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February 28, 2015

Alan Turing-style pardon will be for men who had consensual sex when homosexuality was still illegal will be pardoned

Thousands of men who had consensual gay sex when homosexuality was still illegal in the UK are closer to being officially pardoned today.

Bisexual Liberal Democrat MP and Justice Minister Simon Hughes today said he is hoping the government will pass the necessary legislation before the May General Election.

If not, he announced it will be part of the Liberal Democrat election manifesto. The party may still hold the balance of power after May and enter another coalition government.

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.

January 16, 2015

Labour, Lib Dem and Conservative politicians will face off on the issue of Britain's role in global gay rights on Saturday

The UK will have its first big political debate of 2015 at the Gay Star Travel Expo tomorrow (17 January), just a few months before May's General Election.

Labour's Lord Cashman, Liberal Democrat's Baroness Barker and Conservative's Crispin Blunt MP will face off on the topic of Britain's role in global LGBTI rights.

The politicians will also be there at Heaven in Charing Cross, central London, at 12pm to answer questions from the public.

January 12, 2015

Free Question Time-style panel asks what is Britain's role in global LGBTI rights: London's Heaven nightclub this Saturday (17 January)

A trio of Britain's biggest names in gay politics are to debate global LGBTI rights at the Gay Star Travel Expo this Saturday (17 January).

And you can join the discussion and even fire your own questions at them – for free.

The event at Heaven in Charing Cross, central London, is titled Global LGBTI rights: What is Britain's Role? It will help set the agenda on the issue ahead of the 2015 general election.

December 2, 2014

And what are the party’s real LGBTI policies?

A series of spoof Twitter accounts have been used to discredit British political party, UKIP, and make them seem even more homophobic.

That is the core of an angry claim from UKIP today (2 December).

It comes after an account claiming to be their official Twitter voice published tweets attacking equal marriage and suggesting World AIDS Day was a good reason for tightening border controls.

December 2, 2014

Prime Minister Tony Abbott backs away from his election promise to allow a conscience vote on marriage equality

An Australian senator yesterday threatened to block legislation if the prime minister breaks his election promise to allow a conscience vote on gay marriage.

Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm introduced a private bill to legalize gay marriage in parliament last week.

November 26, 2014

'I think people ought to have the freedom to choose their own life path'

Australian Senator David Leyonhjelm today (26 November) introduced his long-awaited gay marriage bill in parliament.

The straight Liberal Democrat told the upper house that he supported gay marriage 'because I think people ought to have the freedom to choose their own life path.'

'To most people, marriage equality means the right to get married irrespective of gender or sexual preference,' he said.

'But it is much more than that; it is the right to live your life as you choose and not have the government impose a particular view on you.'

October 1, 2014

Senator David Leyonhjelm says the timing is not right now but he still aims to introduce the bill in the coming weeks or months

Australian Senator David Leyonhjelm has said he will postpone his gay marriage bill but he is still committed to introducing the legislation 'in a matter of weeks or months.'

The Liberal Democrat told the Australian newspaper that he will temporarily delay his Freedom to Marry bill, which was due this week, because of advice from the major parties.

He said, ‘Both sides of politics have suggested to me that timing this week is not optimum at the ­moment and if I want to win, rather than just do something symbolic, I need to wait.

July 23, 2014

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will tell the world that the UK will bring up gay rights in every meeting and press governments around the world to change their homophobic laws

The UK government will deliver a stark warning to homophobic nations in the Commonwealth, saying it will pressure countries to change their anti-gay laws.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will announce at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games the UK will fight for gay rights around the world.

Out of 53 countries in the Commonwealth, 42 of them criminalize homosexuality.

In his speech at Pride House, a space set up to promote diversity at the Games, the Liberal Democrat leader will say the Commonwealth core values are ‘clear’.

May 23, 2014

Senior police officer turned politician Brian Paddick has revealed he was in an abusive relationship

Brian Paddick, a British politician who was once the most senior gay openly cop in the country, was in love with an abusive partner who threatened to kill him.

The former Liberal Democrat for London Mayor, who is now Lord Paddick, sitting in the UK’s upper chamber of parliament, was speaking at an event for LGBTI domestic abuse organization Broken Rainbow last night (22 May).

He told the charity’s supporters that while he was still a senior police officer, he was in an abusive relationship.

March 28, 2014

Look back on the battle to get same-sex marriage legalized in England and Wales as the first couples prepare to walk down the aisle

The first same-sex marriages in the UK will take place at the stroke of midnight tonight.

After years of tireless campaigning from the LGBTI community, same-sex couples in England and Wales will finally be able to say ‘I Do’.

Queen Elizabeth II signed the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) last year in July, but it took several months before couples could register their intention to marry.

March 25, 2014

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg says 29 March 2014 will go down in history as the first gay couples in England and Wales marry for the first time

The first gay weddings in the UK, to be held on 29 March, will be a day the ‘nation never forgets’, according to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

One of the biggest supporters of same-sex marriage, the Liberal Democrat leader made the remarks while answering a question today (25 March).

