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The King’s speech to the UK, the Commonwealth & the world

“Thank you for your love and devotion to our family and to the family of nations you have served so diligently all these years”

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Screenshot/YouTube The Telegraph

LONDON – In his first address as the United Kingdom’s Head-of-State, Charles spoke to the his nation and the global community regarding the death of his beloved mother, Queen Elizabeth II and his commitment to his people as he succeeds her as King.

The Telegraph reported that the broadcast was recorded in the Blue Drawing Room of Buckingham Palace, after the King and Queen-Consort greeted crowds of mourners outside the gates.

In a final message to his mother, the King said: “To my darling Mama, as you begin your last great journey to join my dear late Papa, I want simply to say this: thank you. “Thank you for your love and devotion to our family and to the family of nations you have served so diligently all these years. “May ‘flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest’.”

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British comedian challenges Beckham to give up £10 mil Qatar deal

In 2021, multiple news outlets reported Beckham had signed a ten-year deal with Qatar to be a face for soccer there

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Los Angeles Blade graphic

KINGS HEATH, Birmingham, UK – Joe Harry Lycett, a celebrity British comedian and television presenter, challenged British football [soccer] star David Beckham on Sunday to walk away from Beckham’s £10 million deal to be ambassador for Qatar during the FIFA World Cup.

In 2021, multiple news outlets reported Beckham had signed a ten-year deal with Qatar to be a face for soccer there. Qatar criminalizes same-sex “sexual conduct” and has persecuted transgender people in that country.

In October, Human Rights Watch documented arbitrary arrests and ill-treatment in detention of LGBT Qataris by the Preventive Security Department. As a requirement for their release, security forces mandated that transgender women detainees attend conversion therapy sessions at a government-sponsored “behavioral healthcare” center. Despite sustained pressure, Qatari authorities have refused to repeal laws criminalizing same-sex relations.

World Cup Ambassador Khalid Salman last week described homosexuality as “damage in the mind.”

Salman, a former Qatari soccer player, made the comment during an interview with a reporter from ZDF, a German television station, in Doha, the Qatari capital.

The former Qatari soccer player in response to the reporter’s question about the criminalization of consensual same-sex sexual relations in his country described homosexuality as “haram” or “forbidden” under Sharia law. A member of the World Cup organizing committee abruptly stopped the interview after Salman made his comments. 

Beckham, the former captain of England’s national soccer team, has been heavily criticized for his decision to accept the paid ambassador position for Qatar at the FIFA World Cup 2022 from numerous LGBTQ+ rights groups.

Lycett released a video Sunday, (November 13) on his Twitter account:

“I consider you, along with Kim Woodburn and Monty Don, to be a gay icon,” he said.

“You were the first premiership footballer to do shoots with gay magazines like Attitude, to speak openly about your gay fans, and you married a Spice Girl which is the gayest thing a human being can do,” Lycett said.

Lycett continued: “You have always talked about the power of football as a force for good. Which suggests to me you have never seen West Brom.

“But, generally, I agree. So with that in mind I’m giving you a choice.

“If you end your relationship with Qatar I will donate ten grand of my own money (that’s a grand for every million you’re reportedly getting) to charities that support queer people in football.

“However, if you do not I will throw the money into a shredder at midday next Sunday, just before the opening ceremony of the World Cup and stream it live on a website I’ve registered called BendersLikeBeckham.com. Not just the money, but also your status as gay icon will be shredded.

“Also you’ll be forcing me to commit what might be a crime. Although even then, I reckon I’ll get off more lightly than I would if I got caught whacking off a lad in Doha.”

The comedian also set-up a website BendersLikeBeckham.com, which features only his video, as well as a countdown timer showing how long Beckham has to make his choice.

Beckham has yet to respond to the tweet or inquiries from British LGBTQ press outlets PinkNewsUK, Attitude, and other media outlets.

Additional reporting by Michael K. Lavers

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Britain’s new prime minister’s cabinet slams LGBTQ+ rights

Sunak’s inner cabinet ministers and top advisors negatively discussing LGBTQ+ equity and rights using homophobic and transphobic descriptions

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Houses of Parliament alongside the Thames River, London (Photo credit: UK government)

LONDON – Leading British LGBTQ+ media outlet PinkNewsUK released a short video on Twitter that contained clips of UK Prime Minster Rishi Sunak’s inner cabinet ministers and top advisors negatively discussing LGBTQ+ equity and rights using homophobic and transphobic descriptions.

