As 2013 draws to a close, PinkNews looks back at the stories which have had the biggest impact on the life of LGBT people in the UK in the last year (and some which just raised a lot of eyebrows).

While we cannot claim a thoroughly scientific approach to the rankings, the stories are selected through a combination of how widely read they were, how much debate they provoked, and our own editorial judgement as to the effect they will have on LGBT life.

We already brought you thirteen stories which meant 2013 was the biggest year for coming out so far, so now in no particular order, we bring you another seventeen we have chosen as the top UK stories.

Equal marriage is legalised in England and Wales


Of course the first, and one of the most important things to happen in 2013 was when equal marriage was legalised in England and Wales.

The Queen’s Royal Assent was granted to the bill on Wednesday 17 July at 15:06, turning it into the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act, after clearing the final stage in Parliament on the 16th, following hours of debate.

In case you missed it, why not check out the seven amusing and shocking things we learned during the equal marriage debate? We also have a handy guide of nine things you might want to know about the new equal marriage law.

Scotland is also well on its way to having its own equal marriage legislation as the Marriage and Civil Partnerships Bill passed in the Scottish Parliament last month with a large majority.

Queen Pardons Alan Turing

After years of campaigning by politicians, celebrities and others, The Queen granted a Royal Pardon to the World War II hero Alan Turing on Christmas Eve.

Turing was prosecuted for gross indecency in 1952, after having a relationship with another man. The mathematical genius and codebreaker was the effective inventor of the modern computer and a key driver behind the victory over the Nazis.

He killed himself in 1954, two years after being sentenced to chemical castration for his homosexuality.

Earlier in the year, the House of Lords passed a private members bill to pardon Turing, which secured Government support. The bill stalled in the House of Commons, prompting the executive action that led to the Royal Pardon.

Cardinal Keith O’Brien resigns as leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland


Cardinal O’Brien, 75, resigned as leader of the Scottish Catholic Church in late February following accusations by several priests of inappropriate “sexual conduct”.

In March, O’Brien admitted that his “sexual conduct” had been “below the standards expected” of him. A Vatican inquiry concluded in April – and no further action against Cardinal O’Brien was taken.

Cardinal O’Brien announced his departure from Scotland as part of a period of “spiritual renewal” in May.

In 2012, he stated that same-sex relationships were “harmful to the physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing” and compared equal marriage to slavery and child abuse.

The BBC faced immense pressure to change its guidelines after disciplining Graham Norton for wearing a World AIDS Day ribbon


The BBC declined change its rules following criticism of its decision to discipline Graham Norton for wearing an HIV/AIDS awareness ribbon on his Friday night chat show.

The broadcaster and comedian ignored instructions not to wear the ribbon on his programme on 29 November to highlight this year’s World AIDS Day (WAD) on 1 December.

The BBC refused to answer various questions put forward by PinkNews on why it makes exceptions to allow red noses for Red Nose Day, exceptions for Children in Need, Sports Relief, ‘Movember’ and Save the Children’s ‘National Christmas Jumper Day’, despite assertions that only poppies are allowed.

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