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IconRuth Pearce

Ruth Pearce

Ruth is a writer, activist, rock DJ and wannabe musician. She gains a somewhat masochistic satisfaction from juggling these interests with several part-time jobs and an ongoing PhD in Sociology. Articles, setlists and ramblings from Ruth can be found at her 'meta-blog', Ruth's Corner.

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Civil partnership bill to be debated in Jersey

Gay couples living in the Bailiwick of Jersey may soon be able to enter into a civil partnership.

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Torchwood to stay gay

Torchwood actor John Barrowman has confirmed that a new, US version of the Doctor Who spin-off will continue to feature lesbian, gay and bisexual scenes.

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Teenager fined £100 for ‘gay free zone’ stickers

An 18-year-old man has been fined for using threatening words and behaviour he put up a number of homophobic stickers in London’s East End.

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South African ambassador found guilty of hate speech

The Johannesburg Equality Court has ordered South Africa’s ambassador to Uganda to publicly apologise for a homophobic newspaper column he wrote in 2008.

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Conservative Jews ordain lesbian rabbi

The Conservative movement’s first openly gay rabbi has been ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.

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Moscow Pride marred by state violence

Attendees at Moscow Pride faced intimidation and violence for the sixth year running as the event was attacked by police, fascists and religious extremists.

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Queer activists close bank in NHS protest

LGBTQ collective Queer Resistance created a mock sexual health clinic during a protest outside of a London branch of branch yesterday. The event was part of a UK Uncut “Emergency Operation” opposing proposed changes to the NHS.

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Australian court case tackles the ambiguity of sperm donor rights

An Australian woman is taking a sperm donor to court in an attempt to remove his name from her daughter’s birth certificate. The case has led to debate over the role of sperm donors in the lives of children born to lesbian parents.

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Stats suggest Soho hate crime increase

Police figures indicate an increase in hate crimes reported from Soho, home of London’s gay district.

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Church of Scotland ends ban on gay ministers

The Church of Scotland’s annual General Assembly has voted to recognise ministers in same-sex relationships, ending a ban imposed in 2009.

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Equality body slams government proposals

Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission Trevor Phillips has warned that proposed changes to the body risk “turning it into an anonymous, cowed, nit-picking compliance factory”.

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Watchdog recommends decriminalisation in Kenya

The Kenya Human Rights Commission has published the country’s first major study into LGBTI inequalities. The report concludes with a call for new equality laws and the decriminalisation of same-sex acts.

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Maryland teenagers face hate crime trial after brutal attack upon trans woman

Two teenagers have been indicted on hate crime charges by a grand jury in Maryland, USA. The development comes one month after a trans woman was violently attacked in a McDonald’s restaurant.

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Lottery grant for Birmingham LGBT centre

Birmingham LGBT Community Trust has been awarded a grant of £479,263 to develop an LGBT Health and Wellbeing centre for the city.

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Coronation Street star helps school celebrate IDAHOT

Coronation Street actress Julie Hesmondhalgh visited a Manchester school yesterday in support of the “Exceeding Expectations” campaign against homophobic and transphobic bullying.

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Word-of-mouth comedy nights raise thousands for charity

A comedy night with an all-female line-up has raised over for £1000 Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid.

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Anti Homosexuality Bill ‘dropped’ in Uganda

The Ugandan parliament adjourned today without discussing the Anti Homosexuality Bill. However, the proposed legislation may yet be debated at a later date.

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Cervical screening: have your say, win prizes!

Are you a lesbian or bisexual woman living in the North West? If so, you stand to win a £500 holiday voucher or one of several other great prizes by participating in a survey about cervical screening.

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Presbyterian Church USA approves gay ordination

The United States’ third largest church has ratified a measure that will enable the ordination of gay clergy.

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Anti-Homosexuality Bill revived in Uganda

A bill that would introduce the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality” will be voted upon by the Ugandan parliament within the next three days. Campaigners have launched an international petition in a final effort to defeat the bill.

