Tag Archives: David Cameron

Benedict Cumberbatch, Vanessa Redgrave and Indira Varma Among Stars Urging UK Government Not to Repeal Human Rights Act

Benedict Cumberbatch, Vanessa Redgrave, and Games of Thrones Indira Varma are among a number of stars that have recorded videos celebrating the Human Rights Act, which is under threat by the UK’s government.

During the State Opening of Parliament, the Queen confirmed “proposals” for a British Bill of Rights, which is expected to replace the law. The UK’s Prime Minister, David Cameron has pledged to “once and for all” repeal the Human Rights Act, and 


Prime Minister David Cameron claimed it is necessary in order to “break the formal link between British Courts and the European Court of Human Rights.”

But campaigners such as head of human rights organisation Liberty Shami Chakrabarti have condemned the decision, saying:

Government plans to scrap the Act play populist games with hard-won freedoms and undermine the United Kingdom at home and abroad.”

Article 14 of the Human Rights Act, which affords protection from discrimination, has been used in many legal cases to argue for protection for LGBT people.

Vanessa Redgrave, Benedict Cumberbatch, David Harewood, Simon Callow and Indira Varma voice the stories of ordinary people who have successfully held the powerful to account through human rights laws.

Chakrabarti said:

These films tell just a few of the stories of our Human Rights Act giving a voice to some of the most vulnerable people‎ in our country.

Soldiers, journalists, victims of rape, domestic violence and slavery all found justice thanks to Churchill’s Legacy. Government plans to scrap the Act play populist games with hard-won freedoms and undermine the United Kingdom at home and abroad.”


UK General Election News | Which Party Will Champion LGBT rights?

For the last few months, politicians have done their upmost to portray their parties as progressive, in an attempt to appeal to the 3.8 million LGBT voters in the UK.

Ahead of what is set to be one of the closest elections in years, Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Green party have all released LGBT-focused election manifestos. Meanwhile, David Cameron has promised to take a tough stance against reparative “gay cure” therapies – while reminding the us of the legalisation of same-sex marriage under his government.

So before we vote, we took look at how each party stacks up on LGBT rights.



Labour’s LGBT manifesto has pledged to address five important issues. Firstly to tackle discrimination, the party have said they will strengthen law on LGBT hate crime, undertake a review of gender identity law and policy, restore the Equality Act and implement “Turing’s Law” – offering posthumous pardons to gay men convicted for homosexuality.

Regards to health, Labour have pledged to improve access to mental health treatment and to work among the trans community to improve access to gender care services and tackle HIV/Aids.

The Labour party have pledged to equip teachers with the training and resources to tackle LGBT bullying, while introducing age-appropriate compulsory sex and relationships education in all state schools.

Labour have also pledged to appoint the UK’s first international envoy on LGBT rights to promote rights globally, and review the procedures for asylum seekers fleeing persecution for their sexuality or gender identity. The party have also said they will work to improve LGBT representation in Parliament.



The party has not released an LGBT manifesto, but have included a comprehensive list of LGBT-related pledges in their 2015 manifesto. In a relative U-turn on the party’s chequered history on gay rights, the Conservatives have built on their legalisation of marriage in 2013 – which helped the party neutralise the legacy of Margaret Thatcher’s reign.

The Conservatives have committed £2m ($3.04m) to finding “innovative” ways of tackling homophobic, bi-phobic and transphobic bullying in schools and have committed to LGBT-inclusive sex and relationships education. The party have also pledged a Transgender Action Plan to tackle transphobic abuse, provide better guidance on pension entitlements and the implications of gender assessment for tax purposes and support transgender job seekers.

To tackle LGBT hate crime, the party say they will “toughen sentencing and use new technology to protect the public” – and review legislation governing such crimes. Also, following a petition calling for the 49,000 men convicted under historic anti-gay laws to be pardoned, the Tories have also pledged new legislation to pardon convicted men posthumously.

