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:

 

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 »

Stephen Fry named presenter of the year for global homophobia documentary

Actor, presenter and journalist Stephen Fry has been honoured with an award as presenter of the year for a BBC series which saw him travel around the world looking at homophobia. Mr Fry beat David Attenborough and Davina McCall to win the honour at the Royal Television Society Programme Awards on Tuesday. The award was… Read more »

Sir Ian McKellen leads 27 Nobel laureates in protesting Russia’s ‘gay propaganda’ law

Sir Ian McKellen and his friend the chemist Sir Harry Kroto have penned an open letter to the Russian Government signed by 27 Nobel prize winners, protesting its ban on so-called ‘homosexual propaganda to minors’ Sir Ian McKellen has joined forces with the noted chemist Sir Harry Kroto to co-write a protest letter to the… Read more »

Homophobia vs Homosocialism: The Fear of Being Perceived Gay

In India, in Italy, In China, in fact all around the world it is perfectly acceptable for men to hold hands in a show of affection. For a society that advertises itself as a paradigm of acceptance, and it is, men in Britain and the US are scared, nay petrified of bodily contact lest they… Read more »

London Pride 2014 to honor New York’s Stonewall Riots

Event in June will mark the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots with the theme of ‘Freedom to…’ Pride in London 2014 will pay tribute to the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York, a turning point for the LGBTI liberation movement. Organizers have set the theme as ‘Freedom to…’ and are holding… Read more »

Gay son of child abuse campaigner killed himself after years of bullying at school

Tearful Shy Keenan tells how she could not protect son Ayden who suffered years of abuse at school over his sexuality The son of a prominent child abuse campaigner killed himself after revealing that he was gay and being “bullied to death” at school, an inquest heard. Ayden Keenan-Olson, 14, took his own life three… Read more »

David Cameron explains what equal marriage means to him

The passing of equal marriage for England and Wales cements the UK’s position “as the best place in Europe for LGBT equality”, Prime Minister David Cameron has said. He has spoken of his pride at equal marriage becoming law for England and Wales. Writing exclusively for PinkNews.co.uk and the London Evening Standard, Mr Cameron thanked… Read more »

Gay marriage reveals surprise contrast between ‘starchy’ Britain and ‘freewheeling’ France

London — The French like to make fun of the British, joking about their repressed ways in matters of the heart. But when it came time to debate same-sex marriage, it was France that betrayed a deep conservative streak in sometimes violent protests — while the British showed themselves to be modern and tolerant. With… Read more »

Equal marriage bill for England and Wales given Royal Assent and is now law

The equal marriage bill for England and Wales was today given Royal Assent, and is now officially law. The Queen’s Royal Assent was granted to the bill on Wednesday at 15:06, turning it into the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act, after clearing the final stage in Parliament yesterday, following two hours of debate, and the… Read more »

British House Of Lords Approves Gay Marriage Bill

On Monday, the House of Lords, the unelected upper chamber of the British Parliament, approved a bill which seeks to make Britain the 15th nation to legalize gay marriage. The measure now heads back to the House of Commons to reconcile amendments between the two chambers. According to Bloomberg, the upper house approved the bill… Read more »

Putin: The Czar of Homophobia

Russian anti-gay repression condemned Violation of Russian constitution & European human rights law Sign the petition against homophobic repression in Russia London’s LGBT Pride Parade last Saturday included protests against Russia’s new anti-gay law and condemnation of President Vladimir Putin as the “Czar of Homophobia”. See photos of the Peter Tatchell Foundation contingent at London… Read more »

Lords follow marriage victory with call for gay sex to be legal globally

Britain’s House of Lords have heard the need for 78 countries to decriminalize homosexuality worldwide, just after voting for gay marriage The criminalization of homosexuality is ‘abhorrent’ and needs to be scrapped on human rights and HIV-prevention grounds, the House of Lords has heard. The comment was made by senior Conservative Lord Norman Fowler as… Read more »

Landslide vote for gay marriage in House of Lords

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… Read more »

MPs pass same-sex marriage bill in final third reading

MPs have voted 366 – 161 overwhelmingly in favour of passing the Marriage (Same Sex Couples Bill) – in its third reading in the House of Commons – giving it a majority of 205. Shortly before the vote took place, Culture Secretary and Minister for Equalities, Maria Miller told MPs: “I accept that for some… Read more »

Gay Star News flashmob brings you sunshine for IDAHO

GSN teams up with London Gay Men’s Chorus and London Gay Big Band to Bring Me Sunshine and spread the word about fighting homophobia and transphobia Gay Star News joined forces with the UK capital’s talented LGBT singers and musicians to make a video to mark International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO). While reports… Read more »

Queen Elizabeth ‘Stands Up’ for Gay Rights Without Mentioning Them

While Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II is being hailed as a progressive leader for signing a new Commonwealth charter that opposes discrimination based on gender, LGBT activists note that the monarch has never actually uttered the words ‘gay’ or ‘lesbian.’ Queen Elizabeth II on Sunday backed a new commonwealth charter for the United Kingdom, which some… Read more »

