(from Pink News)
In late October, PinkNews will hold a Parliamentary retrospective and awards, celebrating the contributions of politicians, businesses and community groups towards what has been a truly historic year for LGBT equality in our country.
Full article and voting form here
1 Schools Out/ LGBT History Month
Schools Out began life as the Gay Teachers Association way back in 1974, making it one of the oldest LGBT community organisations in the country. Without corporate funding and entirely through the work of volunteers, Schools Out builds content packages to help teachers better educate young people about issues relating to LGBT life and to combat homophobic bullying. Schools Out also runs the hugely successful and widely observed LGBT History month, held every February.
We have nominated Schools Out and its LGBT History Month project to recognise how much a group of dedicated volunteers can achieve without the the funds that many in this sector rely on to deliver their own excellent work.
2 The Coalition for Equal Marriage (C4EM)/ Out4Marriage/ LobbyALord
These three grass root organisations, without any donations or corporate funding (beyond PinkNews resources for Out4Marriage), worked to fight for same-sex marriage in England and Wales. The Coalition for Equal Marriage (C4EM) has entirely been the work of gay couple Conor Marron and James Lattimore who created the campaign in response to the anti-gay Coalition for Marriage. Through its interactive campaign, C4EM inspired thousands to care about the issue of same-sex marriage. Out4Marriage run by PinkNews publisher Benjamin Cohen, Mike Buonaiuto, Joseph Musgrave and James-J Walsh solicited videos in support of same-sex marriage from politicians including Nick Clegg, Theresa May and Ed Miliband in addition to celebrities including Sir Richard Branson and Hugh Grant. Finally, LobbyALord from Christopher Ward, James-J Walsh and Benjamin Cohen among others enabled tens of thousands of people to lobby members of the House of Lords to vote for same-sex marriage.
We are jointly nominating these three groups to recognise the role of grassroots, internet based organisations to help secure equality in England and Wales.
3 Diversity Role Models
Founded by former teacher Suran Dickson, Diversity Role Models has grown significantly in strength and influence over the past year. The charity, that has picked up some major corporate partners including one of our sponsors, BNP Parabas, takes role models into schools to speak to classes of young people about being either LGBT or being a straight ally. The charity boasts over 100 fully trained role models from a variety of backgrounds and has worked with thousands of students across the country.
We have nominated Diversity Role Models because of the impressive way that Suran has quickly built support across industry and the education sector for a new approach to changing the life chances for LGBT+ youth in Britain today.
4 Equal Marriage (from the Equality Network, Scotland)
Launched in 2008, the Equality Network’s Equal Marriage campaign has been campaigning for same-sex marriage in Scotland long before English politicians started the moves toward equality south of the border. This year, as the Scottish Parliament moves towards voting on equal marriage, the campaign has been running ‘It’s Time’, a series of videos recorded by celebrities and politicians advocating equality. The videos from the campaign, modeled on Out4Marriage have all premiered on PinkNews.
We have nominated the Equality Network’s Equal Marriage campaign to recognise the phenomenal work that this charity is doing in Scotland, long before many in England and Wales began to campaign for equal marriage.
5 Peter Tatchell Foundation
Peter Tatchell continues to fight for equality around the world, with bounds of energy and very little monetary or administrative resources. Peter has been fighting for equal marriage in the UK for over twenty years and his Equal Love campaign is credited with significantly advancing the legal arguments for same-sex marriage to become law. Peter and his foundation have led a number of high profile vigils in the run-up to same-sex marriage becoming the law in England and Wales.
We have nominated the Peter Tatchell Foundation to recognise the phenomenal contribution of Peter and his team towards the equal marriage campaign.