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


The Referendum in the Republic of Ireland on legalising Gay Marriage has resulted in a stunning victory for the Yes campaign, by a margin of nearly 2-1 on a turnout of over 60%. Ireland thus became the first country in the world to introduce gay marriage as a result of direct democracy. A majority voted in favour of protecting the equal rights of a minority.
This victory was all the more remarkable given that Ireland was one of the last countries in western Europe to legalise homosexuality, back in 1993; A full quarter of a century after England. This had been the first breaking of the stranglehold of the Irish Catholic Church over the democracy, whereby what the church declared to be a sin the state declared to be a crime. At that point, for the first time ‘Ta na gays ag teacht abhaile’;the gays were coming home without fear of persecution. Now they can come home and look forward to legal equality.
One middle aged gay man was quoted as saying “I love seeing young people happy and relaxed and not scared the way members of my generation were”

What we must remember is that generations of gay men DID live their lives in fear, denied the most fundamental of human rights; to consensually love whom they chose.

And let us not forget that in the UK prior to 2003, generations of gay men lived their lives in fear of Gross Indecency Laws andtthey are still to be exonerated. And let us not forget those LGBT people in the six countries where homosexuality remains a capital offence,or the seventy or so where it remains a criminal offence. Nor the poor folk in places like Russia, where although legal there is rampant discrimination and people still live their lives in secrecy and fear.

But a generation ago, Ireland was the most backward country in Western Europe on LGBT rights (apart perhaps from Northern Ireland!) Now it is a beacon of hope. As Churchill commented on VE Day in 1945, we can allow ourselves a moment of celebration. But the war is not yet won. There remain many inequalities especially as far as trans people are concerned. But we should celebrate and then continue the battle for full legal and social equality—-in the UK as in Ireland

proud_to_vote_labour1Launching Labours LGBT Manifesto in Brighton [where else?] Angela Eagle outlined a series of policies that Labour have developed to tackle discrimination against LGBT people by means of a five point plan.

1] Tackling discrimination by strengthening the law on LGBT hate crime to ensure that protection for trans and bisexual people is equalised. And it will ebsure recording by the CPS of Hate Crime cases and conducting a review of the gender identity law. A Labour Government will also implement Turings Law.offering posthumous exonerations to to those men convicted under the now repealed ant-homosexuality will also implement the dual discrimination provisions of the Equalities Act 2010—-thus strengthening the position of those so discriminated against It will also Abolish the Governments Tribunal fee system—that has denied acess o justice to so many.
2 An education free from homophobia,biphobia aand transphobia both through the above measures and compulsory age appropriate LGBt inclusive age appropriate relationships and sex education in all state funded schools. schools.Teachers must be trained to be able to properly tackle LGBT bullying and prioritise intervention in and referral of young LGBT people to mental health services
3 An ‘international envoy ‘ on LGBT rights to promote LGBt rights globally. It will work towards the decriminalisation of homosexuality worldwide in the 70+ countries were it is still a criminal offence including those where it is still a capital offence.[One criticism here -countries like Russia have shown that homosexuality may be in theory decriminalised in practice LGBt people have precious few rights]. It will also work towards greater protection and recognition of trans people against whom discrimination is often at its most extreme. Finally—-and in a welcome reversal to what was the case under the last Labour Government it will review procedures for [worldwide] LGBT ASylum seekers. {in the past procedures have often been cruel and ludicrous especially where applicants have had to ‘prove’ their sexuality—-procedures that have often revealed more about the cultural assumptions of the investigators than the sexuality of the claimants]

4. Accessible and supportive health services especially of mental health.Mental health support for LGBT people must be strengthened. LGBT people must have the same access to ‘talking’ therapies as they presently have for other treatments such as drugs . Teachers must be trained so that they can recognise the early stges of need and link children up with support. They must also work with the transgender community to improve access to gender care services. And the government will make reducing undiagnosed and late diagnosed HIV a national priorityand work towards challenging the ‘stigma’ of HIV and promote increased availability of testing.

