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UK

  • 11th January 2007

    £9,000 gay chatline bill run up by thief 1

    Police managed to trace Thomas via a call he made to a family member.

    3:23 PM — An unlucky Liverpool businesswomen has been told by a judge that she is still liable for £9,000 worth of calls to gay chatlines made on her mobile phone.The Liverpool Echo reports the unusual case of Mrs Anne Jeffrey, who runs a successful ironing business.The business had several mobile phones on contract from Genesis Communications, one of which Mrs Jeffrey lent to her son.

  • EuroGay regatta comes to Brighton

    GUST will also be organising a social event for other LGBT sailors to coincide with the regatta. photo: www.eurogaycup.org

    2:19 PM — The Gay UK Sailing Team has announced that Barclays will be sponsoring the seventh annual EuroGay Cup Regatta, to be held in Brighton on the 9th and 10th of June.This is the second time GUST will be hosting the event in the UK. The regatta is expected to attract up to 60 competitors in teams of four or five crew.The Gay UK sailing team was set up in 2000 to provide a competitive team for the 2002 Sydney Gay Games.

  • Leicester bar attacked in hate crime

    The Amber opened last year, and for the last three months has been a focus for vandals, and replacing smashed windows has cost £6,000.

    11:29 AM — Police in Leicester are treating a series of attacks on a bar popular with gay people as hate crimes.The Leicester Mercury reports that a gang of young men armed with hammers and baseball bats smashed windows and verbally abused customers at the Amber bar in Northampton Street last Friday night.The bar is popular with gay and lesbian people.

  • Lesbian loses rape charity tribunal

    At the tribunal in Glasgow, the chairman, Roderick MacKenzie, found that Ms Phillips had not been victimised or dismissed from her job because of her sexuality.

    10:35 AM — A 40-year-old Glasgow woman has lost an employment tribunal against Scottish Rape Crisis Network.Claire Phillips had claimed that she was fired after complaining that she had been outed as a lesbian by a fellow employee.She did not want her colleagues to know she is gay, she told the tribunal.

  • Orkney composer cancels ceremony plans 5

    The Sanday registrar, a friend of Sir Peter, Charlie Ridley, has resigned his post in protest at being told he could not perform the civil partnership ceremony.

    10:05 AM — Composer Sir Peter Maxwell-Davies has decided to shelve plans to marry his partner on the Orkney Islands.Sir Peter, the Master of the Queen's Music, was at the centre of a media storm earlier in the week when he accused council officials on the islands of homophobia.Orkney Island Council had told Sir Peter, 72, that the registrar on the island of Sanday, where the composer lives, is not legally able to carry out civil partnerships ceremonies.

  • Colin and Justin set a date for civil ceremony 11

    Colin, 37, met Justin 22 years ago, in a Glasgow nightclub. photo: Channel Five

    9:44 AM — Interior designers Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan are to become civil partners. The Channel Five stars revealed their plans to LondonLite newspaper yesterday.The duo have become household names with programmes like Million Pound Property Experiment and How Not To Decorate. Justin, 38, revealed that they plan to have the ceremony in March.

  • 10th January 2007

    COMMENT: A gay old time in their Lordships’ House

    Lord Tebbit rejected the comparison between discrimination against an ethnic minority and discrimination on the grounds of sexuality

    5:52 PM — Call him a freak if you want, but PinkNews.co.uk's Tony Grew actually enjoys Parliamentary debates. He sits at home and watches BBC Parliament as if it were Celebrity Big Brother.Last night's House of Lords debate on the Sexual Orientation Regulations was like a double eviction for Tony, and for the elucidation of PinkNews.co.uk's busy readers, he gives us the best, and worst, bits. 

  • George Michael pleads not guilty

    2006 was a bad year for the former Wham! front man, who came out of the closet in 1998 after being arrested in Los Angeles for cottaging.

    3:41 PM — Pop icon George Michael's lawyer has entered a plea of not guilty to a charge of being unfit to drive at Brent Magistrates Court in north west London.The singer, who recently completed a sell-out European tour, was not in court. A further hearing has been set for 7th March.The charge arises from an incident last October.

  • Gay groups welcome Lords decision 15

    The House of Lords debate coincided with a protest of around 1,000 evangelical Christians and Muslims.

    3:04 PM — Gay and lesbian groups have welcomed the vote in the House of Lords last night which confirmed the introduction of the Sexual Orientation Regulations in Northern Ireland.The Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association expressed their pleasure that a campaign of campaign of "distortion and exaggeration" had been defeated.

  • COMMENT: Eye-witness report from last night’s protest 15

    Outside the House of Lords, where I found myself tonight, there were “hundreds of people“ (I would say about 2000) demonstrating in support of the motion.

    2:23 PM — It was not just protesters out in Parliament Square last night. Blogger Nicolas Chinardet went along to meet the enemy, and was surprised to find some of them confused about the actual nature of the Sexual Orientation Regulations. Here is his account of events outside the House of Lords. I am still a little cold almost an hour after I got home. But looking back it was all worth it.

