25th January 2007
Catholic adoption opt-out ruled out 1
10:01 AM — Adoption agencies run by the Roman Catholic Church will have to consider gay couples as potential parents or close down, it has emerged.After meeting with MPs and the Cabinet yesterday, Prime Minister Tony Blair has bowed to strong criticism from his own party over a suggested exemption from the Sexual Orientation Regulations for Catholic providers of adoption services.
24th January 2007
No 10 website hosts anti gay-rights petition 1
5:24 PM — Gay rights activists have expressed concern that one of the most popular petitions on the Prime Minister's official website is anti-gay.The website hosts a facility for members of the public to create a petition topic and invite others to sign up.One such petition calling on the government to rescind the Sexual Orientation Regulations has attracted more than 8,000 signatures.
Labour leadership candidate pledges support for gay adoption 1
3:31 PM — John McDonnell, the only Labour MP to have publicly confirmed he will stand for party leader once Tony Blair departs, has criticised the attitude of the Christian churches towards gay adoption.In a statement to PinkNews.co.uk, Mr McDonnell branded Christian objectors as primitive.He called on his party to stand firm in the face of calls for exemptions for Catholic adoption agencies.
Brit pop star won’t say which way he swings 9
12:12 PM — He is the toast of the music industry, and his hit song Grace Kelly sits at the top of the singles chart, but no matter how many times journalists ask, he won't tell.Beirut-born pop crooner Mika is keeping mum about his sexual orientation.Some commentators have judged that a smart move for any artist aspiring to a career in America.
Scots Catholics banking on Polish election effect 1
11:29 AM — Catholic leaders in Scotland are hoping the influx of Polish migrants to the country will affect the outcome of the upcoming elections for the country's parliament.Around 40,000 immigrants are now working in Scotland, 90% of them Poles, who are in turn almost all practising Catholics.The elections for the 129-member parliament take place on May 3rd.
Christian magistrate goes to employment tribunal 1
10:44 AM — A Sheffield magistrate is taking the Lord Chancellor to an employment tribunal, claiming that his Bible-influenced opinions should allow him to be excused from approving gay adoptions.62-year-old Andrew McClintock hopes the ruling will set a precedent.He spoke to The Daily Mail about his opinions on gay parenting.
Blairs blamed for cabinet split over gay rights 5
10:10 AM — The Independent newspaper is reporting that the Prime Minister's wife Cherie is responsible for the row in cabinet over the delay in the introduction of gay rights legislation.Meanwhile Alan Johnson, who had responsibility for overseeing the Sexual Orientation Regulations while he was Trade and Industry Secretary, is reported to have told MPs that the exemption for Roman Catholic adoption agencies is being actively supported by the Prime Minister.
Anglicans back Catholics in adoption row 3
9:44 AM — The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have written to Prime Minister Tony Blair in support of an exemption from anti-discrimination legislation for Roman Catholic adoption agencies.In the letter the Archbishops, the most senior clergy in the Church of England, tell Mr Blair that, "the rights of conscience cannot be made subject to legislation, however well meaning."Their intervention is in support of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor.
23rd January 2007
Jail for passing on sexually transmitted diseases 1
10:22 AM — The Crown Prosecution Service is to target people who knowingly pass on STDs, with some being sent to prison.The new approach is due to be announced by Director of Public Prosecutions Sir Ken Macdonald soon, reports The Evening Standard. Sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust has expressed concern about the reported new policy.
Cardinal asks politicians for adoption opt-out
10:22 AM — The row over a possible exemption for the Catholic Church from new laws to protect gay people from discrimination intensified yesterday as a senior cleric weighed into the debate.Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor has chosen the high risk strategy of openly threatening to close adoption agencies in England and Wales rather than let gay or lesbian people make use of them.
Charities query proposed Brighton AIDS memorial
10:22 AM — The UK's largest HIV health organisation is questioning plans for a permanent AIDS memorial in Brighton.Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) South says that the community has not been consulted properly and that the £20,000 bill for the memorial - currently being raised by local businesses and customers - could be better spent."There needs to be much greater community discussion," says Perry French from THT South.
Gay man wins orientation discrimination case 1
10:22 AM — A Bristol man has won a claim of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and been awarded thousands of pounds in damages.An employment tribunal also found that Tony Gaman had been unfairly dismissed by Bristol County Sports Club."After about eight-and-a-half years I got tired of living a lie and told them that I was gay.
Catholic leadership “sordid” say Lib Dems
10:22 AM — The war of words over whether or not the Roman Catholic Church should be allowed to refuse adoption services to gay and lesbian people reached a new fever pitch today.A LibDem MP has called the leadership of the Church sordid and accused them of blackmail.On Sunday it was reported that Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly wanted to grant the Church an exemption to the Sexual Orientation Regulations.
CPS hits back at “jail for STI” reports 1
10:22 AM — The Crown Prosecution Service has said that reports that more people might be jailed for passing on sexually transmitted infections are inaccurate.In a statement to PinkNews.co.uk, the service revealed that a policy consultation process with medical and voluntary sector experts has only just finished and that no policy directions have been finalised.
Oscar nominations for a very British Queen
10:22 AM — Dames Helen Mirren and Judi Dench have been nominated for Best Actress at this year's Oscars.The 79th Academy Awards ceremony in February will be hosted by Ellen Degeneres, the first time an out gay performer has presented the most prestigious movie event in the Hollywood calendar.Mirren is honoured for her performance in The Queen.
Labour MEP-led organisation calls for Kelly resignation 18
10:22 AM — The Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association, (GALHA) whose Vice President is the former EastEnders star turned Labour MEP Michael Cashman, has called on the Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly to resign.Ms Kelly, who is a devout Catholic and a member of Opus Dei, has yet to clarify if she will allow the Catholic Church to opt out of adoption of children by gay couples.
22nd January 2007
Brokeback Mountain star Heath Ledger found dead
10:00 PM — The Oscar nominated star of Brokeback Mountain Heath Ledger was found dead in his Manhattan apartment just hours ago, New York City police said."He was found unconscious at the apartment and pronounced dead," a police spokesperson said.Paul Browne, added that police "are investigating the possibility of an overdose."
Gay helplines attacked by hoaxers
6:17 PM — The Gloucestershire gay helpline has been the victim of a text message scam that is reducing its ability to respond to genuine calls.Text messages are being sent to random phones asking the recipient to call the free helpline number urgently. During one day in December over 30 calls were made in one hour.The Gay and Lesbian Switchboard has also been the victim of similar scam texts.
Eagle speaks out against the “very, very few”
1:39 PM — PinkNews.co.uk exclusive The vice-chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party has said that "very, very few" of the party's MPs want a change to the Sexual Orientation Regulations.Angela Eagle, the MP for Wallasey, spoke out after the Independent on Sunday reported that Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly wants to allow adoption agencies controlled by the Roman Catholic Church to turn away gay or lesbian couples.
Police warn of internet dangers
1:03 PM — The Metropolitan Police have issued a warning to gay men to be more cautious when sending pictures online after a London man was humiliated by an internet sneak.The two men met on an internet dating site and the victim sent the other man a sexually explicit picture of himself.When they stopped chatting online, the other man reprinted the image on a poster with libellous text.