L1010835Hull Pride was once again a massive success, with a huge Labour presence there.
The day started with a large parade that started at 1pm from the William Wilberforce monument outside Hull College. The parade went along Guildhall Road, passed the Warren and along Bond Street and Albion Street, to the location of the main festival on Baker Street, where the festivities started at 2.
The day then began with music, food, some drinks, events taking place such as choir signing, activities in the library, and various artists including members from former pop legends S Club 7, who were very well received.
There were also stalls there from various groups, including Victim Support, Humberside Police, MESMAC, Unison, Stonewall and of course the Labour Party. Were there armed with petition papers once again, asking the government to urge the NHS to re think the calamitous decision not to commission PrEP, a potentially life saving drug which could drastically reduce risk to people exposed to HIV, of actually contracting the virus. This petition generated around 500 signatures, and is still live. It will also be uploaded to this website shortly.
Once the stalls had been cleared away, the party got underway, with acts such as Sinitta and Union J performing for appreciative crowds until the small hours.
Pride is still important, especially in light of the horrendous events in Orlando earlier in the year. It is important to celebrate hard won victories, and to inspire us to further victories in the future.
To everyone (and the are too many to mention) who helped out at Hull Pride in 2016. A massive thank you


The ‘it’ is Mandatory Sex and Relationships Education [SRE]with inclusive guidance on LGBT matters.
This week the highly regarded LGBT Rights organisation THe Terence Higgins Trust published a report on SRE in Britains’ schools—revealing an horrendous situation.
Among its findings were the following—-results even worse than those found in the Offsted Report of 2014 which found that SRE teaching was inadequate in the minority of schools that have to provide it.[It does not have to be taught in Academies,primary schools free schools or private schools]
*More than half of respondents reported provision to be poor or terrible
*Only 5% were taught about were taught about LGBT sex and relationships—-despite 97.5% expressing a desire to know .
*97% received no information on gender identity
* 32% received no information on H.I.V. {This at a time when infection rates are increasing and the NHS has refused to fund preventative drugs!]
* 99% of young people thought SRE should be mandatory in ALL schools whatever their status or whoever they are funded by.
The dismal effects of this perpetuation of ignorance among our young people is well documented and getting worse

Ian Green ,Chief Executive of The TH Trust said this:” In this report ,we’ve seen the stark reality of SRE in this country and heard saddening stories of how one generation of young people have been exposed to low self-esteem,homophobia,bullying, unhealthy relationships and poor sexual health—–another generation of young people to leave school armed with little or no information on issues like LGBT relationships .gender identity and consent.Without trusted information from schools on anything other than the biological basics of the biological basics of heterosexual sex they will turn to less reliable sources such as the internet.”
Way back at the 2013 Pride we launched a petition for compulsory modern provision. Last year the Education Select Committee of Parliament conducted an inquiry into mandatory provision with evidence submitted in favour by just about every organisation in the field—-including our Forum and Network, To its great credit the committee comprised of all political parties reported in favour. Government response was delayed and when it came from Education and Women and Equalites Minister Nikki Morgan it was killed off by kind words and sabotage. Given her poor record on Equalities—especially LGBT equalitie as Equal Marriage this scarcely came as a surprise.There was outrage from just about every organisation in the field. Even this week the Commons Women and Equalities Committee again called for it when inquiring into sexual harassment in schools
Today Theresa May sacked Nikki Morgan [teachers cannot contain their grief!]and replaced her with Justine Greening. She was not only educated at a state comprehensive [not very common in the Tory hierarchy] but came out as being in a relationship with another woman during the recent London Pride. It has taken her until the age of 47 to do so—-so she must be well aware of the problems that LGBt youngsters in schools are continuing to face and so may be more receptive to a renewed campaign to secure mandatory LGBT inclusive SRE
Labour in its 2015 LGBT Manifesto committed itself to this—-but those young people continuing to suffer cannot afford to wait that long

As the report quotes from 18 year old Lauren Young who took part in the survey “Many young people struggle with their feelings of sexuality and if no one is talking to them about it,allowing them to discuss it openly,they will internalise their worry and it will grow into something ugly and harmful for the individual.

Or worse! The time for action is NOW1

We feel no child should be left in fear and ignorance just because of the school they went to.
We feel no child should be left in fear and ignorance just because of the school they went to.

