23rd October 2007
Interview: The Tories, gays and education 6
12:20 AM — While many in David Cameron's Conservatives are recent converts to gay equality, including Cameron himself, there are a few who spoke out long before it was fashionable.The Shadow Secretary of State for Children, Families and Schools, Michael Gove, was urging the party to break with the past long before he took his place in the House of Commons.Elected in 2005 to represent the true-blue constituency of Surrey Heath, Gove is a clever, articulate Scot, a former Times journalist and an archetypal new Tory.
22nd October 2007
Queer as Folk creator to write new gay drama 4
8:50 PM — Russell T Davies, the creator of Queer as Folk, is developing a new BBC drama series about forty-something gay men, it was confirmed today.Mr Davies is understood to be currently developing script ideas for the as yet unnamed series.A BBC spokeswomen told MediaGuardian that it was "too early" to say which channel might the series would air on or whether it will be produced by an independent production company.
Comment: Stop deporting gay refugees back to Iran 28
4:31 PM — Detention centres stand as monuments to Britain's attitude to human rights, incarcerating behind razor wire asylum seekers awaiting deportation.They are the last stop for those who have failed to make a successful asylum claim, a key tool in the British governments attempt to "manage migration" and hold an average 25,000 every year.Much of the debate around immigration to the UK focuses on the legitimacy of asylum claims.
Comment: When will she be Dame JK? 2
2:21 PM — The casual yet calculated announcement by Harry Potter author JK Rowling that the character of Albus Dumbledore was gay made headlines around the world.Her books are, as she put it, "a prolonged argument for tolerance," a theme not lost on her millions of gay fans.The character that embodies that tolerance above all others is Dumbledore, the wise and caring headmaster.
Ex-magistrate begins gay adoption appeal 9
1:03 PM — The Christian former magistrate who claimed unfair dismissal after he was told he could not pick and choose which adoption cases to rule on starts his appeal today.In March 62-year-old Andrew McClintock learned that his legal action against the Lord Chancellor, claiming that his Bible-influenced opinions should allow him to be excused from approving gay adoptions, was rejected by an employment tribunal.McClintock says that evidence given in his defence by a right-wing American academic, claiming that gay parents were bad for kids, was not given due consideration by the Sheffield tribunal.
Gay activists picket Saudi embassy 9
12:39 PM — Students and members of OutRage! took to the streets of London last week to protest about the treatment of gays in Saudi Arabia.Fifty people picketed the Saudi embassy after it was reported that two men had been sentenced to 7,000 lashes for "sodomy."The London protest was organised by the National Union of Students(NUS) LGBT campaign and supported by OutRage! It came just over a week ahead of the state visit to the UK of the Saudi head of state King Abdullah bin Abdul Azaz al Saud.
THT promotes use of post exposure treatment
11:45 AM — HIV charity Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) is re-launching its PEP campaign today, this time urging gay men to "Act Fast" with PEP (post exposure prophylaxsis).PEP is a month long course of HIV treatment that may prevent HIV infection after the virus has entered the body.The faster it is taken after someone has put themselves at risk, the more likely it will work.
21st October 2007
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20th October 2007
JK Rowling reveals Potter character is gay 6
5:05 AM — Harry Potter author JK Rowling has outed the Headmaster of Hogwarts school.At a fan event in New York, she revealed that Albus Dumbledore is gay. Her shock announcement was greeted by applause and gasps of amazement from her audience.The most successful author of modern times described her seven-book saga as a "prolonged argument for tolerance."
19th October 2007
Clegg launches bid for Lib Dem leadership
6:10 PM — Sheffield Hallam MP Nick Clegg has become the second candidate for the leadership of the Liberal Democrat party."We cannot go on testing the patience of the British people," he told an audience in his constituency at the launch of his campaign."We must come together now and make a long-term commitment to British Liberalism. We must step up or risk falling back for good."Former party leader Lord Paddy Ashdown is supporting Mr Clegg's candidacy.
