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:

 

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 »

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 »

My boyfriend killed himself because his family couldn’t accept that he was gay

Nazim Mahmood jumped to his death from a balcony seven months ago after coming out to his parents. His partner of 13 years, Matthew Ogston, talks to Sarfraz Manzoor In the spring of last year, Matthew Ogston and Nazim Mahmood moved into their dream home. The apartment, on the top floor of a mansion block… Read more »

It’s official couples in civil partnerships can now MARRY!

From today, all couples have the right to marry in England and Wales, as the first civil partnership conversion ceremonies take place. When the first same-sex marriages took place on the 29th March 2014, couples who were already in a civil partnership were not allowed to marry. Now, same-sex couples already in a civil partnership… Read more »

House of Lords approves civil partnership conversion regulations in time for Christmas

The regulations for the conversion of civil partnerships to marriage have been passed following brief, but impassioned speeches in the House of Lords. The British Government on 17 October announced revised regulations for converting civil partnerships to marriage, which include the option of a conversion ceremony in a church, synagogue, meeting house and other venues.… Read more »

Google to Quadruple Computer Science Prize Winnings to $1 Million

The A.M. Turing Award is often called the Nobel Prize of computer science. Now, thanks to Google’s largess, it will be a Nobel-level prize financially: $1 million. The quadrupling of the prize money, announced on Thursday by the Association for Computing Machinery, the professional organization that administers the award, is intended to elevate the prominence… Read more »

Rally condemns Egypt anti-gay witch-hunt

Forty people rallied outside the Egyptian Embassy in London on Saturday 18 October to protest against the witch-hunting of LGBTI people in Egypt. It was part of an International Day of Action in solidarity with persecuted Egyptian LGBTIs. Similar protests took place in Berlin, New York, Mexico City, Ottawa and Barcelona. The London protest was… Read more »

London: 70 couples marry in Southbank mass wedding

70 couples have taken part in a mass wedding in London, to celebrate the introduction of same-sex marriage. The event, which saw 15 same-sex couples and 55 mixed-sex couples tie the knot across 6 ceremonies this weekend, was part of Southbank’s Festival of Love programme, which celebrates the introduction of equal marriage earlier this year.… Read more »

British Embassy in Hanoi officiates its first wedding of a same-sex couple

The British Embassy in Hanoi has officiated its first wedding for a same-sex couple in Vietnam. Yein Kai Yee and Sutpreedee Chinithigun, both males and British citizens, had their wedding held by the British Embassy July 29 morning, according to tuoitrenews.vn. The marriage was attended by the couple’s relatives and the embassy staff and Charge… Read more »

Gay Couples Can Marry in Russia, Other Countries in British Consulate

The British newspaper the Telegraph reports same-sex marriages can now take place in the British consulates of 23 countries around the world, including nations where gay marriage isn’t legal, like Russia, Serbia, Hungary and Azerbaijan. The marriages, however, won’t be recognized under foreign law. “The Foreign Office has opened the doors of its missions to… Read more »

‘Church Has Harmed Gay People’ Says Welby

The Archbishop of Canterbury says it is “impossible” for some parts of the Church to support gay marriage. The Anglican Church has caused “great harm” to homosexuals and is wrestling with the issue of gay marriage, according to the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Most Rev Justin Welby warned Christians in some parts of the world… Read more »

Britain’s first openly lesbian MP Angela Eagle: I can’t believe the minister for women is anti-gay rights

Speaking in the House of Commons today, Labour’s Shadow Leader of the House of Commons Angela Eagle has condemned the Prime Minister’s judgement for the Maria Miller situation. Britan’s first openly lesbian MP, Ms Eagle, went further to attack the appointment of Nicky Morgan as the new Minister for Women, as she voted against same-sex… Read more »

Gay Couples to Tie the Knot in First Same-Sex Marriages in Britain

London — Peter McGraith and David Cabreza will marry in London a stroke after midnight on Friday, marking the culmination of a campaign to end a distinction many British gay couples say made them feel like second class citizens. Saturday will be the first day gay couples will be allowed to tie the knot in… Read more »

Britain’s First Gay Couples Prepare To Tie The Knot

England and Wales legalised gay marriage in July  Civil partnerships were just not enough, say activists Churches remain opposed to homosexual marriage London – (Reuters) Peter McGraith and David Cabreza will marry in London a stroke after midnight on Friday, marking the culmination of a campaign to end a distinction many British gay couples say… Read more »

UK budget: Alan Turing £42m research institute announced

Mathematician who helped the Allies win World War II was convicted for having gay sex was only finally pardoned in December 2013 A £42 million research institute is to be set up in the name of Alan Turing, the gay genius who helped the Allies win World War 2.  A research fund honoring Alan Turing,… Read more »