LGBTI global news 24-7

Content about British government

February 19, 2015

Alan Turing film spurs on record number of signatures

A petition calling on the government to pardon tens of thousands of men convicted under anti-gay UK laws has reached a milestone almost half a million signatures.

Spurred on by the recent portrayal of war-time codebreaker and gay man Alan Turing, played by Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch, 450,000 people have thrown their weight behind the campaign.

January 25, 2015

The actor, along with theatrical producer Cameron Mackintosh and designer Paul Smith, has put his name to an open letter saying that Soho is being changed beyond recognition because of London’s rising real estate prices

Stephen Fry is among those who have signed an open letter to the British Government imploring them to save Soho – the historic district in the heart of London’s West End.

Soho has undergone increasing changes in recent years, chiefly fuelled by the escalating cost of London property prices.

January 17, 2015

Missed the debate at the Gay Star Travel Expo? Find out what the biggest gay political names in the UK said about huge issues

The UK’s first big political debate of 2015 was on gay rights as the three big parties faced off during the Gay Star Travel Expo today (17 January).

Labour’s Lord Michael Cashman, Liberal Democrat’s Baroness Liz Barker and Conservative’s Crispin Blunt MP answered a variety of questions from the engaged and curious British public.

It was chaired by Gay Star News editor Tris Reid-Smith.

They were asked, in overview, what is Britain’s role in global LGBTI rights.

June 11, 2014

Able seaman Rod McKenzie, 27, shares his story of life in the UK’s Royal Navy and his proudest moment at sea

HMS Illustrious was in the Mediterranean north of the Suez Canal in early November last year when a message came through from the British government.

Typhoon Haiyan had just whipped through the Philippines, the deadliest on record, killing over 6,000 people.

They turned the ship around and steamed towards the South China Sea.

On board was an openly gay former make-up artist – once the least likely person to find on a Royal Navy ship – now a highly-trained sailor.

February 26, 2014

A new analysis by The Mirror newspaper has found that 40% of the world’s gay population are living in countries that still criminalize gay sex – including a handful with the death penalty

An estimated 165 million gay people live in countries where there are laws targeting them because of their sexuality according to a new global snapshot by The Mirror newspaper.

According to the analysis the countries these gay people live in account for 40% of the global population of humans and thus 40% of the gay and bisexual people on the planet.

December 19, 2013

Phone giant says internet block on gay support charity was a mistake, but experts say UK government policy is making the internet less free

The British Government’s new internet filtering is shutting down LGBTI community voices, experts have warned today.

The policy, designed to prevent children seen porn and harmful content is also catching sites which actually help people, with gay, bi and trans sites in the frontline.

One such site, London Friend, was ‘mistakenly’ blocked by leading phone company TalkTalk’s filtering software, it emerged today (19 December).

December 9, 2013

An anti-gay activist trying to keep gay sex illegal in Jamaica suggested Tom Daley’s sexuality is because his dad died and he is looking for a strong father figure

A UK-based anti-gay activist in Jamaica has claimed Tom Daley came out as bisexual because of ‘the lack of a father’.

Andrea Minichiello Williams, co-founder of the UK-based Christian Concern, was in Kingston over the weekend to speak at a ‘pro-family’ conference titled International Law and the Welfare of the Family, organized by the Jamaican Coalition for a Healthy Society and the Christian Lawyers’ Association.

October 8, 2013

Civil partnerships are up in 2012, soaring far beyond original government expectations, but same-sex divorces also rise by 20%

The number of gay, lesbian and bisexual people in the UK forming civil partnerships is already more than the government expected by 2050 and is still increasing.

Meanwhile the divorce rate for civil partners has also shot up by 20% in the last year.

The British Government originally expected fewer than 90,000 people to be in the partnerships by 2050. But with 120,908 civil partners across the country by the end of 2012, that ‘high take-up estimation’ has been left far behind.

May 23, 2013

Trans campaigners highlight problems with England and Wales’ equal marriage bill saying they were betrayed by gay allies

Trans activists were left ‘despairing and angry’ at England and Wales’ equal marriage bill saying they have been betrayed by the British government and LGBT allies.

The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill passed its third reading in Britain’s House of Commons last night with Members of Parliament voting 366 to 161 in favor of the legislation on Tuesday (21 May).

The bill now has to pass through the House of Lords where it will face opposition but the government appears determined to ensure it passes.

May 9, 2013

Andrew Lansley, the Leader of the House of Commons, has revealed the date for the third reading of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill

The British government have announced the dates for the next step towards legalizing marriage equality in England and Wales.

Andrew Lansley, the Leader of the House of Commons, told members of parliament the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill will be debated on 20 and 21 May.

It follows the second reading of the bill, which was approved by a 225 vote majority in February.

April 29, 2013

Gay comic has said the UK Prime Minister David Cameron steals from the poor to give to the rich

Gay chat show host and author Paul O'Grady has likened David Cameron to the 'Sheriff of Nottingham', as he robs from the poor to give to the rich.

The English comic said the British government was bleeding the people dry, attacking the much lambasted 'bedroom tax'.

The tax, aimed at cutting housing benefits for people with one spare bedroom in their property, has already triggered mass demonstrations across the country.

April 15, 2013

Andrew Cooper, who made gay marriage a top issue for the British government has resigned over a power dispute

The British government’s advisor on gay marriage has left his job after losing a power battle with a fellow strategist.

Andrew Cooper, founder of UK polling company Populus Ltd, resigned from his position as director of government strategy yesterday (14 April), the Daily Mail reports.

March 26, 2013

Diverse UK firms can expand and help LGBT people overseas – but there are big challenges ahead and they must care for their gay staff, experts will say

UK businesses, big or small, can help spread diversity and LGBT rights worldwide, a meeting at the Foreign Office will hear.

