6th November 2007
Interview: New equality commissioner on gays as sinners 39
4:41 PM — This interview was first published in June 2006"Why is anything which is not from the gay position defined as homophobic," asks Joel Edwards, general director of the Evangelical Alliance, a Christian charity and lobby group in its 160th year of using a commitment to Christ and the Bible to engage with society.My view of evangelicalism has often been megaphone-wielding preachers in Oxford Street telling shoppers to accept Jesus, or having leaflets shoved into your hand telling you homosexuality is a one way route to hell.
Anti-gay Christian appointed to equality body 39
4:31 PM — The general director of the Evangelical Alliance has spoken of the "huge challenge for Christians" living in a liberal democracy after his appointment as a commissioner to the Equality and Human Rights Commission.Joel Edwards was a controversial choice for some gay rights groups.The Evangelical Alliance are one of the most strident voices against gay rights in the UK. Just last month they gave evidence against a new crime of incitement to violence on the grounds of sexual orientation.
Incitement law will extend to trans people 5
2:35 PM — The government will introduce a new offence of incitement to violence on the grounds of sexual orientation in the new Criminal Justice and immigration Bill, it has emerged.The Queen made no mention of the proposed new law in her Speech this morning, but a Ministry of Justice briefing document said that that they would be in the bill.Transgender and disabled people are to be included in the new law.
Top law firm establishes LGBT staff network
1:21 PM — One of the best-known names in the 'magic circle' of law firms has decided to set up a network for gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans staff just months after settling a claim of sexual orientation discrimination.A former partner at Clifford Chance made his claim in November last year and the firm settled the case for an undisclosed amount of money.Michael Bryceland's claim involved direct and indirect discrimination on the grounds of his sexual orientation.
Scottish Parliament considers gay hate crime law
1:10 PM — Scotland's lawmakers will today discuss new laws making violence towards gay and disabled groups be treated as seriously as violence incited on religious or ethnic grounds.The Sentencing of Offences Aggravated by Prejudice (Scotland) Bill, proposed by Patrick Harvie, a Scottish Green MSP, would bring Scotland into line with England and Wales, where courts have been able to impose tougher sentences for offences committed due to the victims disability or sexual orientation since April 2003.
The Queen’s Speech in full
12:39 PM — My Lords and Members of the House of CommonsMy Government will take forward policies to respond to the rising aspirations of the people of the United Kingdom; to ensure security for all; and to entrust more power to Parliament and the people.My Government's programme will meet people's aspirations for better education, housing, healthcare and children's services, and for a cleaner environment.
Legal recognition for same-sex parents in Queen’s Speech
12:23 PM — The government has announced in the Queen's Speech a major change in the status of gay and lesbian couples who have a child through donated sperm, eggs or embryos.Her Majesty opened Gordon Brown's first session as Prime Minister this morning, and also revealed plans for a draft bill on citizenship and the establishment of a new agency to increase the number of affordable homes.The new Human Tissues and Embryos Bill, one of 28 bills announced today, has angered "family values" campaigners.
5th November 2007
Armed Forces hold LGBT conference
3:45 PM — The third Joint Services Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual conference took place last week in London.All three services approved the two day event, at which more than 100 service personnel were updated on developments in diversity training, participated in presentations and workshops, and took advantage of a social networking opportunity for personnel and their partners.In 2000, the UK government removed the ban on gay, lesbian and bisexual people serving openly in the Armed Forces.
Gay teen couple made to sit apart on bus 22
3:13 PM — Two gay teenagers from Scotland are considering legal action after being humiliated on a late-night bus journey.Steven Black, 16, and Mark Craig, 19, were told to get off the bus by the driver and then forced to sit in separate seats, according to the Sunday Mail. "If we had been all over each other, I could understand - because that behaviour in public is not appropriate whatever your sexuality. But Mark just had his arm around my shoulder," Steven told the paper.
Gaydar abuse leads to restraining order and fine 1
2:35 PM — A gay performer has won his case against an internet bully who hounded him with messages of an "abusive nature" which he claimed were a joke.Thomas Matthews, who pleaded guilty to harassing Miguel Diaz, was issued with an indefinite restraining order by Magistrates Court in Swansea.Mr Diaz, who performs as a woman under the stage name Lady Imelda, met Mr Matthews in a chatroom on the Gaydar website.