5 Fairer and more diverse representation in public life.

MS.Eagle said that Labour had helped deliver LEGAL equality for LGBT people but that now we face a fight to make that equality a REALITY for every LGBT people in our country. Too many LGBT young people are growing up scared and alone and don’t have sufficient support when their mental health suffers. Labour will finish the job it started and ensure EVERY LGBT person has the chance to achieve their ambitions free from prejudice and discrimination

LGBT-pledge-card-twitterGay rights activist Kirill Kalugin poses for press during a one-man protest in St. Petersburg

Kirill Kalugin carries out lone protest for LGBT rights in St Petersburg. Shortly after this picture was taken he was beaten up by Russian Marines.

Sadly Kirill has had to flee Russia and is presently seeking asylum in Germany.

This is part of what he said.

“My name is Kirill Kalugin. I’m 23 years old. I’m from St. Petersburg.Russia and I leave my country because I was afraid for my life, and for my freedom” Kalugin,who is seeking asylum in Dortmund ,was arrested many times . He said that he grew used to death threats and being arrested but was most scared of ‘disappearing’ in a Russian jail. The police-he said-could do with you what they wanted. When a gay person is attacked the police often arrested the victim. Many of his friends are now in jail.
Who can blame him for wanting to reach safety.WE wish him well. But governments in western Europe should not only consider asylum claims sympathetically but do what they can to support those left behind in Russia and elsewhere
A Labour Government must do what it can to protect LGBt Rights—–which are simply HUMAN rights— wherever they are endangered or ignored.
CL 28/4/15


No manifesto is perfect of course. Thus no outright ban on conversion therapy. SRE only in state funded schools. Is it alright for the others to die of ignorance? Nothing on the largely unrecognised problem of LGBT domestic violence Or homelessness———————–
Without doubt this is one of the most comprehensive programmes of LGBT Rights ever put before the British electorate. WE do not entirely agree with Angela Eagle about legal rights—-some especially for trans people are still lacking—-but her concern that the priority now should be to translate legal equality into ACTUAL equality -forallof us is absolutely right
Indeed we could almost believe that she has been reading our website!

And it is right also to point out the continued importance of THe Human Rights Act ,the European Court of Human Rights in protecting not just OUR rights but those of other minorities as well. LGBT Rights are Human Rights And they extend to other minotrities. Similarly The Equalities Act and Hate Crime law[ with all its present weaknesses] protect not just us but other minorities as well.
Our job will be to actively engage with a Labour Government not only to implement these promises but advise HOW they should be implemented.

Collectively we know a lot about discrimination and inequality. We must make our voices heard even if-perhaps especially if-we do not dot every i and cross every t.

Colin Livett 30/4/15

We’ve just been kindly contacted by a solicitors’ firm called Laker Legal, who have produced an outstanding infographic. It shows the scale of domestic abuse and debunks some of the myths about the problem. Helpfully, it also sets out what legal help survivors can get, and where you they get it.

With their permission, we’ve copied the infographic below. If you want to copy it on your own website, you can get it from their site here.

As an aside, in addition to the contacts below, there are of course specialists in LGBT Domestic violence such as Broken Rainbow who you should contact if you are in an abusive LGBT relationship.


WP Title

Legal Protection from Domestic Violence by Laker Legal Solicitors



Turing’s Family Present the Petition to 10 Downing Street.


Alan Turing’s great nephew, Neville Hunt, his great-niece Rachel Barnes and her son Thomas are shown presenting the petition to David Cameron at Downing Street on 23rd Feb. Also present was editor of Attitude Magazine Matthew Todd, who commented: “Generations of gay and bisexual men were forced to live their lives in a state of terror”.
Men convicted of gross indecency were often considered to have brought huge shame on themselves and their families with many taking their own lives. It is about time the country addressed this appalling part of our history.

These comments are reflected in those posted on line by those who signed the petition; from over 70 countries around the world. Some were themselves victims. Others were set up in sting operations by the police. Some were from the families of those convicted who had killed themselves because of the perceived shame. The suffering was still with them and still hurting. A pardon would be a small gesture. Some comments were from young LGBT people appalled at the injustice heaped on those who, without their sacrifices would not have the rights they have today. And many were from straight people appalled at this historic injustice—-almost complete incomprehension that gay men should have been criminalised in this way. To them it was simply a gross violation of human rights.

The Petition 

Calls on the government to “Pardon all of the estimated 49000 men who, like Alan Turing, were convicted of consenting same sex relationships under the British gross indecency laws [only repealed in 2013] and also all the other men convicted under other UK anti-gay laws.”

