LGBTI global news 24-7

Content about House of Commons

July 22, 2014

Over 150 human rights speakers have joined together to condemn the homophobic laws that exist in four fifths of the Commonwealth

The Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow has demanded the Commonwealth scraps its anti-gay laws.

The politician said it was ‘shameful’ world-class athletes would not be able to compete in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow because of homophobic legislation.

Of the 53 Commonwealth states, 42 have laws that criminalize LGBTI people.

‘Sadly, there might be world-class athletes who will not be able to compete in the Games, as they will have been discriminated against on the basis of their sexuality,’ Bercow said.

April 11, 2014

Dozens of young male workers have come forward to reveal they have been told to sleep with politicians in order to further their career

A shocking report has revealed the House of Commons is a hotbed of gay sexual harassment and abuse.

Dozens of young male workers have come forward to reveal many members of parliament – particularly Conservatives – are abusing their power in a game of sexual politics.

In a new investigation, Channel 4 reports a small group of MPs regularly become drunk and make passes at male researchers in particular.

One unidentified man spoke of how he was approached to ‘go to the gents’ with an MP at an event for young political activists.

April 10, 2014

Former Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons denied all charges of sexual assault

British gay politician Nigel Evans was cleared of all charges of rape and sexual assault in court today (10 April).

The former deputy speaker of the House of Commons was on trial for rape, two indecent assaults, five sexual assaults and an attempted sexual assault against seven young men from 2003 to 2013.

While the 56-year-old admitted to making 'drunken passes' at men in his past, he denied all of the charges and said he was innocent.

March 27, 2014

Labour MP Ben Bradshaw urges the Church of England to be more clear on whether priests will be punished for marrying their same-sex partners

Church of England is being told it needs to make it clear whether it will sack a priest for marrying a same-sex partner.

Ben Bradshaw, a gay Labour MP, has accused the Church of ‘trying to have its cake and eat it’ by accepting same-sex marriage for members, but not for clergy.

Raising the question in the House of Commons today (27 March), the former cabinet minister asked how the Church would discipline any who disobey its ruling.

January 23, 2014

British gay rights campaigner and House of Commons speaker will be honored for their fight for worldwide LGBTI equality

British gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell will be awarded with an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from De Montfort University in Leicester, UK at a ceremony today (23 January).

Tatchell, 62, will be honored because of his political activism and commitment to human rights, especially his campaigns for LGBTI equality, throughout his life.

John Bercow, House of Commons speaker and chairman of international LGBTI rights charity Kaleidoscope, will also be honored at the ceremony.

December 16, 2013

Religious marriages or ‘nikahs’ are already available to gay Muslims, so for one LGBTQI group, marriage equality is not the most urgent priority

It’s an exciting time for marriage equality campaigners all over the world now, including in the UK.

In May 2013, the House of Commons passed the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill for England and Wales with 366 votes in favor and 161 against. In June, the House of Lords backed equal marriage by rejecting an amendment aimed at wrecking the Bill by 390 votes to 148.

The Equalities Minister, Maria Miller, has now announced that the first same-sex weddings can take place from 29 March 2014.

November 20, 2013

Minister says while he is not aware of public money being spent on conversion therapy, he was happy to look into investigating the NHS

The UK government has decided to crackdown on ‘gay cure’ therapy but has ruled out legislation for now.

The House of Commons has met to discuss a ban on conversion therapy.

Described as ‘voodoo treatments’, the majority of the members of parliament (MPs) at the Westminster Hall meeting backed a ban.

Sandra Osbourne, the Labour MP for Ayr, Carrick and Cunmock who began the call, said: ‘Conversion therapy is a very real problem in this country.

‘This isn’t a simplistic debate about the freedom to choose.

October 31, 2013

Prime Minister David Cameron has said he is 'very happy' to look at pardoning the World War II who committed suicide after being convicted of homosexuality

The lower house of UK parliament will vote on pardoning gay World War II hero Alan Turing.

John Leech, the Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament, confirmed the bill honoring the computer genius will be voted on in the House of Commons.

