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Gay Couple of 49 Years Among First to Convert Civil Partnership to Marriage in England

A gay couple together for almost 49 years were among the first to be married under new laws in England allowing civil partnerships to be converted to marriage, reports LogoTV.

Roger192Roger Lockyer (87) and Percy Steven (75) were among the first couples in England to enter into a civil partnership in 2005.

Lockyer said:

“To me, it feels like reaching the top. We really are married. Which is what we have been for nearly half a century of course. But to have formal recognition of that I think is something that’s so unexpected and wonderful.”

Steven said that he is most looking forward to finally joining the couple’s utility accounts because he can now “ask for an account in both names.”

Same-sex marriage became legal in Scotland on Tuesday.  Northern Ireland is now the only part of the UK where gay marriage remains illegal.


Erasure Song Inspires London Tube Sing-Along: VIDEO

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While waiting for the Tube in Kentish Town, North London, a man decided to pass the time by bursting into a musical number, as ITV points out. While the impulse may be fairly common, this man did what many only dreamed of and brazenly threw caution to the wind. His tune of choice? Erasure's 80s hit "A Little Respect." Soon, the entire crowd waiting on the platform got in on the sing-along.

Watch as the travelers appeal for a little respect, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Erasure Song Inspires London Tube Sing-Along: VIDEO" »


British ACT UP Activists Dump Cow Dung Outside Anti-Gay Party's Offices On World AIDS Day: VIDEO

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ACT UP: London is back, and they aren't taking any more B.S. 

Activists from the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power say they dumped half a ton of cow dung outside the UK Independent Party's South London headquarters on Monday, in response to statements by UKIP leader Nigel Farage that people living with HiV should be barred from migrating to Britain.  

Gay Star News reports that the World AIDS Day action symbolizes a resurgence for ACT UP: London, which has been less visible over the last 10 years. 

Activists adorned the "fresh and steaming" pile of crap with a red AIDS ribbon and also hung a banner saying "what goes around comes around." 

ACT UP's Gary Hunter said: 

“We’ve had enough of UKIP’s misinformation and offensive attacks on minorities. We wanted to show Farage that people living with HIV aren’t going to take his B.S. any longer – so we’ve returned it. The vile crap that UKIP keeps spreading stigmatises and ostracises people living with HIV, gay people and immigrants. We thought this steaming pile of muck was a great representation of what we, as HIV-positive people, think of UKIP’s agenda.”

Earlier this year, when asked what types of people should be allowed to migrate to Britain, Farage told Newsweek Europe:  

"People who do not have HIV, to be frank. That’s a good start. And people with a skill.”

The U.K. has never barred immigrants with HIV, even at the height of fear and stigma in the 1980s. Only 12 percent of countries currently deport people with HIV, and the US lifted its HIV travel ban in 2009. 

Farage is not the only member of UKIP to make homophobic comments of late. Earlier this year, UKIP suspended its councillor David Silvester after he said flooding that hit the UK in December and January was caused by same-sex marriage. And last month, the former deputy leader of UKIP, Lord Christopher Monckton, said gay people lead a "deathstyle" and have up to 20,000 partners in their "short, miserable lives." 

ACT UP activist Mario Azeitona said: 

"UKIP keep saying that they speak for ordinary British people, but the vast majority of people totally reject their poisonous views. We are sending a message back to them that they do not represent the Britain most of us know – based on respect, solidarity and community. We hope others who’ve been targeted by UKIP follow our lead so that wherever Farage goes he meets people rejecting his crap and returning it to him. UKIP stink, so Farage better get used to the smell of his own B.S.”

Watch ACT UP activist Dan Glass explain the protest in a video, AFTER THE JUMP ...  

Continue reading "British ACT UP Activists Dump Cow Dung Outside Anti-Gay Party's Offices On World AIDS Day: VIDEO" »


Gay London Businessman Ivan Massow Announces Bid For Mayor In 2016

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 12.57.41 PMOpenly gay businessman and entrepreneur Ivan Massow is running for Mayor of London in 2016 reports Pink NewsMassow is known for his work offering financial services and insurance catered to gay people during the 1990s and announced his bid today to succeed Boris Johnson, who is returning to parliament. Massow says he's eager to serve London and stressed his love for the city in his announcement.

Said Massow:

"As a campaigner against discrimination I know that there is nowhere on earth I would rather live than London.

