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A History of Gay Rights and What Work Still Needs to Be Done

The 'Same Sex Marriage Act' was passed in 2013. This is where same-sex couples were legally permitted to have a civil marriage and this was an overdue milestone for gay rights. In recent decades, gay rights have come a long way. Legal equality that has been gained recently has massively improved the lives of the LGBT community.

Progress still needs to be made with this equality. There are still places where gay marriage is not permitted and the LGBT community isn't treated equally under the law. Northern Ireland has recently made it legal for same-sex partners to be married in 2020.

"Legal equality doesn’t translate into true equality."

Human rights and equality laws

There is still not full equality with the LGBT community. More work needs to be done. Having laws put in place doesn't then always follow that the community is treated the same and LGBT people are still being faced with hatred for who they are and their sexual orientation. Progress is being made but isn't always given. Supporters of gay rights need to fight and make their voices heard to secure full legal equality.

In 2022, we are celebrating 50 years of pride in the UK. In the 1990s the World Health Organisation declassified same-sex attraction as a mental illness and same-sex couples were granted the same rights when regarding applying for adoption. Social injustice remains a reality for many of us. An increase is present in the amount of organisations turning rainbow. With this happening, it spreads awareness of the community and helps pride gain visibility and attention. But this is not equivalent to actually having equality. Wearing or posting a rainbow doesn't change people's actions but it does allow them to become more aware and informed about the relevant inequalities the LGBT community face.

With younger generations growing up with more equality, Gen Z are believed to be more accepting of non-binary individuals. Gen Z are individuals with a birthday between 1997 and 2012.

Organisations need to catch up

Organisations need to change and make adaptions to meet the needs of their non-binary partners, staff and clients. Gender is a social construct that relates to cultural meanings attached to being masculine and feminine, which influences a person's personal identity. Some people are helping to make a change and make corporations catch up with the expectations of society today. But changing a company's view is hard when there are different generations involved and their views run deep. But this does not stop progress from being made so that businesses can become more inclusive and create a better shopping/work experience for staff and customers.

Pride events across the UK

The LGBTQ+ community organisations are hosting numerous rallies, events and protests to give more attention, knowledge and to speak up for their rights. Anyone can attend to be involved and help the community make progress in 2022.

Orkney Pride: 26 June

Glitter Cymru: 14 August

Tamworth Pride: 18 August

Pride in London: 11 September

Bi Pride: 18 Sep

At pride events, it is good to know your rights. There are five key rights you should be aware of before attending. These include:

Not commenting - You don't have to talk if police arrest you or stop and search you. Just simply say 'no comment' until you talk to a good lawyer.

Police may try and get personal details. You are not legally required to give personal details unless a specific power is used or a Fixed Penalty Notice is issued.

Saying 'Under what power?' in a situation where you are being asked to do something. If you aren't obliged or they don't answer, you don't have to do it.

If you are arrested, you don't have to use the solicitor on duty. Get a lawyer experienced in protest law. Examples could include HJA, Bindmans, ITN or Commons Legal.

If a police officer tries to get you to accept a caution, it is recommended not to. It will go on your criminal record and the police want you to take it.

For more information about protests go to

CW: This article discusses topics of abuse and hate speech which could be distressing to some readers.


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