The cenotaph in Hull was once again the scene of vigil in remembrance of a victim of hate. That’s two in one week. This time the victim was Jo Cox, the Labour MP for Batley in West Yorkshire. The news came last Thursday that she had been stabbed and shot, and lay in a critical condition in hospital, where she later sadly passed away.
There is so much hate in the world, it has been such a dreadful week. however, characters like Jo show us that amongst all of the hate, there is still humanity. Jo was a volunteer for Oxfam, and had many friends in her constituency where she grew up, and was a fighter for those with no voice, which has recently included Syrian Refugees.
We have little doubt, that given the opportunity, she would have fought our corner in the LGBT community too. Jo, you will be very greatly missed


Jo Cox was murdered on 16th June at her surgery in Birstall—-victim apparently of a hate filled constituent who shouted the words ‘Britain First’ as he slaughtered her. Jo had been MP for her beloved home town of Batley for just over a year but in that time had established a huge reputation. She was a great advocate of diversity -pointing out that what unites us as human beings is far greater than that which divides us and was contemptuous of the hate merchants who seek to turn communities against each other for their own tawdry political ends. She was also a feisty ‘voice of the voiceless’ as instanced by her championing of the Syrian child refugees. She was also a doughty fighter against modern slavery.The outpourings of grief from all the diverse communities of Batley and Spen have shown in what high regard she was held by them all-regardless of race or religion.

For the second time in a few days Hull Cenotaph will be the scene of a vigil to mourn victims of hate -the homophobic hate victims in Orlando on wednesday an Jo this coming sunday at the cenotaph this coming sunday

Please come along if you can to show your solidarity and determination that we will never ever be eaten up by corrosive and murderous hatred.Please also show your sympathy for her two small children deprived of a mothers love by senseless hatred and also for her husband Brendan who fought side by side with her in so many battles and shared in her pride when she became Labour MP for her home town only last May .

I can finish in no better way than to quote his dignified appeal for unity following her murder

“She would have wanted two things above all else to happen now. One that our precious children are bathed in love,and two,that we all unite against the hatred that killed her.”
And uniting against that hatred is the best way we can honour her memory

VigilYou will have heard the tragic news which came from Florida last weekend, that a gunman opened fire in the Pulse nightclub, killing 49 innocent people. Tributes have been made around the world, and Hull has been no different. On Wednesday June 15 2016, at around 6:30pm, the LGBT community came together for a touching vigil next to the cenotaph in the City Centre.
Flags were flown and rested on the ground with the rainbow colours on them, people fell silent and tears were shed in remembrance of all those innocent people who lost their lives that night, for no other reason tan being themselves.
Kingston upon Hull North MP, Diana Johnson, also sent a message of support, saying “This shocking terrorist attack on embers of the LGBT Community in Orlando was motivated by sheer hatred and bigotry. The thoughts of every decent person in Hull will be with the families of those killed and the injured. We stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of the United States in condemning and opposing those capable of such violent and murderous and crimes against our modern, diverse and free society” Hear hear Dana, well said

Earlier this month Tory Home Secretary , Theresa May , proclaimed the following
“If we want to reform Human Rights in this country it isn’t the EU we ought to leave but the European Court of Human Rights and the jurisdiction of its court.
Now May is right about one thing. The European Court of Human Rights is not part of the EU but of the Council of Europe to which just about every European nation subscribes—and acceptance of the jurisdiction of the Euro Court -and that membership is not conditional on membership of the EU, It has existed since the end of the Second World War –and was in at least part the creation of the British Conservative Government under Winston Churchill, In 1998 it was passed into UK Law by Blairs Labour Government by the Human Rights Act. This enshrines in Uk law the rights of UK citizens who have been deprived of their human rights under UK Law to seek redress in Europe. Withdrawl from the Euro Court would mean that the British Home Secretary would be the final arbiter of human rights in the UK with no right of appeal The replacement of the Human Rights Act by a UK Rights Act could severely restrict them

So who has the best track record in the UK of protecting and promoting LGBT human rights in the UK—-Theresa May [and previous British Home Secretaries or the Euro Court?

Theresa May’s Record

1. In 2000 she failed to turn up too support the Labour Governments repeal of the notoriously homophobic Section 28 introduced by the Thatcher government [To be fair to Theresa David Cameron DID turn up and voted against repeal]
2. She voted against equalising the Homosexual Age of Consent with the Heterosexual one at 16.
3.She voted against the right of gay coupes to adopt children
4 She voted against the 2007 Gender Recognition Regulations
5 She voted against the @007 Sexual Orientation Regulations which later—as Camerons first Home Secretary and Equalities Minister
6 She failed to turn up to vote on the Gender Recognition Act

Again ,to be fair to her, she was part of the minority of Tory MPs who voted in favour of Equal Marriage and she is reported to have ‘repented’ of her opposition to same sex couples adoption

However such was the opposition to theresa Mays opposition to LGBT rights that there was an on-line petition calling on David Cameron to relieve her of her Equalities duties—-and indeed eventually it was to be handed over to the likes of Nikki Morgan who had voted against Equal Marriagw.

