Tag Archives: pink news

LIbLInk: John Sharkey: Why I fought to get a pardon for gay and bi men

Much of the coverage of the new law pardoning thousands of gay men for historic convictions became law last week. The Lib Dem peer who fought for this for years, John Sharkey, has written for Pink News about why this was such an important issue for him.

He started with an account of how homosexual acts became a crime in the first place – almost casually.

On 6 August 1885, late at night in the Commons debate on the Criminal Law Amendment Act, Henry Labouchère suddenly produced an amendment to the Bill before the House. This amendment criminalised homosexual acts. The only discussion was over the penalty to be imposed. Labouchère had proposed a maximum of one year. Sir Henry James suggested two years and Labouchère agreed. The whole debate had four speakers, including Labouchère. It lasted four minutes and consisted of a total of 440 words, but 75,000 men were convicted under this amendment, and Alan Turing was one of those.

At university, he had been taught by Turing’s closest friends and got to know his story: 

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The irony behind tonight’s Corbyn media firestorm

By Jeremy Corbyn’s standards, it was actually quite a good speech. Pink News has the video here. He was engaged, clearly speaking from the heart. He talked about having saved a Gay Centre from attack by National Front types decades before gay rights became fashionable. And then, in true Corbyn fashion, he has to go and ruin it all by concluding:

Our defence of you is a defence of all of humanity and the right of people to practise the life they want to practise, rather than be criminalised, brutalised and murdered, simply because they chose to be gay, they chose to be lesbian, they were LGBT in any form

Obviously, being gay isn’t some kind of lifestyle choice. You don’t choose it any more than you choose your eye pr skin colour or whether you are right or left handed. It is how you are born. Everything about Jeremy Corbyn’s voting record on LGBT issues over the years suggests he knows that and that he genuinely mis-spoke tonight. Let’s face it, it’s not the first time he’s snatched disaster from the jaws of opportunity.

He should be aware that any inference that your sexual orientation or gender identity is a choice plays into the hands of those who wish to roll back the decades of progress. It is also deeply upsetting to LGBT people.

It’s even more upsetting when it’s being gleefully amplified all over the place by the right wing press and Tory LGBT groups.

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Farron: Ministry of Justice need to be “dragged into 21st century” over Tara Hudson

Tim Farron has intervened in the case of Tara Hudson, the transgender woman from Bath who has been sent to serve a 12 week prison sentence at an all male prison because, basically, of some paperwork. She’s never applied for a Gender Recognition Certificate, but she has lived as a woman for all of her adult life.

Tim expressed his fears for Tara’s safety to Pink News. He said:

The Liberal Democrats will raise this case in Parliament.

There is a clear need for a policy change in this area. It looks like the Ministry of Justice needs be dragged kicking into the 21st century.

As I understand it, Tara has lived all her adult life as a female. I worry potential risk of harm to her in a male prison which was deemed to have levels of violence ‘considerably higher than in similar prisons’ by the prisons inspectorate.

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Liz Barker on being awarded Peer of the Year by Pink News

Liz Barker gets award from Tim FarronLast week Pink News bestowed on me the honour of Peer of the Year. I am really chuffed to be nominated along with colleagues Brian Paddick and Paul Scriven because Pink News upholds high standards of journalism and is itself a brilliant campaigner for LGBT equality.   I am delighted to have won because this is recognition for all the effort that Liberal Democrats have made for equality from parish councils to the European Parliament.  No political party has worked longer and stronger for LGBT rights than the Liberal Democrats.

The award was a shot in the arm for battles which lie ahead. Others, including the SNP, will claim to have greater diversity of representation. The Tories and Labour are using equalities as a key weapon in their strategy to annihilate us. Just look at the constituencies of the MPs on the Women and Equalities Select Committee – Lewes, Eastleigh, Portsmouth South, Bath, Birmingham Yardley and Hampstead and Kilburn – so the message for 2020 is clear. Between now and then, should there be an event in your constituency featuring any community group included in the Equality Act, the Tories will be out in force.

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Liz Barker wins Pink News “Peer of the Year” award

Congratulations to Pink News on their 10th anniversary. Last night they presented their annual awards. It was fantastic to see Liz Barker’s achievements being recognised as she won Peer of the Year. Here she is being presented with her award by Tim Farron:

Liz Barker gets award from Tim Farron

Let’s just remind you of some of her recent best bits campaigning for LGBT+ equality.

There was that amazing speech during the passing of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill:

Many years ago I had the great good fortune to meet someone. She and I

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LibLink: Norman Lamb MP.. I will stand up for LGBT rights as Lib Dem Leader

Tim Farron gave a major interview to Pink News a few weeks ago and now it’s the turn of Norman Lamb to lay out his views on LGBT issues.

He wrote for the site this week, starting off by reminding us that when he came into parliament, it was legal to discriminate against LGBT adoptive parents, section 28 was still in force, homophobic bullying was rife in school and LGBT couples were not allowed to get married (or even have a civil partnership).

It has been a privilege throughout that time to have had the chance to be part of the movement to change these profoundly homophobic laws that institutionalised bigotry, created misery and held back people’s freedom to love and thrive.

So far, my contribution to that change was as Health Minister in the Coalition government. I made the cause of equality for those suffering mental ill health a true NHS priority for the first time.

I recognise the impact of mental ill health on the LGBT community. I introduced the first maximum waiting times for mental health treatment.

I also worked to tackle the evil of gay ‘conversion therapy’, that treat people’s sexuality as a sickness rather than something to celebrate.

I proposed and secured the first ever memorandum of understanding with all the key bodies to commit clearly that this so called therapy has no place in a modern country.

There is, he argues, so much more to do:

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Paddick says UKIP LGBT+ should be able to join London Pride

The organisers of London Pride have banned UKIP’s LGBT organisation from joining in the event on 27th June.

Liberal Democrat Peer Brian Paddick has said that this is the wrong decision. Pink News has the story:

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    Michael BG, the figures are for the current account budget (defined by Office of Budget Responsibility as (current expenditure – current receipts – depreciation). Keynes...
  • User AvatarRoland 24th Feb - 4:39pm
    @Peter Martin - "It’s always interesting to read Keynes and other notable economists from past eras too. But I don’t believe we should hang on...
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    @ Michael BG, Sure, Govt can steer the economy. It can raise or lower interest rates to encourage everyone to save more or less. It...
  • User AvatarRonald Murray 24th Feb - 4:17pm
    As a third generation Liberal now Liberal Democrat with over forty years membership I find all the points made above excellent. There is no comparison...
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 24th Feb - 3:58pm
    @ JoeB, It's always interesting to read Keynes and other notable economists from past eras too. But I don't believe we should hang on to...
  • User AvatarMichael BG 24th Feb - 3:53pm
    @ Peter Martin In the context of what is a stimulus and what is austerity and how is the economy affected generally when the deficit...