SNP Parliamentarian John Nicholson, who represents Ochil & South Perthshire, Scotland noted that “With a few honourable exceptions, the #Sunak top team is packed with bigots. Have a listen to this shower….”

One week ago Sunak named actively transphobic MP Kemi Badenoch as minister for women and equalities.

Badenoch had previously served under former UK Prime Minister Liz Truss in the Government Equalities Office (GEO) during the premiership of former p.m. Boris Johnson, when Truss held the position of minister for women and equalities.

The Ministry is responsible for the protection and promotion of the rights of the vulnerable populations in Britain including the LGBTQ+ community, addresses gender inequalities, labour and employment as well as community mobilization and empowerment.

PinkNewsUK reported that Badenoch had felt empowered by Truss to push back against trans rights during her time in the GEO. “I could not have done anything without being empowered by my senior minister, Liz Truss, to challenge advice, meet whoever was relevant and do my job as I saw fit,” she wrote in The Sunday Times on 31 July. 

PinkNewsUK also reported:

In its 2019 manifesto, the Conservative Party vowed to “vigorously combat harassment and violence” against LGBTQ+ people. It also promised to “support marginalised communities in the developing world, hosting the UK government’s first ever international LGBT conference”. 

At the time, Anderson said that “trust and belief” in the government’s “overall commitments to LGBT+ rights” was damaged after Boris Johnson dropped long-promised plans to ban conversion therapy in the UK. Johnson later backtracked and decided to bring forward legislation to ban conversion therapy – but such protections would exclude the trans community

The Tory government’s LGBTQ+ conference was cancelled in April after over 120 LGBTQ+ rights and HIV advocacy groups pulled out due to {then UK prime minister] Johnson’s refusal to protect trans people from conversion practices. 

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British prime minister names transphobic MP as equalities minister

“We’ve got gay marriage & civil partnerships, so what are transsexuals looks for?” remarks leaked in 2021 a year after Badenoch became an MP

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Kemi Badenoch MP (Screenshot/YouTube UK Parliament TV)

LONDON – Within hours of his meeting with King Charles III and named UK’s latest Tory Prime Minister,  Rishi Sunak announced he was going to move quickly to fill key posts. Tuesday Sunak named Dominic Raab as deputy prime minister, James Cleverely as foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt who will stay on as chancellor, and actively anti-Trans MP Kemi Badenoch as minister for women and equalities.

Badenoch had previously served under former UK Prime Minister Liz Truss in the Government Equalities Office (GEO) during the premiership of former p.m. Boris Johnson, when Truss held the position of minister for women and equalities.

The Ministry is responsible for the protection and promotion of the rights of the vulnerable populations in Britain including the LGBTQ+ community, addresses gender inequalities, labour and employment as well as community mobilization and empowerment.

PinkNewsUK reported that Badenoch had felt empowered by Truss to push back against trans rights during her time in the GEO. “I could not have done anything without being empowered by my senior minister, Liz Truss, to challenge advice, meet whoever was relevant and do my job as I saw fit,” she wrote in The Sunday Times on 31 July. 

Badenoch secretly met with both anti-trans activist Keira Bell and anti-trans lobby group LGB Alliance in her first stint at the GEO. It was reported that the anti-Trans non-profit LGB Alliance had reached out to her to argue against banning conversion therapy, a practice considered “torture” by the United Nations, PinkNewsUK noted.

Civil servants reportedly said at the time it was “inappropriate” of Badenoch, whose job it is to promote “transgender equality“, to speak with people who wants to limit the rights of young trans people. The Tory MP “overruled” them and spoke to anti-trans activists nevertheless.

PinkNewsUK also reported that in remarks leaked in 2021, but made in 2018, just a year after Badenoch became an MP, she reportedly described trans women as “men using women’s bathrooms” and asked: “We’ve got gay marriage and civil partnerships, so what are transsexuals looks for?”

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10 Downing St. musical chairs: Rishi Sunak new UK Prime Minster

Sunak is expected to travel to Buckingham Palace Tuesday to be appointed prime minister and asked to form a government by King Charles III

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Rishi Sunak & doorway to Number 10 Downing Street, the official residence of the UK Prime Minster (Los Angeles Blade graphic)

LONDON – Following the resignation of Liz Truss, her 44 days in office — the shortest tenure of any British prime minister in history last Thursday, the conservative party met Monday and named has Rishi Sunak as the new Tory party leader.

