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: 

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

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.

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 10 Comments

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.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 42 Comments

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.

Posted in Op-eds | Leave a comment

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

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

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:

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 21 Comments

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:

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 12 Comments

Stonewall withdraw their inaccurate election graphic – but don’t replace it with one which accurately reflects Lib Dem achievements

Every time you think it’s safe to like Stonewall again, they do something tribally partisan for the Labour Party. As I reported yesterday, they produced a graphic that gave Labour full marks to their questions, but only 2/5 for Liberal Democrats. A cursory glance at the manifesto would have given us full marks, as LGBT + Lib Dems Chair Dave Page and Communities Minister Stephen Williams told Pink News.

I’m astounded by this grossly misleading graphic, suggesting the Liberal Democrats have little to say about LGB&T rights in our manifesto. The opposite is true.

We have seven specific policies including making anti gay chanting an offence, promoting international recognition of same sex marriages and more action on homophobic bullying. As a Stonewall member I am deeply disappointed that they have chosen to spell out Labour Party policies and ignore Lib Dem proposals, which build on our long standing commitment to gay rights.

Liz Barker’s tweets in response were also very informative.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 4 Comments

Two grateful men, one scarf, an angry Baroness and an LGBT organisation that can’t read what’s in the Lib Dem manifesto

Stonewall dropped a huge clanger yesterday by issuing a graphic on its Facebook page that gave Labour a tick for all the policies it had featured and gave only two to the Liberal Democrats. Thing is, anyone who had read the Liberal Democrat manifesto would know that all these things were in fact there.

Pink News has a wonderfully sarcastic quote from LGBT+ Chair Dave Page:

It is surprising that an organisation with Stonewall’s resources, if it seeks to appear nonpartisan, did not seem to have taken the time to quickly search through the Liberal Democrats’ main party manifesto (rather than the separate documents published by some other parties).

If they had, they would have found the commitment to tackle hate crime in section 9.3: ‘Change sentencing guidelines to increase sentences available for hate crimes.’

They would have also found the following on overseas aid in section 11.6: ‘Liberal Democrats believe British foreign policy and international aid should seek to advance human rights and democracy throughout the world. We believe all people – regardless of ethnicity, disability, age, belief, gender or sexual orientation – deserve a freer, fairer and more prosperous world.’

Under Ruth Hunt’s excellent leadership, Stonewall have done a lot of work to build bridges and listen to a wider array of voices.

We hope that the days of Lib Dem MPs having to lobby Stonewall to support equality rather than the opposite are behind us all. Unfortunately their rush to issue this ill-researched graphic undermines their reputation for being even-handed advocates of equality.

Lib Dem Peer Liz Barker also took Stonewall to task on Twitter. In a series of tweets parodying Stonewall’s “Some people are gay/trans, get over it” phrase, she outlined the Liberal Democrat record on LGBT rights:

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , and | 3 Comments

Julian Huppert: Commons should debate ban on fisting and watersports porn

Julian Huppert MPPinkNews reports:

A ban on the production of certain types of porn in the UK will be the subject of a debate in the House of Commons, if a Lib Dem MP who opposes it gets his way.

Brought in by the Audiovisual Media Services regulation 2014 last week, the ban states that any online paid-for porn such as Video on Demand (VoD) must adhere to the same rules set out for those producing DVDs. Those rules are set out by the British Board of Film Censors (BBFC), and ban

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 60 Comments

Stephen Williams calls for zero tolerance of homophobia on football terraces

Stephen Williams MPLiberal Democrat Communities Minister has called for the FA, football clubs and the Police to work together to combat homophobia on football terraces.

From Pink News:

He said: “We need to stamp out homophobia on the terraces with the same vigour that we banished racism. It isn’t acceptable that footballers still feel the need to hide their sexuality out of fear of abuse.

“I want homophobia to be treated with zero tolerance just the same as racism and I want clubs, stewards, the police and FA to work even harder to

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 5 Comments

LDVideo: Nick Clegg – Let’s use Pride in London to celebrate advances in LGBT rights

Pink News reports that Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has released a video celebrating Pride in London, saying we should celebrate advances made for LGBT rights. It quotes Nick saying:

“It is quite fitting that on the eve of London Pride weekend we were able to announce the final, crucial steps to making equal marriage a reality. From 10th December those couples who are currently in civil partnerships but want to enter into a marriage instead, will be able to do so.

“It has been a long struggle to get here and many people have worked tirelessly to ensure true marriage equality, but it has been worth it. This weekend we will be able to celebrate the advances our society has made for LGBT people, their friends and families.”