Liberal Democrats


The Lib Dems have pledged support to build on the legalisation of same-sex marriage, which was approved by the coalition in 2013. To continue moving towards equality, the party want to introduce mixed-sex civil partnerships and promote EU-wide recognition of same-sex marriage and civil partnerships.

Along the same lines as the Conservatives, the Lib Dems want to end “gay conversion therapy” but also want to extend the existing NHS Memorandum of Understanding to cover trans people. This is part of a focus on trans rights, ensuring inclusive sexualities in advertising, media, sport and politics.

The Lib Dems also want to ban homophobic chanting at sports matches, as well as tackle bullying in schools, by introducing compulsory same-sex relationships education. The Lib Dems also want to end the deportation of LGBT people to countries where they face persecution and introduce “X” gender markers on passports.

Green party


The Greens have outlined a LGBT manifesto, which covers areas including housing, education, employment and health. The party pledge to legislate to remedy inequality in pension inheritance for same-sex marriage partners and same-sex civil partners, while pardoning all men convicted of consenting adult same-sex relations under anti-gay laws that have now been repealed.

The Greens want every school to have an anti-bullying programme that explicitly combats homophobic, bi-phobic and transphobic bullying, and want to implement mandatory age-appropriate sex and relationship education from primary level onwards.

In terms of health, the Greens also want to consider reducing the 12-month blood donation deferral period for men who have sex with men, based on individual risk assessment where the donor is identified to be not at risk of passing infections into the blood supply. The party want to improve HIV services on the NHS and make access to gender reassignment services easier.

To tackle discrimination, the Greens want to ensure uniform legislation against all forms of hate crime. The party wants to press the Commonwealth to grant accredited status to a Commonwealth LGBT Association and urge all member states to end the criminalisation of homosexuality and protect against discrimination and hate crime.



Unlike the other parties, the UK Independence Party failed to weigh in on a single LGBT rights issue in their manifesto. However, the party did publish a “Christian manifesto” which opposes same-sex marriage legislation although they would not seek to reverse it.

The party have also outlined their opposition to inclusive, age-appropriate relationships education for primary school pupils, stating they would “encourage experimentation”. They failed to mention trans rights in their manifesto.

Ukip have also faced a string of embarrassing gaffes. Earlier this month, the party’s Yorkshire regional secretary Peter Morgan admitted to a Leeds University student that he didn’t know what the term “LGBT” meant, prompting ridicule on social media.

Scottish National Party


The SNPs have pledged to support the creation of an LGBT rights envoy within the UK Foreign Office to “promote the rights of LGBT people throughout the world, as an integral part of UK foreign policy”.

The party also hinted at further laws to protect LGBT people, saying they “will seek to maintain the protections provided by the Equality Act 2010”.

However, the manifesto failed to mentioned some of the LGBT issues raised by other parties, such as statutory sex and relationships education in schools. Although education is a devolved matter in Scotland, the manifesto did specify other education policies. The SNP have also kept quiet on proposals to pardon men convicted of historic same-sex offences.

Plaid Cymru


Plaid Cymru party, have pledged their support for a number of LGBT issues, including full marriage equality and ending discrimination on blood donation. The party have pledged to ensure all schools and local authorities record incidents of homophobic bullying and to tackle the problem by providing better support and training to teachers.

The party also want to provide support to tackle isolation among LGBT people and to toughen sentencing on homophobic, bi-phobic and transphobic hate crime, working closely with police to ensure incidents are recorded.

Plaid Cymru want to implement a framework for Primary Care Service for Trans and Intersex people and support the development of a Gender Identity Clinic in Wales.


Democratic Unionist Party


Northern Ireland’s DUP also failed to mention any LGBT rights issues in their manifesto. The party recently came under fire for their “conscience clause” bill, which could essentially permit anti-gay discrimination.

In February, DUP minister Paul Givan tabled a bill in the Northern Ireland Assembly that would effectively exempt people with “strongly held” religious convictions from equality laws – allowing them to discriminate against LGBT people.

The DUP also oppose gay marriage and uphold a ban on the donation of blood by gay men in Northern Ireland. In April, Health Minister Jim Wells stepped down from his position after claiming children brought up by gay parents were more likely to be abused.

