26th March 2008
Lords debates illustrate objections to gay equality 17
12:45 PM — The Prime Minister's decision to allow Labour MPs a free vote on three clauses of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill has surprised many Westminster watchers.The issues surrounding so-called 'saviour siblings,' human-animal embryos and the requirement for doctors to consider 'the need for a father' when deciding on whether to agree to carry out fertilisation or fertility treatments were all discussed at length in the Lords.Those debates should give us a flavour of the debate in the Commons, which is not expected until after the local council elections in May.
Downing St explains why MPs are getting a free vote 17
12:30 PM — Gordon Brown is "following the precedent set in 1990 with the original Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill" in allowing his MPs a free vote on measures that ensure gay equality.Roman Catholic Labour MPs are expected to challenge the removal of a requirement for doctors to "consider the need for a father" when deciding to consent to IVF or assisted conception treatments.The bill proposed to replace that with a need for "supportive parenting."
How will the embryology bill help gay and lesbian parents? 17
12:30 PM — The Prime Minister's announcement that Labour MPs will be allowed a free vote on legislation designed to ensure equal treatment for gay and lesbian people has dismayed gay rights groups and angered many in his own party.The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill currently before Parliament aims to make it easier for lesbian couples to access NHS fertilisation services and ensure that a lesbian or gay couple can become the legal parents of their children.Tory MPs will be given a free vote on the bill.
Stonewall “disappointed” over free vote on gay equality 17
11:40 AM — Gay equality organisation Stonewall has criticised the Prime Minister's decision to give Labour MPs a free vote on provisions in the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill that aim to give gay and lesbian people equal access to NHS fertility and assisted conception services.The bill, currently before Parliament, would replace the current need for doctors to consider the need for a father when decided whether or not to provide such treatments with the need for supportive parenting.
London’s Irish LGBT community to be studied
10:45 AM — A new project that will Irish gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans people choose to settle in London is appealing for participants.The research study by the University of Essex is being funded by an £82,000 grant from the Economic and Social Research Council.Dr Roisin Ryan-Flood of the Department of Sociology, said: "Metropolitan centres have long been associated with tolerance of sexual diversity and established queer communities."
25th March 2008
INTERVIEW: From soaps to Soviet murder mystery
9:00 PM — Tom Rob Smith doesn't believe in stereotypes, particularly the one that says a gay, former TV soap writer can't pen an intense, hard-hitting Cold War thriller.Child 44 counfounds assumptions about gay writers.His first novel, it caused a fierce bidding war at the London Book Fair and was eventually sold to 22 countries. It is no surprise that film rights to this powerful piece of fiction have just been snapped up by Ridley Scott.
Cult animation about gay couples comes to UK
6:30 PM — An American TV show described as making "South Park look like The Flumps" is to be screen on E4 later this year.Rick and Steve: The Happiest Gay Couple in the World features a range of gay and lesbian stereotypes, from the twink with the sugar daddy to the "perfect" gay couple of the title, to baby-obsessed lesbians.The odd Lego-like characters tackle what one commentator called "horribly inappropriate homo gags."
More4 News reports on the Gaydar revolution 2
5:20 PM — Labour MP Chris Bryant is among the contributors to a report to be broadcast tomorrow examining how the internet has fundamentally changed gay society.Benjamin Cohen, Channel 4 News technology correspondent and founding editor of PinkNews.co.uk, explores how Gaydar and similar websites have revolutionised what it means to be gay in Britain.The report is part of a series to be screened on More4 News this week, celebrating 10 years since the dot.com boom.
Man arrested for not paying male prostitutes
5:00 PM — Police in London have announced the arrest of a 37-year-old man suspected of hiring male sex workers and not paying for them.The man, arrested in Bangor, north Wales, has been linked to 17 offences including counts of obtaining services by deception, two allegations of theft, one of administering a substance with intent and one allegation of rape.He has been bailed to return in May as police continue their investigations.
Home Office’s “Iranian propaganda” over gay hangings 2
4:30 PM — The government has been accused of being more inclined to believe Iran than human rights groups on the issue of how gay people are treated in that country.The Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association is angry that the Home Office minister in the Lords last week claimed that no-one has recently been executed in Iran "solely on the grounds of homosexuality."GALHA intend to write to Home Secretary Jacqui Smith for clarification of the official position after statements by Lord West of Spithead.
