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LGBT History Month: Lords members and work

15 February 2021

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February is LGBT+ History Month. Read on to discover highlights from the experiences of some of the House's LGBT members and their work in the House of Lords campaigning for change and LGBT+ issues.

Members of the Lords come from different backgrounds and professions across the UK. They work on behalf of the UK public and bring their experience to the work of the House of Lords in its role as the second chamber of the UK Parliament.

LGBT+ members

Trailblazer Lord Cashman

The next House of Lords Podcast, out on Thursday 11 February, features trailblazer Lord Cashman. He discusses making history on the BBC's EastEnders with the first same-sex kiss on a UK soap, co-founding Stonewall UK and working as an MEP and member of the Lords.

Campaigner Baroness Hunt

Another Stonewall UK leader became a member of the Lords in October 2019. In her first speech in the chamber (maiden speech), Baroness Hunt of Bethnal Green highlighted the difference the Lords makes to people's lives - especially those who are often left behind by society. 

LGBT firsts: Lord Smith and Lord Alli

Lord Smith of Finsbury became the UK’s first openly gay MP in 1984, he champions LGBT rights as a member of the House of Lords. In 2013, he spoke passionately in favour of equal marriage during a debate on the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill

Lord Alli was the first openly gay Muslim member of the Lords. In a debate on the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill, he spoke about the importance of equality before the law for all and equalising the age of consent.

Lord Black: pressing the government

In October last year, Lord Black of Brentwood pressed the government in Lords questions on support for LGBT+ rights internationally and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on HIV care and prevention.

Laws affecting LGBT+ people

The House of Lords Library provides a timeline of legislation affecting the rights of LGBT+ people passed by UK Parliament over the last two decades, and examines the teaching of LGBT+ issues in schools.

The Parliamentary Archives explores the run up to the decriminalisation of consensual homosexual sex and the Sexual Offences Act 1967

Image: Sharon McCutcheon / Pexels