UK LGBT People Should Fear Government ‘Complacency’, Says Stonewall

If you’ve been following the debates in the run up to the UK’s general election in May, then you’ll know that the top three deciding ‘issues’ that will determine which party gets into power are: immigration, the NHS and the economy. British people want to know how the government is going to cut the deficit, they want to know how the government is going to curb the rise in immigration (or at least build better infrastructure to cope with it) and how the government is going to stop the NHS from going under or going private.

Most notably not a talking point this time around is equality.

England, Scotland and Wales all have marriage equality and all three countries also have laws that permit adoption of children by same-sex couples or allow same-sex partners to be listed on a child’s birth certificate. Northern Ireland is a little bit behind when it comes to LGBT equality but it’s slowly but surely getting there.

The problem Stonewall has is that although the laws that have been passed already are important and are vital on the road to full equality, they are nowhere near comprehensive. There are still great changes that need to be done but “people assume that legal equality is enough by itself” and “there is still a lot to do to change social attitudes towards LGBT people”.

In a Huffington Post article, the LGBTQ organisation explains that the following need to be addressed by the main political parties of the coming election:

  • “Statutory Sex and Relationship Education for primary and secondary school children in England. This includes talking about different types of families to make people aware of the diversity of family life. It also means ensuring that the issues facing LGBT young people are included across the board, including in discussions around consent, abuse and online safety. Finally, Stonewall is calling on the next government to show its commitment to tackling homophobic, biphobic, and transphobic bullying by ensuring all teachers are trained effectively.
  • Combatting homophobic, biphobic and transphobic hate crime. This must be high priority and should be added to the list of ‘aggravated’ offences alongside hate crime based on race or religion. The next government should spearhead a campaign that encourages LGBT people to report all incidences of hate crime; we must abolish the notion that some incidents are not serious enough to report.
  • International aid. The next government must develop initiatives to ensure aid reaches LGBT people across the world. It should encourage its partners to embed LGBT equality into the way they plan and deliver aid, with the support of LGBT people in their countries, and it should make specific funding available for LGBT groups to achieve social change.
  • Reviewing the laws affecting trans people. We also know that across the UK trans people have to fight for the right to be themselves, often struggling with a legal system that doesn’t make that easy. That’s why we’re asking all candidates to commit to reviewing laws affecting trans people, including the Gender Recognition Act, to ensure that all trans people are treated as equal citizens with equal rights.”

Unfortunately, none of these things have been mentioned in a positive light or at all during this election season. For example, the UK Independence Party (commonly known known as UKIP) has come under fire for its views on LGBT equality, having opposed several rulings that would help tackle homophobia against same-sex couples moving from the UK to other parts of the EU and in 2014 they didn’t support the calls to work on a strategy that tackle homophobia across Europe. Whilst UKIP certainly isn’t alone in its poor LGBT track record, the fact that LGBT rights have only really come up when a member of UKIP has said something against them is rather telling.

There’s just one month to go until the UK general election (May 7) so it seems unlikely that any of the leading political parties will change their tune between now and then, but we should still push for them to take action no matter what.

Clare Balding and Long-term Partner Alice Arnold Covert Their UK Civil Partnership to Marriage

Speaking on the Jonathan Ross Show this week, British sports presenter, Clare Balding, confirmed that she and former Radio 4 newsreader Alice Arnold had converted their civil partnership to a marriage.


“It’s about equality. It’s just about knowing that you can and knowing that you can say ‘I’m married’, and nobody’s going to think that’s married in inverted commas, no that’s actually married. I think it’s great. We converted. So it was a civil partnership that we did in 2006, and then we actually went to the same registry office and they just backdate it to when you did your civil partnership, so officially now we have been married since 2006.”

Clare Balding

The couple, who have been together 14 years, had a private ceremony in Chiswick. They initially became civil partners in 2006, and announced their intention to convert to marriage last year.


She said it was an important step as it meant they would now be considered as legitimately married as opposite-sex couples.

