UK News Round Up

A man has been arrested in connection with a serious assault in a Leicester gay pub.
The 28-year-old man is being held in custody, police said.   Two men were severely burned in the incident, which happened in the early hours of Tuesday morning at the Rainbow and Dove pub in Charles Street.
It is thought that a fire was started in the beer garden.   The victims, aged 22 and 20, remain in hospital. One suffered “life-changing” burn injuries to his face, while the other is being treated for burns to his hands.  Police say there is no evidence that the attack was motivated by homophobia or that the victims were specifically targeted.   Officers are still appealing for witnesses to the incident. (pinknews)
The fomer SNP leader Gordon Wilson has been voted off the board of Dundee’s Citizens Advice Bureau over his views against gay marriage.
Mr Wilson, 73, lost the support of members after his Christian group Solas demanded a referendum on whether gay couples should be allowed to wed.
Solas, which has partnered with the Free Church, said last month that gay marriage was an “attack on marriage” and would violate the rights of heterosexual people.
In a statement, the director of Dundee Citizens Advice Bureau, Mary Kinninmonth said: “It’s sad that the tremendous achievements and work of Dundee CAB has been overshadowed by an issue which called into question its commitment to equality of opportunity.
“The board of trustee directors is keen to confirm that it is fully committed to the aims and principles of the Citizens Advice Bureau and equality of opportunity for all. The work of the bureau remains unaffected.” (pinknews)
Former Savage Garden singer Darren Hayes says he does not want to be pigeon-holed as a gay artist.
The 39-year-old musician, who came out five years ago, told “I don’t want to be a gay or a straight artist. I don’t make gay records – I make records.   “I don’t want to feel like I have to be a poster child for anything other than being a great artist. I don’t take that on board as being my responsibility as a gay man, because I think it’s really limiting.”
Hayes, who had a civil partnership in 2006, said he was inspired by Michael Jackson as a child.  He explained: “For me as a kid growing up, I was gay and I didn’t even realise it, let alone accept it. I was told I was gay before I could even imagine it. I was incredibly bullied – ferociously bullied – as a child.  “I looked to this man that the whole world thought was a freak and I thought, ‘That’s normal’, and he was this hero to me. He taught me to sing.”  (pinknews)
An 18-year-old man is being questioned in connection with the death of a gay barman in Ayrshire.
Police said the teenager was being “detained” over the murder of 28-year-old Stuart Walker.   Mr Walker was found dead with “horrible” injuries near an industrial estate in Cumnock. He had been beaten and burned.  A spokeswoman for Strathclyde Police said: “We can confirm that an 18-year-old man is currently detained in connection with this inquiry.”
The man was taken into custody last night, reports said.  Mr Walker’s death is not currently being treated as motivated by homophobia, although police say they are keeping an open mind.  Few details of his injuries have been released but police said he had been subjected to an “extremely violent and sustained attack”.
Officers said the attack was not thought to be random and that it was likely Mr Walker knew his attackers. (pinknews)

Councillors in Glasgow unanimously support gay marriage proposals

Councillors in the Scottish city of Glasgow have unanimously backed government proposals for gay and lesbian marriage.   Councillors in the Scottish city of Glasgow have unanimously backed government proposals for gay and lesbian marriage.   The motion, proposed by Councillor Alex Dingwall, was agreed unanimously at a meeting of the full council yesterday.   Glasgow is believed to be the first council in Scotland to back the proposals for a change in the law.
According to the Glasgow Council website, they will now respond to the Scottish Government’s consultation on same sex marriage and religious ceremonies for civil partnerships.    Councillor Dingwall said: “I’m immensely happy that today Glasgow has continued our city’s proud record of opposing discrimination in all its forms and unanimously supporting the campaign for marriage equality.   “In doing so we have rejected those who want to tell our LGBT community in Glasgow that they are not equal, that they are wrong, that they are evil. We are happy to join with the Unitarians, Quakers, Metropolitan Church, Liberal Judaism and others who want to provide equal marriage.   “This city said it out, loud and proud today; freedom, liberty and equality are the birthright of every citizen. I hope other councils will now follow Glasgow’s lead.”  (pinkpaper)

Foreign Secretary William Hague urges greater LGBT rights at Commonwealth summit

Britain’s Foreign Secretary’s has called for greater LGBT rights during his address at the Commonwealth People’s Forum in Australia.
William Hague, who is also the First Secretary of State and previously served as leader of the Conservative party from 1997 to 2001, made the comments ahead of the event’s official opening in Perth.   Currently, more than 40 of the 54 Commonwealth member states continue to punish same-sex behaviour with criminal sanctions. Over half the world’s countries that criminalise homosexuality belong to the Commonwealth.

Penalties include life imprisonment in Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Pakistan, Uganda, Bangladesh and Guyana.   
“It is a great pleasure to be here in Perth for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting,” he said.    
“I congratulate Australia for their adept stewardship of this year’s CHOGM. It has been a particularly testing time for the country after floods wreaked devastation earlier this year and it is a tribute to them that their energy and commitment in hosting this CHOGM has not in any way diminished.

“This is in large part due to Australia’s Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, who I know shares my vision for a stronger Commonwealth; acting as an even greater force for democracy and prosperity and speaking out on the most pressing issues of our time.”       He then said: “The UK would like to see the Commonwealth do more to promote the rights of its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens.    “It is wrong in our view that these groups continue to suffer persecution, violence and discrimination within the Commonwealth and that many members still have laws criminalising homosexuality.

“A Commonwealth that lives up to its values is one where all its citizens are free to live their lives in a safe and just society.”  (pinkpaper)

GT 400

Coversweb2GT magazine marks its landmark 400th issue with four celebratory covers featuring iconic gay men – sportsman Matthew Mitcham, actor Sir Ian McKellen and singer Joe McElderry – and the world’s most famous female gay icon, Lady Gaga.

The issue celebrates 37 years of GT (Gay Times) from its humble beginnings in 1974 as HIM Magazine,  the UK’s first newsstand title for gay men.

The issue features the great and the good of 37 years of our collective ‘Gay Times’ including Matthew Mitcham, Sir Ian McKellen, Joe McElderry, Will Young, Matt Lucas, Brian Dowling, Paul O’Grady, Gok Wan, Chris Bryant MP, Mike Mills, Nick Bowles MP, Rikki Beadle-Blair, Jonathan Harvey, Scott Mills, John Barrowman and Patrick Wolf.

Kim Watson – Managing Director (Media and Marketing) highlights the importance of the 400th issue. 

“I’m delighted to be celebrating 400 issues of Gay Times, with such an eclectic mix of gay icons, moments and current affairs. Cramming 37 years of gay culture, news and history into one edition was never going to be an easy task. I’m looking forward to the events we have planned to help us celebrate our heritage, and this major milestone in publishing and gay business. I’m also really looking forward to seeing the first moving digital issue.”

The editor of GT, Darren Scott, said: “Reaching 400 issues of any magazine is an incredible achievement, but it’s especially brilliant for us to be able to look back at how things have improved for gay people since GT started life in 1974. Seeing, and celebrating, how we’ve been able to help – in whatever small part – with those changes along the way is a fantastic feeling. 

“It’s wonderful to be able to see, and show, that it does get better.”


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