Peter Tatchell

Time to End the Gay Bans in Northern Ireland

Peter Tatchell | Posted 26.06.2015 | UK Politics
Peter Tatchell

Northern Ireland is the most homophobic region of the UK and one of the most homophobic regions of the EU. This intolerance is stirred primarily by the dominant Democratic Unionist Party, the main political wing of Loyalist protestantism. Its policies on gay issues echo the homophobia of the BNP and European fascist groups. Many Northern Irish people are not homophobic. Even within the DUP, there are members who would not discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity. But senior party figures hold sway and they dictate an anti-gay agenda.

Watch Ukip's David Coburn Call Same Sex Marriage 'Nonsense'

The Huffington Post UK | Aubrey Allegretti | Posted 26.06.2015 | UK Politics

Ukip MEP David Coburn has launched a scathing attack on the organisers of London's upcoming LGBT Pride march, criticising his party's exclusion from t...

Lib Dem Leadership Candidate Apologises For 'Misremembering' Over LGBT Laws

Huffington Post UK | Aubrey Allegretti | Posted 08.06.2015 | UK Politics

Veteran LGBT rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has hit out at claims he did not support the passing of an equality bill in 2007. Liberal Democrat M...

European Court Rules Equal Love Case Inadmissible

Peter Tatchell | Posted 15.05.2015 | UK
Peter Tatchell

The Equal Love campaign has formally ceased its 2011 application to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), which sought to secure equality in UK civil marriage and civil partnership law. This follows the decision of the European Court that the application is "inadmissible" and subsequent fruitless attempts by campaigners to challenge the ruling. This is the end of the road for our application. We can take it no further. Sincere thanks to the eight couples involved and to all our supporters who stood with us for four years.

Bojo's Dad Delivers Petition To Ban Circus Animals To No. 10

PA/Huffington Post UK | Paul Vale | Posted 25.02.2015 | UK Politics

A 20,000-strong petition calling for a ban on wild animals in the circus has been delivered to Downing Street. Boris Johnson's father Stanley, a forme...

Sharia Law Versus Secular Democracy

Peter Tatchell | Posted 12.04.2015 | UK
Peter Tatchell

Speaker after speaker last Saturday warned of an Islamist agenda of stealthy, creeping, subtle Sharification. This involves sustained attempts by Islamists to pressure public institutions, in the name of religious freedom and multiculturalism, to make special allowances for their reactionary sectarian clerical values.

Holocaust Memorial Day: The Nazi Bid to Exterminate Gay People

Peter Tatchell | Posted 28.03.2015 | UK
Peter Tatchell

"We must exterminate these people (homosexuals) root and branch... We can't permit such danger to the country; the homosexual must be entirely eliminated." With these chilling words, the head of the SS, Heinrich Himmler, set out the Nazi master plan for the sexual cleansing of the Aryan race. From 1933-1945, an estimated 50,000 to 100,000 men were arrested under paragraph 175 for the crime of homosexuality. Some were tried and sentenced in the courts; others were sent direct to concentration camps without any trial or formal sentence. The death rate of gay prisoners in the camps was over 50%, the highest among non-Jewish victims.

Louise Ridley

Famous Atheists Tell Us Where They Get Their Values From

HuffingtonPost.com | Louise Ridley | Posted 29.11.2014 | UK

Throughout November, The Huffington Post UK is featuring its Beyond Belief series, chronicling the remarkable lives of Britons who've taken on their f...

Where Are Our British Contrarians?

Ali Miraj | Posted 23.11.2014 | UK Politics
Ali Miraj

Too many people in British public life are "shackled by ambition". But there are the few who seek more than short-term career advancement. These are the people of ideas, that challenge, probe, and agitate for change. They are in the business of shaping the future, not of enjoying the comforts of a ministerial Jaguar.

Scotland Launches Equality Blitz to Coincide With the Commonwealth Games

Peter Tatchell | Posted 29.09.2014 | UK Politics
Peter Tatchell

Whatever people think about Alex Salmond and the push for Scottish independence, his statement and actions are the most forthright and supportive on LGBTI equality by any leader of any host nation during a major international sporting event. Neither David Cameron nor Boris Johnson did anything similar during the London Olympics. This is a unique, unprecedented initiative for which Alex Salmond and the Scottish government deserve full credit and commendation. For LGBTI communities in the 42 Commonwealth countries where homosexuality is still criminalised, the Scottish government's pro-LGBTI stance means a lot. It will comfort them and, I hope, discomfort their homophobic governments. It demonstrates Scotland's commitment to a truly equal and inclusive Games. Bravo!

David Cameron Insists That Straight Civil Partnerships Remain Banned

Peter Tatchell | Posted 27.08.2014 | UK Politics
Peter Tatchell

Legalising same-sex marriage was the recognition that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people are of equal worth and have the right to equal treatment in law. The same principle of equality applies in the case of civil partnerships. Heterosexual couples should be able to have a civil partnership.

The Greens - Not Ukip - Are the Real Alternative to the Political Establishment

Peter Tatchell | Posted 20.07.2014 | UK Politics
Peter Tatchell

Voting Green is a vote for something. The Greens are a party that offers an imaginative, alternative positive vision of how our future could look. This is fairly unique, given the broad political consensus between the stale, grey Tories, Labour and Lib Dems.

Inequality Remains: Why Exclude Straight Couples From Civil Partnerships?

Imogen Beecroft | Posted 29.06.2014 | UK Universities & Education
Imogen Beecroft

Does the same-sex marriage legislation leave civil partnerships destined to the graveyard of the noughties, left to rot alongside Big Brother and hipster jeans? Or might they be opened up to couples of any sex and allowed to flourish or fail, depending on the choices of the great British public?

