United Kingdom, Europe

Contemporary British attitudes towards LGBT rights and homosexuality are regarded as generally liberal. The age of consent stands at 16 - regardless of sexual orientation. In 2004, the Gender Recognition Act created a process for transsexual and transgender people to change their legal sex. The landmark Civil Partnership Act 2004 created a parallel legal structure to marriage, giving gay couples all the rights and responsibilites of marriage, including the eligibility to apply to adopt children. In addition, discrimination based on both sexual orientation and gender identity is illegal in many fields, including housing, employment and the provision of goods and services. Likewise, Her Majesty's Armed Forces allows LGBT individuals to serve openly. In December 2008, the United Kingdom - along with 65 other countries - signed a United Nations declaration calling for the global decriminalization of homosexuality.

 

News & Reports:

 

Scotland to pardon gay men with historical convictions

Nicola Sturgeon offers apology in Holyrood to thousands of men prosecuted for having sex under old laws Thousands of gay men in Scotland prosecuted for having sex will be automatically pardoned in a new bill that will also allow many to get previous convictions removed from their records. The bill will pardon men who were… Read more »

Muslim woman reveals abuse growing up as a lesbian in Pakistan

A Muslim woman has described how hard it was growing up as a lesbian in Pakistan, where homosexuality is illegal. ‘Zayna’, 40, who moved to the UK in 2010, said she was discriminated against because of her sexuality but always stayed true to herself. Shopkeeper raped customer when she asked if she could charge her… Read more »

Prime Minister Theresa May challenged over deportation of LGBT asylum seekers

Prime Minister Theresa May has been challenged in Parliament over the deportation of LGBT asylum seekers. People can seek asylum in the UK on the grounds that they face persecution in their home country because of their sexuality or their gender identity. However, the Home Office procedures for processing LGBT asylum seekers has been repeatedly… Read more »

UK’s first same-sex Anglican church wedding takes place

The first same-sex wedding in a UK Anglican church has taken place in Scotland. The Church of England and Church in Wales are both legally banned from carrying out same-sex weddings, but the Scottish branch of Anglicanism, the Scottish Episcopal Church, is not bound by the same laws. In a break from traditional Anglican teachings,… Read more »

Lost portrait of King James’s gay lover resurfaces after 400 years

A lost portrait of King James’s rumoured gay lover has been found after more than 400 years. The portrait, by Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens, was rediscovered hanging in a property in Glasgow, where it had been assumed it was a copy. However the painting, was verified to be real by antiquities expert Dr Bendor… Read more »

Hate crime against gay and bisexual people in Britain rises by 78 per cent

Hate crime against gay, lesbian and bisexual people in Britain has risen by a massive 78 per cent in the last four years. The proportion of gay, lesbian and bisexual people who have experienced a hate crime rose from nine per cent in 2013 up to 16 per cent in 2017. The new research by… Read more »

Region responds to homophobic hate with first ever LGBT Pride event

A British county is hosting its first Pride event in response to a recent rise in homophobic hate crime. Worcestershire in the West Midlands has seen a dramatic rise in homophobic hate crime since 2015, when 18 incidents were reported. 40 such incidents occurred in Worcestershire from April 2016 to March 2017 – and in… Read more »

Revealed: LGBT Asians forced into heterosexual arranged marriages, police say

Hundreds of gay and lesbian people in the UK are being forced into arranged heterosexual marriages, research has found. West Midlands Police say the number of people contacting them regarding a forced straight marriage has markedly increased. The force say they had at least 30 cases of LGBT people contacting them regarding forced marriages in… Read more »

First Muslim drag queen says there have been ‘countless’ Muslim gay marriages

Asifa Lahore, Britain’s first Muslim drag queen, says there have been “countless” same-sex Muslim weddings. She also revealed that there is a “thriving” LGBT community among Muslims in the UK. In an interview with The Times, Asifa said “in the last three years I’ve been to dozens of gay Muslim, same-sex marriages. “I attended one… Read more »

Couple married in one of UK’s first gay Muslim weddings suffer online abuse

‘You can’t be a gay Muslim, if you are then you’re not a Muslim’ A couple who had one of the UK’s first same-sex marriages involving a Muslim partner have received online abuse after their wedding. Jahed Choudhury and Sean Rogan married last week in Walsall, in the West Midlands. Footage from the ceremony showed… Read more »

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan calls for urgent action after half of London’s LGBT venues close

More than half of London’s LGBT venues have closed in a decade, new research has found. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has called for urgent action over the closures – with a string of new measures to be enacted. The findings come as more than a million people are set to take part in the… Read more »

Queer City: Gay London from the Romans to the Present Day by Peter Ackroyd – review

Ackroyd’s history of gay culture in the capital is entertaining but sexes up the facts The idea of a book that excavates London’s queer history all the way from BC to yesterday in order to speculate on the secret patterns that lie buried in the city’s past is a deeply appealing one – and who… Read more »

