Gay UK News
Landslide for Same Sex Marriage Bill
MPs have again voted overwhelmingly in favour of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill. Moments ago the Bill passed its Third Reading vote in the House of Commons by 366 votes to 161 – a majority of 205. The Bill will extend the legal form of marriage to lesbian, gay…
Bill passes Third Reading by 366 votes to 161
Stonewall Chief Executive Ben Summerskill said: ‘This evening’s vote shows MPs are on the public’s side, as poll after poll shows a clear majority of people in Britain support equal marriage. Now that the Bill has cleared the Commons without any of the wrecking amendments tabled by opponents, we hope peers will show the same respect to public attitudes.
‘Sadly in recent weeks several peers have expressed deeply unpleasant views about gay people. Stonewall expects one of our toughest fights yet ahead of us. We’ll continue to work tirelessly every day to help secure this final modest measure of legislative equality.’
The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill passed its Second Reading with a majority of 225 votes on 5 February. MPs rejected a wrecking amendment - by 375 votes to 70 - during the Bill’s Report Stage in the House of Commons on 20 May.
For more information about Stonewall’s campaign for equal marriage visit www.stonewall.org.uk/marriage
Widespread LGBT Discrimination
A survey produced by Gallup Europe for the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) to mark the International Day Against Homophobia (May 17th) has revealed that almost half (47%) of the Lesbian, Gay, Transgender and Bisexual community in Europe has been personally discriminated against or harassed on the grounds of their…
The survey was the EU’s largest LGBT hate crime and discrimination survey ever conducted with responses from over 93,000 LGBT people from all 27 EU Member States, plus Croatia which is about to join.
One in five LGBT respondents said they felt discriminated against in employment or when looking for work. Worse still, 2 out of 3 (67%) had hid or disguised being LGBT at school for fear of being bullied. A quarter said they had been attacked or threatened with violence in the last five years, with most of those thinking it was due to being perceived as LGBT.
Commenting on the survey, London LibDem MEP Sarah Ludford, who is Vice President of UK Liberal Democrats' LGBT+, said: “While a number of European countries are advancing on matters like same-sex marriage and adoption, there are absolutely no grounds for complacency. This survey is indeed a big reality check for policymakers on International Day Against Homophobia in showing the shocking levels of prejudice, discrimination, bullying and attacks against LGBT people in Europe.”
“The fact that almost half of LGBT respondents felt discriminated against in some way on the grounds of their sexuality is concerning enough, but the extent of violence and intimidation the LGBT community continues to suffer is horrendous.”
“We need to ensure LGBT discrimination across the whole of Europe becomes socially unacceptable and to create a culture in which those who bear the brunt of prejudice feel confident that their complaints will be taken seriously.”
I Need A Hero
The London Gay Men's Chorus are performing a comic-book style show to celebrate the activists who blazed a trail, the inspirational icons, the people close to and admired by the LGBT community and the many gay people who’ve quietly contributed to the world. The show, called HEROES, will be given…
Heroes celebrated during the evening include pop icons David Bowie and Pet Shop Boys, activists Harvey Milk and Peter Tatchell and those who campaigned for civil partnerships and equal marriage. Repertoire featured in the show ranges from hit songs by Take That and Erasure to choral works by Mendelssohn as well as several spectacularly choreographed numbers, including a "Drag Diva" medley, celebrating the drag queens who threw the first punch at the Stonewall riots. The heroes featured in the performance have all been nominated by members of the 200 strong chorus.
John D Carrion, Chair of the London Gay Men's Chorus says, "HEROES celebrates the people that give us hope in our daily lives and the extraordinary feats of human beings. Whether your hero is a politician, a religious figure, a family member or someone in between, our show pays musical homage to those who inspire us."
Simon Sharp, Artistic Director of the London Gay Men's Chorus says, "The programme is a wonderful compilation of music that really celebrates heroism in its many forms. From the sublime to the majestic, the everyday to the truly extraordinary, songs by Noel Coward, David Bowie and Andy Bell - to name a few - reflect the significant impact that such icons continue to have in our society."
Kaleidoscope Trust Elect New Chair
Dr Purna Sen, Head of Human Rights at the Commonwealth Secretariat from 2008 until 2011, has been elected as chair of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) human rights charity The Kaleidoscope Trust.
Dr Sen is currently Deputy Director of the Institute of Public Affairs at the London School of Economics. She was previously Director of the Asia-Pacific Programme at Amnesty International and taught Gender and Development at the Development Studies Institute of the London School of Economics.
“Equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people is one of the major human rights challenges of our time,” Dr Sen Said. “Homosexuality is still illegal in 79 countries and in five states homosexual acts are punishable by death. So there are few more important challenges than helping raise awareness of the discrimination, victimisation and violence that continue to make life a misery for hundreds of thousands of LGBT people across the globe every day.”
Kaleidoscope Trust Executive Director Lance Price added: “Purna has been a committed member of our board of trustees for over a year and I am delighted that she was elected unanimously to be our new Chair. She brings a depth of experience of human rights work which will prove invaluable to the Kaleidoscope Trust at a time when LGBT issues are rising up the international agenda and respect for LGBT rights is increasingly seen as a bell-weather for a country’s wider commitment to social justice.”
Take an LGBT tour of New England
With its liberal attitudes, rich arts and culture and many fine dining opportunities, New England is among the most welcoming destinations in the US for gay visitors. Same-sex marriage is legally recognised in five of the six New England states; gay-friendly accommodation is easy to find; and there are a…