The petition continues on line at

What Remains To Be Done

The publicity given to the presentation has been disappointing to put it mildly; barely a mention even in the LGBT press, but plenty of speculation on which ‘celebrity’ will be next to ‘come out’ There seems to have been more publicity in the USA; perhaps because of the publicity given to the Turing film The Imitation Game.

What will be needed is a new parliamentary campaign, with all the parties getting involved to get a pardon agreed.
The last attempt to do so does not suggest it will be done without a fight. This came in July 2013 when an amendment was moved by Lib Dem Peer Lord Sharkey; backed by the Labour Front Bench and ‘out’ Tory Lord Black to the Criminal Justice Bill that would have granted a pardon to those whether alive or dead.

This met with the shameful response from justice minister Lord Faulks who declared that he could see “no point in granting posthumous pardons” and that in any case it would be too costly.

We would like to see him justify that to the families of those who killed themselves or indeed explain what an acceptable price for justice is.

Please continue to promote the petition but please also try to get this issue before parliament again.
Justice has been delayed too long. We cannot undo these historical injustices but we can do something to remove the stigma from a criminal record for something that should never have been a crime in the first place.

Ed Miliband commits Labour to a ‘Turing’ Law

Labour Party leader Ed Miliband has responded to the petition by promising that a Labour Government would introduce legislation which would allow dead mens families and friends to apply to the Home Office to apply to the Home Office to quash convictions under the gross indecency law for consensual same sex relationships. At present it is only possible for those still alive to do this and they have to make the applications personally.The new law would be named after Alan Turing.

Miliband said “What was right for Alan Turings family should be right for other families as well. The next Labour Government will extend the rights to individuals already have to overturn convictions that society now sees as grossly unfair to the relatives of those who have now passed away.’

These remarks have been replicated by Liberal Democrat leader, Nick Clegg.

One might argue that the pardon should not have to be applied for and should be granted automatically to ALL those convicted of an offence before 2003 that is no longer an offence now. Others may question the bizarreness of granting a pardon to the victims in the first place but it offers a real chance for at least a measure of justice to be—–at long long last—at least a modicum of justice.

Ubfortunately the response from the Government and Conservatives has been distinctly dusty. Whilst admitting that the Freedoms Act of 2012 has not resolved all injustices they have floated the red herring that a blanket pardon could benefit paedophiles . Before 1967 ALL sex between consenting men was illegal regardless of age—so some could have been guilty of sex with minors. However this would be easily overcome by a provision that those allowed absolution would be limited to those who would have acted wholly legally under the law as it stands today. The alternative would be to grant a pardon to NO posthumous men thus leaving the suspicion that they MAy may have been paedophiles.

That is a grossly unfair burden to place on the families of gay men who have died who were completely innocent.
We welcome Ed Miliband committing Labour to this pardon. Calling it Turings Law is an excellent idea. We welcome support from the Liberal Democrats and Greens.

We would even welcome support from the Conservatives. We do have an election coming up after all!

Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word

Following Mr Milibands initial announcement there has been clarification by the Labour Party.
“This is essentially a disregard —whereby any record of the offence is removed from police records and other official documents .
“We are prepared to consult—in advance to ensure that this is the best route to righting this historical injustice.”
We will be making such a submission. Here are our initial thoughts.We welcome your comments

Pardon, Apology or Exoneration?

The petition launched on Change.Org has been a tremendous success building on the film The Imitation Game and the Royal Pardon granted to Alan Turing. However we do not feel —although we support the campaign—that this is necessarily the best way forward,
1. A ‘pardon’ would mean that the victims would be forgiven for being victims.
2 Neither would a pardon automatically mean that all records would be wiped. A ‘disregard’ would do so and ensure that everyone who committed a ‘crime’ would have ALL their records cleared. Everyone guilty of an offence under the law as it existed before 2003 but who would not have been so under todays law would have their records cleared. However we believe that such a disregard should be automatic on that basis.
3. An apology by itself would have little meaning. The sons are not guilty for the sins of their fathers, Their duty is not to perpetuate injustice

4 We believe a far more appropriate term would be EXONERATE. The OED definition of ‘exoneration’ is ‘to absolve from blame’ Precisely so. These men were correctly found guilty by the laws of the day but we now consider that that law was unjust. Today they would not be held to be guilty of any crime. Therefore their records should be wiped. This would also be an acknowledgement to all victims –alive or dead—-that the law of the day WAS unjust and that they were victims not criminals
This of course should be applied to survivors and dead alike. Shameful comments about corpses not needing justice or of it costing too much should be treated with the contempt it deserves.