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Cancer woe for lesbian and bisexual survivors

New research suggests that lesbian and bisexual women who survive cancer are approximately twice as likely to suffer poor health than their heterosexual counterparts.

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Civil unions legalised in Brazil

Brazil’s Supreme Court has ruled unanimously in favour of civil unions for same-sex couples. The decision will ensure that gay couples in a civil union have the same rights as a married heterosexual couple.

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South Africa government announces homophobia task force

The South African government has announced the creation of a task force to tackle violence against LGBTI people. The development comes in the wake of the latest brutal attack upon a gay woman.

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Lesbian activist wins international award

Ugandan human rights campaigner Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera has won the 2011 Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders: an accolade often referred to as “the Nobel Prize of human rights”.

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Lesbian lovers may face peak time ban

An independent review commissioned by the government could recommend that “indecent” imagery, such as lesbian kisses, be banned from pre-watershed television.

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LGBT activists arrested during royal wedding

Members of anti-cuts group Queer Resistance were arrested in central London today after gathering over a kilometre away from the royal wedding celebrations.

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Cameron plays down sexist remark

The Prime Minister has dismissed claims of sexism over his behaviour at Prime Minister’s Question Time this week. David Cameron told shadow chief secretary to the treasury Angela Eagle to “calm down” during the session.

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US church halts heterosexual marriages

A church congregation in the US state of Kentucky has voted unanimously to halt the signing of marriage licenses for heterosexual couples. The move is a protest against unequal marriage laws.

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Queer zombies plan Royal Wedding ‘celebration’

Anti-cuts collective Queer Resistance are planning to participate in a “zombie flashmob” during the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton this Friday.

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Catholic charity loses gay adoption appeal

Leeds-based adoption agency Catholic Care has lost its battle against equality laws. The charity had argued for the right to turn away gay couples on religious grounds.

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Rachel Maddow: gay news presenters ‘have a responsibility to come out’

US television presenter Rachel Maddow has called upon other gay news anchors to come out.

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Scottish parties back gay marriage ahead of polls

Four of the five parties who currently hold seats in the Scottish Parliament have promised progress towards equal marriage. Scotland will elect a new Parliament two weeks from today.

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‘True Blood’ star Evan Rachel Wood comes out

American actress and singer Evan Rachel Wood has come out as bisexual.

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Lesbian Spider Queen goes viral

An 8-bit game themed around retro sci-fi lesbian bondage has become a massive hit. Lesbian Spider Queen of Mars has been played almost 120,000 times since its launch two weeks ago.

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Manx church group backs gay adoption

A major church-based adoption service has spoken out in favour of new gay adoption rights in the Isle of Man.

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‘Homophobic’ charity gets £89,000 to support troubled teens

The Catholic Children’s Society have been awarded an £89,000 to “help and support [school] students” in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. The charity is known for its anti-gay views.

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Government consults on scrapping Equality Act

The government is asking if the Equality Act should be “scrapped” as part of its Red Tape Challenge website. The site invites businesses and members of the public to comment upon legal regulations.

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Moscow Pride ban overturned

The European Court of Human Rights has rejected an appeal by the Russian government that sought to uphold a ban on Pride marches. Moscow Gay Pride will go ahead on 28th May.

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‘Homophobic’ charity wins sex trafficking contract

The Salvation Army has won a £6 million contract from the government to run ‘Poppy Project’ services for victims of sex trafficking. The evangelical Christian charity will take over from Eaves, the feminist organisation that pioneered the Poppy Project.

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Council of Europe to support LBT women

Lesbian, bisexual and trans women are explicitly included in a new Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women.

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Lesbian judge fights for international rights

A judge from Chile is taking her fight against discrimination to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in Washington DC after losing custody of her three children.