The 2010 Petition Calling for May to be sacked as Equalities Minister
The 2010 Petition Calling for May to be sacked as Equalities Minister

The Record of the European Court of Human Rights on LGBT Rights
[Note the Euro Court cannot make a judgement unless a complainant takes a case having exhausted all the remedies of the UK legal systemm]

Here are some of the high profile cases where the Euro Court has been instrumental in defending LGBT Rights in the UK

1 In 1981 ,in the case of Dudgeon v. the UK. the court ruled that northern Irish law which still criminalised consenting homosexual relations between adults was in contravention of privacy rights and the UK government subsequently ensured that the law was repealed.Will the ban on same sex marriage in Northern Ireland be overturned in the same way?

Geoff Dudgeon who took his case to the Euro Court and scured decriminalisation in Northern Ireland Geoff Dudgeon who took his case to the Euro Court and scured decriminalisation in Northern Ireland[/caption

2.In 1999 Lustig-Prean and Bakcett v UK and Smith and Grady v. UK won their case of gay personnel in the armed forces being banned -and dismissed-from the armed forces. In the following year the Labour Government overturned the ban. There is strong evidence that Blairs government,although it favoured repeal, was vary wary of adverse public opinion. It was quite convenient to be able to 'blame' it on the Euro Court!20militarysandison

3. Equalisation of the Age of Homosexual Consent

Age of consent in the Uk was equalised following the ruling of the Euro Court in the case of Sutherland v. UK brought in 1999. Again the Labour government implemented itimages
4.In 1996 the Euro Court ruled that firing a person because they began life 'living in another gender' is discriminatory. As a result the Sex Discrimination {Gender Reassignment] regulations were adopted
5 In 2003 protection from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation was made UK law when the Labour Government acted on a 2000 EU directive
6, Marriage Rights For Trans people. In 2002 the ban on a transgender person marrying a person of the sex opposite to their reassigned sex was declared illegal
7 In 2007 the Euro Court made it possible for trans women to claim pension rights as other women

So Who do you trust to protect our rights?

A British Home Secretary who might be hostile or running scared of public opinion [as expressed by the Daily Mail?

A Brtish Bill of Rights and/or withdrawal from the Euro Court of Human Rights

or keeping things as they are

Which has been the best protector of LGBt Rights?

Bit of a no brainer really

We must defend our membership of the European Court of Human Rights and of the Human Rights Act

Colin livett May 2016

SharonIt is with enormous sadness that the death of PC Sharon Houfe MBE was announced. Sharon was the Communities Liaison Officer with Humberside Police, a regular attendee of the Hull and East Riding LGBT Forum and of Hull Pride, where she was always on hand for members of our community to chat about their experiences of crime, particularly hate crime towards them. But what is even more important to mention, is just how much friendship she has shown to the LGBT community within her role.
Sharon was a wonderful person, always smiling, and just the sort of person who you felt that you could chat with about whatever was bothering you, whether it was police related or not; she just had that air about her. Totally non-judgmental, very personable.
Whilst she never engaged with our network, nor discussed politics with us, as active members of the community she was always very friendly and accommodating; and along with other LGBT activists and community members locally, we felt like we had a fiend.
Thoughts go out to Sharon’s family and friends at such a sad time. Her life touched many people, and her loss will be felt by all.
RIP Sharon

Tomorrow -saturday 30th April sees the very welcome launch of the new Hull LGBT Social Network which will attempt to combat social isolation among older members of Hulls LGBT Community. This has been set up by new local charity One Humber which has been funded by the Hull Clinical Commissioning Group and the Hull and East Riding LGBT Forum under the chairmanship of Andy Train. As Andy says there is no provision in Hull for older LGBT residents in Hull . This often leads to withdrawal from society and social isolation resulting in a detrimental effect on the individuals health and well being. It is hoped that the meetings will take place once a month.
The launch meeting takes place on the 3oth April at PM in West Hull at a secret Location, Please find out the location and more about the event by e-mailing One Humber at info@onehumber.org or call [01482] 427058 or email lgbt@andytrain.co.uk.