We Were All Victims

All gay men who lived in this period lived in fear of exposure even if they did not end up in court. The Gross indecency Laws were accurately described as “A blackmailers Charter . Other gay men were forced into marriage to try to escape wagging tongues and pointing figures . Thus their misery was often extended to uncomprehending wives and children.Exoneration would in some measure apologise to
them. But the worst affected were those convicted in court. They were punished several times over——especially if the case was reported in the local press.
Here is one such case—–not of a famous victim such as Alan Turing but two ordinary men.

October 1949—-Hull Daily Mail—-Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire
In banner headlines ‘An Actor and a Hull Clerk were each fined £25 at Hull Quarter Sessions for gross indecency–The accused Robert Clive Walton [37] of Blaby Leicestershire and John Henry Marsden [43] clerk,of Dales Terrace Beaumont Street ,Hull were————

Now that £25 fine was substantial——equivalent to about three weeks wages in 1949 [even then Hull was not top of the national wages league!] but that was not the worst of it. Marsden ,in particular , would have suffered from his workmates, family and friends -and like Turing might well have lost his job as well. Then as now local papers loved filling space with items such as ‘your neighbour in court’ It was too much for some who committed suicide at the prospect of it. Robert Walton might have been a little luckier as there were not many readers of THE Hull Daily Mail in Blaby.
The headline in Alan Turings local paper was ‘Cambridge Don guilty of Gross Indecency’We all know the tragic results of that

But we think there should be exoneration not only for famous men like like Alan Turing but also for those such as Robert Clive Walton and John Henry Marsden of Hull whose only brush with fame came with perceived shame in the Hull Daily Mail
They and the other 49000 deserve as much justice as we are able to give them. It is not asking much recompense for ruined lives
Colin Livett 13/3/15

Another Decade . Another Victim.

Alan Turing was not the only or the last man to ,in effect, be murdered by the the British state as a result of the gross indecency laws—simply the most famous. The case outlined below is,in some respects, even worse than that of Turing.
This man was Billy Clegg-Hill, who died in 1962 [a decade after Turing],during medically supervised “therapy” for homosexuality——ordered by a British judge, following Clegg-Hills arrest for indecency and as an alternative to prison.As part of his ‘therapy’ [torture] Clegg-Hill was shown naked pictures of men and simultaneously injected with a vomit-inducing drug called apomorphine.”The purpose was to make him associate naked men with being sick. Unfortunately ,the doctors neglected to give him any fluids, and he died of a stroke brought on by dehydration.” his sister later told the BBC.
I don’t suppose anyone is going to make a blockbuster movie about Billy Clegg-Hill but he was a victim as much, if not more than Alan Turing. Even into the 1960s Aversion Therapy was used by the British State against men who were guilty of no crime At the time many even saw it as a ‘soft’ option to locking them up. Many would now see it for what it was —-torture of an innocent British citizen by the British state.
Surely Billy Clegg-Hill—-and many unknown–deserve a pardon-if that is the right word-as much as Alan Turing?.
CL 9/4/15

alan-turing-s-100th-12-celebratory-images-from-across-the-web-f0424e174d-1024x535 (1)
Now is the time to pardon the other 49,000. Introduce Turing’s Law!


The Committee concluded that “all state schools should have mandatory SRE/PSHE.”

The House of Commons Select Committee Report was published on 17th February.

Over 400 individuals and groups – including Hull and East Riding LGBT Forum and Hull and East Riding Labour LGBT+ Network – made submissions to the committee, chaired by Tory MP for Beverley and Holderness Graham Stuart.

The government has to take notice of the report but is not bound to act upon it. Labour and the Lib Dems have, in general terms, welcomed it. It is, therefore, extremely important that pressure is kept up on ALL parties to accept, and indeed extend, it.
Launching the report Mr Stuart said,

“There is overwhelming demand for statutory sex and relationships education from teachers parents and young people themselves—-young people have a right to information that will keep them healthy and safe. SRE forms an important part of any school’s efforts to safeguard young people from abuse and is pariculaly needed to protect the most vulnerable children.”