You can watch the video here

Posted in YouTube | Also tagged , , , and | 2 Comments

LibLink: Giles Goodall: UKIP’s disgraceful record on gay rights

Gay Pride New York 2008 / 20080629.10D.49816 / SMLSouth east Euro Candidate Giles Goodall has compared and contrasted the voting records of the Liberal Democrats and UKIP on LGBT rights in an article for Pink News.

It will come as no surprise to anybody that the Liberal Democrats have supported LGBT at every single stage:

In contrast, Liberal Democrat MEPs have systematically supported LGBT rights, with the European liberal group coming out with the best record in the European Parliament, alongside socialists and greens.

Let’s look at some of the things UKIP …

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , , and | 3 Comments

Nick Clegg: “I’m extremely proud to be part of a government that looks to the future of LGBT rights.”

nick clegg pointingIn an interview for Pink News, to mark yesterday’s 10th Anniversary of the repeal of Section 28, Nick Clegg said:

Section 28 was a divisive piece of legislation that should remain consigned to the constitutional graveyard forever. We have made tremendous strides as a country in securing greater LGBT rights since then – not least in securing the landmark legislation to secure equal marriage that I have supported for years.

There is of course further to go, particularly to help put a stop to homophobic bullying in schools. I’m extremely proud to be part of a government that looks to the future of LGBT rights.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 7 Comments

Nick Clegg’s speech at the PinkNews awards

Last week Nick Clegg was a guest speaker at the inaugural PinkNews Awards, which were held in Parliament. In his speech he referred to the fact that the deputy editor of PinkNews had just proposed to his partner during the ceremony.

You can watch Nick here (if only to find out why Stephen Gilbert was so well placed to rescue a woman from the Thames):

Posted in News | Also tagged and | Leave a comment

Liz Barker is up for a Pink News award for Parliamentary speech of the year – vote today!

In June, we brought you Liz Barker’s moving speech on the Same Sex Marriage Bill. Liz started by talking about her own relationship which is as long as mine, yet she hasn’t been able to get married to her partner in the same way as I did to mine 25 years ago. Her speech very carefully and without rancour demolished the usual arguments against. She said:

Some noble Lords say that allowing gay people to get married is unfair as it leaves other sorts of relationships, such as those of siblings, without the same legal rights as those who choose a marital

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 5 Comments

John Leech writes to a constituent

john leechAny of us who have been elected to public office will have received letters, emails or even phone calls that shock us into realising that not all our compatriots are liberal and fair-minded.  Rascist, homophobic or simply personally offensive rants, expressed in highly charged language, remind us that we still have much work to do.

When it has happened to me I have initially been quite upset, then dealt with it by distancing myself from the contents and refusing to respond. But maybe there is another way to handle such communications.

John …

Posted in News | Also tagged | 5 Comments

LibLink: Nick Clegg – Celebrate the arrival of equal marriage

Nick Clegg Lib Dem leaderNick Clegg, writing in Pink News, said:

We’re almost there. We’ve almost made it. With the Third Reading of the Equal Marriage Bill complete, we’re just a few final steps away from the equal right for gay couples to marry becoming law.

I know you’re saving the champagne for when it actually happens. And that’s right. But it’s also important for us to recognise how much your commitment to this cause has transformed people’s attitudes to equal marriage in this country.

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged and | 9 Comments

LibLink | Nick Clegg: Celebrate Pride but don’t forget the countries that discriminate against LGBT people

lds_prideNick Clegg has an article over at PinkNews.co.uk, in which he highlights how the forthcoming same-sex marriage legislation means this weekend’s Pride in London celebrations will be a “landmark” event. However, he contrasts the strides of progress made here with continuing repression against LGBT people around the world. Here’s an excerpt:

Civil partnerships were a huge stride forward, but only the right to marry – if you choose – is real equality. This isn’t just a ‘gay issue’. It’s about the kind of society we want to be.

This year we are flying

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , , , , and | 1 Comment

LibLink…Giles Goodall: LGBT rights in Europe – La vie en Rose?

South East region Euro candidate Giles Goodall has written an article for Pink News for the International Day against homophobia and transphobia looking at LGBT rights across Europe.

He makes the point that 7 EU countries already have equal marriage with 3 more likely plus Britain to do so. However, he makes the point that without the Liberal Democrats in the Coalition, it would be unlikely to happen here. He then points out that the reality of life for LGBT people is not always as rosy as the law would imply:

A major new survey by the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency,

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , , and | 7 Comments

Nick Clegg explains why he’s Out4Marriage

Way back in February 2010, Nick Clegg used the phrase “Love is same, straight or gay” in an interview with Pink News in which he expressed his support for equal marriage. That phrase has become a slogan of the Out4Marriage campaign.

He has reiterated that full support on many occasions since.

Today, Out4Marriage released a video he made for them explaining why he supports the right of all couples who love each other to marry as “a fundamental right in an equal society”.

