Category Archives: Human Rights

Justice & protection for all – International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia & Transphobia 2019

In 70 countries, loving someone of the same sex is illegal and, in 7 countries, it is punishable by death. In many more countries citizens are denied their right to live as their true gender identity, and 369 murders of trans and gender-diverse people were reported worldwide in 2018. As well as legal discriminations, social homophobia, biphobia and transphobia daily… Read more »

Stop the deportation of Yew Fook Sam – Sign the Home Office petition

Yew Fook Sam, known as Sam, from Liverpool, Merseyside, has had his request for asylum rejected by the Home Office and fears he will now be detained and deported. Sam is 67 years old, in poor physical health, and facing physical punishment or imprisonment if he is forced to return to Malaysia because he is openly gay. The Home Office… Read more »

Marriage equality – why is it important for faith communities?

AUSTRALIA HAS VOTED in favour of marriage equality for LGBTI people – the results were announced on Wednesday and greeted with joy and expectation that the law will now change to make it so. As my husband is Australian, I have followed the campaign with interest. We had a civil partnership in May 2012 – the first to be registered… Read more »

Coming out in the classroom – The power of education #NCOD

TODAY, 11th October, is celebrated in many countries as ‘National Coming Out Day’, a campaign to promote a safe world for LGBT+ individuals to live truthfully and openly. This morning I marked the occasion by giving a lecture to around 300 trainee teachers, to raise awareness of issues around gender and sexuality, and to explore these in age-appropriate ways in… Read more »

‘I choose not to collaborate in my own oppression’ – Sister Jeannine Gramick on 40+ years of ministry among LGBT Catholics

THESE were the courageous words of the keynote speaker at this year’s annual conference of Quest, which offers pastoral support for LGBT Catholics in the UK. Sister Jeannine Gramick has cared and campaigned for the LGBT community in the USA since 1971, two years before Quest was founded. I first heard about Sister Jeannine in 1999 when, together with her colleague… Read more »

Who is my neighbour? A reflection on the 170th anniversary of Liverpool YMCA

This year Liverpool YMCA celebrated its 170th anniversary, and this year I became the chaplain to this extraordinary community. My role is to listen, support, care and gently question – to be there for everyone in the organisation regardless of faith or belief. At the anniversary celebration at Liverpool Parish Church last month, I read the story of the Good… Read more »

WATCH: #WhyWeFight UN ‘Free & Equal’ video marking #IDAHOT2016

Why do we need a worldwide day to defend LGBT rights? At least 81 countries in the world criminalize same sex relationships. This means that 40% of the world population (or 2.8 billion people) are not free to choose who they love. Millions of homosexual and bisexual people live in a constant state of fear. In 10 countries, the death penalty can be applied for same… Read more »

Stonewall interfaith seminar – #LGBTHM review part 6

THE LAST event I spoke at during LGBT History Month in February was the first interfaith seminar coordinated by the LGBT rights charity Stonewall. The invitation came after I trained as a Role Model to deliver LGBT awareness sessions in schools registered as Stonewall School Champions. I wrote about my first experience as a Role Model in November 2015 here…. Read more »

How can we disagree well? A personal response to the #Primates2016 meeting

THIS WEEK the heads of Anglican churches around the world (known as Primates) will gather in Canterbury to debate the future of their global network, the Anglican Communion, because of deep divisions over church teachings on sexuality.

A momentous decade – Reflecting on ten years of UK civil partnerships

IT’S TEN YEARS this month since the first civil partnerships for same-sex couples in the UK. The first couple to benefit from the new legal recognition for their relationship were Chris Cramp and Matthew Roche from West Sussex, on 5th December 2005. Yet when images from the first UK civil partnerships appear in the media to accompany stories about same-sex… Read more »