6th February 2008
Alleged rape victim is HIV positive 1
11:50 AM — A court at the Old Bailey has been told that a 26-year-old man who accused a BBC Radio 4 reporter of raping him is HIV positive.Nigel Wrench, 47, was open about his status and had made a documentary, Aids and Me about his experiences living with HIV and a later diagnosis of AIDS.He is accused of drugging and sexually assaulting the 26-year-old after inviting him back to his flat in north London after meeting him at a New Years party.
5th February 2008
University launches gay network
6:10 PM — Ice skating and drinks at Camp David will mark the inaugural event for a new professional LGBT network at Newcastle University.The network has been called Mosaic to reflect "the inclusivity of the network while recognising the individuality of its members and connoting that joining the network will be a positive contribution to the bigger picture."It is open to students, staff and alumni of the university, which is home to more than 23,000 people.
Play to explore Gielgud’s gay sex conviction
5:00 PM — A new play opening in London later this month will examine one of the most scandalous incidents in 20th century British theatre.In 1953 acclaimed classical actor John Gielgud, who had recently been knighted by the Queen, was prosecuted for persistently importuning for immoral purposes, more commonly known as cottaging.He was devastated by the attendant publicity and feared his career was over, but he was greeted with a standing ovation the next time he appeared on stage.
Bishop regrets actions over gay cleric’s promotion 3
3:40 PM — The Bishop of Liverpool has said he "deeply regrets" his public opposition to the promotion of Canon Jeffrey John and said that in his view "gay rights are civil rights."Dr John was forced to step down as Bishop of Reading in 2003 amid controversy about his sex life. He is now Dean of St Albans.The Rt. Rev. James Jones was one of nine Diocesan Bishops who objected publicly to the proposed consecration of Dr John because he was in a gay relationship.
Boris upset at Elton’s support for rival 2
12:55 PM — The Tory candidate for Mayor of London has revealed that he is on Sir Elton John's Christmas card list and was shocked and disappointed when the star gave his backing to Lib Dem hopeful Brian Paddick.The Conservative, who has the dubious honour of being backed by nightclub owner Peter Stringfellow, told LBC radio this morning that he hopes to recruit troubled singer Amy Winehouse to his campaign.
Welsh gays to meet police about hate crime 1
12:30 PM — Stonewall Cymru has joined forces with a local LGB group to fight homophobic hate crime in Merthyr Tydfil.Working with the South East Wales Lesbian Gay and Bisexual Forum, Stonewall will facilitate a series of meetings between local lesbian, gay and bisexual people and South Wales Police Hate Crime Officers to address issues of homophobic hate crime in the area.It is hoped the project will help to establish a local LGB network in the Merthyr area.
4th February 2008
Minister questioned at LGBT education conference 8
5:35 PM — A junior education minister defended the government's new guidance on homophobic bullying at last weekend's Schools OUT conference.Kevin Brennan, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, told an audience of around 100 who packed into London's Drill Hall that the new guidance was a major step forward."While we cannot force a positive attitude through law or through a policy, however robust, you have to have an environment, and schools must promote an environment, based on respect," he said.
Gay Radio 4 presenter raped New Year party man, court told 8
5:35 PM — An openly gay BBC Radio 4 presenter drugged and raped a man that he met at a New Years party, a court heard today.Nigel Wrench, 47, who is a regular presenter of the radio station's flagship evening news programme PM invited the man back to see his art collection and sit in on his show, the court was told.The Old Bailey heard that Mr Wrench snorted cocaine with the 26-year-old man and then poured him a glass of champagne, which made him feel "not at all well."
Speaker calls for transparency on MPs allowances 31
4:40 PM — The Speaker of the House of Commons has urged MPs from all sides to move quickly to reform of the allowances system.A meeting of the Members' Estimates Committee is to consider new rules, including a ban on employing relatives with public funds.Speaker Michael Martin, a member of the committee, made a statement to MPs this afernoon. "We must take fully into account the public interest in transparency," he said.
Get walking to fight hate crime
4:01 PM — Preparations are underway for a major gay day out in Brighton during the May bank holiday.Gay and lesbian stars will join hundreds of others on a fundraising walk in the popular seaside resort.The 5th Annual Equality Walk is a demonstration of solidarity against hate crime, a nice day out, a good bit of exercise and an opportunity to do a bit of star-spotting. The 10k walk begins from the Pavilion Gardens at 2pm on Sunday May 4th.