Mayoral candidates on knives, teens and the environment 5
3:30 PM — The Mayor of London has promised to go ahead with a £25 charge for "gas guzzling" cars in the capital at the launch of his environment manifesto today.Londoners go to the polls on May 1st in the tightest race for Mayor since the office was established in 2000.Ken Livingstone said he opposed airport expansion at Heathrow or any other sites in London. "I have made environmental policy a central focus of all I have done as Mayor," he said.
Cardinal attacks new rights for gay parents 18
2:10 PM — The controversial Easter message from the leader of Scotland's Roman Catholic church contained an attack on new rights for lesbian and gay parents.Press coverage has concentrated on Cardinal Keith O'Brien's claims that the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill will create "Frankenstein-like" human-animal hybrid embryos, a charge rejected by the government and scientists.During his speech on Sunday the Cardinal accused Prime Minister Gordon Brown of: "promoting a bill which denies that a child has a biological father."
Labour MPs get free vote on parts of embryology bill 17
2:10 PM — The Prime Minister has announced that MPs will be allowed to vote against parts of a government bill.The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill is due before the Commons in the next few weeks.MPs will get a free vote on three parts of the legislation: IVF research, saviour siblings and the creation of human-animal embryos.Mr Brown said that he believes stem cell research has the potential to cure some diseases "that have afflicted mankind for centuries."
Downing St protest over gay asylum seekers
12:50 PM — More than 120 people took to the streets of London last Saturday to highlight the plight of lesbian, gay, bi and trans people who seek asylum in the UK.OutRage!, the National Union of Students and the Middle East Workers' Solidarity took part in the protest opposite Downing St.They demanded that Mehdi Kazemi, a gay Iranian teenager who faces deportation to his homeland and possible execution because of his sexuality, be allowed to stay in the UK.
Socialist candidate for Mayor to attend Stonewall hustings 1
12:20 PM — Lindsey German has confirmed that she will join other candidates for Mayor of London at a gay hustings event next month.The Respect - The Left List candidate will appear alongside incumbent Mayor Ken Livingstone, Tory candidate Boris Johnson, Lib Dem Brian Paddick and Green party candidate Sian Berry at the event at BFI Southbank on Saturday 19th April.The Stonewall hustings will be the last before Londoners go to the polls on May 1st.
Cameron warns Catholics over embryology debate 17
12:10 PM — The Leader of the Opposition has said that critics of new legislation should be careful not to "overstate" its impact.David Cameron's comments follow an Easter weekend full of claim and counter-claim about the creation of "animal-human hybrids" as a result of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill.On Easter Sunday the leader of Scotland's Roman Catholics attacked the Prime Minister and made lurid claims that the new legislation "comprehensively attacks the sanctity and dignity of human life than this particular bill."
INTERVIEW: Basketball’s stereotype-busting gay icon 3
11:50 AM — There can be no better introduction to the conversation of John Amaechi than to relay his thoughts on the American press and basketball-loving public's reaction to the revelation that this giant of the game is gay."I knew it would be fuss-worthy, especially in America. But it's very weird really because over here if you didn't know you just weren't paying attention."Amaechi is one of a handful of British players to have reached the heights of the US National Basketball Association.
24th March 2008
SNP campaign against gay deportation to Syria 2
12:10 AM — Scotland's governing party has taken up the case of a gay Syrian who claims he will be tortured and maybe even executed if returned to his home country.Jojo Jako Yakob is claiming asylum in the UK on the grounds of his sexual orientation and had pleaded with the Home Office to reverse a deportation order.Pete Wishart MP, the SNP's Home Affairs spokesman, has taken up his case at Westminster.
22nd March 2008
Last chance to vote in Mayoral poll
12:50 AM — PinkNews.co.uk is inviting readers to take part in our second Mayor of London poll. The poll closes at noon on Sunday so you'll need to vote quickly.Incumbent Ken Livingstone is running as the Labour candidate. Henley MP Boris Johnson is the Conservative party hopeful, while former Met police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Brian Paddick is standing for the Liberal Democrats.
21st March 2008
Tory shadow cabinet member pens ode to Livermore
4:50 PM — The Shadow Leader of the House of Commons amused MPs yesterday with a poem, presumably written by her, about the Prime Minister's departing Director of Strategy.Theresa May, who is also Shadow Minister for Women and Equality, was speaking at Business Questions yesterday.Her poem concerns Spencer Livermore, who in December was named the most important gay person in British politics.