LGBT+ History: Adoption and Children Act

The Adoption And Children Act 2002 received royal assent and became law on November 7th 2002, although it didn’t come fully into effect until the end of December 2005.

The Act was introduced in a staged manner, hence the delay between enactment and full implementation:
*Local Authorities duties to provide adoption service and support services.
*Inter country adoptions legislation
*Further adoption Support services
*Changes to Parental Responsibility
*Changes to adopted Children’s Register

The provisions were made to overhaul the framework introduced in the Adoption Act 1976 and to more specifically cater for the needs of the child.  It also changed the provisions to allow for the adoption of children by a wider section of society.

The original Act only allowed adoption by Married couples or by one of the parents when the other was deceased or had very good reason to be excluded from their parental duties. [https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1976/36/section/14]

The difference introduced in the new Act is that the references which said married couple and specifically referring to husband and wife now instead refer only to a couple.  The effect of this change meant that adoptions were opened up to same-sex couples. [http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2002/38/pdfs/ukpga_20020038_en.pdf]

LGBT+ Hate Crime Question Time – 20th Oct

 

As part of this year’s Hate Crime Awareness Week, Derbyshire LGBT+ invite you to join us at the QUAD, as we facilitate an LGBT+ Hate Crime Question Time.  Our panel will include the Police and Crime Commissioner, representatives from Derbyshire Constabulary, the Crown Prosecution Service and Derbyshire County Council.  The panel will be exploring how the police and other agencies can support those who experience hate crime based on their gender identity or sexual orientation.

If you would like to attend, please book your place beforehand by contacting Derbyshire LGBT+.  If you would like to submit questions for the panel to consider, please also send them to us beforehand, so that the panel members can consider them in good time.

Rainbow Writers celebration evening

Rainbow Writers was a project which saw creative writing workshops delivered to Derbyshire LGBT+ social support groups between May and October this year. The project would like to celebrate completion by hosting a free open evening at Derbyshire LGBT+ on Wednesday 18th October 5-7pm.  If you would like to read either a piece that you wrote during the workshops, or other pieces of your own work, please bring it with you on the night and sign up at the door!  Alternatively, you are welcome to come and chat about the project, or your next steps in your creative writing journey.

 Refreshments will be provided, we look forward to seeing you then, and celebrating the completion of this successful project!

LGBT+ History: Gender Recognition Act


In 2004 the government passed this act after pressure from the European Court Of Human Rights, following rulings on the Goodwin & I v’s UK case link: https://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng#{%22itemid%22:[%22001-60596%22]}

In the early years it was required that in order to get the certificate the applicant could not be married and had to provide evidence of long term transition although to a lesser degree than those who applied later on as it was deemed more difficult for those people to gather the required historical information.

Once evidence is gathered the information is submitted to a panel of experts who will decide if the person has supplied enough evidence that they have been, and intend to continue to, live in the acquired gender.  The additional requirement of having, or having had, Gender Dysphoria is also assessed by the panel.  Later legislation allowing same sex marriage in 2013, 2014 in Scotland, required amendments to the Act but otherwise little has changed.

The amendments made as a result of the Same-Sex Marriage Act(s) requires that both parties in the marriage sign a statutory declaration stating they wish to remain married.  If one or both do not wish to remain married then an interim recognition certificate can be granted which apply as grounds to end the marriage.  Applicants in Northern Ireland are unable to remain married on application for a Gender Recognition Certificate.

The governemnt website includes statistics of the number of applications received and approved and the latest quarterly figures showed the highest number of applicants registered as female at birth than any previous year with 47%.

Once a certificate is issued the applicant will be considered in law to be completely of the acquired gender for all purposes.

For those who would like to get further information about the Act or to apply for recognition the information is held here: https://www.gov.uk/apply-gender-recognition-certificate with the guidance leaflet here: https://formfinder.hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/t455-eng.pdf

Golden Rainbows Chesterfield (re)launch lunch!

Over 55, LGBT+ and in Chesterfield or surrounding areas? Come meet the group at a free lunch on Tuesday 10th October, 2-4pm.

The group is part of our Golden Rainbows Project, and is open to people who self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and Transgender over the age of 55.  Our Golden Rainbows survey last year showed us that there was a great need in Chesterfield and the surrounding areas for support for older LGBT people.  The experiences of older people can often result in feelings of isolation and loneliness and we would like to help build a social and supportive LGBT community in Chesterfield.

The group is confidential and free to attend. We meet at the Assembly Rooms in Chesterfield Market Hall, there is lift access from the ground floor.