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Christina Aguilera tops ‘empowering’ gay song poll

“Beautiful”, the 2003 hit from Christina Aguilera, has been voted “the most empowering pop song of the last decade” in a poll for lesbian, gay and bisexual people commissioned by Stonewall.

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EU moves to protect LGBT asylum seekers

The European Parliament voted on new EU-wide procedures for handling asylum claims yesterday. During the session, members backed amendments that will provide particular protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people.

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Public bodies to promote LGBT equality

A new public sector equality duty has been introduced as part of the Equality Act 2010. This measure puts a legal duty on public bodies to actively promote equality.

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Guernsey islanders petition for civil partnership

Campaigners in Guernsey have collected hundreds of signatures in a petition calling for civil partnership in the Crown Dependency.

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Lesbian police officer wins discrimination case

A police officer has successfully sued her former employers for discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. PC Tracey West suffered over six months of homophobic abuse.

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Bigotry rife in English country villages, claims study

Researchers say that a large proportion of rural residents want their villages and towns to remain “white, heterosexual, middle-class, conformist, family-orientated, church-going, conservative and ‘safe’”.

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LGB audiences slam stereotyping in films

Lesbian, gay and bisexual people feel that they are negatively and inaccurately represented within films, according to a major study backed by the UK Film Council.

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Ugandan leaders strive to shelve Anti-Homosexuality Bill

The Ugandan government is attempting to halt the progress of the controversial Anti-Homosexuality Bill. If passed, the bill will introduce the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality” alongside imprisonment for activists and allies.

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Dual discrimination protections scrapped in Budget

The government is removing protection on the grounds of dual discrimination from the Equality Act as part of George Osbourne’s “Budget for Growth”. The Treasury claims that it will save UK businesses £350 million by scrapping a number of existing regulations.

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Apple pulls the plug on ‘gay cure’ app

An app designed to “help” individuals “struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction” has been withdrawn following a furious campaign by LGBT rights groups.

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‘Gay only’ fertility clinic opens in Birmingham

A lesbian couple have opened the UK’s first fertility clinic for same-sex couples in Digbeth, Birmingham.

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Put your cervix in the spotlight

The Lesbian and Gay Foundation (LGF) have launched a new awareness trailer for their cervical screening campaign. “Put Your Cervix in the Spotlight” challenges you to find as many ladies as possible in 60 seconds, and also provides some interesting facts about cervical screening for lesbian and bisexual women.

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US tells UN to fight for our rights

The Obama administration has backed an LGBT rights initiative at the United Nations Human Rights Council. Over 80 countries signed a non-binding resolution urging the body to end homophobic and transphobic violence.

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Lesbian and bisexual women urged to march against cuts

LGBT campaigners, trade unions and student groups are calling upon lesbian and bisexual women to take part in the anti-cuts “March for the Alternative” in London this weekend.

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Channel 4 commits to fair portrayal of trans people

Channel 4 have become the first major signatories to a Memorandum of Understanding produced by lobby group Trans Media Watch. The document promotes respect for trans people in the media as well as the elimination of transphobia and misinformation.

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Lady Gaga censored by Malaysian radio

“Offensive” LGBT content has been removed from Lady Gaga’s most recent single by Malaysian radio stations. Station chiefs argue that the song contravenes government guidance on appropriate moral content.

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LGBT asylum seekers denied appeal rights

A number of countries in which people are likely to face violent intolerance because of their sexual orientation or gender identity are regarded by the government as “safe” places from which to mount asylum appeals, according to Conservative peer Lord Atlee.

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‘Is homosexuality un-African?’ asks BBC

The BBC will air a provocatively titled debate tonight that asks if “homosexuality” is “un-African”. Amongst the programme’s guest speakers is Ugandan MP David Bahati, a a proponent of the death penalty for gay people.

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Dana International set for Eurovision comeback

Former Eurovision Song Contest winner Dana International will return to the competition this year after being chosen to represent Israel for the second time.

