Mid Glamorgan who has been on the bench for 30 years, spoke out on an edition of BBC Wales' Week In Week Out hosted by former Steps singer Ian H Watkins.Mr Butler has voluntarily agreed not to sit as a magistrate during the investigation by the Advisory Committee on Justices of the Peace in Mid Glamorgan.
Ken campaign to complain about YouGov poll 4
2:00 PM — Ken Livingstone, the incumbent Mayor of London, has rejected the methodology of an opinion poll company used by Stonewall, the Evening Standard and other papers.The latest poll of 1,000 Londoners from YouGov puts his Tory rival Boris Johnson on 49% with the Mayor on 36%.Lib Dem candidate Brian Paddick remains on 10% and Green party hopeful Sian Berry on 2% in the Standard poll. Once the second preferences are factored in, Boris leads Ken by 56% to 44%.
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.