‘Will my Right Honourable Friend join with me in sending our best wishes and congratulations to those same-sex couples across our country who will get married this Saturday for the first time,’ Stephen Gilbert, the Liberal Democrat for St Austell and Newquay asked.

December 20, 2013

Liberal Democrat LGBT website isn’t sexed up but it is victim of online blocking by British internet service provider

British internet service provider, TalkTalk has decided LGBT LD – the Liberal Democrats’ official LGBT site – is pornographic, and not suitable for children.

Embarrassingly for TalkTalk, the block came to light after a Liberal Democrat councilor complained about another ‘porn’ filter – stopping people seeing the innocent and essential gay counseling and support service, London Friend.

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 11, 2013

Clegg tells UK LGBT heroes and celebrities including film star Hugh Grant everyone should speak out ‘loud and clear’ against gay abuses in Russia

The British public wanted same-sex marriage equality and politicians followed their lead, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has said.

The Liberal Democrat leader made the comments at a reception celebrating the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Act for England and Wales which has now been signed by the Queen and will allow gays and lesbians to wed from next year.

He admitted it had been a ‘long and sometimes bumpy’ journey down the aisle, but argued the new law would help make Britain better.

July 1, 2013

Nearly 90 now support the bill, with First Minister Alex Salmond, all Cabinet ministers, the leaders of each of the three opposition parties, and every Liberal Democrat also in favor

The majority of Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) support same-sex marriage, giving a much-needed boost to the recently revealed legislation.

Using polling evidence from recent years, The Equality Network suggests more than two thirds politicians support the bill.

There are now 89 MSPs who have stated their support, including the First Minister Alex Salmond, all Cabinet ministers, the leaders of each of the three opposition parties, and every Liberal Democrat.

Only 11 MSPs have said they oppose the bill, with 29 undecided.

June 26, 2013

Stars and politicians attend Pride in London Gala Dinner to raise money for community events

Mayor of London Boris Johnson rubbed shoulders with 200 people from the worlds of business, showbiz and politics at the Pride in London Gala Dinner last night (25 June).

The inaugural dinner at Claridge’s was to raise money to run the pride festival in the UK capital which will culminate in a parade, rally and party this Saturday (29 June).

April 15, 2013

John Leech MP will highlight a report pointing out the levels of homophobic abuse suffered by Brighton fans

A British member of parliament will highlight the importance of fighting against homophobia in football in the House of Commons today (15 April).

March 12, 2013

General Medical Council to look at 39 cases brought to them by trans campaigners against medical professionals. Claims include sexual abuse and damaging treatment

Britain’s General Medical Council (GMC) is to investigate 39 cases where doctors and other medical professionals are accused of misconduct or mistreatment of transgender patients.

Speaking at the Trans Health Matters Conference, hosted by LGBT Consortium, this afternoon, Helen Belcher, a member of the UK Parliamentary Forum on Gender Identity and GSN contributor, will provide significant new insight into how trans individuals experience healthcare.

February 23, 2013

Writing for GSN, veteran gay and human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell remembers his campaign to become a member of the British parliament 30 years ago

A senior Liberal Democrat politician was involved in a secret dirty tricks unit that organized an anonymous, illegal, homophobic smear campaign against the Labour candidate in the 1983 Bermondsey by-election. That candidate was me, Peter Tatchell.

The allegation comes from a former Liberal Party insider, Liverpool city councillor Steve Radford. Appalled by his party’s tactics, he has decided to speak out.

February 8, 2013

Liberal Democrat Julian Huppert speaks to GSN about why he wants to open up civil partnerships to heterosexuals

A Liberal Democrat member of parliament has put forward two amendments to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) bill.

After the House of Commons voted overwhelmingly in favor of the bill by 400-175, it now goes onto a committee stage.

While only 19 MPs are in the committee, others can put forward suggestions.

Julian Huppert, the Lib Dem MP for Cambridge, is supporting opening up civil partnerships for straight people, and allowing humanist weddings in England and Wales.

February 7, 2013

British MPs have voted for gay marriage. But the next stages of the Bill may prove to be a bumpy road through the comitttee stages and the House of Lords

When the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill stormed through the House of Commons on Tuesday (5 February), England and Wales moved a giant step closer to recognizing equal marriage.

The House of Commons vote passed with a majority of 225, with Prime Minister David Cameron and other major party leaders Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg voting in favor.

But despite the support from Members of Parliament (MPs) the bill still has some way to go before it becomes law.

It is now set to be scrutinised line-by-line in the committee stage by a cross-party group of MPs.

February 5, 2013

Mike Freer, Ben Bradshaw, and Margot James are among the few making their voices heard as gay people in the House of Commons

Gay members of parliament have spoken out on equal marriage in the second reading of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill today (5 February).

Put forward by culture secretary and equalities minister Maria Miller, the House of Commons is debating the bill before the vote later tonight.

Stephen Williams, a Liberal Democrat who was the first openly gay MP to serve Bristol, said: ‘I was born when homosexuality was still a criminal offense.