Balding told Ross that their marriage was backdated to the day the couple entered into a civil partnership.

“We didn’t have a big party at all actually, nobody came apart from us, I’m quite keen on the whole idea of a party obviously, I don’t know the etiquette though, are you allowed to ask for presents again? It’s all about the party and the presents,” Balding joked.

She later tweeted:

UK Prime Minister David Cameron, this week declared Balding his “gay hero”.

“I’m a big fan. I love her enthusiasm; her zest for life… it doesn’t matter what sport she’s talking about, she can make it interesting. She’s a wonderful human being.”

David Cameron

UK General Election News | Conservatives Are Level with Labour in Winning LGBT Votes

The Conservatives are now neck and neck with Labour as the favoured party of LGBT voters, according to a recent opinion poll for PinkNews.

The survey of voting intentions puts both the Tories and Labour on 26% – a 5 percentage point rise since the last election in 2010 for the Conservatives, while Labour is down two percentage points.

Surprisingly, the poll reveals support for the Liberal Democrats has dropped considerably. Five years ago, the Lib Dems where the most popular party, with 40% of LGBT people saying they would vote for them.

According to the survey, the Greens have made the biggest gains in the LGBT vote. Their support has leaped from 4% to 20% in five years.

Ukip had the lowest support – with just 2% of LGBT voters.

Pink News chief executive Benjamin Cohen said:

“The polling shows that the LGBT community is as divided as the rest of the country when it comes this year’s general election. However, there is one striking difference, the almost negligible level of support for Ukip and consequently the increased popularity for the Greens and SNP. ”

This is the first time in the 10 years that PinkNews has polled the LGBT community that the Conservatives have led the survey of voting intentions. Under David Cameron’s leadership gay marriage was legalised last year.

On the Conservatives’ new popularity amongst gay voters Cohen said:

“There is not a reason not to vote Conservative if you’re gay. Probably what you’re going to do is make a decision based on the economy or other issues. This is the first election that the leadership of all the mainstream parties’ leadership have demonstrated they are supportive of the LGBT community.”

LGBT voters ranked the economy as the most important reason for choosing who to vote with LGBT policies in fourth place.

UK PM David Cameron Says Marriage Equality Is One of His Biggest Achievements

The most talked about topic in recent years regarding LGBT rights is marriage equality. While many have criticised the way that marriage equality has been pushed to the forefront, saying that there are more pressing concerns such as homeless LGBT youth and LGBT mental health, few can disagree that same-sex marriage is still incredibly important.

Under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (which were decided by the United Nations General Assembly in the 1940s) ‘the right to marry’ has been deemed a human right. So the fact that so many countries deny their citizens to get married if they are a same-sex couple is very much a violation.

It was good news then, that after increasing calls for marriage equality the UK brought it into law in 2014, giving same-sex couples the right to marry and the ability to call one another husband or wife and have the legal forms to prove it. And now, UK Prime Minister David Cameron has called marriage equality one is his greatest achievements.

At a Q&A in Wirral, Cameron told attendees that:

“I did get a lot of letters from men who said, because of the changes you made, I have been able to marry the person I love. That was great. Lots of people have invited me [to their weddings] and sent me lovely letters saying if it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t be able to marry the person I love. But I haven’t been to [a same-sex marriage] yet. I’m sure I will soon.”

David Cameron

Cameron’s support comes even as supporters of his political party (the Conservative Party) have voiced opposition to his stance, saying that his focus on marriage equality has dramatically hurt their chances of succeeding in the UK’s general election which is set to take place in May.

One group called the Grassroots Conservatives recently issued a letter saying that Cameron’s “drive to ram” marriage equality legislation through Parliament was “bizarre”. GC Chairman Bob Wollard also added that it will result in them “handing the keys over” to UKIP (UK Independent Party) a far-right political party which regularly makes headlines for its racist, homophobic and transphobic views.

The fact that David Cameron continues to be vocal about his support of marriage equality, in the face of this is positive at least. Hearing that the UK’s leading politician is in favour of your rights is never a bad thing.