Sunak is expected to travel to Buckingham Palace Tuesday to be appointed prime minister and asked to form a government by King Charles III. Sunak’s rise to head of the party came after after the only other candidate, Penny Mordaunt, dropped out of the race. Former prime minister Boris Johnson had hinted at a potential challenge to return but abruptly announced Sunday that he was not in the running to get his old job back.

The 42-year-old Sunak is one of the wealthiest people in Britain, his wealth exceeds the fortune of the British Monarchy itself. The Washington Post noted that the former banker, and his wife, Indian tech heiress Akshata Murty, have an estimated fortune of about 730 million pounds ($827 million), according to the Sunday Times Rich List. On the 2022 list, the monarch was estimated to have about 370 million pounds ($419 million) by comparison.

Leading British LGBTQ+ daily publication PinkNewsUK notes that for Britain’s LGBTQ+ community there are divisions over Sunak’s taking over. Jayne Ozanne, the former government LGBTQ+ advisor and anti-conversion therapy campaigner, was among those to congratulate Sunak PinkNewsUK reported.

Ozanne told PinkNews: “In congratulating Mr Sunak on his appointment as prime minister, I would urge him to prioritise the needs of those who are feeling the most vulnerable and scared at this time of extreme uncertainty.

“This includes members of the LGBT+ community, many of whom live in constant fear given the toxic nature of the debate over trans rights, exemplified by soaring hate crime statistics.

“He has an opportunity to address these concerns directly by giving a clear commitment to a full ban on ‘conversion therapy’ and abolishing the barbaric Rwanda asylum policy.

“Moreover, I hope he will look to reset the clock in relation to the Tory party’s disastrous relationship with the LGBT+ community over the past few years.”

Others in the UK LGBTQ+ community were less enthusiastic the news site reported.

Longtime human rights and LGBTQ+ rights activist Peter Tatchell told PinkNewsUK:

“Rishi offered nothing to the LGBT+ community during his leadership campaign,” he said. “I am not hopeful about any progress on banning conversion therapy or reform of the Gender Recognition Act under his premiership.”

Tatchell called for an immediate election, adding: “Rishi has no mandate for anything. He was not elected by the British people. He was selected by a tiny group of just over 100 Tory MPs.

“There has to be a general election to ensure that our prime minister and his policies have a public mandate.

“Changing prime minister and government policies twice without an election is not democratic.”

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She’s out! (Not in a gay way) UK Prime Minister Liz Truss resigns

Her abrupt departure marks the second rebellion against the policies of a prime minister in four months by the ruling Tory party

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Liz Truss (Screenshot BBC)

LONDON – The famous black door with the brass number 10 opened and the petite blond-haired woman emerged striding to the podium to address the British people Thursday morning, announcing her resignation as Britain’s Prime Minister.

With her announcement, Liz Truss became the shortest serving prime minster in the country’s recorded history at only 44 days, compared with England’s longest serving prime minister Sir Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford, who is generally regarded as the de facto first Prime Minister of Great Britain, whose term ran 20 years and 314 days, (1721–1742).

Her abrupt departure marks the second rebellion against the policies of a prime minister in four months by the ruling Tory (conservative) party. The BBC noted that Truss said her successor would be elected by next week.

Tory MPs revolted against Truss after a series of U-turns on her economic plan sapped her of authority. In her brief speech the prime minister said the Conservative Party had elected her on a mandate to cut taxes and boost economic growth.

But given the rebellion, she acknowledged, “I recognise that I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected by the Conservative Party.”

Truss said she would remain in post until a successor formally takes over as the Tory party leader and is appointed prime minister by King Charles III.

Truss was also pilloried by Britain’s LGBTQ+ community, one activist telling Pink News UK that the prime minister would be remembered by the LGBTQ+ community for her “silence and inaction.”

“Liz Truss will be remembered for her many failures, indeed for many in the LGBT+ community she will be known for her silence and inaction on critical matters that have impacted our safety and allowed perpetrators of hate to act with impunity,” Jayne Ozanne, an LGBTQ+ activist who previously sat on the government’s LGBT Advisory Panel, said.

“Following the ‘summer of hate’, where the trans community saw their rights become a toxic political football, she did nothing to address soaring hate crime figures or progress the urgent need for a ban on conversion practices.

“We now need a prime minister who takes our concerns as highlighted in the 2018 LGBT+ Survey seriously and who has the humility to listen, take advice and admit when they have made mistakes,” Ozanne added.

