1.5% Figure Is Wrong, Says Gay Dating Website With 2.2 Million Members

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Gay networking websites Gaydar and GaydarGirls say that estimates of 1.5 per cent of the population being gay or bisexual cannot be true as they have 2.2 million members in the UK.

Yesterday, the Office of National Statistics published a survey of 450,000 people – the second largest after the census – which suggested that only one per cent of British people are gay or lesbian and 0.5 per cent are bisexual.

However, the websites say their membership figures account for 6.7 per cent of the population – just above the government estimate of six per cent.

Yesterday’s figures suggested that there are approximately 480,000 gay men and lesbians and 245,000 bisexual people in Britain – 725,000 LGB people in total.

But the websites, which offer members the chance to meet for dating and sex, say 2,185,072 British men and women have registered with them.

Trevor Martin, managing director at Gaydar said; “The Office for National Statistics figures don’t add up. With 2.2 million Gaydar profiles in the UK either there are a lot of straight guys playing away from girlfriends or every single gay and lesbian in the country tunes into GaydarRadio – or the ONS have got it terribly wrong.”

The 1.5 per cent figure has already been used by some figures to question government efforts to tackle homophobia.

Mike Judge, of the Christian Institute, said: “A large amount of public money has been spent on the basis of higher figures, which have turned out to be a lie.”

Conservative MP Philip Davies added: “An awful lot of focus in diversity issues is given to people’s sexual preference and this difference is not as widespread as believed.”

Yesterday, gay lobby group Stonewall said the figures were likely to be an underestimation because many gay people may be unwilling to identify themselves as gay in a survey.

Spokeswoman Ruth Hunt said she would expect to see the figures rise as asking about sexual orientation becomes more commonplace.

In the national survey, 95 per cent of respondents said they were heterosexual.

Nearly four per cent of those asked refused to answer, said they did not know or described themselves as “other”.

Of the five per cent who did not say they were heterosexual, one per cent said they were gay or lesbian, 0.5 per cent said they were bisexual and 3.5 per cent refused to answer the question, described themselves as “other” or said they did not know.

Stonewall and the government both use a figure of six per cent of the population being lesbian, gay or bisexual, which works out at 3.6 million people.

This figure comes from 2005 research by the Department for Trade and Industry.

Other studies on sexual orientation have found that the figure varies between six and ten per cent.

Miliband’s Appointment As Labour Leader Means Two Major Parties Are Led By Gay Marriage Advocates

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Members of the the Labour party and affiliated trade unions together with MPs and MEPs have elected Ed Miliband as their new leader. Mr Miliband topped a poll for PinkNews.co.uk of Labour party and affiliated union members earlier this month.

The result means that both the Liberal Democrats and the Labour party have leaders who are in favour of full LGBT marriage equality. Both the Liberal Democrats and the Green party have marriage equality as offical party policy.

Ed Miliband beat his brother by 50.65 per cent to 49.35 per cent after the votes in favour of Ed Balls, Diane Abbott and Andy Burnham were redistributed. In the first round, Diane Abbott scored 7.42 per cent, Ed Balls 11.79 per cent, Andy Burnham 8.68 per cent, David Miliband 37.78 per cent and Ed Miliband with 34.33 per cent.

Earlier this month, PinkNews.co.uk published a then surprising poll result, showing that Ed Miliband was the overwhelming choice of LGBT members of the Labour party (or affiliated union) for leader of the party with 42 per cent support. Despite the support from four leading lesbian and gay MPs in an open letter to PinkNews.co.uk during the polling period, David Miliband secured the support of just 31 per cent of LGBT party members. Diane Abbott was ranked third with the support of 16 per cent, Andy Burnham seven per cent and Ed Balls last with four per cent.

Gay rights record
Ed Miliband was only elected to the House of Commons in 2005, after the equalisation of the age of consent, the abolition of Section 28 and the Civil Partnerhips Act. But he was able to vote in favour of the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation Regulations) in 2007 and against two amendment to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill which sought to limit the rights of lesbians to access IVF treatment.

Pledges to the LGBT community
Writing for PinkNews.co.uk last month, Mr Miliband argued that civil partnerships were ‘not good enough’. He added: “I know that civil partnerships were a major step forward, but I also hear those who want the genuine equality of gay marriage.”