"A vibrant, dynamic and open-minded city, London is a living, breathing example to the world of what a successful multicultural society should look and feel like. I felt welcome when I came here."

Massow is a long-time member of the Conservative party, but briefly defected to the Labour party to repeal Section 28, an anti-gay amendment that prohibits the "promotion," of homosexuality in schools. However, Massow issued comments about the gay community ahead of June 2013's Pride in London celebration that irked many in the community. 

Said Massow:

"Don’t misunderstand me: I enjoy apps like Grindr (gay dating apps that supply you with a photo and precise distance of your nearest shag) as much as the next man. I admit to recreational drugs use in my distant past.

"But am I the only one to notice that the gay scene today seems obsessed with drugs? Obsessed with sex. Unable to take responsibility for its part in the spread of HIV. Inhabiting a soulless and empty world of hedonism.

"In fact, as many thousands prepare to descend on central London this weekend, I am finding it difficult to be proud."

Massow went on to say that drug culture is becoming glamorized within gay culture, and that some within the community hide behind anti-discrimination laws to excuse it. Massow also slammed BB (Bareback) sex parties and those treating HIV as a mere "Inconvenience." Massow defended his comments while addressing criticisms of hypocrisy.

MassowSaid Massow:

"I don’t want our community to deal with this just because I find our behaviour embarrassing. God only knows I’ve embarrassed myself enough not to throw stones. I think fun in moderation is great.

"I’m making the point because it’s a miserable way to live. Chemically induced highs and kids addicted to ‘chem-sex’ is all fake bollocks. Bollocks that leads to depression and, frequently, death. Bollocks that is just plain boring and ultimately empty."

Massow's comments come after U.K.'s National Aids Trust Fund reported in 2013 that drug rates and HIV infection are rapidly rising. Given Massow's statements, It's unclear whether Massow intends to address the issue in his run for office. 


'Homophobic Attack' in Manchester's Gay Village Leaves Rugby Player With Broken Jaw

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Manchester police are searching for a man (pictured above) in connection with a homophobic attack on Canal Street over the weekend that left a gay ruby player with a broken jaw.

Tom, 24, whose last name is being withheld, was promoting his LGBT rugby team, the Manchester Village Spartans, when the attack took place, Manchester Evening News reports:

Gareth Longley, spokesman for the Village Spartans, said: "We had been out on a recruitment drive that Saturday, and most of us were wearing Halloween outfits and had painted faces. We were just telling people what the club is about and trying to get new players and more support.

"When they walked into the Village a group of guys were making homophobic remarks at passers by. Our players walked up to them and everything calmed down and (the player) started chatting to them about the Spartans. One of the other group took offence and punched him in the face."

Det Con Louise Kelly, of GMP’s North Manchester division, said: “We believe this to be a homophobic attack and I want to make it clear that this kind of behaviour will not be tolerated on our streets.

Tom, who had to have a metal plate inserted into his face to repair his jaw, says the attack has left him shaken:

“It’s affected how I feel about going out in the Village and the gay scene in general. I was attacked on Canal Street, which is supposed to be a safe environment. I’m also not able to play rugby for three months while the plates in my jaw heal.”


Challenge To Northern Ireland's Same-Sex Marriage Ban Launched - VIDEO

Gay marriage ban northern ireland

Gay rights campaigners in Northern Ireland are preparing a challenge to the legitimacy of the province’s ban on same-sex marriage, reports Buzzfeed.

Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK where gay marriage remains illegal. Politicians at the Northern Irish Assembly have rejected motions calling for same-sex marriage on three occasions, most recently in April. This has been due in part to the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) invoking a “petition of concern” to effectively veto any vote on the issue. Petitions of concern were designed to ensure no laws were passed exclusively by politicians representing either the nationalist or unionist communities. 

According to Gavin Boyd of activist group the Rainbow Project, preparations are underway for a test case challenging the status of same-sex couples who marry elsewhere in the UK but are not considered to be married when they travel to Northern Ireland.

“The legal challenge as it is planned involves two people who were lawfully married in England returning home to Northern Ireland, where they are no longer considered to be married. We consider that to be unlawful, unjust, and unjustifiable.”

Watch a report on last April's vote, AFTER THE JUMP...

The Republic of Ireland, meanwhile, is due to hold a referendum on same-sex marriage early next year.

Continue reading "Challenge To Northern Ireland's Same-Sex Marriage Ban Launched - VIDEO" »


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