Men arrested over Camden stabbing

camdenlockpicFour teenage boys have been arrested following a homophobic stabbing in Camden. The 36-year-old victim had been out for the evening at the Black Cap, Camden’s famous gay bar, on the evening of Sunday 13 February. He left in the early hours of Monday morning. He left with two friends, but as they were walking past Camden Lock, he was approached by four young men, one of whom asked him “Are you gay?”. The victim ignored the question, and the young man walked off, only to return moments later and stab the victim in the chest and leg.

Church civil partnerships to become legal

gayweddingThe Government is pushing ahead with its plans to allow religious institutions to host civil partnership ceremonies – if those institutions wish to do so. The Government announced the plans last year, and Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone confirmed in mid-February that the coalition government, following a suitable period of consultation, was proposing to lift the ban.

Evan helps launch History Month

evandaviswebLGBT History Month will be officially launched this year with a very special session of the quarterly Queer Question Time. Rather than taking place at its usual home of the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, this special event - at 7pm on Tuesday 1 February – will take place at the atrium of the Southwark Council building, 160 Tooley Street, SE1, and will be hosted by the BBC’s Evan Davis (pictured).

Gay couple win B&B discrimination case

A judge has ruled that the owners of a hotel who refused to allow a gay couple a double room acted unlawfully. Martyn Hall and his civil partner Steven Preddy, from Bristol, attempted to reserve a double room at the Chymorvah Hotel, near Penzance, in September 2008. The hotel is run by Christian couple Peter and Hazelmary Bull, who have said that it is against their beliefs to allow unmarried couples to share bedrooms – whether heterosexual or homosexual.

Stonewall's top employers revealed

stonewalllogo2Equal rights charity Stonewall has unveiled its 2011 Workplace Equality Index, which this year finds the Home Office in pole position at the top of the list. It’s the first time that a central government department has topped the Index, which has been published annually over the last six years.

The list was launched to celebrate and acknowledge LGB-friendly employers. Although it is now illegal to discriminate against staff because of their sexuality, an increasing number of employers, in recognising the benefits of having a diverse workforce, are making extra effort to make their work environments gay friendly – whether it be through the setting up of LGB network groups or actively promoting their gay-friendly credentials when recruiting staff. The Index was set up in 2005 to recognise these employers, although at first, not all were convinced of the benefits of appearing on it.

Expectations vs. Hackney Council

expectations1Long-running gay store Expectations, on Great Eastern Street, Shoreditch, may be threatened with closure or be asked to relocate. That’s the fear of its staff after Hackney Council’s Licencing Committee announced that it was seeking to alter its policy on the issuing of Sex Establishment Licences.

The committee is currently conducting a survey – by way of an online questionnaire – seeking the opinions of Hackney residents and other interested parties. The committee currently issues Sex Establishment Licences to four venues within its wards: Expectations and four ‘erotic-dancing’ clubs (lap-dancing or strip clubs).

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