It was very pleasing to see that progress is being made within the church to our plight. Like in all aspects of society, attitues towards the LGBT community are changing, and this was evident by Canon Micheal Smith of York Minster blessing the pride parade over the weekend.
However, there are others who are not so happy about this. Rev Melvin Tinker of Newland St John’s in our beatiful city in Hull, has been less than pleased with the canon’s decision, which is very dissapointing. Rev Tinker believes that, because stealing a car is wrong, murdering someone is wrong, one’s far worse than the other but the point is they both fall in to the immoral category. He made the case that homosexuality is a kin to peadophillia, and that as the two are both a sin before God, then they fall in to the same catagory of sin.
His remarks are not only ill informed and offensive, they’re outright damaging, and could have far worse implications than he had bargained for. Firstly, how anyone can compare loving, committed, consensual relationships between people of the same sex, to the exploitation of children beggars belief. The two are polar opposites and Rev Tinker has been made to look rather foolish by his remarks. However, what is even more concerning is that there is every chance that a God fearing Christian who lives locally, is really struggling with their feelings and is looking for solace. What better place to turn to than a man of God? Rev Tinker has now closed this avenue off for them, as an individual such as this is going to imagine that the vicar will believe them to be a peadophile for thier feelings, which will only alienate any vulnerable person further. If they’re feeling alone and isolated, then are made to feel even more isolate, then one can only conclude that his comments are potentially very damaging for anyone in that position. Where’s next for them? Depression? Self harm? Drug abuse? Worse?
Whilst Rev Tinker’s comments should be respected as his personal views and ultimately free speech must win the day, persons in authority need to remember that such liberties come with responsibilities, and that the words they say can have negative consequences, causing a lot of harm. Let’s hope that it doesn’t come to that.
However, we mustn’t forget that the church is making progress. Just around the corner at St Ninians on Chanterlands Avenue, the church has a monthly meet up of the LGBT Christian Fellowship, where anyone can attend, regardless of faith, and celebrate their diversity in the eyes of God in a loving, prejudice free environment. And Rev Tutu has also said that God loves us too let’s not forget, as he doesn’t believe that God is a homophobe, otherwise he wouldn’t worship God. Amen to that.

Reactions to the Rev. Tinkers homophobic remarks have continued. On thursday 25th June Diana Johnson, Labour MP for Hull North and strong supporter of LGBT rights ,raised the issue in questions to the Leader of The Commons Chris Grayling.
She said ‘during the course of the same sex marriage act, the Rvd Tinker [whose church is in Hull North] told me tat if I supported it ,he’d instruct his congregation not to vote for me.It might have something to do with the fact tha my majority went from 641 to 12,889.
However, this weekend the Revd. Tinker has equated homosexuality with paedophilia. Can we please have a debate in Government time about the responsibilities of the established Church of England around community cohesion ,not inciting crimes of hate.”
This brought the welcome response from that it was never acceptable to equate homosexuality and paedophilia and Speaker John Bercow attacked Revd Tinkers ‘rather blinkered view’
Hear hear——as the House echoed to. But the debate still needs to take place.
Where does society [and the Church of England] draw the line between freedom of expression and incitement to hatred. There is no doubt that religious views of the type expressed fuel homophobia and hate crime

All hail Hull! More proof, as if it were needed, that Hull is an LGBT friendly city. The problem of homelessness among the LGBT community is nothing new. It’s terribly sad that LGBT people make up a disproportionately large demographic of homeless people, and the reasons why may not surprise you. Many are rejected by their friends and family after coming out to disapproving loved ones. This may leave them “sofa surfing”, staying with friends with no real stability in their life, or relying on hostels to stay the night. These are of course generally a good option as the people who use hostels have all had difficulties in their lives and so can identify with those who have been thrown out of their homes for coming out. But, at a hostel, there is no guarantee that LGBT people will be safe from further abuse, or that they will even be free to be themselves. There are hostels that are disapproving of LGBT people, forcing them back into the closet from whence they came if they wish to seek the help they need. This can do much more harm than good.