Circumcision makes no difference to HIV infection in UK gay men

An analysis of an online and gay-venue survey of white, British-born, gay and bisexual men in the UK has found no association between whether they were circumcised and whether they had HIV, even among men who were mainly or exclusively ‘tops’ (who take the insertive role in anal intercourse). The study While a couple of… Read more »

‘Inhuman and degrading’: Gay asylum seekers feel they must go to extreme lengths to prove their sexuality, including filming themselves having sex

S Chelvan, a barrister at No 5 Chambers, blames strict UK Border Agency demands for the desperate measures A leading barrister has warned that gay asylum seekers believe they have to go to extreme lengths to prove their sexuality in order to meet strict UK Border Agency demands. S Chelvan, a barrister at No 5… Read more »

Prove You’re Gay Or Go Home, Home Office Tells Senegales Student

A gay student has been told to prove his sexuality or face deportation to his home country Senegal, where homosexuality is outlawed. Serigne Tacko Mbengue, who studies at Newham College in east London, and is a LGBT campaigner for the NUS, fled to the UK in 2008 to escape homophobic persecution. But the 26-year-old is… Read more »

Poll: Strong support across Europe for equal marriage and adoption – but France divided

A majority of people in several European countries believe that same-sex couples should be allowed to get married and adopt children, but in France the public is divided, according to YouGov. It’s latest poll shows a slim majority of French people (51%) are against allowing gay couples to adopt. The findings come ahead of an… Read more »

Comment: The truth about being a gay 16-year-old at an all boys boarding school

16-year-old Olly Hudson writes for PinkNews.co.uk about his experiences of being gay at a private all boys boarding school in the UK. He despairs at the homophobic environment and the lack of acknowledgement by the school that homosexuality even exists. My name’s Olly, and I’m a 16-year-old from South Wales. I’m also gay. I decided… Read more »

Senior Anglican Condemns Gay Bishops As A Compromise Too Far

The leader of a global group of traditional Anglicans has condemned the Church of England for “compromising with the secular preoccupations of the West” in an attack that significantly ratchets up the latest fallout between liberals and conservative over the thorny issue of homosexuality. Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, the Primate of Kenya and the leader of… Read more »

UK lawyers help Cambodia with LGBT rights

Advocates for International Development helps UK lawyers to help a Cambodian human rights group improve LGBT rights UK lawyers are helping a Cambodian human rights center draft proposals for law reform to protect LGBT people in the southeast Asian nation. Lawyers from Linklaters in the UK working for free for charity Advocates for International Development… Read more »

Young, Gay and Homeless

Christmas is almost here, and many of us are looking forward to spending time with our loved ones. But there are some people who don’t have that to look forward to. That is because they are homeless. Being homeless is one of the worst things can happen to someone. I know because I have been… Read more »

British government should take responsibility for colonial sodomy laws, says Human Rights Watch

Human Rights Watch deputy director, Asia, tells Gay Star News that the UK government should publicly denounce anti-gay laws that were set up by the British empire The British government should do more to persuade ex-colonies to repeal anti-gay laws, Phil Robertson the deputy director of the Asia division of Human Rights Watch told Gay… Read more »

UK: Home Office threatens to ban Ugandan politicians from entering Britain over anti-gay law

The Home Office has indicated that if Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill is passed by the country’s parliament, the UK may ban senior Ugandan politicians from entering Britain It comes after Conservative MP Mike Freer tabled a question in parliament calling on Home Office Minister Mark Harper to ban Ugandan parliamentarians who are complicit in passing the… Read more »

Princes William and Harry back gay-run HIV charity

Princes William and Harry follow in mom Diana’s footsteps by backing Terrence Higgins Trust Britain’s pin-up Princes, William and Harry, have been asked to be ambassadors for the country’s leading HIV charity, Terrence Higgins Trust (THT). The organization was started when Terry Higgins became one of the first to die of AIDS in the UK… Read more »

Comment: Coming out as gay at a Catholic high school

PinkNews.co.uk reader Andrew Doughty writes about what it’s like to be a gay teenager in a British Catholic school in 2012. I’m sure we’ve all the heard the words ‘Faggot’, ‘Queer’, ‘Dyke’ and many other, ‘pleasant’ terms thrown around at some point in our lives. In a high school setting this could seriously knock a… Read more »

Obituary: Allan Horsfall – LGBT pioneer 1927-2012

Campaigner for UK gay law reform & equality Peter Tatchell recalls the contribution of LGBT rights pioneer Allan Horsfall, who died from heart failure on 27 August 2012, aged 84. Allan Horsfall was one of the grandfathers of the modern gay rights movement in Britain, with a campaigning record that stretches back more than 50… Read more »