Top TV and film actor Alec Baldwin has posted an open letter to GLAAD and the greater gay community sincerely apologising for ‘questionable’ comments he made recently about a UK Daily Mail journalist.
Last week Alec Baldwin launched a very vocal and public attack via social network Twitter on George Stark a Daily Mail reporter calling him a “toxic little queen” and urging his followers to “straighten out this fucking little bitch.”
Alec’s anger came in response to a factually incorrect article by Stark in the UK’s top selling tabloid newspaper the Daily Mail. The article Stark penned accused Baldwin’s wife, Hilaria, of sending tweets about smoothie recipes and a wedding anniversary during the funeral of Sopranos star James Gandolfini.
Baldwin let fly with a string of tweets calling Stark a “lying little bitch.” He also threatened violence against Stark, writing: “I’m gonna find you, George Stark, you toxic little queen, and I’m gonna fuck…you…up.”
The Church of Scotland‘s ruling general assembly has voted to allow congregations in Scotland to admit gay ministers, if they elect to do so, in a radical departure from more than 450 years of history and ending a four year long argument.
The ‘gay ministers’ issue has dominated discussion within the church for some time after an openly gay minister, Scott Rennie, was selected to lead a parish in Aberdeen in 2009.
The general assembly rejected a motion which would have made gay ordination – solely for ministers in civil partnerships or who are celibate – the default position of the Church of Scotland, by 340 votes to 282.
Marriage Equality in the United Kingdom came a step closer on Tuesday Night when Members of Parliament voted to approve the Marriage (same-sex couples bill) at it’s third reading by 366 votes to 161, a majority of 205.
After two days of debate, with many amendments offered and discussed, the Culture Secretary and Minister for Equalities, Maria Miller told Mps just before the crucial vote “I accept that for some colleagues their beliefs mean that the principle of this issue is an insurmountable barrier to supporting this change.
“But to other colleagues I say, now is the time. Let us not be side-tracked nor distracted. Let us not expand the remit of this bill beyond its original intention. Let us make equal marriage possible because it is the right thing to do and then let us move on. I am pleased to commend this bill to the House.”
It has been a most dramatic time at London’s House of Parliament, on Monday the bill was in danger of being completely stalled by an amendment from a backbench Tory MP, thankfully in a deal with the opposition leader Ed Miliband, they overcame the wrecking amendment, which was designed purly to slow up and even halt the bill in its
There were a few further complications on Tuesday afternoon because of an amendment calling for Humanist marriage ceremonies to be legalised at the same time. Even though it had widespread support from Liberal Democrat and Labour MPs – the amendment was withdrawn after the attorney general warned that it would fall foul of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Under the bill, the Church of England and the Church in Wales would be banned from offering same-sex marriages because of their strongly stated opposition, unless they changed canon law. Whilst other religious organisations would be able to “opt in” to holding same-sex ceremonies.
Marriage Equality and getting the bill passed the Commons has been an enormous challenge for the UK Prime Minister David Cameron and is seen by many as a key part of his modernisation of the Conservative party, giving it wider appeal to the younger generations. However, such a move has cost the leader support from many old guard in the party, MP Crispin Blunt conceded that it has cost Cameron support – “He’s made his point, everyone knows the fire he’s going through with some of his own colleagues in order to deliver this and I hope people are going to be appropriately grateful for the fantastic leadership that he’s shown on this.” he told gay media in the UK
In terms of the current opposition to the measure, Mr Blunt added: “Once this is done, it’s finished, it’s over and everyone will wonder what on earth all the fuss was about.”
The Bill will now head to the House of Lords where it is likely to face determined and uncompromising opposition. The House of Lord’s are the older unelected chamber in UK’s archaic political system and are well known for their opposition to such moves towards equality. If the bill passes in the House of Lords, it could mean that same-sex marriages could be legal in the UK as early as the autumn of 2014.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and transgender humanists are calling on British Members of Parliament to support an amendment to the Marriage Bill currently being discussed in the British House of Commons, that would give legal recognition to humanist marriages in England and Wales.
Straight humanist marriages are already legal in Scotland and when equal marriage is introduced in Scotland, humanist marriages will also be made legal for same-sex couples.