BBC’s ‘bold and provocative’ Gay Britannia set to rule the airwaves

The BBC will air a “bold and provocative” season of LGBT programming to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality. Actors Vanessa Redgrave and Simon Callow, Sandi Toksvig and Years and Years singer Olly Alexander will feature in TV and radio shows about the LGBT community. Viewers will see the stories of… Read more »

Falkland Islands introduces full marriage equality

PinkNews Exclusive The Falkland Islands has passed historic legislation to legalise same-sex marriage. The Legislative Assembly also voted overwhelmingly to approve civil partnerships for both same-sex couples and heterosexual couples. The British Overseas Territory, which has a population of around 3,000, passed the law with seven votes in favour, and one against. The extention of… Read more »

Tate Britain celebrates 50 years of gay freedom

This week an exhibition opens of ‘queer’ art whose specific perspective was not always recognised or accepted It is not just the beauty of art, it turns out, that lies in the eye of the beholder, but also its “queerness”. Tate Britain is preparing its first show dedicated to “queer art”, a term long understood… Read more »

UK government refuses to make ‘gay cure therapy’ illegal

The UK government has refused to make gay cure therapy illegal. It has responded to a petition signed by 33,000 Brits asking for the process, which has been widely debunked, to make the process illegal. The creator of the petition, Mollie Mantle, wrote: “This therapy often includes electric shocks, counselors encouraging suicide, and damaging ideology… Read more »

Over a billion people are living under British anti-gay laws as 40th Commonwealth Day celebrated

People from around the globe are celebrating the 40th Commonwealth Day – as more than a billion people in ex-British colonies continue to live under anti-gay laws. To mark the anniversary the Queen revealed that a baton will “visit people living in the nations and territories of our Commonwealth family in every continent and ocean.”… Read more »

A third of Brits still think being gay is a choice

Unsurprisingly, UKIP voters were the most likely group to think being gay is a choice A third of British people still believe being gay is a choice. The YouGov study revealed 31% of Brits think gay men and lesbians ‘choose’ their sexuality, while 49% of people think they are born that way. 3% of respondents… Read more »

Manchester to open the UK’s first LGBT retirement community

Manchester City Council has announced plans to create the UK’s first retirement community for LGBT people – with a hard limit on how many non-LGBT residents can live there. The project, a first in the UK, is intended to cater for the city’s older LGBT population, and is part of wider plans to provide high… Read more »

10 notable queer women in UK history that you should know about

February is LGBT History Month in the UK. Here are some women who made their mark on history Last year I presented a UK LGBT history session to our recent alumni of the Stonewall LGBT Allies program that we held at Thomson Reuters. The session was a whistle-stop tour from Roman times to modern day.… Read more »

Synod victory for LGBTI love and equality

Bishops’ report endorsing discrimination is defeated Biggest setback for Anglican leaders in decades Report defended straight superiority & opposed equal marriage LGBTI clergy and lay people treated as second class “This vote to reject the Bishops’ report is a triumph for love and equality. It is the biggest defeat for the Anglican leadership in many decades.… Read more »

There is going to be a new gay club opening up in London

And it’s going to be open until 5am There is going to be a new gay club opening up in LondonFacebookThere’s going to be a new club opening in south London8 February 2017 by Joe Morgan A gay man is going to be opening up the first new LGBTI nightclub in London in years. Following… Read more »

Britain posthumously pardons thousands of gay men in ‘Turing law’

London (CNN) – Thousands of gay and bisexual men who were convicted of now-abolished sexual offenses in Britain have been posthumously pardoned under a new policing law, the Justice Ministry announced. The “Turing law” received royal assent on Tuesday, the last stage in a bill becoming law in the United Kingdom. It gives an automatic… Read more »

Government issues apology for historical anti-gay laws as Parliament gives green light to pardons law

Plans to issue a pardon with men who were convicted under anti-gay laws have been accepted unopposed. The Turing’s Law proposals will see men convicted for consensual same-sex relationships, which were criminalised in England and Wales until 1967, formally pardoned. Rather than bring about direct legislation on the issue, the Ministry of Justice fulflled the… Read more »

Thousands of Men to Be Pardoned for Gay Sex, Once a Crime in Britain

London — The men were convicted — tens of thousands of them — of crimes like buggery, gross indecency and loitering with intent. They had been arrested in bars, coffee houses and public bathrooms, and sometimes in the privacy of their homes and with their partners. In many cases, their only offense was seeking intimacy… Read more »

Thousands of Men to Be Pardoned for Gay Sex, Once a Crime in Britain

London — The men were convicted — tens of thousands of them — of crimes like buggery, gross indecency and loitering with intent. They had been arrested in bars, coffee houses and public bathrooms, and sometimes in the privacy of their homes and with their partners. In many cases, their only offense was seeking intimacy… Read more »

Why does gay sex scare modern Muslims?