So, it was very pleasing to read last week in the Hull Daily Mail, that a housing centre, The Crossings, is to provide its staff with a two day training course to focus on the needs of LGBT people who have found themselves homeless. Crossings manager Alan Marples said his staff would be gaining more understanding of the issues faced by the LGBT community and the support networks they could refer them to. He continued “we want them to know they can get support from people and the opportunity to be themselves. It is about letting people know they’re safe and can be a part of society”.

Alan’s comments are commended by us here at the Hull and East Riding LabourLGBT network. The problem of homelessness within our community doesn’t appear to be going away, so it’s wonderful to see that steps are being taken to tackle it. If you’d like to know more about the work The Crossings does, have a look at their website:,_hull.aspx

What a couple of weeks it has been. The latest development has seen the following motion unanimously supported by Hull North CLP:

Pardon those convicted of “homosexual offences” before the change of legislation in 2003. Proposed by Danny Norton, seconded by Patrick Smith.

Alan Turing received an official posthumous pardon for his conviction of homosexuality in the 1950s when consensual homosexuality was still a crime throughout the United Kingdom. We believe that this was the correct course of action for a humiliated man who was convicted of something that should never have been a crime. However, nearly 50,000 other people had similar convictions, and had their lives ruined as a result, and we believe that these people should be pardoned just as Alan Turing has been.

This motion was in response to a petition to the British Government asking for a “Pardon all of the estimated 49,000 men who, like Alan Turing, were convicted of consenting same-sex relations under the British ‘gross indecency’ law (only repealed in 2003), and also all the other men convicted under other UK anti-gay laws”.

The motion will now go to the National Executive Committee for approval. These people should all be pardoned, and the Labour Party has made the step towards clearing the names of these victims of British injustice. This will be monitored and we will keep you informed.

Danny Norton Presenter Tues 8-10Pm Repeated Sat 10pm Sun 9PM
Danny Norton Presenter
Tues 8-10Pm
Repeated Sat 10pm
Sun 9PM
Tomorrow night (21st October 2014), a new show starts on West Hull FM that aims to reach the area’s LGBT community. The progamme will be broadcst on a weekely basis every Tuesday evening from 8-10pm.

The programme will be a magazine type one, with interviews, debate and a few laughs along the way. It will be light-hearted but with a purpose, and its main aim is to get its listeners to contact the show and have their voices and concerns heard.

There are also opportunities for people to get involved themselves and we all have the chance to broadcast on the show. If you’d like to get involed, simply contact the sation manager. Follow the links on the website,

However, using the same link you can just switch on the show, lie back an enjoy it. And don’t forget to get involved.

The LGBT Community programme on West Hull FM (called Proud and Loud) will be broadcast weekly on Tuesday evenings between 8-10, listen live on 106.9fm or online. West Hull FM is a not-for-profit organisation in assosiation with the Goodwin project, and its beneficieries are the people of West Hull, for whom their community is the target audience.

Friday’s Hull Daily Mail carried a great story about Hull City FC and Stonewall’s rainbow laces campaign for this year.

Great to hear Hull City FC Support Stonewall's Rainbow Laces Campaign.
Great to hear Hull City FC Support Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces Campaign.

Stonewall campaign last year was a first, but they faced some difficulties and it wasn’t universally-supported. This year’s campaign looks like it’s going to get a broader base of support, with a Hull City spokesman saying “we absolutely back the Rainbow Laces campaign launched by the FA.” That never happened last year – at least to no great extent (only one player wore them).

However we need to go further. Designating a football match in February the Football v. Homophobia match, for example, would make a big statement.

Nevertheless, it’s fantastic that something is being done – and at our local club too!

Sadly, whilst the campaign is to be applauded, it was largely invisible. I watched the game on the telly and was unable to see a single one. Even when players were tying their boot laces (there was a close up shot of Hull City’s captain Curtis Davis doing this and his laces looked black to me) o never saw any. I believe that players were wearing them, it’s just that they’re not standing out. I said last year that armbands would be much better and I’m yet to alter my opinion on this. You need something that people can see, so the this link to the gay football supporters’ network  (GFSN) website may be an answer to the initial problem.

This is a great site for any football fans and it is all-inclusive. The stonewall laces were ok, but I fear they will be ineffective, however, giving gay people a way into the sport, now that is better.