Please contact us if you have any questions, or would like further details.

LGBT+ History: Civil Partnerships

The Civil Partnership Act is passed in 2004, granting legal civil partnership in the United Kingdom. The Act gives same-sex couples the same rights and responsibilities as married straight couples in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

The change was rolled out at different times across the UK, meaning the first couple to enter into a civil partnership under regular circumstances were Grainne Close and Sharon Sickles of Belfast, Northern Ireland (pictured above).

LGBT+ History: Section 28 repealed

In 2003, Section 28 is finally repealed in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, lifting the ban on local authorities from ‘the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality’.  The repeal was made legal on 28th November, after the Local Government Bill received Royal Assent.

Section 28, or Clause 28 was originally brought into law in 1988, and although this was not a criminal offence, so no prosecutions were ever brought, many LGBT+ support groups closed or limited their activities for fear of breaking the act.  The act required that local authorities did not spent money promoting homosexuality, but in reality, many schools and colleges understood it to mean that they were unable to discuss or talk about homosexuality with pupils and students.

In response to the repeal Kent County Council decided to create their own version of Section 28 to keep the effect of the now repealed law in their schools. Their original policy stated that: “the council shall not publish, purchase or distribute to children inappropriate material for any sex education, including the intentional promotion of homosexuality” LGBT+ support services raised concerns with Kent County Council, and received a letter in response, which you can read here: https://issuu.com/queeryouth/docs/kent_section_28_letter

The council revised their statement, and it was replaced on 16 December 2004 with provisions stating that: “We will ensure that sex education values family and marriage as the foundation of a civilised society, and a firm basis for the nurturing of children”  Campaigners celebrated the victory, but were wary of the inclusion of ‘marriage as the foundation of a civilised society; as equal marriage was not yet law.  You can read their press release here: https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2005/01/303498.html

 

LGB-QWERTY Returns!

Good folks, if you fancy a bit of spoken word goodness this Saturday evening, come to LGB-QWERTY for the third in our series of events marking #50years.  As we’ve already had events focussed around what LGBT+ life was like 50 years ago, and what it’s like now, this event will focus on what LGBT+ life might be like in 50 years time.

We’ve come a long way in 50 years, but there’s still a way to go, so what do you think it might be like?  Poets and spoken word performers have been given an invitation to write new pieces on that theme, and their inaugural performances of their new work will feature as part of this event.  There’ll be a donation bucket on the door, and open mic slots will be available, you can email Dan@furthestfromthesea.co.uk if you’d like to perform one of your own pieces on the night.

Featured performers will include:

Sam Beckett (Purple Theatre)
Emerciana Desouiza
Holly Dafffurn
Jenny Sissons
Nona Wyld
Lucy Skerratt, Patricia Simeon and Elizabeth Asasira.

On: Saturday 23rd September, doors open 7pm, performance starts at 7.30pm at the 67, Bridge Street Café, Derby.  This event also forms part of the University of Derby Freshers Week events.

You can find out more about it HERE

‘Looking Back, Looking Forward’, is presented by LGB-QWERTY in association with Derbyshire LGBT+, supported by Furthest from the Sea Music, Comedy & Arts CIC, Twisted Tongues and University of Derby

LGBT+ History: The Armed Forces

In 2000 The UK Government lifted the ban on LGBT+ people serving in the armed forces.

Prior to this, the Armed Forces Policy and Guidelines on Homosexuality stated that the homosexual lifestyle was “incompatible” with military life “because of the close physical conditions in which personnel often have to live and work, and also because homosexual behaviour can cause offense, polarise relationships, induce ill-discipline and damage morale and unit effectiveness”.

In September of 1999, the European Court of Human Rights found that the British Armed Forces had discriminated against LGB service personnel, by releasing them from service if it was found out that they were LGB.  The British Government stated that it would abide by the court ruling, and immediately lifted the ban, with changes coming into force on 12th January 2000.  This was years before the American Armed Services repealed their ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy in 2011.

Currently Hannah Winterbourne serves as the British Army’s highest ranking Trans* officer. You can read more about her here: https://www.ft.com/content/5af4d0e0-a747-11e6-8b69-02899e8bd9d1

In February 2005, the Royal Navy joined Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme, followed in November 2006 by the Royal Air Force and by the British Army the largest of the three services in June 2008, to promote good working conditions for all existing and potential employees and to ensure equal treatment for those who are lesbian, gay and bisexual.  At London Pride in 2008, all three armed services marched in the parade in uniform for the first time.