ITV to pay back millions from phone competitions
4:33 PM — ITV is to reimburse up to eight million voters who took part in phone competitions that they had no chance of winning.Company chairman Michael Grade called the scandal, which took place under former chief executive Charles Allen, "horrible" and "inexcusable."In 2006 Mr Allen was named the UK's 16th most influential gay and lesbian person by The Independent.
Policeman fined for homophobic remarks 6
3:40 PM — A officer from Cleveland Police has been found guilty of making homophobic and racist remarks.At Teesside Magistrates' Court on Wednesday PC Peter O'Kane, of Queens Drive, Billingham was fined £600 and £950 costs after he was convicted of two public order offences, reports the Newcastle Evening Gazette. 25-year-old Mr O'Kane was overheard making the remarks on December 28th while out with a group of friends at the Oak Pub, in Middlesbrough, which has a predominantly gay clientele.
Train crash driver had HIV test
12:55 PM — An inquest into a fatal collision heard how a closeted gay man killed when his car hit a passenger train was "tormented" had taken an HIV test the previous day.Bryan Drysdale, a 48 year old year chef, was inside a Mazda which hit the Paddington to Plymouth train at 100mph near Ufton Nervet, Berkshire, in November 2004.It resulted in seven deaths and 138 injuries, 18 seriously, when the impact turned the carriages of the train and made it slide down an embankment.
Landlord prosecuted over homophobic pub sign 2
12:29 PM — The landlord of a Wiltshire pub who allowed a homophobic sign to be displayed outside his premises has been found guilty of public order offence at Chippenham Magistrates Court.The pub's former landlords John Williams, 40, and his 26-year-old partner Lee Skaife believed the sign, which read 'faggots and mince not on the menu,' referred to them. They made a formal complaint to police.Mr Williams and Mr Skaife left the Anchor and Hope pub in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, in September 2006 after 15 months at the helm.
Coach found guilty of sexual abuse of 13-year-old pupil
10:15 AM — A former tennis protege turned coach has been convicted of four counts of sexual activity with a child a Liverpool Crown Court.Claire Lyte, 29, from Solihull, is expected to receive a custodial sentence.During her three week trial, the court heard testimony from the mother of a 13-year-old girl, who caught them in bed together in 2005.
18th October 2007
Interview: The ever-controversial Mr Phillips 1
10:30 PM — Trevor Phillips meets me in an office he has just moved into. The L-shaped sofa came from his own home; his framed Martin Luther King montage sits on the floor waiting to be hung. A small silver bust of Lenin on his desk catches my eye.The new public body of which he is chairman, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, only came into being a few days before we met.Phillips' office, at the end of an open-plan room, has a fine view of London's City Hall.
Commons debates homophobic bullying in schools
3:55 PM — MPs from all parties contributed to a debate in the House of Commons yesterday that extensively discussed homophobic bullying.Schools minister Kevin Brennan opened the debate, pointing to the new guidelines introduced last month as positive evidence of the government's commitment to protect gay, lesbian and bisexual children.Tory MP John Bercow welcomed the government guidance on homophobic bullying, but said they were particularly needed in faith schools.
No Kylie statue for at least a decade say council
3:31 PM — A tabloid news story that a group of gay men have applied for planning permission to erect a statue of pop singer Kylie Minogue in a London street is news to Westminster City Council.The Daily Star this morning ran the story "Kylie Gets A Gay Statue," which reported that "Kylie Minogue's loyal team of homosexuals" have applied for planning permission to have a statue of the singer erected in Old Compton St.A spokesman for Westminster council told PinkNews.co.uk: "We have received no record of this planning application."
Trader suggests memorial toilet for cruising playwright
2:10 PM — Demand for new public toilets in the London Borough of Islington has been highlighted by a local trader who is suggesting they be dedicated in memory of famous resident Joe Orton.The gay playwright, who was murdered by his lover at the height of his fame in 1967, famously used to cruise for sex in public toilets all over Islington.The Angel area has a high concentration of bars and restaurants and a paucity of public facilities.