Radius, the LGBT business networking group, is organizing the panel session. It will help businesses big and small to plan expansion abroad – in particular how to look after LGBT employees working abroad in countries which may have poorer gay and trans rights.

January 4, 2013

Simon Walsh, a gay former aide to London Mayor Boris Johnson, was cleared of all charges in ‘extreme porn’ case but fall-out continues

British government officials – and Policing Minister, Damian Green, MP – were today accused of spreading deliberate disinformation about the reasons for prosecuting gay barrister Simon Walsh in 2012 for possession of extreme porn.

Damian Green, in particular, is singled out as needing to explain why, in respect of such a controversial legal initiative, he appeared to be smearing Walsh by linking him to practices that formed no part of the case against him.

December 14, 2012

Gay Star News talks to Asia's deputy director of Human Rights Watch, who is heavily involved in defending the rights of LGBT people in the region

As a year of highs and lows for human rights for LGBT people in Asia comes to an end, Gay Star News talks to Phil Robertson, deputy director, Asia of Human Rights Watch.

December 14, 2012

Human Rights Watch deputy director, Asia, tells Gay Star News that the UK government should publicly denounce anti-gay laws that were set up by the British empire

The British government should do more to persuade ex-colonies to repeal anti-gay laws, Phil Robertson the deputy director of the Asia division of Human Rights Watch told Gay Star News yesterday.

Former British colonies Singapore, Malaysia, Burma, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and other countries in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean still carry Section 377 or similar versions of the British-empire-era law that criminalizes gay sex.

December 14, 2012

Top British scientists urge David Cameron to grant World War II codebreaker hero a posthumous pardon for his gay sex conviction

Leading scientists including Professor Stephen Hawking have launched a new call on the British government to pardon gay codebreaker Alan Turing.

Turing helped crack the Enigma code, helping the Allies understand German communications and ultimately win the Second World War.

But in 1952 he was convicted for ‘gross indecency’ with another man by a British court and accepted treatment with female hormones – also known as chemical castration – as an alternative to prison.

Those events are blamed for his decision to commit suicide just two years later.

November 22, 2012

Department for Culture, Media and Sport say it is 'premature' to confirm timetable for discussing equal marriage bill in parliament

The British government has denied media reports that Prime Minister David Cameron will approve gay marriage legislation within weeks.

The Conservative leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg are eager to push through the equal civil marriage law as soon as possible.

Today (22 November), The Daily Mail claims Downing Street could give the proposals the thumbs up 'within weeks', bringing it before parliament as early as the New Year.

October 3, 2012

Omar Kuddus argues the case of Olalekan M Ayelokun shows Britain is not genuine about protecting LGBT people fleeing persecution

The recent attempt by the UK Border Agency to deport Olalekan M Ayelokun yesterday (2 October) from Britain shows the government’s real stand on LGBT asylum seekers.

Fortunately Olalekan’s deportation was delayed at the last minute and now supporters are trying again to stop it.

Olalekan fled eight years ago from Nigeria to escape persecution because of his sexuality.

September 20, 2012

One year after President Barack Obama repealed Don't Ask, Don't Tell, GSN looks at the countries showing the world how to treat gay soldiers

A year to the day, gay members of the American military celebrated, in glittering style, the anniversary of the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

When President Obama signed the bill, he declared patriotic Americans in uniform will no longer have to lie about who they are in order to serve the country they love.

In a country that has regularly led the way, culturally, technologically and in business for the best part of 50 years, before September 2011 it still forced its own citizens to lie about who they were to join the military.

September 13, 2012

British Communities Minister Eric Pickles has said faith groups need an opt-out from gay marriage, leading experts to believe the government may allow religious same-sex weddings

Eric Pickles, Britain's Communities Secretary, has hinted a proposed marriage equality bill in England and Wales will enable churches and faith based organizations to solmenise same-sex marriage.  

He did this by stating churches and faith-based organizations should have legal protections to ensure they cannot be forced by the European Court of Human Rights to marry gay couples if they do not wish to do so.

July 19, 2012

London needs an LGBT pride that's accountable, transparent and meaningful to get over the World Pride shambles of this year, says Stewart Who

Accountability. Transparency. Public duty. Law abiding. Financially secure. Nobody would ever use those words to describe any aspect of my life. In that respect, I have much in common with the recent history of gay pride events in London. Fortunately, my chaos living, criminal tendencies and stupidity doesn’t affect thousands of people. Nor is the whole world watching when my life implodes due to unpaid bills and broken dreams.

July 12, 2012

Stonewall's new message to the UK government is 'some people are gay, get on with it' and bring in equal gay marriage

'Some people are gay. Get on with it!' is the new message from Stonewall to the UK government as Britain awaits same-sex marriage equality.

The charity, the country's leading lesbian, gay and bisexual campaign organization, had previously seen its messaging 'Some people are gay. Get over it!' go viral online and be turned into a series of products.

Now the subtly new message emphasizes that the time is right now to go ahead and give gay and lesbian couples the same marriage rights as straight people.

June 3, 2012

As she celebrates her diamond jubilee, GSN asks if the British monarch is a Queen against queens, or a silent supporter

For six decades, Queen Elizabeth II has remained silent about homosexuality.

Ever since her father King George VI died in 1952, leaving her as Queen, the words ‘gay’, ‘lesbian’, ‘bisexual’, and ‘transgender’ have never been reported as crossing the lips of the reigning monarch.

Even when the UK government was reforming anti-gay laws, she did not reference the community once in the Queen’s Speech, which sets out the British parliamentary agenda for the year ahead.