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March 25, 2015

Former Trade Minister Lord Davies reveals that almost one in four UK board members are now female – but challenges remain to boost that number further

The number of female board members in FTSE 100 companies has nearly doubled since 2011 – rising from 12.5% then to 23.5% in early 2015.

The statistics were announced today by former Trade Minister, Mervyn Davies, Lord Davies of Abersoch.

Following the formation of the UK’s coalition government in 2010, a target was set by then Minister, Lord Davies, following a request from Business Secretary, Vince Cable.

March 21, 2015

Lesbian MSP Ruth Davidson replied 'Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?' to twitter troll calling her 'miserable cunt'

The Scottish National Party (SNP) has taken a clear stance against homophobia following an SNP member tweeting abuse at the homosexual leader of another Scottish party.     

Marc Hughes sent what was described as ‘vile and offensive’ homophobic tweets to Ruth Davidson MSP, the openly lesbian leader of the Scottish Conservatives.

March 20, 2015

'Transgenders have been deprived of education, employment opportunities, begging on the streets and going through gross neglect'

West Bengal state cabinet Wednesday (18 March) approved the formation of  a Transgender Development Board, the first of its kind in India.

Sashi Panja, minister-in-charge for women and child development, said Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra states had transgender boards, but they were focused on welfare, not development.

'Quite often we have seen that they (transgenders) have been deprived of education, employment opportunities, begging on the streets and going through gross neglect,' she said.

March 18, 2015

Committee wants to avoid a repeat of the Sochi boycotts

Japanese lawmakers Tuesday (17 March) formed a cross-party group to stamp out anti-gay discrimination in the country by the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Hiroshi Hase, Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) member and leader of the committee, said they wanted to avoid a repeat of the Sochi boycotts over Russia's anti-gay law.

'As it hosts the Olympic Games, there is no doubt that Japanese society will be questioned on how it treats its sexual minorities,' he said.

'We must substantiate the principles described in the basic plan of the Games.'

March 13, 2015

Perverting the Constitution and religious freedom

State legislatures across the country are disenfranchising LGBTI Americans.

Lawmakers are introducing a surprising number of bills in state legislative sessions, overtly sanctioning and enforcing discrimination. These bills are called Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRA), but don’t be fooled. These politicians are looking to codify LGBTI discrimination.

This week the Georgia Senate, with a vote of 37-15, approved their controversial RFRA (House Bill 1023).

March 13, 2015

The BFI's Flare Film Festival in London will open with new film starring James Franco and Zachary Quinto

The BFI’s Flare Festival is the annual LGBT Film Festival held in London. As an LGBT film festival it’s a big deal, plus it’s a vibrant social event – you are pretty much guaranteed to run into everyone that you know in London as you dash between screenings in the Southbank complex beneath Waterloo Bridge.

Opening the festival this year will be I Am Michael, a movie directed by Justin Kelly and starring James Franco and Zachary Quinto.

This is an interesting movie.

March 13, 2015

National AIDS Trust ‘deeply concerned’ by cuts
 

A 50% cut in a HIV prevention project funding could have grave consequences, the UK's National AIDS Trust (NAT) has warned today.

The funding for the programme HIV Prevention England (HPE) has been halved from £2.4 million ($3.5 million €3.4 million) to £1.2 million ($1.8 million €1.7 million),with a further £1.2 million allocated to a mixture of testing services and grants.

 

 

NAT CEO Deborah Gold said today (13 March): ‘We are deeply concerned about the level of upheaval to HIV prevention provision across the country.

March 9, 2015

More women are being promoted to the boardroom level, but not enough to hit a 25% Government target set back in 2011

The UK government’s target for women to hold a quarter of FTSE 100 board directorships looks unlikely to be achieved before May’s General Election, reports the Financial Times.

The target was set in February 2011 by former trade minister Lord Davies, who had been asked by business secretary, Vince Cable, in 2010 to look at ways to boost the number of women on corporate boards.

March 7, 2015

An increasing number of LGBT people are coming forward to adopt

The UK's Department of Education announced this week that adoption rates by LGBT parents have it a record high.

Loving, stable homes have been offered to more than 480 children in the past 12 months, thanks to LGBT couples and individuals.

The news comes as part of the UK’s LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week, taking place until 8 March 2015, marking the contribution and commitment of the nation’s LGBT adopters and foster carers.

March 5, 2015

Australia, USA and Israel among countries asked to clarify rights of traveling British wedded same sex couples
 

British married gay couples hoping to travel will soon know their rights abroad in more than 70 countries, following a request from the UK government.

Equalities minister Jo Swinson has requested that countries including Australia, Israel and the US make clear how safe it is for married gay tourists.

More than 70 government authorities have been questioned to clarify the rights of gay people while working, travelling or living abroad- which has been a grey area.

February 26, 2015

Over 30,000 of the signatures come from Northern Ireland residents

Almost 150,000 people have signed a petition against Northern Ireland's proposed 'Freedom of Conscience' bill. 

In December, DUP minister Paul Given introduced the bill to the Northern Ireland legislative assembly, which would allow people with strongly held religious views to deny access to goods, facilities and services on the grounds of sexual orientation. 

February 25, 2015

Our laws as they stand are having an unjust and disproportionate impact on those of religious faith', says Northern Ireland Bishop

The Catholic Church has spoken out in favour of a proposed equality clause that would permit anti-gay discrimination.