G-A-Y awards will not be televised
2:23 PM — The inaugural G-A-Y awards will not now be televised on Sky One on 1st December to coincide with the 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day.The awards will be held at the London Astoria on the 29th and 30th November, and were to be filmed by Double Jab Productions.However, a spokesman for the production company has confirmed that an investor has pulled out meaning that TV coverage of the event will not go ahead as planned.
Army sexual orientation discrimination tribunal begins 2
2:15 PM — A lesbian soldier's life was made hell by a male sergeant who vowed to "convert" her, an employment tribunal will be told.According to Lance Bombardier Kerry Fletcher, 30, the senior officer told her that she had not yet experienced a "real man."He also added, "You don't know what you're missing."Her case is being heard at an employment tribunal in Leeds today. The Ministry of Defence said: "We take allegations of sexual discrimination seriously."
Big Brother cleared over homophobic language 6
1:15 PM — A report by broadcasting watchdog Ofcom has cleared Channel 4 over the repeated use of the word 'poof' by a contestant on reality TV show Big Brother. There is no indication that housemate Laura Williams intended to be homophobic when using the word, said Ofcom, who ruled the show did not breach any guidelines when it showed contestants using offensive language.Channel 4 was accused of double standards after it treated gay slurs less seriously than racist terminology on Big Brother.
Homophobic bullying to feature on Teachers TV
11:35 AM — A special week of programming from a digital channel for teachers will explore ways to stamp out bullying in schools.Highlights of the Anti-Bullying Week on Teachers TV later this month will include Coming Out To Class,a documentary presented by gay British rapper Marcos 'QBoy' Brito.Originally broadcast by Channel 4 earlier this year, it investigates the realities of coming out in Britain's schools.
4th November 2007
Former Equality Minister apologises for misspending public money 2
11:20 PM — Transport Secretary, Ruth Kelly, formerly Tony Blair's controversial choice as Equality Minister has been forced to apologise after misspending taxpayer's money on Labour party publicity.MPs are allowed to spend £10,000 of public funds on neutral leaflets but are not allowed to use them to make party political statements. A newsletter published this Autumn distributed to constituents in Ms Kelly's marginal Bolton West seat and paid for from her allowance, repeatedly refereed to 'Labour', 'Labour Party' and 'Labour Government'.
Aide had sex with royal father- new claims in blackmail plot 17
11:35 AM — The aide at the centre of the alleged royal blackmail plot has now appeared to claim that he also had a gay relationship with the royal's father and a well known Conservative MP. The claims were made on a recording seized by police investigating the case.The Sunday Times reports that the allegations are contained in 16 audio and 24 video files contained on two computer discs.Ian Strachan, 30, was arrested along with Sean McGuigan, 40, last month after police mounted a sting operation.
2nd November 2007
No comment from Bigot of the Year 6
5:59 PM — A bishop who asked a gay job applicant a series of humiliating questions and then rejected him for the post on the grounds of his sexuality was named Bigot of the Year at the Stonewall Awards last night.The gay equality organisation's chief executive Ben Summerskill told an audience of 400 gathered at the Victoria Albert museum in London that the Bishop of Hereford had been invited but claimed to be on holiday.
Royal “blackmail plot” man refused bail 17
5:35 PM — One of the two men charged with attempting to blackmail a minor member of the Royal Family was refused bail at a hearing at the Old Bailey today.Ian Strachan, 30, was arrested along with Sean McGuigan, 40, last month after police mounted a sting operation.They are alleged to have demanded £50,000 not to release a video showing an aide to a member of the Royal Family discussing engaging in oral sex with his employer.
Prison for tennis coach who had sex with 13-year-old 1
1:45 PM — A former tennis protege turned coach has been sentenced to nearly three years in prison.Last month Claire Lyte, 29, was convicted of four counts of sexual activity with a child at Liverpool Crown Court.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.Lyte's worked as a coach at the Lawn Tennis Association academy in Loughborough, Leicestershire and the girl was one of her pupils.
Brighton club’s roof garden gets cross-party support 13
12:56 PM — A leading Brighton lesbian and gay nightclub unexpectedly won permission for a smoking terrace last night after intervention from a Green councillor on the council's planning committee.Green councillor Amy Kennedy argued for the safety of LGBT smokers who, since the smoking ban, have had to light up on the pavement.Gay smokers have been the target of homophobic abuse from passers-by in cars and on foot and have had objects hurled at them as they smoked outside the club.