Uncredited | Newham Recorder
Good news stories are just like buses; you go for ages and ages without seeing any, then three come along together.
With his bright pink van, there’s no missing Newham builder Ray Bulloch, pictured, who owns a gay building company which is thought to be the UK’s first. He had the last laugh when his gay community building business became a roaring success, after facing homophobia in the industry for more than 30 years. After a colleague sabotaged a gay client’s home, he decided to set up R&G LGBT Builders 13 years ago. After forcing the culprit to repair the damage, Ray refused to let him in his van. “I said to him, ‘Only gay people are allowed in my van’, and left him by the side of the road. I received a call from my boss and he said, ‘Let’s forget about it’, but I just quit.”
The hardest part is recruiting workers as many people are concerned about the stigma attached to working for a gay company. Last year he became the first builder to take part in the Pride London parade, and he will appear again this year with his newly repainted bright pink van. “It was a very big decision, as it used to have the rainbow flag, but I decided that it wasn’t enough. Some people can’t believe that I had the courage to get my van repainted, but it is a real talking point.”
Nigel Evans | Lynne Cameron/PA
Former Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans was cleared of all charges against him. The jury unanimously found Mr Evans not guilty of one count of rape, five sexual assaults, one attempted sexual assault and two indecent assaults. The 56-year Ribble Valley MP burst into tears as the verdicts were announced.
An Italian court has ordered the Tuscan city of Grosseto to recognize the marriage of a gay couple who were wed in the United States. Gay marriage is not allowed in Italy. The court said the town hall had to transcribe the marriage into its records, giving the two men the same rights as a heterosexual married couple.