Cleo Madeleine, communications officer at trans charity Gendered Intelligence, told PinkNews UK that the next prime minister must learn from Truss’ failures.

“Liz Truss has not left a positive legacy for the office of prime minister. Her leadership campaign was marked by anti-trans rhetoric as she competed for the attention of the Tory right.

“She appointed ministers with dubious records on LGBT+ rights. Her equalities minister, Nadhim Zahawi, criticised teaching about trans people in schools. Health minister Therese Coffey was a staunch opponent of equal marriage and consistently voted against improvements in LGBT+ rights.”

The White House released a statement from President Joe Biden reflecting on the news that Truss had stepped down.

“The United States and the United Kingdom are strong Allies and enduring friends — and that fact will never change. I thank Prime Minister Liz Truss for her partnership on a range of issues including holding Russia accountable for its war against Ukraine. We will continue our close cooperation with the U.K. government as we work together to meet the global challenges our nations face,” Biden said.

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Britain bids farewell to Queen Elizabeth II, an iconic monarch

Jordan’s King Abdullah II, remembered the Queen as an “iconic leader” and “beacon of wisdom and principled leadership”

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The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II draped in the Royal Standard during her funeral services at Westminster Abbey (Screenshot live feed/Press Pool)

LONDON – World leaders joined Britain’s Royal family and 2,000 other dignitaries for the hourlong state funeral service of Queen Elizabeth II in tributes and prayer at Westminster Abbey Monday.

The King, Charles III, accompanied by his Queen-Consort Camilla, the Prince of Wales William with his wife Kate and their children Prince George and Princess Charlotte, the King’s siblings Anne, Princess Royal, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, the King’s younger son, Harry, Duke of Sussex, their wives and the extended royal family escorted the coffin into the services and later attended the private interment at the Royal vault at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle where the deceased monarch will rest alongside her husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

The King accompanied by Queen-Consort Camilla is seen here with his sister Anne, Princess Royal during state funeral services for their mother Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey Sept. 19, 2022.
(Screenshot live feed/Press Pool)

The state funeral was attended by numerous heads of state including the new U.K. Prime Minister Liz Truss, U.S. President Joe Biden and the First Lady Jill Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron and President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, were also present.

Leaders of most Commonwealth countries attended, with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese making the nearly 24-hour journey from the other side of the globe.

In addition to political and other dignitaries including other European royals attended along with Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako. Japanese news outlet Asahi Shimbun reported, citing Imperial Household Agency officials, that a Japanese emperor has only attended the funeral of a foreign head of state or royal family member on one previous occasion, when then-Emperor Akihito attended the funeral of Belgian King Baudouin in 1993.

Spain’s King Felipe VI and his wife Queen Letizia were among the European royals who attended. Former Spanish King Juan Carlos I and former Queen Sofia were be present. The former King is the great-great-grandson of Queen Victoria and a distant cousin of Queen Elizabeth II.

Reuters reported that Jordan’s King Abdullah II, who remembered the Queen as an “iconic leader” and “beacon of wisdom and principled leadership,” also attended.

The Nave of Westminster Abbey, during state funeral services for Queen Elizabeth II
(Screenshot live feed/Press Pool)

Elizabeth II oversaw a significant change in the role of the monarch and Britain’s place on the world stage in the 70 years she was on the throne. Reuters noted that the 40th sovereign in a line that traces its lineage back to 1066, Elizabeth came to the throne in 1952 and became Britain’s first post-imperial monarch.

She oversaw her nation trying to carve out a new place in the world, and she was instrumental in the emergence of the Commonwealth of Nations, now a grouping comprising 56 countries.

She guided her government over the administrations of 15 Prime Ministers starting with Sir Winston Churchill and ending with her asking Liz Truss to form a government as Prime Minister only a couple of days before her death at Balmoral Castle, her summer home in the Scottish highlands.

The Queen’s legacy in regards to the LGBTQ+ community was complicated

In 1952, when she took the throne after the death of her father, King George VI, same-sex sexual relations were criminalized in Britain. The same laws were also brought to the Commonwealth countries that it colonized, NBC Out reported.

By the time she died, the landscape for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer rights looked dramatically different — at least in the United Kingdom — in part because she approved of many pro-LGBTQ measures, such as same-sex marriage. That support has led some to argue that she was a “quiet” supporter of LGBTQ rights, but to others she was just doing her job.

Elizabeth, among other things, pardoned Alan Turing, an acclaimed World War II codebreaker and computer scientist who died by suicide two years after his 1952 conviction for “gross indecency.” 

