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Gay London Couple Denied Housing For Not Being A 'Regular Couple'

George Poole and Matthew Greenaway

Greg Rutherford - the Olympic athlete who bears a striking resemblence to Neil Patrick Harris - had a pair of friends looking for housing in Clapham, south London. The couple, who are gay men, found a promising ad through Gumtree, but when they contacted the landlord they received a less than hospitable (though polite) response:

"Hi guys, sorry but we are looking for a regular couple. Thanks for understanding."

George Poole, one of the two men denied housing, said when he spoke with the Standard:

It is weird - it is so backward. We all come into this world as equals so why can we not all be treated as equals? Especially somewhere like London - you would not expect that. And Clapham itself is generally considered quite gay friendly.

Unfortunately for the landlord, denying housing based on orientation runs afoul of the Equality Act 2010 which makes such a denial illegal, so turbulent times may be in his near future.


BBC Exposes Sham Gay Weddings To Circumvent Immigration Laws: VIDEO

Sham gay weddings london

An increasing number of same-sex weddings in London are shams designed to get around immigration laws.

Despite a government clampdown, these fake weddings have more than trebled in number in recent years.

The BBC’s Inside Out London went undercover to expose the fraud and discovered one gang that organises sham gay marriages for £10,000.

The gang's leaders, who boasted they had "fixed" weddings "lots of times,” offered two potential fake Romanian brides to the reporter, both of whom stated they were not lesbians but were willing to pretend to be gay and marry anyone for cash.

One of the potential brides said she had organised six previous sham weddings and knew how to deceive immigration officers.

She added that she could also arrange a "romantic" photo shoot of the undercover reporter and herself, designed to persuade the authorities that they were in a genuine relationship.

Minister for Immigration and Security James Brokenshire has ordered his enforcement teams to launch an investigation into sham gay weddings as a result of the BBC report.

Watch a clip of the BBC report, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Life-sized Amy Winehouse Memorial Statue Unveiled in London - VIDEO

Statue

Fans from across the world travelled to Camden, north London, yesterday to celebrate the unveiling of a bronze statue of the late Amy Winehouse. Collaboratively designed by sculptor Scott Eaton and Winehouse’s father Mitch, the statue depicts Amy with her trademark beehive bouffant and a star of David.

"The hand on the hip, the turn of the head, the grabbing of the skirt, the turned in foot - these are all small elements that contribute to the personality of the piece,” Eaton told The Guardian.

The unveiling marks the three year anniversary of Amy Winehouse’s untimely death after a long, public battle with alcohol and drug addiction. Following her death by accidental alcohol poisoning, Winehouse’s father established The Amy Winehouse Foundation that focuses on providing drug abuse in youth communities.

"They don't put statues up for people who are with us anymore so it reinforces the fact that physically she's gone but spiritually she'll never leave us,” said Mitch Winehouse after adorning the statue with a living red rose. “We shouldn't be here but we are, this is the reality and we've just got to make the most of it. Getting people to come here, spend some time with Amy and put a flower in her hair and remember her in a very positive way. That for me is wonderful.”

Watch video of Amy Winehouse’s memorial statue unveiling AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Life-sized Amy Winehouse Memorial Statue Unveiled in London - VIDEO" »


Anti-Gay Sultan of Brunei Eyeing Iconic New York Hotels - VIDEO

Sultan

Hassanal Bolkiah, the homophobic Sultan of Brunei, has offered to pay around $2 billion to buy New York’s Plaza Hotel, along with Grosvenor House in London and the Dream Hotel in lower Manhattan, reports Huffington Post.

Bolkiah has faced severe criticism for Brunei’s new penal code which includes death by stoning as a punishment for homosexuality.

A number of celebrities - including Virgin founder and CEO Richard Branson - have protested against the Brunei-owned luxury hotel operator Dorchester Collection following the implementation of the country’s anti-gay laws. However, Russell Crowe announced his support for Dorchester, claiming that protests would “throw employees under the bus to make a political point.”

A statement from the hotel chain said that the company continues to “abide by the laws of the countries we operate in and do not tolerate any form of discrimination of any kind.”

However, activist group Human Rights Campaign’s Director of Global Engagement Ty Cobb said “the American profit stream that flows from [Bolkiah’s] hotels back to his regime needs to stop. We urge all New Yorkers to have one simple and straight-forward message for the Sultan: take your business elsewhere."

Watch a CBS News report, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Anti-Gay Sultan of Brunei Eyeing Iconic New York Hotels - VIDEO" »


Christian Ex-gay Org Loses Court Battle Over London Bus Ads

BusCore Issues Trust — a Christianist group that sought to promote ex-gay therapy via London bus advertisements — have lost their appeal of a lower court ruling the absolved London Mayor Boris Johnson of any impropriety in banning their ads.

Making good on his 2008 pledge to make London the most “gay-friendly city in the world,” in 2012 Johnson banned the bus advertisements.

The ads read, “Not Gay! Ex-Gay, Post-Gay and Proud. Get over it!” and were a parody of similar ads placed by the UK LGBT group Stonewall that read, “Some people are gay. Get over it!”

In retaliation, the group sued even going so far to accuse Johnson for banning the adverts to court the gay vote during the 2012 election. In 2013, a judge ruled narrowly in favor of Johnson’s ban


Campaign Launched To Recognize Elizabeth Taylor's HIV/AIDS Work

Elizabeth_Taylor_1953

English television presenter and journalist Matthew Wright has said that Elizabeth Taylor should be honored for her campaigning work with HIV and AIDS.

Speaking to Gay Times, Wright describes the moment he met Taylor when she was in England to receive the BAFTA Academy Fellowship Award.  At the end of the night, Wright says that the actress asked him to promise that after she died he would make sure that she received an English Heritage blue plaque on the house in London where she was born.

Wright said that Taylor changed the world’s perceptions towards HIV and AIDS when she established the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation in 1991:

“At the time when she set up her charity, people thought you could catch HIV from standing too near to someone who was gay, and all other kinds of homophobic nonsense and ignorance. The fact that she was so iconic certainly had an impact. If someone like Elizabeth Taylor is going to embrace a cause – kind of like Princess Diana, actually, who also did fantastic work with HIV and AIDS – it’s going to change the way people think.”

When Taylor died in 2011, Wright was told by English Heritage that in order to qualify for a blue plaque, a recipient must be dead for a minimum of 20 years.

However, some London boroughs waive the requirement.  Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell was honoured with a plaque outside his London home in 2010.

Wright has launched a petition to get Taylor recognized with a blue plaque.


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