“‘Separate but equal’ is not good enough and PinkNews.co.uk’s own recent poll demonstrated the huge support in the LGBT community for a right to marry. The cruel consequence of the current compromise is trans people forced to divorce their partners before they could be legally recognised in their new gender. I want to see heterosexual and same-sex partnerships put on an equal basis and a Labour Party that I lead will campaign to make gay marriage happen.”

Mr Miliband also used the editorial to call for an end to the ban on gay men donating blood, an end to LGBT asylum seekers being sent back to countries that persecute LGBT people and for stronger laws against inciting homophobic hatred.

Church Told – Employ LGB&T People!

Churches in Britain could be forced to hire LGB&T people against the tenets of their faith when employing staff under planned Labour equality laws.
The new Equality Bill could require them to take on candidates who do not fit in with their religious doctrine when recruiting key staff such as faith school headteachers or youth workers.

At the moment, organised religions have a special status that lets them turn down applicants whose lifestyles conflict with the churches’ beliefs, even if they are otherwise well qualified for the job. But religious leaders are concerned the proposed law will restrict their ability to employ lay people who share their values.

The Bill – introduced by Equality Minister Harriet Harman in the Commons last year – is being debated in the Lords today.
Churches and mosques are allowed to reject candidates for jobs as ministers or priests if they are actively gay, if they have changed their sex or are women.

US army ban on homosexuals is ruled unconstitutional

The battle for the equal treatment of gays and lesbians in the United States received a boost yesterday after a judge in California struck down as unconstitutional the Clinton-era “don’t-ask, don’t-tell” policy banning homosexuals from serving in the military.

After presiding at a trial in July, Judge Virginia Phillips yesterday concluded that the ban was harmful to gays in the military. “The Act denies them the right to speak about their loved ones while serving their country in uniform,” she wrote.

She granted a nationwide injunction against the policy – although that will not be implemented immediately so as to allow the government to consider and comment on the case.

The action was brought by the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay-rights advocacy group. “We are delighted with the court’s ruling in favour of Log Cabin Republicans in this important case,” said its lawyer, Dan Woods.

And Aubrey Sarvis, the executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, a group that has also lobbied Congress to end the ban, said: “It could well be the catalyst that is needed to drop some of the opposition we’ve seen.”

But supporters of the ban voiced their disgust. “It is hard to believe a district court judge in California knows more about what impacts military readiness than the service chiefs,” said Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council.

Gay-rights activists were hoping last night that even if implementation of the injunction is delayed, the ruling will reinvigorate efforts to pass the legislation in the Senate.

The court’s decision is the latest in a small series of victories for the gay-rights lobby, which is accustomed to periods of success being quickly followed by bouts of disappointment.

Last month, the California Supreme Court overturned a voter-approved measure banning same-sex marriage in the state. And earlier in the summer, a Boston judge declared the Defence of Marriage Act illegal. It was passed by Congress during the presidency of George W Bush and it denied federal rights to same-sex couples, even if they lived in a state which allowed them to wed.

Both cases are now expected to go to the US Supreme Court.

President Barack Obama earlier this year asked the US Congress to end the ban, which makes it impossible for members of the military to own up to their sexuality or conduct open relationships.

He received the conditional backing of the Defense Secretary Robert Gates. But while the House of Representatives approved legislation to end the policy, the bill has hit a roadblock in the Senate and any progress was clearly in jeopardy, not least with the prospect that Republicans may regain control of Congress in November.

September 11, 2010, By David Usborne, US Editor, The Independent

New Trans Social Group in Leicester

Tonia Frew – Transexual Community Development Officer for Leicester LGB&T Centre has developed.

The Leicestershire and Rutland Transsexual Support Group which aims to offer advice and guidance to all pre or post operative Transsexual people throughout Leicestershire and Rutland.

The group will hold its first meeting on Sunday 22nd August from 2pm until 6pm at the Leicester LGB&T Centre and will meet on alternate Sundays from then on.

The main focus of the group will be advice, guidance and support for the trans community and will cover topics such as sexuality, gender identity, legislation, the transition process, make-up and styling advice, gender reassignment surgery and feminisation/masculinisation surgery. The LLGB&T Centre also provides a counselling service for those people requiring extra support.

For more information, contact Tonia Frew at Leicester LGB&T Centre by phone on 0116 254 7412 or by e-mail at tonia@llgbc.com