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Content about United Kingdom

August 22, 2014

Orange Is The New Black actress speaks to Gay Star News about everything from the rise of Laverne Cox to the worst thing about the English

Lea DeLaria has been breaking barriers for some time. Not only is she a gay, butch actress, she is doing a damned good job playing one on TV.

Celebrated for her role as Big Boo on Orange Is The New Black, this 56-year-old has had a long and incredible career.

And now, she is the grand marshal of Manchester Pride today (23 August).

I spoke to her on the phone yesterday, and she was in an incredibly upbeat mood – definitely in the Pride spirit.

I hear girls have been trying to hunt you down, is that true?

August 21, 2014

Girls are getting married quicker than the boys, with a 56%-44% split between gay and lesbian couples

Official figures have revealed how many same-sex marriages have taken place in the UK.

A total of 1,409 marriages have taken place from 29 March, the first day gay couples could legally get married in England and Wales, and 30 June.

Of these, 56% were female couples (796 marriages) and 44% were male (613).

When the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2014 was introduced in England and Wales, it triggered a rush of couples wanting to be among the first tie the knot.

August 21, 2014

Evan Davies is tipped to win Journalist of the Year at the annual event held in London

New BBC Newsnight presenter Evan Davies is expected to win big at the European Diversity Awards.

The gay journalist is among the many names hoping to win one of the coveted awards.

Jane Hill, a BBC newsreader, will host the awards on 2 October in London.

‘’The European Diversity Awards recognize the efforts of people and organisations who are building a society across Europe which embraces all citizens,’ she said.

‘I'm proud to be taking part and highlighting some of the excellent work that is being done to make a lasting difference.’

August 19, 2014

Students of all gender identities are celebrating after UCAS chooses to change their rules that could have arguably violated the Equality Act

Non-binary and trans students are victorious after protesting biased new UK university admission rules.

UCAS, the UK’s official provider of university admissions services, sought to immediately review their procedures following a petition on change.org.

The Nonbinary Inclusion Project spotted UCAS had amended their application form for 2015 university admissions, asking students to state their ‘legal sex’ of either male or female. The question was not optional.

August 15, 2014

X Factor winner will not be on Professor Green's forthcoming album

James Arthur, the winner of The X Factor UK in 2012, has been hoping for a comeback since getting dropped from Simon Cowell’s record label.

There were plans for him to appear on rapper Professor Green’s forthcoming album.

But then, after Arthur released a diss track laden with homophobic slurs including ‘You fucking queer’, he was removed from the record.

Speaking to Digital Spy, he said: ‘He just kind of imploded, didn’t he? It’s a shame, when I met him he was a cool guy but he just upset so many people.

August 15, 2014

Romance began at the office for Shona and Sharon, but when they wed they made sure it didn’t leave them in debt. Read their top tips for a magical wedding at a price you can afford

Our relationship started back in 2007 when Shona caught my eye in the office. We didn’t say a word to anyone back then about the blossoming romance. Shona hadn’t come out to her parents and we didn’t think it was anyone else’s business!

It was only when we emigrated to Sydney we decided we didn’t want to live as ‘friends’ anymore and were a lot more open about our relationship. We had a great three years out there and when we returned to Britain we decided that we didn’t want to go back to hiding our relationship.

August 14, 2014

Vicky Beeching has suffered an exorcism, years of loneliness and an illness that could have killed her. And now she's taking the ultimate step

While Vicky Beeching may be a star on the Christian rock scene in the US, she has decided to risk everything by coming out as gay.

The 35-year-old Brit is already being targeted by homophobes who feel ‘betrayed’ by her coming out.

But if she didn’t, as she revealed in her coming out interview with The Independent, it could have killed her.

August 14, 2014

‘I came out as a gay teacher in a whole-school assembly in 2010. Today, four years later, I just received this email. Wow.’

In 2010, teacher David Weston made an incredible decision.

He decided to come out to the entirety of Watford Grammar School, in Hertfordshire, England.

And now, four years later, a former student has got in touch with him to thank him.

Writing on Twitter, he said: ‘I came out as a gay teacher in a whole-school assembly in 2010. Today, four years later, I just received this email. Wow.’

