A Hollywood star, prominent politicians and leading gay-rights activists showed their support for LGBT asylum seekers and same-sex bi-national couples at a fundraiser last week.

Actor Sir Ian McKellen, Michael Cashman MEP, MPs Evan Harris and Simon Hughes and gay equality organisation Stonewall’s chief executive Ben Summerskill spoke at the event organised by UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group (UKLGIG).

They highlighted the plight of LGBT asylum seekers in the UK and need to change attitudes towards LGBT people globally.

Sebastian Rocca, Executive Director of UKLGIG, praised the speakers for lending their support.

“We are extremely grateful to be able to call upon the support of such inspirational people,” he said.

“Despite the constant pressure of raising funds, we will not only continue our very successful work in helping LGBT people obtain the sanctuary they deserve, but also ensure that LGBT issues are always considered and included in the Home Office agenda.”

Other speakers included gay asylum seekers from Iran and Jamaica.

There were also performances by lesbian comedy duo TetraFlap and Ngati Ranana – London Maori Club.

Founded in 1993, UKLGIG has worked with same-sex, bi-national couples fighting for the right to for foreign partners to remain in the UK.

It also receives hundreds of requests for help from LGBT people seeking protection in the UK because of persecution in their home country.

Over the last year, it has helped more than 200 LGBT asylum seekers by providing information, advice and support.