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LGBT student leaders back lecturer strike

The National Union of Students LGBT campaign has announced its support for potential strike action from teachers and lecturers.

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Cameron supports anti-gay foster ban

The Prime Minister has spoken out in support of a recent High Court ruling against fostering for homophobes.

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Quintuplets born to Australian women

A lesbian couple in Australia are celebrating the birth of quintuplets. The odds of Melissa Keevers becoming pregnant with the babies without IVF were reportedly over one in 60 million.

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British schools fail to protect LGBT children

New research from the Equality and Human Rights Commission reveals the extent of homophobic and transphobic bullying in British schools. The damning report recommends that both schools and local authorities do more to help LGBT pupils.

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No fostering for homophobes, says High Court

The High Court upheld a ban on anti-gay respite care yesterday. Eunice and Owen Johns were barred from fostering by Derby City Council after refusing to comply with new guidelines that prevent them from teaching children that homosexuality is wrong.

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Church of England to block gay marriage

The Archbishop of Canterbury has outlined the Church of England’s opposition to equal marriage rights. Dr Rowan Williams told a private meeting of influential MPs that the Church does not support moves towards equal marriage rights, and will refuse to host same-sex civil partnerships.

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Virtual vigilantes target homophobic cult

A faction of the Anonymous collective have taken down godhatesfags.com, the Westboro Baptist Church home page. The website was attacked during a TV debate yesterday following an extended stand-off between the two groups.

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Stop aid for homophobic countries, says MEP

A Conservative member of the European Parliament has suggested that African countries should respect gay rights as a condition for financial aid.

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Community to counter prejudice with Pride

East London residents are organising a Pride demonstration in the wake of a homophobic sticker campaign. A Facebook group in support of the event has seen over 700 people join in a matter of hours.

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Gay charity parodies famous flicks

The Lesbian & Gay Foundation have released a series of short films aimed at encouraging lesbian and bisexual women to access cervical screening services. The Youtube “screenings” pay tribute to a number of famous movies.

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Grand plans for Liverpool’s gay village

Liverpool’s city council has unveiled plans to redevelop and promote its gay quarter.

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Budapest Pride ban overturned

The Budapest Metropolitan Court has reversed a police ban on Pride in the Hungarian capital. The court refuted police claims that the march would cause an undue disruption of traffic.

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Belarus activists hold first legal rally

Activists held the first ever officially sanctioned LGBT demonstration in Minsk earlier this week. A dozen people protested outside of the Justice Ministry, where they demanded equal rights and an end to prejudice.

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Singapore censors limit release of lesbian film

The Oscar-nominated lesbian flick The Kids Are All Right has received a restrictive rating in Singapore, with its release also being limited to just one print. The move has shocked local cinema fans and film-makers.

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Gay marriage consultation causes media storm

Lynne Featherstone has announced a government consultation that will “formally look at what steps can be taken” to address the differences between marriage and civil partnership. The equality minister’s statement has led to speculation over the future of both institutions.

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Catholic app offers ‘cyber spiritual abuse’

A new iphone app has come under fire from LGBT groups for promoting the idea that homosexuality is a sin.

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Success for South African anti-rape campaign

A small group of lesbian activists have won a meeting with South Africa’s Justice Ministry after their campaign against corrective rape went viral. Anti-rape charity Luleki Sizwe obtained massive international support for an online petition targeting lawmakers.

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Lady Gaga releases gay anthem, hatches from giant egg

“Born This Way”, the latest single from Lady Gaga, has topped the itunes charts in 21 countries. It also hit #3 in last week’s UK singles chart, despite having only being released as a digital download on Friday.

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Religious gay partnerships to be legalised

Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone is expected to announce a move to legalise civil partnerships in religious venues during the next few days. The change will be a step towards marriage equality, but stops short of full gay marriage rights.

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Jobcentre tells woman to dress like a man

An inquiry has been launched after staff at a Darlington Jobcentre allegedly told a trans woman that she should dress as a man for job interviews.