In December, DUP minister Paul Given introduced his Freedom of Conscience Bill to the Northern Ireland legislative assembly, which would allow people with strongly held religious views to deny access to goods, facilities and services on the grounds of sexual orientation. 

February 25, 2015

The Head of Government Affairs for the professional business services firm, ARUP, on why he decided to set up a company LGBT network

‘You’re about to move from Westminster to the private sector, you might want to think about holding back a bit, you know...with your personal life.’

Such was the parting advice of a Government Minister with whom I had worked for a number of years, shouted loudly in my ear over the music of my leaving party.

February 23, 2015

State government calls for review of family law

Victoria is one step closer to allowing gay adoption after the state government made good an election pledge and called for a review of family law.

The Labor government commissioned the review, to be led by Eamonn Moran PSM QC, to determine what legal changes are needed to permit adoption by same-sex couples under Victorian law.

The Moran is to report to state equalities minister, Martin Foley, by 8 May.

February 13, 2015

The 67-year-old former politician has used the opportunity to speak out for same-sex marriage

Ireland's former equality minister Pat Carey has come out as gay.

The Fianna Fáil minister has said current Health Minister Leo Varadkar, who came out last month, inspired him to do the same.

'My only regret is that I didn’t have the courage or confidence to [come out while I was in politics],' he told the Irish Times.

'When I look back it’s an awful pity I didn’t feel able to do that. Nobody stopped me, but I wasn’t sure how it would be received.

February 13, 2015

Research from Germany suggests that religious groups are aggressively opposing gay rights

It's hard to avoid the feeling that the world is becoming a more dangerous place, particularly for cartoonists, aid workers, journalists, or anyone prepared to make a stand, question the unquestionable or to speak up when it would perhaps be safer to remain silent.

February 11, 2015

Woman kneels in protest of a judge who refuses to wed same-sex couples

An Alabama minister yesterday (10 February) was arrested and charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct after trying to perform a gay marriage.

Deputies found Anne Diprizio, 43, kneeling on the floor of Autauga County Probate Office in protest of judge Al Booth. 

The dispute occurred after two women, Courtney Cannon and Morgan Plunkett, obtained a marriage license and Diprizio offered to wed them right then and there.

However, Booth said the office stopped performing all ceremonies on Friday – when gay marriage became legal in Alabama.

February 6, 2015

'This community should be treated as any other human being'

Nepal's minister for information and communication has said the government is ready to amend discriminatory legal provisions against sexual minorities.

Speaking on Wednesday (4 Febuary) at the first day of a three-day South Asian transgender and hijra consultation in Kathmandu, Minendra Rijal said the government had started the process by issuing passports with a third gender.

February 1, 2015

His participation as a premier is a first in the event's 20-year history

It's the first time a state premier has taken part or led a gay pride march in the Australian state of Victoria.

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews, who was accompanied by his wife Catherine, led the march as it celebrated its 20th anniversary today with 141 groups participating and 4,000 people marching down Fitzroy Street in St Kilda today.

The parade is part of Melbourne's annual Midsumma gay and lesbian festival which attracts up to 50,000 people a year.

January 31, 2015

The proposed ‘conscience clause’ would allow people to refuse goods or services to LGBTI people on the grounds of strongly-held religious beliefs 

LGBTI activists are rallying against a new bill proposal which they fear could legitimise anti-gay discrimination in Northern Ireland.

The proposed ‘conscience clause’ is a measure which could allow people to refuse goods or services to gay and lesbian people on the ground of their strongly-held religious beliefs.

January 25, 2015

The health minister, Leo Varadkar, who came out as gay last week, is reviewing options presented to him by the Irish Blood Transfusion Service

Ireland’s Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar, who recently came out as gay, has indicated that the country’s ban on gay and bisexual men giving blood may be relaxed.

Currently, gay and bisexual men are barred from donating blood – a measure introduced in 1985 following the emergence of HIV and AIDS.

January 25, 2015

The general, who is married to a woman, says he knows of others senior military who are similarly fearful of discussing their sexuality

A senior general in the British Army has revealed to a newspaper that he is gay and is deciding whether to publicly out himself. The man in question is married to a woman and has children.

January 20, 2015

The Australian Capital Territory Government has announced that Labor Legislative Assembly member Yvette Berry will be given an LGBTI Equality portfolio – joining the state of Victoria as Australian jurisdictions to have a government Minister for Equality

Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Labor lawmaker Yvette Berry has become only the second person in the history of Australian politics to be given a ministerial portfolio that covers LGBTI Equality.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr made the announcement earlier today as part of an expected cabinet reshuffle, handing Berry ministerial responsibility for the areas of Housing, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Community Services, Multicultural Affairs, Women, and Social Inclusion and Equality.

January 18, 2015

Leo Varadkar, the Irish Minister for Health, announced on a radio show this morning he is gay and wants to be an equal citizen in his own country

‘I want to be an equal citizen in my own country,’ said Irish Minister for Health Leo Varadkar on the radio this morning (18 January).

Varadkar was speaking to Miriam O’Callaghan on RTÉ Radio one this morning when he publicly announced he is gay.

He said he wanted to be honest ahead of the Irish referendum on gay marriage.

‘I am a gay man, it’s not a secret but it’s not something that everybody would know,’ he said.

‘I have always put the career and job and politics first. I am a very private person.