Homosexuality didn’t frighten Muslims in Islam’s Golden Age Islamic literature once revered & celebrated same-sex love. Why not now? Preface by Peter Tatchell, Director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation: “We are delighted to publish this challenging article by Maajid Nawaz. It reveals the hidden, suppressed history of an era when same-sex love featured in some… Read more »

6 Sites Recognized by Britain for Significance to Gay History

London — The former homes of the writer Oscar Wilde and the composer Benjamin Britten are among six sites that were recognized on Friday by an arm of the British government for their significance in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history. Historic England, a body that designates places worthy of legal protection, announced the decision,… Read more »

Court files recording details of World War Two code-breaker Alan Turing’s convictions for homosexual acts have gone on display for the first time.

One of the documents, to be displayed at Chester Town Hall, shows the mathematician admitted “acts of gross indecency” at a trial in 1952. He then underwent chemical castration. Helen Pickin-Jones, chair of Chester Pride, said: “Just a few simple lines of text reveal the appalling treatment of one of our national heroes.”Alan Turing’s homosexual… Read more »

Peter Tatchell wins James Joyce Award 2016 – Granted an Honorary Fellowship by University College Dublin

Award acceptance dedicated to LGBT group, Sexual Minorities Uganda Acceptance speech: The future evolution of human sexuality Human rights and LGBT rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has been named as winner of Ireland’s prestigious James Joyce Award 2016 and the recipient of an Honorary Fellowship from University College Dublin. nPrevious winners include Noam Chomsky, Desmond Tutu… Read more »

Peter Tatchell wins James Joyce Award 2016

Granted an Honorary Fellowship by University College Dublin Award acceptance dedicated to LGBT group, Sexual Minorities Uganda Acceptance speech: The future evolution of human sexuality Human rights and LGBT rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has been named as winner of Ireland’s prestigious James Joyce Award 2016 and the recipient of an Honorary Fellowship from University College… Read more »

British Lesbian Couple Wins Gold In Rio

A British couple made history last week at the Rio Olympics when their team took the field, becoming the first married same-sex couple to play together on the same team. On Friday, the couple made more history, becoming the first married gay couple to medal at the Olympics, and first gold medalists, after Great Britain… Read more »

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson lifts ban on embassies flying rainbow flags for Pride

In one of his first acts as Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson has scrapped a controversial ban on Pride flags being flown from UK embassies and consulates around the world. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond came under fire last year when he ordered British embassies to abide by a policy that blocks any flag other than the… Read more »

David Cameron: I want to change the world on global LGBT rights

Prime Minister David Cameron has lamented the UK losing its top ranking on LGBT rights issues in Europe – pledging to push equality across the world as he celebrates the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. For four years, rights group ILGA-Europe put the United Kingdom at the top of its extensive rankings Rainbow Europe… Read more »

Isle of Man finally passes same-sex marriage

The Isle of Man has finally approved same-sex marriage – meaning Northern Ireland is set to be the last place in the Isles without marriage equality. As a crown dependency, the Isle of Man maintains autonomy from the UK on issues including marriage. It was the last part of these islands to legalise homosexuality in… Read more »

Why Does Gay Sex Scare Modern Muslims? It Didn’t in the Golden Age.

Colonialism taught Muslims to be ashamed of many things, including sexual orientation. Now they are more intolerant (and maybe more hypocritical) than the Victorians. London — Half of British Muslims say being gay “should be outlawed.” Thus ran the headline in London’s Sunday Times this week. Even more opposed gay marriage, while almost half thought… Read more »

The tartan rainbow: why it’s great to be gay in Scotland

The leaders of four of Scotland’s six main political parties have come out, and the country has been identified as offering the best legal protection for gay people. But how deep does this new liberality go? The most revealing thing about Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale’s recent interview in the Fabian Review was not her… Read more »

Peter Tatchell plans to reach out to Muslims on LGBT rights

Peter Tatchell is launching a new campaign to convince everyday Muslims to embrace LGBT rights, and improve links between the LGBT and Muslim communities. The veteran human rights campaigner will hold a street stall outside Whitechapel tube station in East London this Wednesday, in a bid to reach out to the local Muslim community. Parts… Read more »

British Cabinet Office to fly rainbow flag for Pride in London

The Cabinet Office has announced that it will fly the rainbow flag this week to celebrate Pride in London. In a first for central Government, the Cabinet Office flew a rainbow flag to mark World Pride in 2012 in London. The iconic flag has been flown since for Pride events including Pride in London. It… Read more »

The Renegade Who Came In From The Cold

Peter Tatchell, one of Britain’s most audacious LGBT activists, faces the ire of those he long championed. To shadow gay rights activist Peter Tatchell, one must double as designated photographer. Outside the Royal Courts of Justice in Central London, where I met the 63-year-old campaigner, a lesbian couple asks for a picture with their tiny… Read more »