20th February 2008
DUP minister calls gay rugby “apartheid” 7
6:35 AM — The Northern Ireland minister for arts and culture has attacked the formation of a gay rugby team in the province.Edwin Poots said he "cannot fathom why people see the necessity to develop an apartheid in sport."The minister is a member of the Democratic Unionist Party, an organisation notorious for its homophobia.As a councillor in Lisburn, County Antrim, he tried to ban gay and lesbian couples from holding civil partnerships in the town hall.
19th February 2008
Paisley Snr implicated in corruption allegations 5
4:20 PM — The First Minister of Northern Ireland is facing questions about his future following the resignation of his son as a junior minister in the province's Executive.Ian Paisley Snr, 81, has been drawn into the controversy surrounding his son and namesake's lobbying on behalf of a property developer.In May 2007 his son caused outrage with homophobic comments he made in a magazine interview.
Brian Paddick tops PinkNews.co.uk poll 11
3:20 PM — The Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London has come top of a poll of PinkNews.co.uk's London readers.Incumbent Labour Mayor Ken Livingstone won the most first preference votes, but was overtaken by Brian Paddick when valid second preference votes were counted.The Mayor of London is elected by the Supplementary Vote (SV) system, and PinkNews.co.uk used the same system to calculate which candidate won the poll.
In the front row at London Fashion Week
2:00 PM — It's a five day fashion extravaganza which transforms the Natural History Museum into a catwalk and fills the grounds with a vast exhibition of more 100 designers showcasing their talents.People make proclamations such as "champagne is my life" without irony. Anna Wintour is oft expected but never appears.Lights, and clothes, bubbles but rarely a canape, beautiful people and possibly a Girl Aloud. There's just so much of Fashion week.
Victim of homophobic thug still haunted by attack 2
2:00 PM — A gay man whose home was torched by a prolific young thug as he and his partner slept inside has said he is still haunted by the attack.Nick Hughes battled the fire which started when Sonny Lockwood poured petrol through the letter box his home in New Addington, Croydon before igniting it with a parachute flare.While he fought the flames naked, he ordered his partner Peter Cameron to remain in their bedroom with the door closed, thinking he would have a better chance of survival.
Interview: Mayoral candidate wants London free of the EU
12:20 PM — The UK Independence Party is misunderstood and misrepresented, their candidate for Mayor of London tells me when we meet.Gerard Batten is a somewhat unusual politician, in that he is a member of a parliament that he desires to have no power over the lives of his constituents.As an MEP for London since 2004, he spends his days in Brussels trying to think up new ways to discredit and dismantle the European Union (or "ferment rebellion" as he describes it).
Charity welcomes landmark cyberbullying conviction 6
12:20 PM — An anti-bullying charity has welcomed a landmark ruling on cyberbullying handed down by a court in Brighton.A 17-year-old was convicted of harassment after creating a fake profile on the social networking site Bebo and driving his former friend to attempt suicide by luring him into an online relationship and then telling friends and teachers intimate details of their online conversations.The 16-year-old victim, from Brighton, East Sussex, swallowed 60 painkillers. Brighton Youth Court was told the victim's life was saved by his mother, who took him to hospital.
Imperial War Museum appeals for LGBT experiences
12:05 PM — An exhibition focusing on how war and conflict have shaped people in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities' lives from 1945 to the present day will open later this year at the Imperial War Museum North in Manchester.The Imperial War Museum is the national museum of the experiences of people who have lived, fought and died in conflicts involving Britain and the Commonwealth since 1914.Organisers want to hear from LGBT people who can share their experiences, which will form part of the final display.
London Falcons’ dream of Cup glory is over
11:30 AM — Gay football league leaders the London Falcons' FC dreams of a league and cup double were well and truly put to rest at Sparrows Lane over the weekend.A resurgent Manchester team succeeded in gaining revenge for their last minute defeat to the Falcons in the league by not only winning 1-4 to book a place in their first ever GNC final but by dominating a lacklustre and underperforming Falcons side, who never looked like coming away with the victory.
Minister to speak at workplace equality conference
11:20 AM — Leading employers in Scotland will discuss how to tackle homophobia in the workplace at a conference in Edinburgh tomorrow.The event, organised by gay equality organisation Stonewall Scotland, will also aim to raise awareness of employment law on sexual orientation.The Scottish Minister for Communities and Sport, Stewart Maxwell, is set to address the conference.
