To mark the 60th birthday of our most iconic human rights campaigner, PinkNews.co.uk will be naming Wednesday 25 January Peter Tatchell Day.
To celebrate the day, we will look back at the enormous contribution Peter Tatchell has made to the fight for equal gay rights and human rights in general across the UK and abroad with contributions from all around the globe.
Late January will also mark 45 years of human rights campaigning by the naturalised Briton, and 10 years since the Peter Tatchell Foundation was originally launched.
For the day, all advertising space on the PinkNews.co.uk website and email newsletter will be donated to the Peter Tatchell Foundation, which promotes and protects human rights in the UK and globally.
The foundation will use the estimated 300,000 spots (of varying sizes and locations) to raise awareness of its campaigns and to recruit new donors.
For the rest of Peter Tatchell’s 60th birthday year, PinkNews will donate advertising on at least one spot on every piece of content on the PinkNews.co.uk website to the foundation as well as space on our iPhone/iPad apps. It is hoped that in total 41 million advertisements will be shown to mark the 41 years since Mr Tatchell first joined the London Gay Liberation Front.
Born in Australia in 1952, he began his career as a campaigner at the age of 15 by opposing the death penalty.
Two years later, he realised he was gay and two years after that was bound for England because he objected to Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam war and was not willing to be to drafted.
In 45 years of non-violent human rights campaigning, Mr Tatchell has been arrested hundreds of times, but only one conviction has been upheld. Convicted under the Ecclesiastical Courts Jurisdiction Act 1860, he received a fine of £18.60 for interrupting the 1998 Easter Sermon of the then Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, in protest at his support for homophobic discrimination.
We are also appealing to our readers for their messages to Mr Tatchell, which we invite you to leave in the comments section below for publication on the day.
Today, Mr Tatchell said: “I am immensely grateful to Benjamin Cohen and the rest of the PinkNews team for their support and generosity. This advertising blitz will increase awareness of our human rights work and raise much-needed funds.
“The Peter Tatchell Foundation has no organised funding. Donations from readers will help us continue our campaign for the worldwide abolition of the death penalty for gay sex, and assist our efforts to win same-sex marriage, football without homophobia and the decriminalisation of homosexuality throughout the Commonwealth.
“My message to everyone is very simple: Don’t accept the world as it is. Dream of what the world could be – and then help make it happen.”
PinkNews founder Benjamin Cohen explained why this publication is celebrating Peter Tatchell Day, writing: “More than any other person or organisation, Peter has, often single handed, campaigned for the rights we now enjoy in the UK. He’s also been a huge campaigner all around the world for LGBTQI rights.”