David Cameron Is Wrong on Britain and Christianity

Peter Tatchell | Posted 21.06.2014 | UK Politics
Peter Tatchell

It is wrong for David Cameron to single out Christians for special praise, to offer them privileged access to Downing Street and to support an expanded role for Christian groups in providing essential public services.

David Cameron Must Deliver Promised Ban on Wild Animals in Circuses

Peter Tatchell | Posted 08.06.2014 | UK Politics
Peter Tatchell

Much animal suffering is not immediately obvious and visible. They are forced to suffer long, arduous journeys and extended periods tied up, chained or caged - with no freedom of movement. Housed in temporary, transportable accommodation, it is simply not possible for circuses to provide an appropriate environment for wild animals.

Gay Marriage Ban Imposed Only in 1971 - Now It's History!

Peter Tatchell | Posted 27.05.2014 | UK
Peter Tatchell

Rejoice! The ban on same-sex marriage in England and Wales is being finally lifted after a campaign for its repeal that lasted 43 years. The ban was imposed for the first time in 1971. Previously, there was no legal prohibition on lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) couples getting married. The outlawing of same-sex marriage is a recent and historically brief invention by what was a deeply homophobic political and religious establishment. At last, in the first few seconds of 29 March, the ban on same-sex marriage is history. Equal marriage will become a reality. Hurrah!

Up Against the Stonewall on Equal Marriage

Peter Tatchell | Posted 17.05.2014 | UK Politics
Peter Tatchell

Former Stonewall chief Ben Summerskill has made astonishing allegations against the Liberal Democrats, claiming they never sincerely supported same-sex marriage. He suggested they acted with "cynical and opportunistic" motives. This is outrageous. I don't support the Lib Dems, but they backed equal marriage at a time when Summerskill and the gay lobby group, Stonewall, refused to do so. The Lib Dems deserve credit for their early embrace of marriage for all. Ben's petty, sectarian smears are unbecoming - and unjustified.

Derek Jarman 20 Years On: Artist and Activist, Pioneer and Rebel

Peter Tatchell | Posted 20.04.2014 | UK Entertainment
Peter Tatchell

On this day, 20 years ago, the film-maker, painter, sculptor, gardener, author and queer rights activist Derek Jarman died of HIV. One of Britain's leading post-1945 avant garde artists, he is best remembered for his dazzling array of ground-breaking films. But it was as a HIV and queer rights campaigner that I knew him best.

If Homophobia Was a Winter Olympic Sport, Russia Would Be a Gold Medal Contender

Peter Tatchell | Posted 05.04.2014 | UK Sport
Peter Tatchell

This Friday, the Winter Olympics open in the Russian resort of Sochi amid great controversy over the Putin regime's homophobic policies, which clearly violate the anti-discrimination Principle 6 of the Olympic Charter. For me, queer freedom knows no borders. Over the last decade or so, amazing positive gains have been won by the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities in Britain. But I am an internationalist, not a nationalist. We must not give up the fight until every LGBT person on this planet has equal human rights, respect, dignity and opportunity.

The New Nigerian Anti-Gay Law Is One of the World's Harshest

Peter Tatchell | Posted 16.03.2014 | UK Politics
Peter Tatchell

It has just emerged that last week, in a secret decision made without any public announcement, President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria signed into law one of the world's most draconian anti-gay statutes. Whatever the motive for the hush-up, it didn't hold. The world now knows.

New Asbo-style Bill Menaces Free Expression

Peter Tatchell | Posted 09.03.2014 | UK Politics
Peter Tatchell

Last year, the government was outvoted in parliament. Against minister's wishes, MPs repealed the section of the Public Order Act 1986 that outlawed "insults"; deeming it to be too sweeping and a threat to freedom of expression. This year, in apparent revenge, the government has, in effect, reintroduced in the insult prohibition under another name.

Alan Turing: Was He Murdered By the Security Services?

Peter Tatchell | Posted 23.02.2014 | UK Politics
Peter Tatchell

I have this week written to the Prime Minister, David Cameron, urging a new inquiry into the death of the scientist Alan Turing, who has been finally granted a royal pardon for his 1952 conviction for homosexual relations. Turing is generally believed to have been committed suicide following his conviction and chemical castration. However, the original inquest into his death was perfunctory and inadequate. A new inquiry is long overdue, even if only to dispel any doubts about the true cause of his death - including speculation that he was murdered by the security services.

Northern Ireland Loyalists Aren't British, They're Brutish

Brian John Spencer | Posted 28.01.2014 | UK Politics
Brian John Spencer

Here's the problem. Not only is there is no political opposition against dysfunction in the Northern Ireland Assembly. There's also no civic opposition against dysfunction on the streets of Northern Ireland. The best and the moderates lack all conviction. The worst are full of riotous passion.

Consent At 14, Says Tatchell

The Huffington Post UK | Posted 21.11.2013 | UK

The age of consent should be lowered to 14, an equal rights campaigner has suggested. Peter Tatchell hit out at the "depressing reaction" to a rece...

The Current Age of Consent of 16 Doesn't Protect Young People, It Criminalises Them

Peter Tatchell | Posted 25.01.2014 | UK
Peter Tatchell

The existing consent at 16 law was introduced over 100 years ago in a puritanical Victorian era. Since then, society has moved on to more informed and enlightened attitudes about sex... Given that the average age of first sexual experience is 14, then an age of consent of 14 might be more realistic and reasonable than 16.