9th January 2008
Government may back abolition of blasphemy laws 100
11:30 PM — Justice minister Maria Eagle has told MPs that the government may support the removal of blasphemy from the statute books.She was speaking in the House of Commons during the debate on the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill.MPs from all sides criticised the government for pushing the legislation forward with just over eight hours of debate.
42-year-old builder guilty of harassing gay teenager 13
4:15 PM — A man who waged a campaign of abuse against a 17-year-old boy has been convicted by a court in Wales of harassment.Douglas Inskip, a 42-year-old builder, of The Gables, Brynford, near Holywell, was bailed by Flintshire magistrates awaiting a pre-sentence report.The father of four tried to claim to police that he did not know the word 'faggot' was an abusive term and claimed in court that the 17-year-old made the whole thing up.
Newcastle councillors approve branch of Clone Zone
3:40 PM — Efforts by fundamentalist Christians to block a shop that sells sex toys and gay DVDs opening in Newcastle have failed.Earlier this week members of the city council regulatory committee approved a licence for a branch of Clone Zone to open in the Scottswood Road.The location, described by the Newcastle Chronicle as in the "gay village," is close to St Mary's Cathedral and another shop that sells R18 DVDs, aimed at the straight community.
Gay Christians question evangelical’s employment tribunal
2:35 PM — The Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement has highlighted the employment practices of a development agency whose UK President has taken the Bishop of Liverpool to an employment tribunal.Dr Elaine Storkey, an academic and contributor to BBC Radio 4's Thought for the Day, claims she was dismissed from her at an Oxford theological college, Wycliffe Hall, because she was "the wrong type of Christian Evangelical."The LGCM described the principal of the college, Reverend Richard Turnbull, as an "ultra-conservative fundamentalist evangelical."
MP aims to strike down blasphemy laws 3
12:20 PM — A Liberal Democrat MP has attached an amendment to the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill that would abolish the offences of blasphemy and blasphemous libel.Dr Evan Harris' proposal is backed by 27 MPs will be debated today. It is supported by civil rights groups, Humanists and some Christian organisations.Last year Christian Voice attempted to bring a private prosecution for blasphemy against the director general of the BBC after Jerry Springer: The Opera was screened.
Police top gay employers list in Scotland and Wales 1
11:20 AM — Lothian and Borders police has been named the most gay-friendly employer in Scotland.The force came 11th in the UK list, up from 80th in 2007.Stonewall published its 2008 Workplace Equality Index (WEI) today.It showcases Britain's top 100 employers for lesbian, gay and bisexual people.
Stonewall reveals best employers for LGB people 1
1:16 AM — Stonewall has published its 2008 Workplace Equality Index, showcasing Britain's top 100 employers for gay people.Top employer for 2008 is Nacro, the national crime reduction charity. The Greater London Authority comes second.Hampshire and Staffordshire police forces are joint third in the Index, which is based on a range of key indicators.
8th January 2008
Documentary explores lesbian beauty 2
4:40 PM — A TV programme in which a bisexual woman goes on a mission to see if lesbians view the female body the same way as heterosexual men has been showing this week.Current TV is showing Lesbian Beauty as part of a week-long season it is currently hosting named Skin Deep, which is airing until January 12th.In a bid to go beyond the usual lesbian beauty stereotypes of 'butch' or 'lipstick lesbians,' Tat Grey visited the Miss Gay UK pageant, met the editor of Diva magazine and hit the lesbian clubs and bars on the street of Soho.
Gay holiday companies merge to form largest in Europe 1
4:12 PM — Respect Holidays and Sensations Holidays, the UK's largest tour operators specialising in gay and lesbian travel, have merged.Now Europe's largest specialist tour operator, Respect will continue to trade as Respect Holidays, and Sensations will trade as Sensations Holidays.The parent company that both holiday brands will trade under, Lidana Limited, is the current umbrella company of Respect Holidays.
Gay hate bill returns to Commons 5
11:40 AM — MPs will debate the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill tomorrow, which includes a new offence of incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation.Ann Widdecombe, a Roman Catholic former Tory minister, today defended her opposition to the bill.The government and the frontbenches of the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives both support the legislation, but MPs from the three main parties have signed up to the amendment.
