Nominees for Politician and Peer of the Year PinkNews Awards announced
Later this month, the third annual PinkNews Awards and tenth anniversary party will take place at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Celebrating the contributions of politicians, businesses and community groups towards what has been another historic year for LGBT equality in the UK, the event will also mark the tenth anniversary of the launch of PinkNews.
The event – which is being generously supported by Lloyds Banking Group – will be held in Durbar Court and the Grand Locarno Suite, will feature an array of high-profile politicians and ambassadors.
Speakers will include the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Sajid Javid, the Education Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities Nicky Morgan and Shadow International Development Secretary Diane Abbott.
Other speakers and high profile guests include the Leader of the Liberal Democrats Tim Farron, Leader of the House of Lords Baroness Stowell and the former First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond.
Below are the list of nominees for the Politician of the Year and Peer of the Year PinkNews Awards – set to take place October 21.
These politicians have been nominated due their continued contribution towards LGBT rights, and their ongoing support for equal rights in the United Kingdom – and the rest of the world.
Politician of the Year Nominees
The Minister for Women and Equalities during the legislative stages of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act, Maria Miller has returned to the forefront of LGBT rights in her new role as the first Chair of the Women and Equalities Select Committee. Under her leadership, the committee’s first inquiry is into the future of trans legislation and policy. It is likely that the results of the inquiry may change the lives of trans people across the country if the Government adopts its findings.
During the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act, Nick Herbert was a key figure in securing the support of Conservative MPs and Peers in voting for the legislation. As the founding chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on LGBT Rights, Mr Herbet will take a leading role in the progress of LGBT rights at home and overseas.
Jo was the Minister for Equalities under the Coalition Government and played an important role with Education Secretary Nicky Morgan in establishing new provisions for tackling homophobic bullying within schools and sport. Her campaigning work on LGBT rights is sorely missed from the House of Commons since her defeat at the General Election.
A long time campaigner for LGBT rights, with one of the strongest voting records in the Conservative Party, Michael Fabricant has turned his attention to the inequality in blood donation within the UK. Along with Caroline Lucas, he has drawn attention to the indiscriminate nature of the current ban, which means that relative safety of blood from monogamous gay couples is not considered when making a decision.
The recipient of last year’s PinkNews Award, Caroline Lucas has continued her long standing commitment towards LGBT rights. This year she was elected as the vice-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on LGBT Rights. In the Commons, she continues to campaign for LGBT inclusive and compulsory sex and relationship education as well as for equal blood donation rights.
Along with Lord Black of Brentwood, Geraint Davies has been one of Parliament’s strongest advocates for the banning of reparative therapy for same-sex attractions. He has advocated the statutory regulation of psychotherapists as a means of removing the menace of this practise in our country.
As the first openly gay leader of a major British political party, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has become a role model for many LGBT people across the UK. A strong supporter of the Scottish legislation on same-sex marriage, she broke new grounds by appearing with her partner in a party political broadcast during the 2015 general election.
A previous PinkNews Award winner, Mike Freer has continued to advocate LGBT+ rights in the House of Commons, and in particular has led the fight for men to be immunised against HPV. Mike is the chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on HIV and a strong advocate of pensions reform for same-sex couples, Mike is also closely associated with Keshet UK, the Jewish LGBT charity which is based in his constituency.
Peer of the Year Nominees
Lord Black of Brentwood
Telegraph Executive Director Lord Black has become the House of Lords’ prime proponent of introducing a legal ban on reparative therapy for same-sex attraction in our country. He is intending to introduce an amendment to a bill or introduce a private member’s bill to mean that such treatments would no longer be lawful.
Baroness Barker has continued to be a strong advocate for LGBT rights within Parliament. Late in 2014, she led a debate on the health of lesbians which uncovered key areas where NHS provision should be improved. She has contributed to other debates on LGBT rights and is a frequent commentator on PinkNews.
Lord Cashman received the Lifetime Achievement Award at last year’s PinkNews Awards on his retirement from the European Parliament. Now a life peer, he serves as Labour’s Global LGBTI Envoy and frequently speaks out on LGBT issues at home and overseas.
Lib Dem Peer Lord Scriven led a groundbreaking debate on the future of the global LGBT+ rights movement in the House of Lords in September. During the debate, peers called for the UK to do more to tackle anti-LGBT laws in the Commonwealth among other measures.
Lord Harries of Pentregarth
More from PinkNews
The former Bishop of Oxford, Lord Harries of Pentregarth spoke candidly in the House of Lords on the link between homophobia and religion. In an emotional speech, he called on the leaders of the Church in countries where homosexuality is criminalised to respect the private lives of LGBT people and treat them with dignity and respect.
Lord Paddick has continued to be one of the strongest campaigners on LGBT+ rights in Parliament and has also shone a light on the issue of domestic abuse within the LGBT community. In conjunction with Broken Rainbow, the domestic violence charity, he revealed his own experience of domestic abuse with a former partner.
The winners will be announced at the PinkNews Awards next week – October 21.
The PinkNews Awards will be generously supported by Lloyds Banking Group.