All posts filed under: LGBT

We Can. I can. Supporting #WorldCancerDay

HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) is the virus which causes Genital Warts and can lead to oropharyngeal, penile, anal and cervical cancer. At this stage all cis females are vaccinated against the most pervasive strains of HPV at age 14. The idea is/was that as those cis females grew older they would immunise the men they had sexual relations with. What the government did not account for is the number of men who exclusively have sex with men and trans individuals who had transitioned after 14. As such I am asking you to join the thunderclap to help remind our politicians to support the upcoming motion to immunise all individuals from 14 onwards against HPV. Please share far and wide to help us maximise this. Hat tip to James Copeland at The Rainbow Project.

A statement from the Combined NI LGBT Communities…

As many readers will know, many of the Unionist politicians in Northern Ireland have real problems with allowing the LGBT communities in the Province to exist peacefully and to express their culture. Following on from the statement issued by the combined Unionist parties this morning, my friend Stephen Glenn has published a statement from combined LGBT communities on his blog saying that is time for us to seek our cultural expression as LGBT British subjects living in Northern Ireland to be recognised: “The combined Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender communities in Northern Ireland call upon the First Minister to establish a time-bound commission of inquiry with the necessary legal powers and resources to examine the equal marriage, gay adoption and MSM lifetime bloodban impasses and the wider issues these represent. “This is consistent with policy in the rest of the Union he holds so dear. “The issue of LGBT equality will not go away after the Pride parades. “This is a further part of our graduated response strategy, and follows on from our raising issues …

A question of conscience… and printing

The question was raised by a Unionist MP in the House of Commons during Prime Minister’s Questions. The answer of British Prime Minister, David Cameron was that tolerance towards people of a different sexuality is an important part of being British. Now, remember, this question was raised by a Unionist MP, someone who fundamentally believes that Northern Ireland must be part of the United Kingdom… The case of the refusal to provide a service to bake a cake by Ashers Baking Company was drawn to my attention early yesterday. I read with great interest the comments of Gregory Campbell MP MLA following today’s Prime Minister’s Questions, “This latest case locally has seen a family-owned bakery threatened by legal action because they would not print a political slogan onto a cake. Such a message ran contrary to the company’s Christian values. “It is disappointing that the prime minister would not comment on the need for religious freedom to be protected through the introduction of a conscience clause. ” He added: “Tolerance needs to be a two-way …

Posted elsewhere: Well done Gibraltar! “More British than Finchley.”

This week, the Gibraltar Parliament made history. It passed a Civil Partnerships Bill which extends to all couples the right to enter a civil partnership. It is not limited to same-sex couples as currently in the United Kingdom. Any couple may register as civil partners, provided of course that neither party is already either married or in a civil partnership. Earlier this evening, I posted the following on Facebook: It looks like Andrew and I are moving to Gibraltar at just the right time. Well done to the Gibraltar Parliament for passing this legislation which goes even further than that in force in any part of the United Kingdom. That is civil partnerships for male–male, female–female, and male–female relationships. As someone who has lobbied the UK Government on LGB issues in the past, most memorably on the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (c. 43) (then a Bill), I know how difficult it can be to persuade a Government that what you are saying is right. I congratulate Equality Rights Gibraltar on its campaign and the Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, and the members of the Parliament who voted to pass …

Film from Unison for LGBT History Month

As part of LGBT History Month, Unison Northern Ireland is showing a film, We Were Here by David Weissman, which is a deep and reflective look at the arrival and impact of AIDS in San Francisco and how individuals rose to the occasion during the first years of this unimaginable crisis. I am sure that some of us living with HIV in Northern Ireland will want to attend. The film is being shown in Unison’s HQ in Northern Ireland, on Wednesday 19th February from 7pm. For further details please contact Fidelma Carolan on f.carolan@unison.co.uk or 028 9027 0190.  

Belfast Judge Rules Gay Blood Ban “Irrational”

Originally posted on EILE Magazine:
Northern Irish Health Minister, Edwin Poots MLA A Belfast High Court judge has ruled that the ban on gay and bisexual men donating blood in Northern Ireland is “irrational”, defeating Health Minister, Edwin Poots. Justice Treacy also ruled that Poots was in breach of the ministerial code by failing to take the issue before Stormont. Northern Ireland is the only region in the UK that currently enforces a complete ban on MSMs donating blood; England, Wales and Scotland lifted the ban in November 2011, replacing it with new rules, which allow blood from men whose last sexual contact with another man was more than a year ago. Despite the ban being lifted in the rest of the UK, Poots maintained that the ban in Northern Ireland had been held in order to ensure public safety. Yet imported blood was not subject to the same standards. “There is clearly a defect in reason here,” Justice Treacy said in court, adding that the lifetime ban was both controversial and cross-cutting, taking in equality issues. “As such the…

Witches’ Brew? Alcohol, Sex and the Gay Scene

Originally posted on GMI Partnership:
What does the gay scene mean to you and your mates? What comes into your head when you picture Soho, Canal Street or your own local gay scene? Well, however you answered the question there’s a good chance that you were thinking about your favourite bars and clubs. Drinking is a big part of gay culture and even in the age of apps and hook-up sites many gay and bisexual men meet up on the gay scene.  Alcohol is such an endemic part of the gay scene that it sometimes appears harmless and unremarkable (I mean almost everyone has one in their hand, after all), but going out and having a few too many drinks on a Friday or Saturday night can leave you with more than just a nasty hangover the next morning. Thousands of gay and bisexual men are also waking up the morning after the night before with the realisation that they have put themselves at risk of picking up HIV or other STIs (Just pop along…

15 years after Matthew Shepard: so much achieved for gay rights, but so much more to do

I remember reading my copy of Gay Times about the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard. At the time I ended up in tears, and this evening re-reading about the murder, looking at photographs of those responsible as well as of that infamous fence in the State of Wyoming and the well known family photo of Matthew. … So much has been achieved for gay rights across the world in the years since Matthew’s cruel death, but we have still so much to do. Fifteen years on, the same homophobia seen in Wyoming in 1998 is very much alive and well here in Northern Ireland. Read more of this story here.