Queen Elizabeth II backs gay Britain for the first time
In a landmark statement, the reigning monarch of the UK and the Commonwealth has announced her support for a gay charity
Queen Elizabeth II has praised a gay charity, in what is believed to be her first ever comment about the LGBTI community.In her 62-year reign of the UK and the Commonwealth, she has never once visited or become a patron of a charity for gay rights.And even in reforming laws for the community, such as when homosexuality was decriminalized or same-sex marriage in England and Wales passed into law, the words ‘gay’, ‘lesbian’, ‘bisexual’, and ‘transgender’ have never been reported as crossing the lips of the reigning monarch.But in a first, the Queen has praised the London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard on its 40th birthday.She said: ‘Best wishes and congratulations to all concerned on this most special anniversary.’The switchboard, which supports LGBTs by providing a non-judgmental ear on the phone, was celebrated at a gala evening attended by a plethora of celebrities, politicians and supporters.Several political leaders praised the charity.Prime Minister David Cameron said: ‘Over the 40 years since it was established, the London Lesbian & Gay Switchboard has made a real difference day in and day out to the lives of LGB&T people.‘I would like to pay tribute to the volunteers and staff of the switchboard for their dedication to providing help and support to the LGB&T community and I wish you every success in the future.’Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, described the switchboard as the ‘first port of call for many thousands of people’.‘[It is a] testament to the dedication of a small army of unpaid, unseen, passionate volunteers that have worked selflessly over many years,’ he said.Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said even though the UK has made huge leaps forward for equality, there is a still huge amount of work to be done.’He said: ‘Every year, the Switchboard answers thousands of calls from people who still feel isolated by their sexuality.‘They can be struggling to come out to their family and friends, suffering from homophobic bullying at school or discrimination at work, or simply looking for someone neutral to talk to about their life.‘Whatever the issue, big or small, they know Switchboard is there for them.’And Labour leader Ed Milliband added: ‘I would like to congratulate the London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard on reaching their 40th anniversary.‘Whether it be listening to someone’s difficulties in coming to terms with their sexuality, or letting people know what help is available in difficult situations, being there at the end of a phone is important.‘LLGS is a remarkable organisation of volunteers, and I would like to pass on my thanks and best wishes to the team for the work they do supporting the LGBT community and their families.’
Russia minister called ‘so gay lover’ in subtitle blunder
Foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, who has defended gay propaganda laws as protecting Russian morals, had his name Travoltified on Channel 4 news
The Russian Foreign Minister was described as ‘so gay lover of’ in a subtitle blunder during a Channel 4 report.Sergey Lavrov was the subject of a report discussing a meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry.And knowing the internet, the hilarious gaffe prompted a plethora of responses online.‘I wager this was NOT an accident,’ one Twitter user said.Another added: ‘So Gay Lover? Wahaha, Putin will go mental.’‘Loving this!!! Sweet, sweet irony is just delicious,’ another user said.Lavrov has repeatedly defended the ‘gay propaganda’ law that has been condemned on a worldwide scale.‘Russia has its own moral, religious and historical values,’ he said early last year. ‘We don’t have a single international or common European commitment to allow propaganda of homosexuality.’
Trans woman 'scared to leave' own home after brutal attack
British woman was left traumatized after one of her windows was deliberately smashed, saying she felt like a 'prisoner in her own home'
A British trans woman is living in fear and says she is too scared to leave her own home after an attack on her property.The unnamed woman, living in Cheshire, north west of England, was left traumatized when a piece of heavy exercise equipment was hurled through one of her windows on New Year’s Eve last year.Alexander Stoll, 32, said he did not remember the incident but later admitted to smashing the window and pleaded guilty to criminal damage at Halton Magistrates Court yesterday (6 March).In a statement read out in court, the unnamed victim said the accident had a very ‘severe and profound effect’ on her.‘As a result I am frightened to leave my home,' she said.‘I have spiralled into deep depression. I feel like a prisoner in my own home.’The victim added: ‘I just want to be able to live my life without worry or fear.’Lionel Cope, prosecuting, said the defendant claimed the attack was over an alleged £90 ($150, €108) debt the victim had with his mother, This Is Cheshire reported.He also said eggs and stones have previously been thrown at the transgender victim’s windows because of her ‘lifestyle’.The court heard Stoll was ‘unpredictable’ when drinking and had been seen to ‘headbutt walls’ in his own home.Admitting to calling her by the transphobic term 'tranny', but said he was drunk and had no intention of hurting her.Stoll admitted to knowing the meaning of a ‘hate crime’, and prosecutors said the offence was ‘aggravated’ by the victim being transgender.The hearing was adjourned to a later date, and Stoll was bailed to live at his brother’s address and given a temporary restraining order.