THe Hull and East Riding LGBT+ Network wishes this much needed project every success and we will try to keep you updated on developments

The Hope Not Hate Campaign Group recently asked supporters to make nominations for ‘Community Champions’ for International Womens’ Day on 8th. March. Mike Somerton, the Disabilities Officer for Hull North CLP ,put together a nomination for Liz Charles which ensured that Liz was accepted by Hope Not Hate as a true community champion who throughout her life has ceaselessly campaigned to translate her socialist beliefs into practical campaigning action —even at the age of 80. Liz has campaigned across a wide variety of concerns—–including as I will outline later for the local LGBT Community—not because she is of them but because she passionately opposes discrimination and inequality wherever it manifests itself.
However her first concern is her beloved NHS which she remembers being born and which she sees being destroyed by a Tory government hell-bent on privatising and destroying it. Only this morning she was bewailing the fact that she had missed the fact that Jeremy Hunt was coming to Hull today to visit Mind and that she would not be able to get there in time to give him a warm Hull welcome with some of her placards. Here, however, she is on the picket line at Hull Royal Infirmary during one of the recent junior doctor.s strikes.

On The Picket Line at HRI
On The Picket Line at HRI

Liz has been an energetic campaigner for Save our NHS Hull and was a founder member of the People’s Assembly and regularly attends meetings of Hull North CLP ,and frequently makes the readers of the Hull Daily Mail and listeners to Radio humberside aware of her views. She has campaigned vigorously against the iniquities of TTIP—-especially as far as its likely effects on her beloved NHS are concerned. Liz has been absolutely principle and fearless in her campaigning.
She has, as previously mentioned, been a stalwart supporter of LGBT Rights ,of Hull Pride and Hull and East Riding Labour LGBT+ Network. She was there behind the labour Party stand at the first Hull Pride that I attended,Liz has always turned her artistic skills in designing and printing t-shirts in our cause from the time in the 1980s when she designed t shirts on aids awareness when she worked for Mind—–and which went on display in the Hull Gay Venues during that dark and prejudiced era to the establishment of our network in 2012 when she produced t-shirts for us. Here are a few examples;

Aids Action Designed by Liz in the late 1980's
Aids Action Designed by Liz in the late 1980’s
T  Shirt  designed and printed by Liz for Hull Pride
T Shirt designed and printed by Liz for Hull Pride

Our Liz is an inspiration for us all . She is a reminder to all Socialists that they must fight oppression, prejudice and injustice wherever they find it. She reminds LGBT people that there are others in this world who also suffer from disadvantage and discrimination and that we must support each other here—-and throughout the world in a spirit of true solidarity. I feel certain that she would subscribe fully to Dan Billanys comment in the 1930s that “I would die of shame if i ever stopped feeling angry at the injustices os society and trying to do something about them.”

And that is exactly why we salute Liz as our community champion in Hull.

Colin Livett 17th. March 2016

On 10th February ,almost exactly a year after its publication on 17th February 2015, Nikki Morgan finally published the governments response to the report of the all-party Education Select Committee on Life Lessons;PSHE and SRE in Schools.life-lessons1

The cross-party committee recommended that PSHE/SRE be a statutory subject .it also suggested that SRE [sex and relationships] be retitled ‘relationships and sex’—-although perhaps its own title of ‘life lessons’ would be a lot snappier and descriptive
On page 53 of the report, it said,
“We recommend that the DfE develop a workplan for introducing age-appropriate PSHE and RSE as statutory subjects in primary and secondary schools ,setting out its strategy for improving the supply of teachers able to deliver this subject and a time table for achieving this .”

More than 100 organisations ,including Hull and East Riding Labour LGBT+Network and Hull and East Riding LGBT Forum, submitted evidence to the inquiry—-the vast majority of them calling for statutory provision. The vast majority of them welcomed the report—–albeit with reservations—-perhaps inevitably, In June 2015 the newly elected government come up with a response that the Tory Chair of the Select Committee, Neil Carmichael , described as ‘feeble’ The letter to from Nikki Morgan to Neil Carmichael came only after considerable pressure not only from him but from the chairs of three other select committees. And here the nub of it is


This response might fairly be summed up as ‘fair words and no action’ Across the political parties and in just about every organisation voluntary and statutory in the field there is almost unanimous agreement that unless the subject is given statutory status the subject will not be given proper status, teachers will not be properly trained and supported and it will not be properly resourced.

And, of course, there will be many youngsters who will not do the subject at all.

Whether the governments fundamental objection is a ideological neo-liberal objection to an education secretary daring to tell schools what to do—-and helping them to do it—or Scrooge economics have asserted themselves again—it is clear that Nikki Morgan has FAILED her own life lesson—-that without statutory provision millions of youngsters will be left in ignorance and in danger. Since when was it the job of an education secretary to keep kids in ignorance rather than educate them?
We will join with all the other organisations in pushing for proper statutory provision rather than fine words and no meaningful action
Unless it is done the bullying,the mental distress, the violence and suicides will continue

No young person should be left in ignorance. The price they pay is far too great

Colin Livett 21/2/16

We feel no child should be left in fear and ignorance just because of the school they went to.
We feel no child should be left in fear and ignorance just because of the school they went to.