It reads:

Hi David,

August 12, 2014

For a same-sex couple in Merseyside, adoption provided the answer to their dreams of motherhood

When gay male couples think about starting a family, the options most usually explored are adoption, surrogacy or an arrangement with a willing female friend. When a female couple or single woman wants to have children, then sperm donation or IVF treatment are the methods often utilised. However, not all women want – or are able – to give birth to their own kids, and for them, fostering and adoption are a more likely route to family life.

August 12, 2014

'I’m not prepared to enter into a fabricated debate about trans people’s right to exist/express themselves.'

Paris Lees, one of UK’s most famous trans rights activists, walked out of a BBC Newsnight recording yesterday (11 August).

She was invited on to BBC Newsnight, Britain’s leading political review and debate news show, to discuss Kellie Maloney, the former boxing legend, and the impact of her coming out as a trans woman.

But then suddenly, she tweeted: ‘I’ve turned down BBC Newsnight down as I’m not prepared to enter into a fabricated debate about trans people’s right to exist/express themselves.

August 8, 2014

26-year old Emily Fox has pleaded guilty to four counts of sexual activity with a female student

A lesbian PE teacher in England must register as a sex offender after pleading guilty to having sex with an underage student.

Emily Fox has pleaded guilty to four counts of sexual activity with the minor, whom Fox met at the Royal Masonic School for girls in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire.

In the United Kingdom, the age of consent is 16.

The incidents reportedly occurred from 2012 to 2013, during the year term Fox was teaching at the school.

August 4, 2014

New Stonewall chief, Ruth Hunt, has spoken about the organisation’s future plans to tackle homophobia in schools

In one of her first major interviews since becoming the new chief of UK-based LGBT rights charity, Stonewall, Ruth Hunt has said that she believes educating pre-primary school children that families come in all shapes and sizes – including single and same-sex parents – is vital in helping to tackle homophobia.

Speaking to The Independent newspaper, she said that she wants Stonewall to commission books ‘celebrating difference in all its forms for under-fives.’

August 2, 2014

Earlier in the Games, Daley took silver in the 10m platform pairs

United Kingdom's out diver Tom Daley took gold today (2 August) in the Commonwealth Games' 10m platform.

'GOLD!!!' he wrote on Facebook, under his picture holding the Glasgow medal.

According to the BBC, the 20-year-old scored 516.55 to keep the title he won in Delhi in 2010.

Malaysia's Ooi Tze Liang took silver with a score of 433.70; Vincent Riendeau, from Canada, was awarded  bronze with 429.25.

August 2, 2014

A UK man said he wanted to line up and shoot gay people in a Facebook rant, and defended himself in court by saying he was just ‘having a bad day’ 

A UK father of three was condemned by a court for threatening to ‘line up and shoot’ gay people in several Facebook rants.

Paul Gair, from Gateshead, UK, posted the disturbing threats on the Facebook page of UK local newspaper The Chronicle.

The Facebook page was promoting Northern Pride, an LGBTI pride event in Newcastle, northern England, which seemed to provoke the outburst from Gair.

July 28, 2014

Hunt is likely to work more closely with other LGBTI organizations. She has tried to support transgender people and develop international work

Stonewall has chosen Ruth Hunt – who has pledged to work more closely with other LGBTI organizations – as its new chief executive.

Hunt has been acting CEO of Stonewall, the UK’s leading lesbian, gay and bisexual charity, since the departure of Ben Summerskill in February this year.

She originally joined the charity in 2005 as a senior policy officer and became deputy chief executive under Summerskill.

July 25, 2014

A suicidal Orashia Edwards was suddenly detained earlier today, with no warning given to him or his family

A mother says the UK government is giving her bisexual son a ‘death sentence just for being who he is’.

Vienna Brown, mom to 32-year-old Orashia Edwards, spoke to GSN in tears about her son’s fate now he has been refused asylum in Britain.

He is to be sent back to Jamaica – where he has been vilified in the national press making him a target for anti-gay thugs.

Earlier today (25 July), Edwards was detained after a routine sign-in at Water Side Court in Leeds, north-east England.