NHS surrogates may be used by gay couples
3:14 PM — A Primary Care Trust in England is considering an application for funds to pay for a surrogate mother to have a baby for an infertile couple.While it is illegal to pay both surrogate mothers and egg donors in Britain, North East Essex PCT is considering paying up to £15,000 in 'expenses' to carry a baby to full-term, which is allowed under the law.However, the option is at present only under consideration by one of the 152 PCTs in England.
Boles donates money to Boris campaign 7
1:45 PM — A leading gay Tory has donated £20,000 to the campaign to elect Boris Johnson as Mayor of London.Nick Boles was the frontrunner to be his party's candidate for Mayor until he withdrew from the race after being diagnosed with a form of cancer.Now it has emerged that he is among a list of donors to Boris' campaign, alongside property developers, hedge fund managers, lobbyists and art dealers.
3rd February 2008
Suspended MP accuses newspapers of homophobia 32
1:20 AM — The Conservative MP suspended from the House of Commons after it emerged that he his son and his friend were given public funds in breach of Parliamentary rules has publically defended his gay son and accused the media of homophobia.Derrick Conway has paid his son out of Parliamentary expenses whilst he was a full time student in Newcastle. A number of tabloid newspapers have focused on Henry Conway's sexuality.
1st February 2008
Memorial to gay Beatles manager gains support
3:35 PM — LGBT activists in Liverpool have begun a campaign to honour one of the city's most prominent gay residents.Brian Epstein was one of the most influential figures in the 'Mersey Beat' movement in the early 1960s.As well as managing The Beatles until his death in 1967, he launched the careers of Cilla Black and Gerry and the Pacemakers. Liverpool is European Capital of Culture 2008.
Bail for sauna rape suspect
12:20 PM — Police in Manchester have bailed a man arrested on suspicion of rape.Shortly after 2.30am on Tuesday police received reports that a man had been raped at the Basement Complex, a gay sauna on Tariff Street."An investigation was launched and a 31-year-old man from the Miles Platting area was arrested on suspicion of rape on Wednesday 30 January 2008," Greater Manchester Police said in a statement.
Uncertain future for gay arts venue 6
11:45 AM — One of the UK's leading producers of lesbian and gay performance has launched a fundraising campaign after Arts Council England confirmed it is to stop all of its £250,000 funding from April.The Drill Hall in central London, whose partons include choreographer Matthew Bourne, Harry Potter actress Miriam Margolyes and comic Julian Clary, has a established an international reputation for championing the work of new artists, performers and theatre practitioners.
31st January 2008
Brian Paddick on Elton, cruising and his partner 6
1:01 PM — The Lib Dem candidate for Mayor of London has spoken to PinkNews.co.uk about his friendship with Sir Elton John and David Furnish.Earlier today it was revealed that the international star and his film producer partner hosted a dinner where they introduced Brian Paddick to potential donors to his campaign."I have met David probably on twenty or more occasions, and we have had dinner together alone on a number of occasions," Mr Paddick told PinkNews.co.uk.
Man arrested on suspicion of sauna rape
12:10 PM — Police in Manchester have confirmed they have made an arrest in relation to the alleged rape in a gay sauna in the city centre earlier this week.Shortly after 2.30am on Tuesday police received reports that a man had been raped at the Basement Complex on Tariff Street.An investigation was launched and a 31-year-old man from the Miles Platting area has been arrested on suspicion of rape. He is currently in police custody.
Scientists create sperm from female stem cells 4
10:26 AM — A research team at the University of Newcastle has created primitive sperm cells with female embryonic stem cells.The breakthrough could lead to same-sex couples producing children with both their genes.Karim Nayernia, Professor of Stem Cell Biology at Newcastle University, told New Scientist: "I think, in principle, it will be scientifically possible."
Disgraced Tory MP paid son’s friend 32
9:35 AM — A Conservative MP who will today be suspended from the Commons for ten days after revelations about payments to his family has been accused of making additional payments to his son's friend.The Sun reports that "disgraced Tory MP Derek Conway gave a job to a close pal of his gay son Henry."Earlier this week Mr Conway announced he would be stepping down from Parliament at the next election after being censured by the Commons Standards and Privileges Committee.