LGBT+ History: The Equality Act

Over the years the different regulations which were introduced which granted protections to various parts of people’s lives. From Equality of pay, to sex discrimination or racial discrimination the Act was introduced to streamline all the legislation into a single point of reference.

The Equality Act 2010 legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society. It replaced previous anti-discrimination laws with a single Act, making the law easier to understand and strengthening protection in some situations. The discrimination it protects from is:

● age

● being or becoming a transsexual person

● being married or in a civil partnership

● being pregnant or on maternity leave

disability

● race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin

● religion, belief or lack of religion/belief

● sex

● sexual orientation

You’re protected from discrimination:

● at work

● in education

● as a consumer

● when using public services

● when buying or renting property

● as a member or guest of a private club or association

You are also protected under this act if you associate with, or support a person with one of the above protected characteristics. If a complaint was made about an incident which occurred before the act came into force in 2010 then the previous relevant Acts should be used to decide legality of it.

 

 

 

 

LGBT+ History: Gareth Thomas

In 2009, the Welsh Rugby player, Gareth Thomas came out as gay. You can read more about him here: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2010/may/04/gareth-thomas-gay-interview-crusaders

If ever there was a symbol which showed you should never stereotype a person it is Gareth Thomas. When a person thinks of a gay man they think of a person who is flamboyant and effeminate. As the former skipper of the British Lions and Wales Rugby teams he worked hard to make sure he was a beast on and off the field. Even with the strength he had he still wept when he decided to come out as a gay man, but in December 2009 it finally happened. Coming out was not easy though so he was fortunate that he had the assistance of the team coach who had guessed his sexuality and offered to help. As a result of coming out he became the first out Rugby Union player. Much of the rest of his story was widely reported in the news papers, one of which can be found on the BBC here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_union/welsh/8421956.stm
There’s a gay and inclusive rugby professional team in South Africa, the Jozi Cats.  You can read more about them, here:http://www.jozicats.co.za/
and here http://www.upworthy.com/these-gay-rugby-players-are-dismantling-stereotypes-one-photo-at-a-time

In August 2015 another first happened in Rugby when Keegan Hirst came out as gay making him the first British professional rugby league player to do so. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keegan_Hirst#/media/File:Keegan_Hirst.jpg

 

 

LGBT+ History: Human Fertilisation Act

As an update to the previous 1990 Act this legislation was introduced to bring the law upto date with modern science and social concerns. [https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2008/22/pdfs/ukpga_20080022_en.pdf]

The appropriate sections which were included to update the original Act are sections 49 and 50 which relate to marriage and civil partnerships, and also sections 42-47 which refer to the cases where a woman will be the childs second parent apart from the defined mother.

Section 53 was also introduced as a means of being able to translate many different acts to refer to a second female parent in other areas of family law.

The Act specifies that for another woman to be treated as a legal parent of the child with regards birth certificates etc, the following conditions must be met:
* The second parent must give the carrying person a notice that they consent to be treated as a parent as a result of the treatment.
* The carrying person consents to the other woman being a legal parent.
* No consent previously given has been withdrawn.
* The carrying person has not given consent for another person to be a parent of the child, whether male or female.
* Both parties should not be a prohibited degree of relationship.  This just means that the people should be sufficiently unrelated that they would meet the requirements to be able to get married even if they are not in a position to want to.[https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1986/16/section/1]

 

LGBT+ History: Civil Partnerships

Christopher Cramp and Matthew Roche complete their Civil Partnership as the first in England on 5th December 2005. Due to Mr Roche’s illness, they applied for special dispensation to hold the ceremony in the hospice before the law was due to take effect on 21st December.  Mr Roche died of terminal cancer the following day.

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).