Shadow home secretary makes gay gaffe

bedandbreakfastThe shadow home secretary – Chris Grayling – has again raised questions over the Conservative Party’s attitudes towards gay rights. During a speech at the Centre for Policy Studies in London on Wednesday 21 March, Mr Grayling – who would have to enforce equality legislation should the Conservatives win the election – was asked a question by the audience regarding civil liberties.

New guide for hate crime victims

blowthewhistleThe Home Secretary, Alan Johnson, helped launch a new “plain-English” guide for victims of anti-gay hate crime that’s been produced by charity organisation Stonewall. The simply-titled Blow the Whistle on Gay Hate explains what homophobic hate crime is, why hate crime should be reported and what to say when reporting it. 

Launching the guide at a press event on 31 March, the Home Secretary said, “Gay people have the same rights as everyone else to live in peace and security. 

Let’s talk about sex, baby

thtcampaignThe Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) is launching what it believes to be a ground-breaking campaign this spring. The ‘It’s Your Turn To Talk’ campaign is designed to encourage gay men to talk to each other about what they really think about sex.

The THT has been running for almost 30 years, promoting information about sexually transmitted infections, HIV and AIDS through gay publications, bars, clubs, saunas and other places where gay men meet. 

Ricky Martin comes out

rickymartinConfirming one of the worst kept secrets in show business, Puerto Rican pop star Ricky Martin has revealed that he is gay. The 38-yeard-old singer made an announcement on his official website, saying that the decision to write his memoirs had prompted him to make the revelation.
“A few months ago I decided to write my memoirs, a project I knew was going to bring me closer to an amazing turning point in my life. From the moment I wrote the first phrase I was sure the book was the tool that was going to help me free myself from things I was carrying within me for a long time. Things that were too heavy for me to keep inside.”

‘Protest the Pope’ hits Westminster

protestthepopeA ‘Protest The Pope’ demonstration, led by leading human-rights activist Peter Tatchell, took place on Palm Sunday (28 March) outside Westminster Cathedral – the main Catholic church in Britain. Around 50 protestors from humanist, secular, women’s and gay organisations took part in the event, which took place following more details emerged around the Catholic church’s treatment of priests accused of peadophilia.

Guernsey equalises age of consent

guernseyflagPoliticians on the island of Guernsey have voted to lower the age of consent for gay men to 16 – the same as it is for heterosexuals and lesbians. The vote was unaminous. Guernsey – which can be found off the coast of Normandy, in the English Channel – is a British Crown Dependency and enjoys its own legislative assembly. It has often lagged behind the UK on equality issues, and homosexuality was illegal on the island until 18 years ago.

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