Adam Knowles, Chair of Galha LGBT Humanists, said, ‘Humanists have always been in the vanguard of LGBT rights and humanist celebrants in England and Wales have been conducting same sex weddings for many years. We’re really pleased that LGB religious people will soon have the choice of a legal marriage reflecting their deepest beliefs and we think that we should have the same choice and the same right. LGB non-religious people in Scotland are to be given that right by their Parliament; we are looking forward to our Parliament doing the same for us in England and Wales.’
A gay male couple were walking through a South London park during the early hours of Sunday 19th May when they were viciously assaulted by a gang of men, one of the attackers saying “stay down faggot.”
Christopher Bryant, 42, along with his partner Damon Truluck, 38, were walking home across Betts Park in Penge, in the London Borough of Bromley, when six men approached them. “We saw them too late to get away. We ran, and I was getting away, but they caught Damon, my partner, and so I doubled back. I tried to get them off him, and that’s when they thumped me to the ground.“ Mr Bryant told local media.
“When I looked up to see if he was ok one of them kicked me in the face, and said ‘stay down faggot’. Every time I looked up to see what was happening to Damon they either thumped or kicked me, and said ‘don’t try anything’. They went through my pockets and took my wallet and phone. But they kept hitting. Before they ran off they pushed us together and told us to stay still for 5 minutes or they’d kill us.”
The vicious assault took place not long after midnight, just hours after Mr Bryant had celebrated his 42nd birthday. The attack has left both men bruised and battered with Truluck also having injuries to his back and hip, finding it difficult to walk.
In a cruel ironic twist, before this anti-gay attack both men were raising awareness of Friday’s International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia through online magazine http://www.polarimagazine.com.
London’s Metropolitan police are investigating the incident but so far no arrests have been made.
Students at one of London’s premier universities ‘King’s College London’ are actively campaigning to have the photo of the former archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey removed from a display of famous alumni, due to his deeply homophobic attitudes and statements.
The former Archbishop of Canterbury studied at the college and graduated in 1962 with a Bachelor of Divinity (BD) 2:1 degree after which he was ordained.
According to various local media reports, the King’s College Student Union have described Lord Carey’s recent comments against equal marriage as “outdated, hurtful and offensive”.
A community radio station in the English city of Leeds has been fined £4000 after one of its homophobic advocated homophobic violence and branded gay people as “evil” and “shameful”.
The Fever 107.3 FM, a small local station dedicated to the Asian community, presenter Rubina Nasir, sometimes known as ‘Sister Ruby‘ made the revolting homophobic comments during August 2011.
The bigoted Nasir opened her Sister Ruby Ramadan Special 2011 show with a verse from the Quran (Sura Al-Nisa, verse 16) and then spouted her own interpretation of the verse, as being highly critical of mixed-faith marriages and also of same-sex relationships. She went on to discuss various historical events portrayed in the Quran in the context of her main focus on homosexuality.
The Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain is considering additional legal safeguards for its proposed equal marriage legislation in order to protect faith groups from the threat of legal action, if the legislation goes ahead, according to the Culture Secretary Maria Miller, reports Jason Shaw
During an interview with serious British newspaper the Telegraph, Mrs Miller said: “I would not introduce a Bill that would in any way impinge on a church’s power to decide who it marries. Faith groups should have the ability to control that. There are already clear protections within European law. Marriage is all about creating some stability in society.” she told the paper.
The possible introduction of protections for religious bodies in the bill comes after months of warnings from back bench MP‘s that European law increases the risk of faith organisations facing potential legal action if they refuse to provide gay couples with same-sex marriages.
The Bishop of Durham Justin Welby has been named as the next Archbishop of Canterbury, the head of the Church of England. The Eaton and Cambridge University educated man is a former oil trader and has only been the Bishop of Durham for a year will take of from the current archbishop, Dr Rowan Williams towards the end of the year.
Only last month, Dr Williams, admitted the Church of England’s attitude to gay relationships had often been harmful to gay people he had also said that while his leadership was “wrong” not to have advocated gay equality, David Cameron was wrong to have embarrassed the church over the issue of equal marriage.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson has launched another robust defence of the government’s policy on equal marriage.
Writing in the Independent, Mr Johnson expanded on some of the themes raised in his video and said:
“I have been asked to say something more in favour of gay marriage — and I do so gladly, because frankly I can’t see what the fuss is about.
“A couple of years ago someone asked whether I supported the idea and I was a bit flummoxed, because I thought it was already legal”.
“Marriage is an ancient human institution that is far older than any of the religions that are practised today.
“It may well be beloved by God, but no religion has ever had a monopoly on marriage”.