Trouble in the glen

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File photo | Irish Times | 17071

The Irish gay rights group Glen is being investigated into whether it breached rules on political campaigning and financial management. The charity has appointed an external investigator to examine allegations of bullying made by staff.

The Charities Regulator has told Glen to provide it with financial records, details of credit cards and the report of an independent auditor by the end of this month. One of the issues being examined by the regulator concerns the use of the charity’s resources to support political campaigning.

Glen’s co-chairman Kieran Rose stepped down after it emerged that campaign literature for his Seanad election campaign last year was printed at the charity.

The intervention by the regulator follows a disclosure made by Glen in response to concerns raised by the executive director, Áine Duggan, appointed last October, who raised a number of issues with the board after carrying out a due diligence of the organisation, which works on issues such as sexual health, mental health and education in the LGBT community.

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/gay-rights-charity-glen-hit-by-bullying-and-financial-investigations-1.3050746

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Naughty Nookie, Italian style

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Francesco Spano | ImagoEC | 17045

Francesco Spano, the head of Italy’s anti-discrimination office, has resigned following accusations that government funds meant to promote diversity projects and tackle racism had been earmarked for gay sex clubs masquerading as cultural centres.

An investigative TV programme showed his department had authorised funding of up to 55,000 euros each for at least three businesses which housed male prostitutes and offered their members so-called “dark rooms” for sexual encounters.

Opposition parties called on the government to explain its funding program. Rightist leader Giorgia Meloni said UNAR, the anti-discrimination office, should be shut immediately. “Not one more euro of tax payers’ money should be thrown away on paying their salaries,” she wrote.

The government said in a statement that while UNAR would stay open, Spano had resigned “out of respect” for the work his office was carrying out.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-italy-discrimination-idUSKBN15Z23A

http://www.euronews.com/2017/02/21/italy-s-gay-sex-club-scandal

MP denies allegations

Ben Howlett, who is the Conservative MP for Bath, has “strenuously” denied an allegation of sexual assault after he was questioned by police. He voluntarily visited a police station to speak to detectives after the complaint was made, officers said.

The alleged attack is said to have taken place in May following a Eurovision Song Contest results party in his constituency. It is alleged he sexually assaulted a man and his partner in a club. The Conservative Party said it was aware of the complaint but declined to respond to the allegation.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/11/03/tory-mp-questioned-over-sex-assault-on-a-gay-couple/