He said: ‘Commons Leader of House confirms to me that Government will not oppose my Alan Turing Pardon Bill on 29 November.’

The vote comes on the heels of it flying through the UK parliament’s upper house.

October 17, 2013

British Prime Minister praises Turing who broke German codes during World War II and tells the Commons his prosecution for gay sex was ‘completely wrong’

British Prime Minister David Cameron will ‘look at’ giving a pardon to World War II hero Alan Turing who was later persecuted for being gay.

Cameron made the commitment at the weekly Prime Minister’s Questions session when quizzed by openly-gay Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament (MP) Stephen Gilbert.

Turing was a mathematics genius who worked as a codebreaker during the war, famously breaking the Enigma Code so the Allies could read Nazi communications.

September 10, 2013

Conservative member of parliament has denied all previous accusatons of indecent sexual assault

British gay MP Nigel Evans was rearrested on suspicion of two further sex assaults today (10 September).

The House of Commons Deputy Speaker is now facing seven sexual assault allegations but has yet to be charged.

In a statement, Lancashire Police said: ‘He [Mr Evans] has subsequently today been arrested on suspicion of indecent assault and sexual touching of two further victims.

‘He will be interviewed about these new allegations at a police station in Lancashire during the course of the day.

September 10, 2013

He is being charged with eight offenses alleged between 2002 and 2013

British gay MP Nigel Evans has resigned from his post as deputy speaker of The House of Commons.

The resignation today (10 September) came after Crown Prosecution Service announced that he is being charged with sexual assault, rape and other offenses.

'We have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and that it is in the public interest to prosecute Mr Evans,' said Keir Starmer, director of public prosecutions told BBC News.

September 9, 2013

President of the Liberal Democrats is hoping for cross-party support as he raises the human rights abuses in Russia

LGBT rights in Russia are heading to the UK parliament.

Tim Farron, the president of the Liberal Democrats, has tabled a motion in order to draw attention to the ‘deplorable’ legislation in Russia.

He hopes to build cross-party support so the entire House of Commons is united against President Vladimir Putin.

July 17, 2013

As the same-sex marriage bill goes to Queen Elizabeth II to be signed into law in England and Wales, the Equalities Minister reflects on the UK government's 'tremendous achievement'

The UK culture secretary and equalities minister has said making same-sex marriage the law shows how ‘society has evolved’.

Maria Miller was speaking shortly after the House of Commons considered the Lords’ amendments to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill and sent it to Queen Elizabeth II to be signed into law.

She said: ‘The completion of the passage of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill through parliament, undefeated in all aspects, is a tremendous achievement.

‘Whilst this legislation may be about marriage, its impact is so much wider.

July 17, 2013

LGBT rights campaigners are reminding those celebrating the same-sex marriage bill there is a lot more work to do to achieve full marriage equality

As England and Wales celebrates same-sex marriage soon becoming law, LGBT rights campaigners are reminding people it is not ‘equal marriage’.

It comes as both the House of Commons and House of Lords have given their approval to the bill, and are now awaiting to be signed into law by Queen Elizabeth II.

Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell says there are ‘six discriminatory aspects’ of the new legislation.

Consummation and Adultery

July 15, 2013

As two nations of the United Kingdom celebrate and praise pours in, the deputy Prime Minister calls same-sex marriage passing an 'extraordinary step'

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has paid tribute to gay marriage passing its final vote in England and Wales.

In the last few minutes, the House of Lords passed the Marriage (Same Sex) Couples Bill in its third reading.

The leader of the Liberal Democrats, one of the lead backers of the bill in the House of Commons, spoke at an equal marriage vigil wearing a pink carnation. Several of the peers wore them as a symbol of their support.

July 10, 2013

Gay member of parliament Ben Bradshaw claims an Exeter church turned away a gay couple as they were not 'welcome'

A gay family was banned from worshiping in an English church, according to an openly gay member of parliament.

Labour MP Ben Bradshaw said an Exeter ‘conservative evangelical church’ had turned away the unnamed couple, who wish to not be identified.

During a debate in the House of Commons, he asked what guidance the Church of England was planning to issue to parishes and church schools on pastoral care for same-sex couples and their children’.

