Hot Pride!

John Stillwell/PA/Guardian | r

30,000 marchers – and uncounted onlookers – braved the record London temperatures yesterday to take part in a sunny Pride March. As usual the march was surrounded by controversy. As many as 50,000 people applied to take part in the march, but a cap was placed on the numbers marching.

To mark the 70th anniversary of the National Health Service, groups from the health service were prominent in the parade.

There was a protest by a group of lesbian anti-trans activists who were allowed to march. There was also a separate “Black Pride” event on the same day.


UK to ban gay “cure” therapies at last?

ITV News reports that

… tomorrow Britain’s largest ever survey of LGBT people will reveal that thousands of people have either been through conversion therapy or been offered it.

The methods are legal, unregulated and – as we found – easily available. But I understand the government is set to announce proposals to eradicate conversion therapy as part of its LGBT Action Plan, with the details still to be decided…

Just last year it was insisting that gay conversion therapies were relatively rare, but tomorrow’s new statistics have shocked the prime minister into action.

A worshipping Christian herself, she will now have to devise a way to navigate the complex religious sensitivities involved.

But it does look as if the majority of gay Christians will get what they’ve been praying for – an end to any belief that their sexuality can be cured.

Three years ago the NHS and all the major clinical bodies in the UK signed a Memorandum of Understanding stating that conversion therapy is unethical and potentially harmful, and can cause depression, anxiety, self-harm and an increased risk of suicide.

I hope the Government has decided to do something to ban these nutcases and their quack practices, it is long, long overdue.

Our page of notes on Gay Cure and Ex-Gay

Better care for gay senior citizens …

Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/Getty Images/Lonely Planet Images | r

Opening Doors has developed an LGBT+-friendly kitemark for care homes. The Pride in Care standard focuses on five areas: customer service; safety and security; policy and procedures; publicity and promotion; and recruitment and training. It follows the publication of the first ever LGBT guide for care support staff, developed in partnership with the charity Age UK. The guide, called Safe to be Me, includes simple steps managers can take to make their home more inclusive.

The Guardian notes:

[the guide] also reveals the impact of ignoring the needs of LGBT residents. It highlights the case of one gay couple, Arthur and Ian, who were rarely allowed time alone together. “On one occasion, Arthur was taken seriously ill and transferred to hospital without them notifying me,” says Ian. “The man I love could have died and I wouldn’t have been there or even known.”

Turing arrives in Northern Ireland

From today, men convicted of abolished gay sex offences in Northern Ireland can ask to be pardoned and have their record cleared, as the measure known as “Turings Law” now applies to the Province.

The new law was approved by the assembly in 2016 and brings Northern Ireland into line with England and Wales.

Convictions that are disregarded will be considered as never having happened and will be removed from criminal records. Posthumous pardons will automatically apply to anyone convicted of obsolete offences who have now died. Men who are living will have to apply to the Department of Justice requesting granting of the pardon.

Yes, you were discriminated against, Court tells straights!

ITV | r

Rebecca Steinfeld, 37, and Charles Keidan, 41, who are heterosexual but want to enter in a civil partnership, are being discriminated against. Five Supreme Court justices unanimously allowed their appeal. They are currently prevented from having a legal union through the route of civil partnership because the Civil Partnership Act 2004 says only same-sex couples are eligible.

The Court of Appeal agreed that the couple had established a potential violation of Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which relates to discrimination, taken with Article 8, which refers to respect for private and family life. The judges said the interference was justified by the Government’s policy of “wait and evaluate”.

The Government is currently considering the matter and a change in the law is not expected yet.

No Non-Binary UK Passports yet, then

Christie Elan-Cane lost a High Court challenge calling on the government to provide gender-neutral passports. Christie Elan-Cane wants passports to have an “X” category, which could be used by those who consider themselves neither fully male nor female, and claimed the UK’s passport process was “inherently discriminatory”.

Currently, all UK passport holders have to specify whether they are male or female.

Mr Justice Jeremy Baker refused to rule the government policy as unlawful.

Speaking after the ruling, Christie Elan-Cane, who has fought on the issue since 1995, said they were “bitterly disappointed” and that non-gendered people are “socially invisible” and being “denied civil rights”.

It is tempting to try to go to Court to change the law, but usually it does not work, because the Court is there to uphold, clarify, and enforce the law. It is the job of elected members of Parliament to change laws.

Scottish Pardons Bill Passed Unanimously

The Scottish Parliament unanimously passed the Historical Sexual Offences (Pardons and Disregards) Bill, which will pardon thousands of gay and bisexual men convicted of having consensual sex with other men before homosexuality was decriminalised.

Men will also be able to apply to have convictions for same-sex sexual activity that is now legal removed from central criminal conviction records. The Scottish government says it expects about 25 men to do so over the next five years.

Offences that are still illegal, such as rape or having sex with someone under the age of 16, will not be pardoned. The BBC explains:

Before the law changed, men were prosecuted for offences including consensual sexual activity in private, kissing another man in a public place, or just chatting up another man in a public place – which was known as “importuning”.

Such behaviour was legal at the time between a man and a woman, and is legal today between two men.