The Pope’s rainbow scarf, and 6 other stories you might have missed this week
PinkNews brings you a roundup of news from the past seven days.
Here are some of the most widely read, and notable news stories from the past week which you may have missed.
1. Ivan Massow announced he would run for Mayor of London
The entrepreneur and gay rights campaigner launched his campaign to succeed Boris Johnson in 2016.
He said: “I moved to London more than 25 years ago to start my own business – helping those discriminated against by financial services to access insurance and financial products – and this city has been my home and my passion ever since.
“As a campaigner against discrimination I know that there is nowhere on earth I would rather live than London.”
2. Tory MP Michael Fabricant opened up about his private life during a ‘KGB-like’ interview
The MP for Lichfield – who has campaigned for the ban on gay men giving blood to be lifted – said: “I’m not exclusively gay [though] I have certainly done things with a bloke.
“[Most people are] on a form of the [bisexual] spectrum, though whether they do anything about it is another matter.”
3. A Lesbian MEP presented the Pope with a rainbow scarf
Green MEP Ulrike Lunacek presented the Catholic leader with the pride symbol, saying: said: “Today I handed Pope Francis a rainbow scarf for gays, lesbians, and for peace.”
It isn’t thought the Pope actually put the scarf on.
4. A thug who smashed his gay flatmate with a hammer had his jail sentence increased
The homophobe who left Connor Huntley with brain damage after hitting him with with a claw hammer had his sentence increased from 14 to 19 years.
Solicitor General Robert Buckland QC MP told PinkNews: “I felt that the original 14 year sentence was unduly lenient as it did not reflect the aggravating factors in this case, that the offence was motivated by hostility towards the victim’s sexual orientation.”
5. The ‘God Hates Fags’ church was bombarded with phone calls about turkeys
An elaborate internet hoax that spread on social media before Thanksgiving tricked hundreds of people into calling the Westboro Baptist Church.
A fake article warning of avian flu urged people to call a special ‘Turkey Safety Hotline’ to verify their bird was safe to eat.
6. UKIP officials were duped by a fake party Twitter which sent homophobic messages
A number of UKIP officials and candidates were duped into following a ‘UKIP East London’ Twitter – which was not sanctioned by the party, and began to spout anti-gay abuse.
UKIP members including deputy chair Neil Hamilton, and PPCs including Charlie Smith, Peter Baillie, Nick Lincoln, Iain Mckie, Graham Moore, Lee Slaughter, Richard Thomas, and Herbie Crossman, were all apparently unable to tell the difference between the fake account and actual party policy.
7. Sandi Toksvig revealed she was once fired so Princess Anne didn’t have to meet a lesbian
The comedian revealed: “20 years ago I was an ambassador for [Save the Children], I had been for some years, and then I came out in the newspapers.
“Four days before I was to host their massive conference in the Albert Hall, they phoned me up and they fired me – because they didn’t want Princess Anne to meet a lesbian.”