June 20, 2013

We speak to Kate Green, Britain’s Shadow Equalities Minister about gay marriage, trans rights and what’s next in the LGBT struggle

‘Disgusting, distasteful, cruel and wrong.’ That’s how British Member of Parliament (MP) and Shadow Equalities Minister Kate Green describes some of the debate in parliament over gay marriage.

But Green and the many pro-equality politicians are winning. And she is already thinking about what they should be focusing on as the next step for LGBT equality.

June 19, 2013

UK's House of Commons Deputy Speaker and not yet been charged and has denied all previous allegations so far

The Deputy Speaker of the UK’s House of Commons was arrested on suspicion of three further sex assaults, it was revealed today (19 June).

Nigel Evans has not yet been charged and has disputed the allegations so far.

The assaults are alleged to have been committed in Blackpool, Lancashire and London between 2003 and 2011 on men in their 20s.

In May, it was revealed Evans was being questioned over two allegations, one of rape and another of sexual assault against two men in their late 20s.

June 13, 2013

New ‘bigots’ register’ for England and Wales would allow opposite-sex couples to be separately registered as having a ‘traditional marriage’

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord George Carey is trying to wreck gay marriage in England and Wales by creating a new gold standard only straights can be part of – ‘traditional marriage’.

As a member of the House of Lords, he is proposing to amend the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill so it recognizes ‘traditional marriage’ as only being between a man and a woman.

June 5, 2013

Anglican Church – the state religion of Britain – will now work to ‘improve’ the equal marriage bill as it goes through parliament, not block it

The Church of England has accepted it is the will of parliament that gay and lesbian couples can marry – and will stop fighting it.

The Bishop of Leicester, Tim Stevens, who leads the bishops in the House of Lords, Britain’s upper chamber of parliament, has made the statement today (5 June).

He said they will now try to ‘improve’ the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill for England and Wales, rather than trying to block it.

June 4, 2013

Alli tells UK’s House of Lords ‘it is about love, it is about who we love and how we express that love between one another’ in debate ahead of crunch vote

Openly gay Asian peer, Lord Waheed Alli, has told the House of Lords that ‘different is different and equal is equal’.

He was commenting in the debate on the government’s Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill for England and Wales which has already passed the elected House of Commons but now has to be approved, amended or rejected by the Lords.

Alli was one of the speakers opening the second day of the debate which yesterday saw some speakers claim the bill would lead to polygamy and lesbian queens reigning over Britain and the Commonwealth.

June 4, 2013

House of Lords backs gay and lesbian marriage bill for England and Wales and will now scrutinize it in detail

The House of Lords has backed the further passage of the equal marriage bill – meaning it has now passed a crucial hurdle.

The upper chamber of the British parliament spent two days debating the government’s Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, which has already been passed by the elected House of Commons.

Despite a fierce debate the peers rejected an amendment by Lord Geoffrey Dear which would have stopped the bill in its tracks.

June 4, 2013

Lorraine Donnelly, co-founder and director at gay greeting card company, Pride To Be sends her own greeting to members of the House of Lords debating gay marriage

Britain’s House of Commons has passed the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Bill for England and Wales with a vote of 366 to 162. Now, as you know, the bill has moved to the House of Lords, whose approval is also needed before enshrining the heavily fought-for legislation into law.

If approved, the law is expected to come into force in 2014, affording same-sex couples the choice of marriage or civil partnership.

It will also allow gay and lesbian couples who have previously entered into a civil partnership, to convert their relationship into a marriage.

June 3, 2013

Gay marriage in England and Wales faces crucial debate in House of Lords with Lord Dear trying to stop the bill in its tracks

Gay marriage opponent Geoffrey Dear has called on fellow members of Britain’s House of Lords to block gay marriage, describing it as a ‘legal, theological, moral and sociological minefield’.

At the start of the debate in the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill for England and Wales, Dear described it as ‘by any stretch of the imagination a contentious bill’ only serving ‘a very small minority’.

The bill has already been voted through by the elected House of Commons but still has to be scrutinized by the unelected upper house of the British parliament.