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UK

  • 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.

  • Devon pensioner cleared of homophobic intimidation

    During the course of the trail Mr Whitburn broke down in tears as a defence barrister accused him of making a mountain out of a molehill.

    11:22 AM — A 67-year-old man who is the subject of a restraining order has been found not guilty of continuing to harass a gay couple after a four day trial at Exeter Crown Court.Dennis Scanes lived in a local authority property on the same street as Kevin Whitburn and Andrew Brown in Alphington, Devon.The couple live with Mr Whitburn's 80-year-old mother.

  • Williams fears Anglican church could split 3

    Williams, who is head of the Anglican communion worldwide, has been trying to hold the opposing wings of the church together.

    10:46 AM — The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, has spoken about his fear that the Anglican church might not be able to remain united in the face of deepening rows over gay and lesbian clergy.Williams, who is head of the Anglican communion worldwide, has been trying to hold the opposing wings of the church together since taking up his post in 2002.

  • LGBT ‘Navajo’ project angers Natives 4

    The Navajo project was set up in the North West of England in to tackle oppression, stigma, prejudice. photo: dbking@flickr

    10:20 AM — The Native American Navajo nation have written to a Christian couple recently awarded damages by Lancashire Police to express their dismay that their tribal name is being used for an LGBT project.Helen and Joe Roberts from Fleetwood hit the headlines last year after police questioned them for attempting to distribute anti-gay literature.

  • Orkney Council denies homophobia accusations 5

    The council has told the 72-year-old composer that he must travel to the main island of Orkney for a civil partnership ceremony.  photo: Collins Classics

    9:45 AM — The remote Scottish island of Sanday is at the centre of a row, after a leading British composer was refused permission for a civil partnership ceremony.Sir Peter Maxwell-Davies, who is Master of the Queen's Music, has lived on the small island, the third largest of the Orkney Islands, for nine years.He had planned a ceremony with his partner, Colin Parkinson, next month.

  • 5th January 2007

    MBE for LGBT Alzheimer’s helpline volunteer

    Roger Newman of the Alzheimer's Society's Lesbian and Gay Network has been awarded an MBE for charitable services.

    5:15 PM — Roger Newman of the Alzheimer's Society's Lesbian and Gay Network has been awarded an MBE for charitable services.The award, announced in the New Years Honours list, recognises the work that Roger and the ASLGN do in supporting the needs of people with dementia, and their carers, who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.The society's trained volunteers provide a telephone support service as well as information, advice and information on best practice for carers.

  • COMMENT: Peter Tatchell – A quote for every occasion? 5

    I'm never sure what Peter Tatchell is going to discuss when I see him appear on television - Westminster politics, Iraq, Zimbabwe or gay rights?

    5:00 PM — The execution of Saddam Hussein led commentator Ben Leung to confront his mixed feelings towards gay rights activist Peter Tatchell. Despite staying up the night before for news of his demise, it wasn't until I saw the front-page of The Times newspaper at a windswept Ascot racecourse that I truly accepted that Saddam was dead.The headline of the 4am edition was brief and succinct: 'SADDAM HANGED', two words which not many people could ever have imagined seeing had suddenly become a reality.

  • Gordon Ramsay 50th most popular gay icon 4

    There are no lesbians on the list. That means only 18% of “gay icons“ are in fact gay. photo: Channel 4

    1:44 PM — Foul-mouthed footballer-turned-chef Gordon Ramsay has come bottom of a poll of 5,000 gay men and lesbians asked to name a gay icon.The swaggeringly heterosexual Ramsay, a former Scotland international, has a minority appeal to some gay men.Australian singer Kylie Minogue came first in the survey, conducted by market research company OnePoll.com

  • London Triathlon will push you to the limit 57

    Perhaps one of the most daunting challenges, more even than a marathon, is a triathlon.

    1:10 PM — For many of us, January is a month of good intentions. Eating less, giving up smoking and getting more exercise consistently top the list of New Year resolutions.For people who already eat healthily, do not smoke and are fit as fiddles, a more substantial goal for 2007 is required, something that will test their endurance and willpower.Perhaps one of the most daunting challenges, more even than a marathon, is a triathlon.

  • Panto in aid of gay rights campaigners

    Will there be cross-dressing, romance, tiny shorts, comedy, smut, pathos and sweet-throwing? Oh yes there will!  photo: Jonathan Clarke

    11:33 AM — London Frontrunners, the gay and lesbian running club, will present a one-off special performance of its pantomime Cinders and the Panto Pride Run on 21 January 2007 at the Black Cap in Camden, in aid of Stonewall.The show was first seen at Clapham's The Two Brewers in December.The pantomime's writers, Jon Bradfield and Martin Hooper, told PinkNews.co.uk "There are so many fairytales. But there aren't any gay ones yet - the coming out story is the closest we have. So we thought about creating our own."

  • Christian Union students want gay acceptance test case 4

    Recently the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, criticised student unions for barring homophobic groups, claiming it was an attack on free speech.

    11:21 AM — A small group of Christian students at Exeter University are going to court to try to set a legal precedent about acceptance of gay rights.The Christian Union has been prevented from using facilities at the university because they ban gay or lesbian students from joining their organisation."Legal action was the very last thing we wanted to take," a Union spokesman told The Daily Mail. 

  • 4th January 2007

    Homophobic teenager convicted of firearm offence

    Both were ordered to carry out community service. The severity of their sentences reflects the homophobic nature of their crimes.

    1:31 PM — Two Surrey teenagers have received suspended jail sentences after they threatened people at a popular beauty spot with an air rifle and a samurai sword last May Bank Holiday.The pair, both unemployed, arrived at the Wisley Car Park in Old Lane, Ockham, Surrey, by car and shouted homophobic abuse at passers-by before producing their weapons and using them in a threatening manner.

  • Home Office anti-homophobia campaign gets 5 out of 10

    Gay activists have questioned why the Department for Education and Skills was not involved in the campaign.

    11:50 AM — The charity Schools OUT, which works to combat homophobic bullying in schools, has welcomed the Home Office's new guidance to schools, but has said that overall the government "must do better."Gay activists have questioned why the Department for Education and Skills was not involved in the campaign.

  • Stonewall slams Christian/Muslim protest 8

    Mr Summerskill said that Stonewall had worked over the Christmas period to exert as much pressure as possible in support of the new rules to protect gay and lesbian people from discrimination.

    10:59 AM — PinkNews.co.uk exclusive Gay rights organisation Stonewall has described claims by Christian and Muslim activists that new anti-discrimination regulations will force religious groups to hire gay people as fantasy.Ben Summerskill, Stonewall's chief executive, also accused evangelical Christians of breaking one of the ten commandments.

  • Jewish leaders question anti-discrimination regulations 1

    This is the first time the Jewish Board of Deputies has joined the debate over the regulations.

    10:15 AM — The Board of Deputies of British Jews, which represents most of the Jewish community in the UK, has weighed into the controversy surrounding new regulations that grant gay people protection against discrimination.The organisation has expressed concern about the controversial new rules, due to be introduced this month.They have been delayed on the orders of Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly, after protests from the Christian churches.

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