Or, as we put it in our petition from Hull 2013 Pride and submission to the Inquiry: ‘no child should be left in fear and ignorance.’

The Committee’s Recommendations 

1. The Department for Education should develop a work plan for introducing age-appropriate PSHE and SRE as statutory subjects in primary and secondary schools [NB This applies to tax payer funded schools only so excludes private schools however it would include Faith Schools and Academies].
2.All parents should be required to run a regular consultation with parents on the schools SRE provision
3. The parental right to withdraw their child from elements of SRE should be retained
4. The Government should formally endorse and issue the SRe guidance produced by Brook produced by Brook the Sex Education Forum and the PSHE Association .
{This is the updated advice including among other things such as internet safety LGBT inclusive guidance]. It should also promote this more actively to schools and governors,
5. The funding of continuous professional development for PSHE teachers and nurses should be reinstated [In other words PSHE must be taught by PSHE specialists and those specialists need continue professional development]
6. Ofsted should resume its regular subject surveys of PSHE provision [These were discontinued after Offsted were highly critical of the extent and nature of coverage]
7. SRE should be renamed Relationships and Sex Education [RSE} to emphasise the relationships element of the subject.

Our Verdict 

There is much to welcome in this report. It represents a radical departure from the past and has been welcomed – to a greater or lesser extent – by well over 100 associations active in this field. This includes ourselves, since much of it reflects the evidence that we submitted. We welcome it being mandatory, welcome the subject [and teachers] being given due recognition and professional support and welcome the updating of advice on SRE teaching [especially of course the LGBT friendly element included within that]. Much of what Mr Stuart said we could have said ourselves.
However ,we do have some reservations:

1. This would only apply to state funded schools. Youngsters in private schools – well over half a million of them -could be left in ignorance and danger. What possible justification is there for this?
This is similarly a blind spot in the broadly similar proposals put forward by Labour on 8th. February
2. The report largely deals with LGBT issues only by implication. These should be made blatant rather then latent and be spelt out
3. Some will be concerned that parents can still opt out children
One has to ask the question of whose interests should come first—-those of the parents or the children?
4. And of course this would only apply to England because of the devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

Labour’s Proposals

These – put forward by Tristram Hunt earlier in the month – are remarkably similar to the Select Committee’s Proposals, except for the continued blindness of Mr Hunt in making SRE a part of mandatory PSHE. This is entirely beyond my comprehension and goes in the face of just about every educational organisation in the country.
On the other hand, Mr Hunt was much more forthright on the need to include LGBT issues and oppose homophobic bullying.

He said ‘Repealing section 28 was not enough We need new training for teachers – and others in the school workforce. Strategies for education dealing with both prevention and resolution. We need to act urgently to prevent to prevent the blight of homophobic bullying that is damaging the lives and life chances of thousands of pupils.
Both the Select Committees and the Labour Party’s recommendations leave much to be desired and we will have to fight hard to improve them. However they represent a huge step forward over the present situation let alone that which we had at the time of Section 28. To that extent we welcome them and will fight to see them implemented.

Colin Livett, 23rd. February 2013.

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.

Memorandum of Understanding

We are pleased to announce that the campaign that we launched in June 2012 to effectively ban conversion therapy in the UK has achieved its first – if not yet total – victory, effectively banning conversion therapy on the NHS in England.
At a meeting convened earlier this month, 14 organisations issued a ‘Memorandum of Understanding on Conversion Therapy’ in the UK.

These include all the major professional organisations in the field:
*NHS England
*Association of Christian Counsellors (who only came out against the practice last year)
*BABCP (British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psycotherapies)
*BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy)
*BAC (British Psychoanalytical Council)
* BPS (British Psychological Society)
* BPC (British Psychological Council)
* GLADD (Gay and Lesbian Association of Doctors and Dentists)
* National Counselling Society

This is the list of the fourteen organisations which signed the memorandum. It includes, crucially, the Association of Christian Counsellors (ACC) - a historic milestone.
This is the list of the fourteen organisations which signed the memorandum. It includes, crucially, the Association of Christian Counsellors (ACC) – a historic milestone.