July 25, 2014

Conservative ministers have agreed to rewrite rules for England and Wales gay couples seeking to convert their civil partnerships into a marriage

Gay couples in England and Wales will be able to convert their civil partnership into a marriage in a ‘ceremony with heart’.

From 10 December, thousands of couples already in civil partnerships will be allowed to convert their unions into marriage.

But according to the proposals, they would have only had to pick up a ‘certificate of conversion’ – a piece of paper with very little romance.

As no witnesses would be required, the guidance to councils suggested no family or friends would be able to end and it would not be an official ceremony.

July 25, 2014

Move may reassure people concerned Secretary of State for Education and Equalities Nicky Morgan voted against same-sex marriage

Britain’s Education and Equalities minister, Nicky Morgan, has appointed a current staffer from gay charity Stonewall as her new special advisor.

Luke Tryl, was until 5pm today, head of education at Stonewall, the UK’s leading gay rights organization.

But from Monday, he will start as special advisor to Morgan on equalities and education, Gay Star News can exclusively reveal.

July 25, 2014

Move may reassure people concerned Secretary of State for Education and Equalities Nicky Morgan voted against same-sex marriage

Britain’s Education and Equalities minister, Nicky Morgan, has appointed a current staffer from gay charity Stonewall as her new special advisor.

Luke Tryl, was until 5pm today, head of education at Stonewall, the UK’s leading gay rights organization.

But from Monday, he will start as special advisor to Morgan on equalities and education, Gay Star News can exclusively reveal.

July 24, 2014

The Quakers church in the UK are concerned that same-sex couples who are converting their civil partnerships to marriage will not have the option of doing that in a church

The Quakers, also known as the Religious Society of Friends in Britain, have gone public with their concern that same-sex couples who are converting their civil partnerships to marriages in England and Wales will only be able to do that via register offices and not by a church wedding.

Churches in the UK register the marriages they perform with the government and the Quakers want to be able to perform their members’ same-sex marriages just as they do for opposite-sex Quaker couples.

July 23, 2014

British born porn performer Bruno Knight was arrested at LAX on 16 June after border protection officers found he was carrying half a pound of crystal methamphetamine inside him

British born porn star Bruno Knight has been arrested for trying to traffic half a pound of crystal methamphetamine from the US to the UK.

Knight, who’s real name is Philip Gizzie, had attempted to board a Virgin Atlantic flight at LAX airport in California which was departing for the UK but was stopped by Border Protection officers who had been tipped off by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

July 23, 2014

42 of 53 countries competing in the Commonwealth Games make gay sex illegal but they’ve just seen a gay kiss at the opening ceremony

Glasgow has defied Commonwealth gay hate by getting John Barrowman to kiss a man in the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games.

A shocking 42 of the 53 countries competing in the games, the world’s third biggest multi-sports tournament, criminalize homosexuality.

Some, including Uganda, Nigeria, Brunei and Jamaica, are famous as some of the world’s most homophobic countries.

They are in sharp contrast to Scotland, the games’ host, where same-sex marriage is legal.

July 23, 2014

From the Queen and PM to celebrities, athletes and ordinary LGBTI people, we should use the Commonwealth Games to fight for gay rights

As the Commonwealth Games start today amid much fanfare in Glasgow, Scotland, 42 of the 53 countries competing still criminalize homosexuality.

That’s not just awkward or embarrassing. It’s shameful.

The collection of former British Empire countries, under the titular leadership of Queen Elizabeth II, is supposed to be held together by friendship, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

July 22, 2014

Recent reports that sperm donation in Britain is still in a critical state have been much exaggerated. Donors and sperm samples are in good supply, reports the London Sperm Bank

Reports continue to suggest that sperm donation in Britain is in a state of crisis: insufficient donors, insufficient supplies… and deep frozen sperm samples flown in from Denmark in yet another Viking invasion.

Nothing could be further from the truth, especially at the London Sperm Bank, where more than 15,000 vials of donor sperm are in storage and where, since the London Sperm Bank opened its doors in 2010, almost 4,000 cycles of treatment have been completed.