It was time to celebrate in the Avenues Ward on Saturday, as we held our celebration with cakes and tea (there was also a raffle at which a certain councillor Steve Wilson did rather well), to celebrate the success of the Labour Party in the ward. Avenues is now an all-Labour ward following the election of councillor Marjorie Brabazon in May, who will serve alongside her Labour colleagues Andy Dorton and Rosie Nicola.

It was a glorious day until I turned up and brought some torrential rain coupled with a violent thunderstorm with me – sorry to all those who were enjoying the nice weather!

Hull Pride Petition
Diana Johnson MP, Cllr. Rosie Nicola and me with the PSHE Petition

At the Network, we have been racking our brains for months now trying to decide who would be our best candidiate for handing the petition calling for PSHE to. It was going to go all the way to Parliament, however, when we first designed the petition and first started to gather signatures, we had already planned on making this campaign a local one, so we didn’t want to use this path.

In the end, it was decided that it was best to stick with the local theme that this campaign had initially been raised for, so we took the opportunity of the celebration to corner Rosie Nicola, who is responsible for the portfolio at Hull City Council for Liaison with Schools (schools services); School Improvement; Equalities and Diversity; Children’s Social Care; Priority Families Programme; Prevention and Early Intervention/Safeguarding Children. So it was very handy that Rosie was there to receive our petition, as well as our local MP Diana Johnson, who has already been instumental in our successful campaigns. Diana has also offered to take the petition to Parliament should we decide that this is the best option.

The petition calls on the Government to adopt mandatory LGBT-inclusive PSHE and SRE in all schools.
The petition calls on the Government to adopt mandatory LGBT-inclusive PSHE and SRE in all schools.

This is yet another significant milestone for the Network, the latest in a long line of such achievements it is hoped. This petition, which was signed by participants at Hull Pride 2013, gathered in excess of 700 signatures over the two days, an incredible feat for us. We’d like to express our sincerest thanks to all those who were at the event for their hard work, we hope you had fun doing it too. Labour was the ONLY represented political group at Hull Pride, showing once agian who really stands shoulder to shoulder with the LGBT community in Hull and the East Riding

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to post a blog on here, but that is testament to the hard work that we have all been doing. I have been meaning to post on here for ages, but everytime I get to a computer, there are other things I need to work on instead. Still, now that things are starting to quieten down for the summer, I thought I’d write a blog highlighting our success through 2013 and 2014.

2013 Hull Pride was an amazing event as usual, and we found lots of support for our PHSE petition. Everyone who signed said how they felt it was important, and in light of the current enquiry being made by the Secretary of State for Education, we couldn’t have chosen a more perfect time to carry out the petition. We will shortly be handing in over 700 signatures to Hull North MP Diana Johnson, and we hope the committee will take notice.

Our campaign on the vile practice of so called “gay to straight CONversion therapy” remains ongoing, and in January 2014, a debate was held in Westminster Hall regarding the matter following the petition from 2012 being presented last July (2013), but once again, the government stopped short of enacting a ban, instead they merely condemned the practice. How on Earth they can justify this is beyond belief, it’s almost as though they’re saying “we don’t want you to do this, and as professionals, you should know better, but feel free to go ahead and wreck lives all the same, we’ll not stand in your way”.

Just recently, our focus has once again been broadened, by an incident that took place right on our own doorsteps in Hull. A man in his 30’s was set upon by the banks of the Humber for simply walking out of the Fuel nightclub to set off home earlier that evening. The thugs (Jamie Norris and Callum Crosby) attempted to befriend their victim as he walked home, and by the time they had walked to the river bank, things had started to turn a little nasty. It became apparent to the victim that these people were not friends at all, instead proceeding to hurl homophobic abuse at him, before attempting to rob him, finally pushing him into the river when their attempt failed. The pair then went and bragged about what they had done, whilst covered in mud, at a nearby take away, boasting to a cashier there that they had just thrown a man into the river for being gay, and they weren’t sure if he was dead or not. She alerted the authorities. The victim of this crime found himself stranded, stuck in a mud bank by the river on a cold January night, unable to free himself, but thankfully managed to get his mobile phone out, alerting the authorities himself and was rescued. You don’t need me to tell you what the outcome of this incident could have been.