* Pink Therapy
* Royal College of General Practitioners
* Royal College of Psychiatrists
* Relate
* UKCP (UK Council for Psychotherapy)

They declared that:

*Efforts to change or alter sexual orientation through psychological therapies are unethical and potentially harmful.
*That “for people who are unhappy about their sexual orientation whether heterosexual,homosexual or bisexual, there may be grounds for exploring therapeutical options to enable them to live more comfortably with it, reduce their distress and reach a greater degree of acceptance of their sexual orientation.”
*The public must be protected from conversion therapy because it does not work and can do harm.

They pledged that:

* They will not offer such treatment
* They will not refer patients for such treatment (this includes referral by GPs – a major problem in the past).
*There must be continued and improved professional development in these areas so that patients can be HELPED rather than harmed
*That there will be continuous scrutiny of developments and that their members and the public will be involved and informed

Above all, they pledged that the public must be protected from the harmful practice of conversion therapy; and that effective therapies must help people be happy with their sexuality.

Message of Support from Diana Johnson MP

Since the inception of our campaign in 2012 Diana has been exemplary in supporting our campaign. She sent in a statement regarding the memorandum of understanding:

“NHS England’s recent statement against conversion therapy is a really positive step forward. I am also glad that it has been co-signed by a huge range of other professional organisations.

Diana speaking in the House of Commons.
Diana speaking in the House of Commons.

“People in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community need to be confident that they can get NHS care which helps rather than hurts them.

“Attempts to change their sexuality are not only ineffective, but potentially extremely harmful. So I am very glad that NHS England has now confirmed they won’t refer patients to conversion therapists.

“We shouldn’t forget that the campaign to get the government to do something about this abhorrent practice started in Hull. I hope their statement will give LGBT people at least some reassurance that they’ll get proper treatment on the NHS.

“But we shouldn’t kid ourselves: much more still need to be done. For one, we need to make sure this message reaches down across the NHS and therapy sector. And we need much more investment in dedicated LGBT-friendly treatment.”

For details of the part played by Hull and East Riding Labour LGBT+ Network, please see our campaign timeline here.  For full details of the Joint Memorandum of Understanding please see here.

However, this is not total victory and there is a lot left to be achieved and we will continue our campaign. Among our aims will be:

* To see that the NHS does provide the lgbt-friendly support that is needed, especially in the area of mental health. All the evidence is that at present it fails lamentably in this area, We need money ,we need resources we need professional training and we need understanding,
* That the NHS ban is extended to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland,
* Conversion Therapy is still legal. Quack remedies can still be offered by charlatan operators. Surely the time has come to prevent this altogether.
*Meanwhile we must at the very least ensure that all counsellors and therapists are members of a professional body . This is the only way to ensure that patients can obtain redress for malpractice and that proper professional standards are met.
*That we keep the public informed of any concerns about the ongoing practice of conversion therapy after the declaration.The consortium is undertaking a review in twelve months.
* That there is adequate public provision and funding of refuges and helplines The only LGBT Refuge supported by the tax payer-in England-was recently threatened with closure. The Albert Kennedy Trust which supports homeless LGBT youngsters should be publicly supported but one charity cannot provide all that is needed. Similarly it is madness helplines such as that provided by Broken Rainbow should face closure because of the lack of funds.

So as Churchill commented on VE Day in 1945, we might perhaps allow ourselves a brief moment of rejoicing at our victory. We thank all those who have contributed towards it. But there are many battles still to be fought. and we need your continued support.

By Colin Livett, 28th Jan 2015


This includes the homosexuals, whom the Nazis tried to wipe from the face of the earth by gassing them and subjecting them to cruel experiments in a bid to “convert  them.”

In solidarity with our sisters and brothers where consensual sex between adult same-sex couples remains a capital offence. And those in the other 70 countries where it remains a criminal offence.

A holocaust memorial day tribute.



A cross-party group of MPs, alongside LGBT Housing Association Stonewall Housing, have tabled an Early Day Motion highlighting the issue of domestic abuse in the LGBT community.

In the run-up to the General Election we think it’s vital that everything be done to raise the profile of this issue, so we’d like to encourage everyone to send the draft letter below to their local MPs asking that they show their support by signing EDM 653. You can also download a Word copy here.

