A History of LGBTQ+ Rights

1290 – First mention of a punishment for homosexuality in English Common Law

1869 – First Published use of the term ‘homosexuality’ by Karoly Maria Kertbeny, a German-Hungarian campaigner

1885 – The offence of Gross indecency is created becoming the first specifically anti-homosexual Act

1895 – Oscar Wilde tried and sentenced under the 1885 Act to two years in prison with had labour

1897 – Publication of sexual inversion by Havelock Ellis and John Addington, the first book in English not to treat homosexuality as a disease or crime, maintaining that it was inborn and unchangeable

1946 – First known case of sex reassignment surgery in Britain

1956 – The sexual offences act becomes law, maintaining he oppressive Victorian laws against gay men

1957 – Wolfenden report recommends decriminalising sex between consenting males. No government is willing to implement it for another 10 years

1961– Release of the film Victim, which pleads for tolerance towards homosexuals

1967 – Sexual offences act comes into force, decriminalised homosexual acts performed by two men, over 21 years of age and ‘in private’

1969 – Stonewall riot in New York, protesting against Gay oppression1970 .First lesbian and gay pride march in New York. Transsexual people’s rights to legal recognition removed after divorce case involving transsexual model April Ashley. First Gay demonstration in London

1971– First Gay march in London against the unequal age of consent for Gay men

Lesbians invade the platform of the Women’s Liberation Conference in Skegness demanding recognition

1972 – First gay pride march in London. Launch of Gay News the UKs first Gay

1974 – First national lesbian conference held in Canterbury

1975 – Action for lesbian parent founded after three high – profile custody cases where lesbians lost custody of their children, first UK gender identity clinic, in Charing Cross, begins regular NHS treatment of Trans people

1978 – International Lesbian and Gay Association launched in Coventry

1979 – Employment discrimination against Trans people confirmed as not sex discrimination, so long as employer discriminates against all Trans people

1980 – Male homosexuality decriminalised in Scotland

1982 – Terrence Higgins Trust launched, named after the Gay man thought to be the first in the UK to have died from AIDS

1984 – Chris Smith MP for Islington South, becomes the first MP to come out voluntarily as Gay whilst in office. Lesbian and Gays support the Miners group set up to support the National Union of Mineworkers in its long strike against pit closures

1985 – TUC and Labour Party Conferences adopt Lesbian and Gay equal rights policies for the first time

1988 – Section 28, preventing the ‘promotion’ of homosexuality by local authorities, comes into force. Lesbian activists abseil into the House of Lords and enter the BBC1’s newsroom while Sue Lawley is reading the news protesting against Section 28

1989– Stonewall Group set up to oppose Section28 and other issues around Lesbian and Gay rights

1992 – Trans campaigning group Press for Change set up

1996 – Lisa Grant challenges South West Trains for employment discrimination after the company refuses her same-sex partner travel concessions available to spouses and dependents of other staff. European Court of Justice confirms employment discrimination on the bases of gender reassignment is sex discrimination

1997 – Labour Government elected, including MPs Ben Bradshaw and Stephen Twigg who are openly gay. Angela Eagle MP comes out voluntarily as a Lesbian. Chris Smith becomes first out Gay cabinet minister when appointed National Heritage Secretary. Government recognises same-sex partners for immigration purposes.

1998 – Case law establishes that it is unlawful for health authorities to have policies that amount to a ban on NHS treatment for gender reassignment. First TUC lesbian and Gay conference held. First British National Conference for Lesbian and Gay men with disabilities. Waheed Alli becomes the first openly Gay life Peer in the House of Lords

1999 – Ban on Gay people in the armed forces overturned by the European Court of Human Rights. Bomb explodes in the Admiral Duncan, a Gay Pub in London’s Soho. It is the third in a series of bombs targeting minorities. Three people di and several people are injured. Children’s society lifts ban on Lesbian and Gay fostering and adoption. Sex discrimination (Gender reassignment) Regulations make it illegal to discriminate in employment and vocational training on the grounds of gender reassignment

2000 – Report of Home Office working group into options for legal recognition of Trans people

2001 – Age of consent equalised to 16

2002 – Goodwin and ‘I’ cases in European Court of Human Rights find that Trans people’s rights to marry and to privacy are being breached in the UK by a failure to legally recognise their change of gender

2003 – Repeal of Section 28. Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations make it illegal to discriminate against Lesbian, Gay men and Bisexuals in the workplace. Sexual Offences Act abolishes the crimes of gross indecency and buggery

2004 – Civil Partnership Act gives same-sex couples the same rights and responsibilities as heterosexual married couples. Gender Recognition Act enables Trans people to acquire full legal equality in the acquired gender. Removes exemptions under employment protection law for those who gain legal recognition.

2005 – Criminal Justice Act gives tougher sentences for offences aggravated or motivated by victim’s sexual orientation

2006 – The Equality Act 2006 establishes the Commission for Equality and Human Rights and makes discrimination on ‘grounds of sexual orientation’ in the provision of goods and services illegal

2007 – Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulation comes into effect in Northern Ireland

2009 – Adoption Rights for same-sex couples in Scotland. Equal access to IVF for same-sex couples. Same- sex couples as both parents on birth certificate

2010 – Equality Act brings all equality legislation into one Act creating equal rights across equality groups.

2011 – Charity Tribunal upholds Charity Commission ruling that denies an exemption from the 2007 sexual orientation Regulations for the Leeds- based catholic Care adoption agency. Agency must not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. Courts rule that the owners of a bed and breakfast in Cornwall violated the rights of a gay couple when they refused to rent them a double room

2012 – Three men convicted of homophobic hate crime. First prosecution under hate crime legislation (2008 England and Wales, 2010 Scotland)

2013 – European Court of Human Rights affirms that sexual orientation discrimination is an important and legitimate purpose that justifies restrictions on expressing religious belief. Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act becomes law, with first wedding to take place in 2014.

2014 – Right to change legal gender without having to end marriage (England and Wales)