The incident wasn’t reported by the media until the case went to trial in May. The defendants were sentenced to 3 1/2 and 4 1/2 years in prison for “attempted robbery”. It is unclear whether or not the judge in this case had even considered the hate crime element, despite he himself saying that the only reason they chose their victim was because he was gay.

As a result of this massively lenient sentence, the network wishes to investigate whether hate crime legislation is working as it was intended, and to see what necessary changes need to be made. Whilst we’re on the subject, a heterosexual man in Leeds was in need of hospital treatment, and may need to permanently have a metal plate inside his head for the rest of his life, following a glass attack in one of the city’s gay bars. The assailant claimed to police that he thought his victim was going to “try it on with me, cos you know what gay guys are like”. He received a one year custodial sentence. Again, the punishment is not fitting of the crime.

All of the points the network has covered so far boil down to education. Why would someone be so desperate to change their sexuality? Simply because they are unaware how full a life they could lead, and how happy they can be just being themselves. Education you see. Where does the word “homophobia” come from? Well, a phobia is a fear, sometimes of the UNKNOWN, and if people grow up in ignorance, how are they expected to be anything else but fearful of other people’s differences? So it is vital that the government listen to our evidence that we have submitted to the Education Select Committee, and act to ensure that the next generation don’t grow up in ignorance. That is why our education campaign is so important, especially given the recent government reshuffle. It is without question (as far as I can see), that the rising popularity of UKIP has alarmed the government, forcing it to lurch to the right. Micheal Gove was unlikely to support our campaign anyway, and given Nicky Morgan’s voting history (I refer specifically to to the marriage: same sex couples act) it would appear more unlikely than ever that the government will listen. So this campaign is of the utmost importance.

Lastly, I’d like to salute the Hull and East Riding LGBT Forum. We have been attending their meetings, held monthly, for the last two and a half years, and they do some great work bringing LGBT matters to the fore locally. The forum recently held its AGM and it’s felt that it can only get stronger. The Hull and Esat Riding Labour LGBT Network will be helping them all the way.

Thanks for reading, keep in touch, and if you’d like to get involved, please drop us a line, we’d love to hear from you.

Danny :-D x

Following our last meeting in March, it was decided that we should have a campaign day, where we make as much noise about this conversion therapy nonsense as possible… But in public.


We need to take to the streets of Hull before the end of May, and we need as many people there as possible. We’ll no doubt have some good fun, and it will be a day to remember, and it will be fantastic to bring this evil to the attention of the public (even if it’s only locally), so that we get some more allies on board. The more the merrier… So whose with us???

On Wednesday January 30th 2013, Dr Joseph Berger, a Canadian therapist, and Mike Davidson, who was disgracefully thrown out of UKCP and its affiliation the British Psychodrama Association, held a meeting in Parliament in an attempt to justify their illicit “gay to straight conversion “therapy”. Was this a meeting of enlightenment or was it jst an attempt to claw free publicity and shout down at critics? We at Hull and East Yorkshire LGBTLabour Network+ believe it to be the latter, but don’t just take our word for it.

Let’s take the opinion of someone who was present at this farce shall we? Dr Claudio Pestana, who saw everything that was needed to see of these conversion therapists. Firstly, Dr Pestana noted that the packed committee room was actually full of people who defended conversion therapists’ beliefs, not surprisingly given that the press release for this meeting only went out five days prior, and that our MP, Dina Johnson was given 40 minutes notice. One would have thought that if these people wanted a balanced debate that they would personally invite an MP to the commons who has spoken about conversion therapy, but that was never going to happen. Coincidence? No way. Dr Pestana is of the impression that this meeting was a mere platform for Core Issues Trust and Christian Concern to put forward their argument, and an attempt by Dr Michael Davidson to justify his professional conduct. The inquiry into this takes place soon.

Furthermore, the public present seemed to attack the arguments of human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, it was like they were trying to expose weaknesses in his argument, by trying to tell the “packed” room his current and past views on human sexuality were different. Now, I wonder if they could have been put up to that? After all, if anyone had any views against this practice, they never had long to make sure that they were there to be heard.