If you don’t know who your MP is, please enter your post code here.

Draft Email to MP – Please Sign EDM 653

Re: LGBT* Domestic Abuse – Please Sign EDM #653.

Dear [Insert MP’s Name Here]

I am writing to you to express concern about the issue of domestic abuse experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or trans* (LGBT) people, and to ask that you show you share my concerns by signing EDM 653.[1]

I am sure you will know that domestic abuse is a major blight on the lives of heterosexual women. Though much more can and should be done, various public bodies and the press rightly accord priority to highlighting and addressing this issue. Local, regional and national government and the police service invest in public campaigns and other initiatives to reach out to women survivors. Government has just recently announced ring-fenced of £10million funding to Local Authorities to provide women’s refuges – an essential lifeline for so many survivors.

However, I do not feel that enough is being done to address the drastically under-reported problem of domestic abuse in the LGBT* communities. There is now a wealth of evidence that reveals that domestic abuse is at least as high, if not higher, amongst sub-groups of this community. Notably:

  • A Stonewall survey of lesbian and bisexual women in 2008[2] revealed that one in four – the same proportion as heterosexual non-trans women – experienced domestic violence.
  • Another 2011 Stonewall survey[3] of gay and bisexual men found that half of them had experienced at least one incident of domestic abuse from a family member or partner since the age of 16.
  • A 2010 survey by the Scottish Trans Alliance[4] found that domestic abuse was a concern for the majority of those surveyed.
  • In 2014, the Roar survey[5] of the experiences of LGBT domestic abuse survivors found that 70% of LGBT survivors did not report the abuse they experienced to any agency or organisation.

This abuse is committed against LGBT people by ex/partners and family members of all genders and sexualities.  Abuse, particularly against the younger LGBT survivors, is frequently from family members who are intolerant of their sexual or gender identity.

LGBT people have specific needs which, sadly, are not sufficiently addressed. For instance:

  • There is no specialist housing provision for LGBT survivors of a similar nature to refuge provision. Generic hostels are frequently unsafe for LGBT clients, with many survivors forced to return home or sleep rough.
  • Refuge services to lesbian and bisexual women are available, but provision is patchy and is dependent on staff having received training to be able to understand risks and needs of survivors. Many services do not receive funding to provide training on this issue.
  • Trans-spectrum people face discrimination and exclusion when trying to access all gender-based housing services and safe accommodation.
  • Gay and Bisexual men are not able to access refuges for women, and men’s hostels do not understand risks and needs of non-heterosexual men.
  • To make matters worse, there is widespread under-reporting of domestic abuse to the police amongst LGBT people, and a high proportion of those who do report it are not satisfied with the police response.[6]

The Government has not committed funding to provide any LGBT refuge provision in any part of the UK – as they have done with respect to women’s refuges – leaving LGBT survivors at risk of further abuse. LGBT people fall through the gaps, leading to an increase in anti-social behaviour, homelessness, self-harm, suicidal ideation, and a decline of physical and mental wellbeing.

However, a cross-party group of MPs – including Sarah Champion MP (Lab), Caroline Lucas MP (Grn) and Stephen Gilbert MP (LD) – have tabled Early Day Motion (no: 653) to help highlight this problem. It asks that the Government commit ring-fenced funding for LGBT refuges and improve guidance to housing authorities to highlight LGBT-specific needs. I am writing to ask that you, as my local MP, do the following:

  • Please sign Early Day Motion No: 653.
  • Please write to the Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles MP highlighting my concerns, and in particular the need for ring-fenced funding to councils to provide LGBT refuges.

Yours Sincerely,


[1] Early Day Motion 653, Domestic Abuse in the LGBT Community. See:

[2] Stonewall (2008), Prescription for Change: Lesbian and Bisexual Women’s Health Check.

[3] Stonewall (2011), Gay and Bisexual Men’s Health Survey.

[4] LGBT Youth Scotland and Scottish Trans Alliance (2010), Out of Sight, Out of Mind.

[5] Stonewall Housing, Trust for London and LGBT Domestic Abuse Forum (2014), Roar: Because silence is deadly – a report on the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans* survivors of domestic violence and abuse.

[6] Stonewall, Domestic Abuse: Stonewall Health Briefing.