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Lesbian asylum seeker released from detention

A Ugandan woman who fears persecution because of her sexual orientation was released from Yarl’s Wood detention centre last night. She has until Friday to produce new evidence to support her asylum claim.

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Gay divorce ban leaves ex-lovers in the lurch

A lesbian couple in the United States have been told by a judge that they cannot divorce.

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Controversial government drugs advisor sacked

A right-wing Christian activist has been removed from a government advisory panel because of his homophobic views. The Home Office says that Dr Hans-Christian Raab failed to mention his controversial opinions when interviewed for the role.

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Hate crime stats soar in Scotland

Homophobic hate crimes have almost doubled in Scotland over the last two years, according to new figures. The number of recorded cases has risen from 364 incidences in 2007-08 to 666 incidences in 2009-10.

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Amanda Palmer releases new album

Bisexual punk cabaret icon Amanda Palmer has released a new full-length album, her first since 2008. “Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under” is available from just US$0.69 (43p).

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Mexican brewer launches queer beer

A Mexican company has launched a new, “honey flavoured” beer that has been designed specifically for LGBT consumers.

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Homophobia makes us sick

Newly published research points to a link between homophobic abuse and hormonal imbalances in young lesbian, gay and bisexual adults. Individuals who lived in homophobic environments were shown to have higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

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Wales embraces LGBT History Month

An LGBT organisation has been awarded £49,600 to research lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans history in Wales. The grant comes as the LGBT Excellence Centre Wales gears up a large number of events during History Month.

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Discrimination linked to disastrous mental health

A new study reveals that lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals are more likely to experience mental health problems than heterosexual people. It suggests that high rates of unhappiness, alcohol dependence, drug abuse, anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts and and self-harm are influenced by homophobic and biphobic discrimination.

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Anglican bishops condemn homophobia

The majority of Anglican leaders have followed Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, in condemning the “victimisation or diminishment” of gay women and men.

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French marriage ban ruled constitutional

A lesbian couple have lost their case against France’s gay marriage ban in the constitutional court. The court ruled that any change to the law must come from legislators in parliament.

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Lesbian faces Uganda deportation

The UK border agency plans to deport a gay woman to Uganda on Friday. Brenda Namigadde fled the country in 2003 after her relationship with another woman led to threats and the destruction of her home. She faces imprisonment upon her return.

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LGBT lessons planned for History Month

Teachers will be encouraged to integrate lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans issues into school classes in a scheme to be launched during LGBT History Month. Lesson plans will be made available to every school in the country from February.

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Anti-gay GP appointed as government drug advisor

A GP and right-wing Christian activist who has linked “the homosexual lifestyle” to drug abuse and paedophilia has been appointed to the Advisory Committee on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD).

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Lesbian students get police protection in Delhi

A lesbian couple in Dehli, India have been provided with police protection in order to attend their exams. The two women – both aged 21 – allegedly received threats from family members after their relationship was revealed.

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Tory tweet under scrutiny

Conservative MEP Roger Helmer has received heavy criticism after comparing gay conversion therapy to genital reassignment surgery in a post on Twitter.

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Conversion therapist may be struck off

Psychotherapist Lesley Pilkington, who offers treatment for people with “a homosexual problem”, is due to appear before a professional conduct panel this week.

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Leslie Feinberg condemns sister from sickbed

Leslie Feinberg, the acclaimed American author of “Stone Butch Blues”, “Drag King Dreams” and “Transgender Warriors” issued a statement yesterday in response to the publication of a novel written by hir estranged sibling.

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‘God Hates Fags’ cult cancels child funeral picket

An extreme US religious sect that frequently protests against “fag-enabling” called off a picket outside the funeral of a young child today. The nine year-old was one of six people killed by a gunman in Arizona last Saturday. The Westboro Baptist Church apparently agreed to cancel their protest in return for live radio air-time.