Playing gay characters is not ‘brave’, says Fry 2
11:40 AM — Gay actor Stephen Fry has said he is not impressed with straight actors who play gay characters.In a Radio Times interview, the QI host expressed frustration at how straight actors was seen as 'brave' for taking on a gay role.He said a gay man would never be considered 'brave' if he played an intimate scene with a woman.Fry's latest role on the small screen is that of solicitor PeterKingdom, in the ITV series Kingdom who is single and straight.
Archaeology museum celebrates LGBT History month 57
11:40 AM — The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology is running an open evening as part of LGBT History month to explore sexuality and gender in the ancient world.There will be a discussion on the subject, entitled 'Beyond Isis Osiris: Alternate sexuality in Ancient Egypt', hosted by Dr Debbie Challis, followed by an opportunity to explore the museum, which is located on the University College London Campus in central London.
7th January 2008
Anti-gay bishop in trouble after inflammatory Muslim comments 30
2:45 PM — A senior Church of England clergyman best-known for his opposition to equality for gay people has been heavily criticised for making inflammatory comments about Britain's Muslim community.The Right Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, the Bishop of Rochester, claimed in a newspaper article that parts of the country have become "no-go areas" because of extremist Muslims and suggested that mosques stop using speakers to broadcast the call to prayer.The bishop has previously spoken out against the Sexual Orientation Regulations and civil partnerships.
Barrowman: closeted actors are “just sad” 6
12:37 PM — Torchwood leading man John Barrowman has criticised gay stars who refuse to come out of the closet.The openly gay actor said his sexuality did not influence the kind of roles you got offered as an actor and believes it is "just sad" that someone would deny their sexuality to the world."If it (being gay) has been a problem, no-one ever told me so. I know people who lie about being gay because they think it will affect their work chances."
Christian registrar refuses to perform civil partnerships 11
12:05 PM — An official in the London Borough of Islington is taking the council to court because she claims she should be exempted from performing civil partnership ceremonies.The unnamed marriage registrar, who is a devout Christian, has refused to take part in any of the 600-plus civil partnerships entered into in the borough since they became legal just over two years ago.Yesterday an Islington council spokesperson told the Evening Standard:"A claim has been made to an employment tribunal."
Erect Jesus statue stirs controversy among Christians 8
11:23 AM — An art gallery in the North East is under fire after exhibiting a 1ft high statue of Jesus with an erection.The artwork, by gay Chinese-born artist Terence Koh, is being exhibited by the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead.The gallery has received complaints from Christians and visitors alike who argue the sculpture degrades the Christian faith. Koh's exhibition, entitled Gone, Yet Still, consists of 74 plaster models, ranging from statues of Mickey Mouse to ET, all with full erections.
6th January 2008
Elton John likely to hold fundraising dinner for Paddick 1
3:20 PM — Sir Elton John and his partner, the film producer David Furnish, are thought to be preparing to hold a fundraising dinner for Brian Paddick, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London.Brian Paddick, previously the most senior openly gay police officer in Britain told LBC last month that he was likely to be backed by the celebrity couple. They have an enviable address book and have consistently shown their stellar ability to raise money, particularly for Sir Elton's AIDs foundation.
4th January 2008
Gay Tory to star in TV comedy
5:04 PM — A former Big Brother contestant who was once a Conservative parliamentary candidate may star in a remake of a controversial 1970s television programme.Derek Laud, who also worked as a speechwriter for several leading Tories and as a lobbyist at Westminster, is an unusual figure in the party, a black, camp and openly gay man.He was a contestant in the sixth series of reality show Big Brother, which was eventually won by Anthony Hutton.
Magistrate to re-appeal over gay adoption row 9
3:01 PM — A former magistrate who claimed unfair dismissal after he was told he could not pick and choose which adoption cases to rule on is to appeal for the second time.In March 64-year-old Andrew McClintock's 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."Gay couples have human rights too," the tribunal said.
Elton’s concert could help gays says Tatchell 3
1:32 PM — Sir Elton John has sparked controversy by setting a concert date in Abu Dhabi later this month.Homosexuality is punishable with imprisonment of up to 14 years in the country and there is general discrimination towards homosexuals in the United Arab Emirates.Peter Tatchell, gay human rights campaigner from OutRage!, said:"In early 2006, the United Arab Emirates imposed six years jail on 11 gay men arrested at a private party."