Then the God bit came in. Each of those present at the meeting received a pack from Christian Concern, containing an anti gay marriage booklet, the speaking of Jesus Christ in everyday life (yes, this is the same Jesus who said NOTHING about homosexuality), and in an introduction, told the reader that traditional Christian belief is that same sex relationships fall short of God’s purpose in creation. How much harder do they want to make it for God fearing people to come out and lead their lives? Although the introduction does stress that it was not written to convince anyone to change their view of morality when it comes to same sex relationships. Is that so?

Peter Tatchell had it right on the money when he said to the meeting “ the debate isn’t about legitimacy and freedom to offer sexual reorientation therapy, but to change individuals from gay to straight, which represents a homophobic stance”. Mr Tatchell is of course right. If they do it once, they can do it for everyone we’ll hear the crowds scream. Then, we’ll go back to the dark days of the 1950s, where innocent gay people were sterilised by the state for thier “crime”, or, they just kept quiet about it and got married. Of course, there’s no danger there of infidelity, so that is the obviously moral and ethical thing to do, right?

Dr. Berger has an opposing view to that of Mr Tatchell’s, claiming that homosexuality is a concept, and has no biological base, but according to Dr Pestana, Berger’s elaboration of this was rather fuzzy, and any further argument, including whether or not that view legitimises his support for reorientation therapy was vague. Dr Berger then went on to say how it is OK for school children to bully another child for dressing or behaving differently from the others. Mr Berger’s true character?

Dr Pestana commented that “the focus on science was a distraction from the real issue which was the religious argument against non-heterosexuality“, and followed by asking Berger and Davidson “is this the premise on which you offer reorientation therapy”?, but there wasn’t an answer. Dr Pestana followed by asking other questions regarding their religious beliefs, but again, there wasn’t an answer.

To finalise, it seems that Dr Pestana had the same view of this farce as what we did when we first heard about it around 30 minutes before it went ahead, that it would be biased, and that any arguments they could give would be extremely flimsy. What a complete waste of time this whole charade was for people who could have been in the real world, helping those who need it, who had to (no doubt) cancel other arrangements to hear what some nutters believe is morality and freedom of choice. We don’t buy it, nor it seems, do the professionals.


Thank you for visiting our website. My name is Danny Norton, and I joined the Labour Party in 2011, after developing an interest in politics. I travelled to Australia, and developed a keen interest in world affairs following that trip (isn’t it amazing how travel can inspire you?).

I was particularly interested in LGBT issues when it became increasingly apparent that people like me, were being persecuted the world over simply for being who they are. It made me realise that even in today’s tolerant world, I was extremely lucky to live in a country where I could be myself, and that my relationships (for the most part) were recognised as being equal to anybody else’s. It made me think “why am I the lucky one here?” I never understood why gay people were having their lives taken from them in places like Iran, simply because they were attracted to people of the same sex.

This interest coincided with the election of the current coalition government, and I remember thinking how it could be a disaster for the country, and the way things are going, it seems as though that premonition was not misguided. So, following this election result, and the Labour Party’s constant commitment to equality for the LGBT community whilst in office, I decided that I would become a member. Does anyone really believe that if John Major had won the 1997 general election, that LGBT people would have anything like the kind of equality we enjoy today?

So, it was obvious that this was the party that I could relate to and be an active part of.

And it’s something I’ve never looked back on. I’ve met some fantastic people and some who will be life long friends. We also got our current campaign of trying to quash the conversion therapists off the ground, and this campaign is something that is both ethically right and good fun. It’s the kind of hard work that you find very rewarding. And why is it so rewarding you may ask? Because you can make a positive difference to peoples lives, and there is nothing more rewarding than that. Our campaign highlights the need to be proud of who you are, not what a certain few think you should be. If people are never taught to hate themselves in the first place, they have a much better chance of finding happiness and being happy.

I’d never taken an interest in politics before, and I never thought I would EVER become a member of a political party, but, if we can make a positive difference to peoples lives, I know that it’s something I can continue to be proud of and enjoy doing, knowing that I’m doing the right thing and making that positive difference. And as somebody who is just an ordinary guy, no politics degrees etc, I would encourage anyone to do the same. You don’t need any qualifications, just principles and a drive to do what’s right.

I hope my story can inspire you to take that leap. Thank you for reading J