Enjoy!

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 15 Comments

Only a week to respond to Lynne Featherstone’s consultation on equal civil marriage

Time is running out to respond to the Government’s consultation on equal civil marriage which has been implemented by our own Lynne Featherstone.

It’s really important that everyone who believes in equal marriage should make sure that their voice is heard.

The consultation closes a week tomorrow, 14th June. Don’t leave it till the last minute – make sure you do it today.

If you’re unsure about the issues, those nice people at LGBT+ Lib Dems have prepared a helpful pack which outlines all the issues and arguments.

I also thought you might like to see the video Cambridge Liberal Democrat Councillor Sarah Brown did for the Out 4 Marriage campaign, which was reported in Pink News recently.  She talks very movingly about how she and her wife had to dissolve their marriage in 2009 and opt for a civil partnership. She describes how painful it was to have their years of  marriage “confiscated by the state”.

 

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 6 Comments

Yet another reason why gay voters are deserting the Tories for the Lib Dems

The Tories seem to be doing their best to lose the vote of gay people. Last month it was shadow Tory home secretary Chris Grayling who landed himself and his party in trouble by defending the rights of bed-and-breakfast owners to discriminate against gay couples. Then the party’s shadow defence minister Julian Lewis alleged that equalising the age of consent had increased the risk of HIV infection.

And now the Tories have had to suspend one of their would-be MPs for describing gay people as “not normal”. The BBC reports:

Tory election candidate Philip Lardner has been suspended for describing gay people on his website as “not normal”, the party has confirmed. … The primary school teacher’s name will remain on ballot papers because it is too late to remove his nomination. He will still be listed as a Conservative candidate, although a party spokeswoman said they had made clear they no longer supported him. Mr Lardner had been reinstated to the party in 2008 after a previous suspension over claims he made racist comments by portraying former leader of white-rule Rhodesia, Ian Smith, as a hero. On that occasion, Mr Lardner did not deny making the comments but suggested they had been taken out of context.

His latest suspension was provoked by comments in the “What I believe in” section of his website, under the sub-heading: “Homosexuality is not ‘normal behaviour’.” The former Territorial Army soldier wrote of his support for the controversial “clause 28”, which was introduced by the Conservatives under Margaret Thatcher and banned public bodies from promoting homosexuality.

This latest example of backwards Tory thinking perhaps helps explain the collapse in the party’s support among gay voters, with the Lib Dems the overwhelming choice of 58%. Pink News reports:

A group of 911 LGBT people, weighted demographically and geographically have been informing PinkNews.co.uk of their voting intentions since March 2010 as well as their votes in the 2005 general election. Support for the Conservative Party has fallen from 17% in 2005 to 9% today. Labour support has dropped from 29% in 2005 and in the 2009 poll to 21% today. Liberal Democrat support has increased from 20% to 58%. The Green Party have dropped from 10% in 2005 to 8% today.

Oh, and here’s another reason why gay voters might doubt the resolve of the Tory party in advancing gay equality – here’s a stumbling and mumbling David Cameron defending his party’s record in an interview for Gay Times recently:

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 5 Comments

LibLink: Nick Clegg answers Pink News readers’ questions

Over at Pink News, Nick Clegg answers questions from its readers on gay marriage, homophobic violence, faith schools, LGBT asylum seekers, and many other political issues. Here’s a taster:


The number one question submitted by our readers was on whether Nick Clegg and his party support gay marriage. Mr Clegg said last month he supported civil partners calling themselves husband or wife but would he change the law to allow gay civil marriage?

Yes, I support gay marriage. Love is the same, straight or gay, so the civil institution should be the same, too. All couples should be able to make that

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged and | 1 Comment
Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJoeB 25th May - 1:25am
    Peter, The UK had similar oil reserves in the North Sea to that of Norway in the 1970s. Norway invested their windfall. In 1974, Oslo...
  • User AvatarMichael BG 25th May - 1:03am
    @ Peter Martin While our position has not always been clear, it is that there should be a referendum on accepting the deal or staying...
  • User Avatarpaul holmes 24th May - 11:40pm
    Mick, do your arguments on the effect of AWS stand up to scrutiny? Jo Swinson was selected to fight and win her Target seat in...
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 24th May - 11:24pm
    "They want another referendum, on the proposed deal with the EU." If we vote to reject it then what? We leave with no deal? You...
  • User AvatarRob Parsons 24th May - 11:11pm
    I think the shortest answer to that, Little Jackie, is read Jo's book. The evidence is there in every way from statistical to anecdotal.
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 24th May - 10:47pm
    @ JoeB, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Norway all have large oil reserves ! Not all countries are so fortunate. Singapore runs a current account...