30th January 2007
COMMENT: LGBT History Month full of surprises 3
9:45 AM — Now in its third year, the LGBT History Month starts this week. The calendar of events across the country is filling up as never before.Tony Grew explains why gay history is so important and takes us through some of the diverse range of things to do, see and enjoy in this month-long celebration of our gay past. LGBT History Month is an excellent opportunity for all of us to learn more about the histories of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the UK.
29th January 2007
English Cardinal disappointed at adoption decision 10
7:10 PM — Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor has expressed his disappointment at the decision by the Prime Minister not to grant an exemption from anti-discrimination legislation for Roman Catholic adoption agencies.The Cardinal, who is the head of the church in England and Wales, adopted a conciliatory tone in his comments, in contrast to his assertion last week that agencies would close rather than consider gay or lesbian couples as adoptive parents.
PM defends Ruth Kelly’s position
6:45 PM — A spokesman for the Prime Minister has said Mr Blair wants to pay tribute to Ruth Kelly.The Communities Secretary, who is responsible for equality matters, has been heavily criticised by gay campaigners and some MPs for her strong religious views.Ms Kelly, a devout Catholic, has been accused of bowing to pressure from the hierarchy of the church.
LibDem spokeswoman welcomes PM’s adoption stance 10
5:27 PM — Politicians have spoken to PinkNews.co.uk of their delight at Tony Blair's decision to not grant an exemption from anti-discrimination laws to Catholic adoption agencies.Lorely Burt MP, the LibDem spokeswoman on equality, told PinkNews.co.uk:"Tony Blair's statement is welcome news.
Tories make no comment on adoption, LibDem furious
5:15 PM — A spokeswoman for Conservative Central Office has said the party has no statement to make about Tony Blair's announcement that Roman Catholic adoption agencies will not be exempted from anti-discrimination legislation.Meanwhile a LibDem MP who tabled an Early Day Motion calling on the government to exempt the Catholic Church has branded Tony Blair a coward.
Stonewall delighted by adoption decision 10
5:05 PM — The chief executive of Stonewall has warmly welcomed the statement from Tony Blair that Roman Catholic-run adoption agencies will not be granted an exemption to the Sexual Orientation Regulations.Ben Summerskill also questioned the claim by the church that their agencies are superior to state-run adoption facilities."We are delighted that the cabinet has listened carefully to what we have been saying."
Official – no Catholic adoption opt-out 10
4:31 PM — The Prime Minister has announced that the government will not be granting an opt-out for Catholic adoption agencies from the Sexual Orientation Regulations.Instead, the regulations regarding adoption will come into force at the end of 2008.This means that Roman Catholic-run adoption agencies will have nearly two years to adjust to the new rules.
DNA evidence casts doubt on gay murder conviction
3:51 PM — A man from Davenport who was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of a gay pensioner could be freed in the light of new evidence.Robert Kennedy was found guilty of murdering Arthur Eathorne, a 74-year-old gay pensioner, at his Plymouth flat on September 21, 1990.Kennedy has spent the last 16 years at Garth prison in Preston, but has always maintained his innocence.
Report reveals extent of anti-gay taunts in schools
12:13 PM — Research by the National Union of Teachers has revealed that the vast majority of their members hear the word gay used pejoratively on a regular basis.Many felt that sexist and homophobic language was institutionally tolerated.The study also revealed the high levels of sexist language being used in schools and that many female teachers are sexually harassed by pupils.
Tory leader rejects Catholic adoption exemption
9:22 AM — David Cameron has said there can be no opt-out for Roman Catholic-run adoption agencies from the Sexual Orientation Regulations.The Conservative party leader said there should be an adjustment period of three to four years for adoption agencies to allow them to adjust to the new rules, which outlaw discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation when accessing goods and services.
26th January 2007
Lib Dem MP calls for adoption opt-out 8
6:07 PM — A Roman Catholic Liberal Democrat MP has tabled an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons calling on the government to exclude Catholic adoption agencies from the Equality Act.Richard Younger-Ross' motion has been signed by only six other MPs.The Liberal Democrats have been very critical of the proposed opt-outs for Catholic adoption agencies.
Jewish adoption agency open to gays 3
4:47 PM — The only registered Jewish adoption and fostering agency in England has told PinkNews.co.uk that they are not seeking an exemption from the Sexual Orientation Regulations.Norma Brier, who is chief executive of the agency, Norwood, confirmed that they will comply with the regulations, which are designed to protect gay lesbian and bisexual people from discrimination when accessing goods and services.
Ruth resignation rumours rubbished 3
2:10 PM — A spokesman for Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly has dismissed rumours that she on the brink of resigning from the Cabinet.Ms Kelly has been the focus of much of the criticism the goverment has faced after it was revealed that they are considering granting exemptions to anti-discrimination legislation to Roman Catholic adoption agencies.
Tories comment on adoption row 3
1:44 PM — PinkNews.co.uk exclusive Eleanor Laing, The Conservative shadow minister for Women and Equality, has called on the government to find a solution to the row over exemptions from equality legislation for Roman Catholic adoption agencies.Ms Laing, the MP for Epping Forest, also criticised those who have attacked Ruth Kelly for her religious beliefs.
Scottish prelate pledges to defy the law 3
1:21 PM — The Archbishop of Glasgow has said that Catholic adoption agencies in Scotland will continue to turn away gay couples in defiance of the Equality Act.Archbishop Conti, who has been consistently hostile towards gay rights, has taken the hardline stance as the row over gay adoption looks set to become a major issue in the upcoming elections for the Scottish Parliament.
Gay rapper highlights school bullying 4
12:02 PM — British rapper QBoy is to present a schools programme for Channel 4 in which he talks to children who have come out while still at school. Coming Out To Class is one of a series of programmes in the channel's Gay Week which starts on February 26th.QBoy told PinkNews.co.uk, "I am happy that this programme has been made as I hope it will shed light on a much ignored issue."
Tribunal told gay parents are bad for kids 2
11:12 AM — An employment tribunal in Yorkshire has heard evidence from an American academic who claims that placing children with same-sex couples damages them.Former magistrate Andrew McClintock is claiming the Constitutional Affairs department were acting unlawfully by not allowing him to opt out of ruling on cases where gay and lesbians were seeking to adopt children.
Noel Edmonds plays gay 2
10:01 AM — Fans of the television comedy show Little Britain are in for a treat tonight as a familiar face will step into the role of "only gay in the village" Daffyd.TV veteran Noel Edmonds will don the tight lycra and give us his unique take on the much-quoted character this evening when he appears as a guest on the Channel 4 show The Friday Night Project.
25th January 2007
Greens attack Catholic adoption “opt-out” in Scotland 1
5:47 PM — The Scottish Green Party has spoken out against Labour and the Scottish National Party over rumours of an opt-out for Catholic adoption agencies in the country.On the day that the London press is reporting a defeat for the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, the two largest parties in Scotland appear to be supporting the denial of gay and lesbian couples in Scotland to equal treatment by Catholic adoption agencies.
John Reid says gay rights a matter of principle 1
5:20 PM — The Home Secretary has told a Westminster audience that the fundamental principle of equality must not be undermined.Reid, a Roman Catholic, is considered one of the only members of the Cabinet who could mount a serious challenge to Gordon Brown in the contest for Labour party leader, due to take place after Tony Blair leaves office later this year.