  • Rebel Labour MPs attempt to weaken gay hate law 100

    Gay equality organisation Stonewall welcomed last night's vote on the new offence of homophobic incitement.

    1:58 PM — Twelve Labour MPs defied the government last night to vote in favour of an amendment to the proposed offence of incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation.The amendment sought to allow "discussion of, criticism of, or expression of antipathy towards conduct relating to a particular sexual orientation, or urging persons of a particular sexual orientation to refrain from or modify conduct according to that orientation."It was defeated by 338 to 169. Five Tory MPs voted against the amendment.

  • Stonewall reveals top employers for gay people

    Any organisation can take part free of charge.

    1:49 PM — The third annual Stonewall Workplace Equality Index, which lists the top employers for gay people, has revealed that companies and organisations across the country are making progress in encouraging and supporting their gay staff.To qualify as one of the 100 best UK employers in 2007, bosses had to demonstrate significantly higher standards of good practice in a wide range of areas.

  • George Michael case before magistrates today 1

    Michael was found at the wheel semi-conscious, taken to hospital and then arrested for suspected possession of drugs.

    11:18 AM — Pop icon George Michael will face charges of being unfit to drive today, following an incident last October when he was found by police in his car in Cricklewood, north London, allegedly passed out.It is not thought that Michael, 43, will appear in person before magistrates in Brent north west London, and his lawyers are expected to enter a plea in his absence.

  • Mrs Ashley Cole attacks “ridiculous” rumours 1

    Cole has faced homophobic abuse and bitter terrace chants from Arsenal fans since signing for Chelsea on August 31st last year.

    10:30 AM — Pop star Cheryl Cole has hit out at football supporters and others who have questioned the sexuality of her husband Ashley.The Girls Aloud singer also revealed that Cole is accosted by strangers in the street asking him if he is gay, and that the speculation about her partner upsets her.The 23-year-old was known as Cheryl Tweedy until her marriage to the Chelsea player last year.

  • 8th January 2007

    Orkney hits back at unfair press coverage 5

    Gay rights groups have been quick to criticise the local government staff on the islands, who serve a population less than 20,000 people.

    3:51 PM — PinkNews.co.uk exclusive Council staff on the islands of Orkney have spoken exclusively to PinkNews.co.uk about the media storm that has engulfed the remote Scottish outpost.A communications officer for the island group's local authority spoke to PinkNews.co.uk in an attempt to put right inaccurate reports in London newspapers.

  • X-Men star’s civil partnership ceremony

    Cumming is an active campaigner for gay rights. photo: alancumming.com

    3:51 PM — Actor and gay rights activist Alan Cumming 'married' his boyfriend of two years in a ceremony in London yesterday.His new civil partner is American illustrator Grant Shaffer. Guests at the ceremony included folk singer Rufus Wainwright and actress Mary-Elizabeth Mastrantonio.E! Online reports that Cumming wore a black shirt and tie with an oatmeal-coloured linen suit, which Shaffer a black striped suit with a shirt and tie.

  • Transsexual loses £500,000 unfair dismissal claim

    Jessica Bussert, formerly Josh, alleged she was demoted after surgery to “feminise“ her face and breasts.

    3:08 PM — A transsexual who claimed she was forced to leave her job at Hitachi Data Systems after changing sex has lost her claim for half a million pounds compensation.It was thought to be the largest claim ever made under the Sex Discrimination (Gender Reassignment) Regulations 1999.Jessica Bussert, formerly Josh, had claimed she was demoted after surgery to "feminise" her face and breasts.

  • Kidderminster man guilty of “grooming” teenage boy

    The defence claimed that the charges of sexual contact were a figment of the boy's imagination, and that Oakes merely wished to help the teenager.

    1:51 PM — A 41-year-old man has been found guilty of meeting a child following sexual grooming.A 14-year-old boy met the man, Vincent Oakes of Park Street, Kidderminster, on a gay internet site.The teenager claimed he was 18 and told Oakes that he could not be open about his sexuality with his parents.

  • Ruth Kelly attacked for hypocrisy over choice of school 1

    Ms Kelly is by no means the first Labour minister to decide that state provision was not adequate for their child.

    12:14 PM — Controversial Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly has been heavily criticised by Labour MPs after it was revealed that she has sent one of her children to a private school.The beleaguered cabinet member, who was Secretary of State for Education from 2004 until last year, has left fellow MPs fuming at yet another controversial decision.Ms Kelly has been widely criticised for delaying the introduction of new regulations that will protect LGBT people from discrimination when accessing goods and services.

  • Orkney Council moves to quell civil partnerships row 5

    The row had threatened to affect the vital tourist trade to the island, after gay rights organisation Stonewall Scotland accused Orkney Island Council of homophobia

    11:58 AM — Officials at Orkney Islands Council have moved to try and calm accusations of homophobia, after they refused a leading British composer permission to get married on his home island.Sir Peter Maxwell-Davies, the Master of the Queen's Music, had planned a glittering ceremony for himself and his partner Colin Parkinson on the remote island of Sanday.However, the council have told the composer that the registrar on the island is not authorised to perform civil partnerships.

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