Tribunal told about homophobia at BMW showroom 2
12:40 AM — A gay salesman was forced to leave his job at a luxury car dealership after colleagues repeatedly made homophobic comments towards him, a tribunal heard yesterday.Ben Hamilton, 26, claims his workmates at a BMW showroom branded him "the nice poof", "faggot" and "bender Ben."He told the hearing he was also banned from wearing pink clothing to work.
18th February 2008
Body identified as King’s lover
6:20 PM — A body found at Hulton Abbey, Staffordshire has been identified as Sir Hugh Despenser the Younger, the supposed gay lover of the Plantagenet king, Edward II.Sir Hugh died a a gruesome death, hung, drawn and quartered for treason in 1326 after Edward II abdicated. The remains were found in the 1970s but only just identified by anthropologist Mary Lewis says.
Sopranos and ukuleles at Drill Hall fundraisers 6
4:30 PM — Two benefit concerts in aid of The Drill Hall, the renowned gay theatre and arts centre off Tottenham Court Road, are to be held in April.It is facing closure after its Arts Council funding was recently withdrawn.A high-profile fundraising campaign is under way to replace the £250,000 annual grant and rescue the venue, which is located just off Tottenham Court Road in London.
Gay groups welcome Paisley resignation 5
4:00 PM — Ian Paisley Jnr's announcement today that he is to resign from the Northern Ireland Executive has been welcomed by groups working for gay equality in the province.Mr Paisley Jnr was a junior minister in the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister, the department responsible for equality in the power-sharing executive.He resigned today amid allegations that he lobbied on behalf of a property developer in relation to a £50m government land deal.
Scientists locate grave of King’s gay lover
2:15 PM — The remains of a gay lover of medieval king Edward II have been located by scientists at Hulton Abbey in Staffordshire.Anthropologist Mary Lewis believes her team have positively identified the body of Sir Hugh Dispenser the Younger, a man once described as "a sodomite, even it is said, with the King."Edward, who reigned between 1307 and 1327, had a string of gay relationships and has long provided material for writers and film makers alike.
Homophobic minister Ian Paisley resigns from government 6
1:02 PM — A junior minister in the Northern Ireland government who was heavily criticised last year for calling gay people repulsive has resigned.Ian Paisley Jnr has come under pressure over his links with property developers and lobbyists."With a certain degree of sadness I have informed the First Minister of my intention to resign from ministerial office," he said.
No Cardiff Mardi Gras in 2008 11
12:15 PM — A lack of community and financial support is being blamed for the cancellation of Wales' largest Pride event.The Cardiff Mardi Gras organising committee has announced the event will not being going ahead this summer.Despite the huge success of Mardi Gras in recent years, "high demands placed on committee members have made it difficult to retain volunteers and attract new ones," the committee said in a statement.
Cameron’s wife changed his mind on Section 28 3
10:20 AM — A new documentary examining the political influences on Conservative leader David Cameron has revealed that he was persuaded to drop his support for Section 28 by his wife Samantha.Nick Boles, the Tory prospective parliamentary candidate for Grantham and Stafford and a close friend of the couple, told the Radio 4 programme that Mrs Cameron was instrumental in turning her husband into a moderniser.Mr Cameron, who became an MP in 2001, married Samantha in 1996.
15th February 2008
Who gets your vote for Mayor of London? 57
2:20 PM — PinkNews.co.uk is inviting readers to take part in an exclusive poll to find out which candidates for Mayor of London are most popular with the gay community.The campaign so far has been exciting, with the three main party candidates scoring acres of press coverage and considerable TV exposure.Only readers who live in London are eligible to 'vote' in the PinkNews.co.uk poll.
Police warning on crystal meth use 6
11:15 AM — A report from the Association of Chief Police Officers predicts a rise in the number of people taking methamphetamine, commonly known as crystal meth.An ACPO spokesman told the BBC that at present it is still a "relatively minor" problem in the UK but there has been a "gradual rise in the reporting of the use and manufacturing of the drug."Research published in July 2006 claimed that up to 20% of gay men questioned at sexual health clinics and gyms in London had taken the drug.