Elizabeth gave royal assent to the Sexual Offenses Act of 1967, which decriminalized consensual same-sex sexual relations among men in England and Wales who are at least 21.

Elizabeth gave royal assent to the marriage equality law that took effect in England and Wales in 2014. Elizabeth has also urged the U.K. to ban so-called conversion therapy.

Additional reporting by Michael Lavers, Reuters, AFP, and NBC News Out

Queen Elizabeth II’s Funeral at London’s Westminster Abbey – LIVE (previously recorded):

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Queen Elizabeth II dies

96-year-old British monarch passed away in Scotland

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Queen Elizabeth II (Public domain photo)

BALMORAL CASTLE, Scotland — Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday died at Balmoral Castle in Scotland at the age of 96.

Elizabeth assumed the British throne in 1952 after her father, King George VI, died.

Elizabeth, among other things, pardoned Alan Turing, an acclaimed World War II codebreaker and computer scientist who died by suicide two years after his 1952 conviction for “gross indecency.” 

Elizabeth gave royal assent to the Sexual Offenses Act of 1967, which decriminalized consensual same-sex sexual relations among men in England and Wales who are at least 21.

Elizabeth gave royal assent to the marriage equality law that took effect in England and Wales in 2014. Elizabeth has also urged the U.K. to ban so-called conversion therapy.

New British Prime Minister Liz Truss took office on Tuesday.

“We’re all devastated,” she said outside 10 Downing St. “Queen Elizabeth II was the rock on which modern Britain was built.”

British Ambassador to the U.S. Karen Pierce, who has hosted a number of Pride Month receptions in D.C., in a statement said Elizabeth “devoted a lifetime of dedicated service to her country and was an inspiring role model for everyone across the globe.”

“Her legacy is one of charity and compassion,” said Pierce.

Former Prime Minister Theresa May in 2018 said she “deeply” regrets colonial-era laws criminalizing consensual same-sex relations the U.K. introduced in Commonwealth countries.

Court rulings in Antigua and Barbuda and St. Kitts and Nevis in recent months struck down colonial-era sodomy laws. Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong last month said his country would decriminalize consensual same-sex consensual relations.

Jamaica and Uganda are among the Commonwealth countries in which homosexuality remains criminalized.

Jamaica and Uganda are among the Commonwealth countries in which homosexuality remains criminalized. The Privy Council, a British appellate court, in recent years ruled against marriage rights for same-sex couples in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.

The two British territories fall under the Privy Council’s jurisdiction.

“We send our deepest condolences to the Royal Family on the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” said Stonewall, a British LGBTQ+ and intersex rights group, in a statement after Buckingham Palace announced Elizabeth’s death. “At this sad time we reflect on the the end of a very significant era for the U.K.”

Mermaids, a group that advocates on behalf of Transgender and other gender non-conforming young people, echoed Stonewall.

We’re very sad to hear of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” tweeted Mermaids. “Our thoughts are with King Charles III and all of the Royal Family at this deeply difficult time.”

“While its unfortunate to hear the family has lost a mother, as an LGBT citizen of the commonwealth, she represented institutions like the Privy Council that have reversed LGBT rights protections for Caribbean Countries and territories that still have the Privy Council,” Caleb Orozco, an LGBTQ+ and intersex activist from Belize, told the Washington Blade after Elizabeth died. “The death of a queen does not absolve its institutions from its responsibility to show its substantive commitment to LGBT rights in the Caribbean.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is among the myriad world leaders who also mourned Elizabeth’s passing.

“It was with the heaviest of hearts that we learned of the passing of Canada’s longest-reigning sovereign, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” tweeted Trudeau. “She was a constant presence in our lives — and her service to Canadians will forever remain an important part of our country’s history.”

“As we look back at her life and her reign that spanned so many decades, Canadians will always remember and cherish Her Majesty’s wisdom, compassion and warmth,” added Trudeau. “Our thoughts are with the members of the Royal Family during this most difficult time.”

Elizabeth is survived by her four children, eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. 

Her eldest son King Charles III, 73, is her heir. Elizabeth’s grandson Prince William is now second in line to the throne.

In Washington President Joe Biden, in a proclamation, ordered that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, on the day of interment.  

The President also directed that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.

In a statement issued by the White House, the President noted:

“In a world of constant change, she was a steadying presence and a source of comfort and pride for generations of Britons, including many who have never known their country without her. An enduring admiration for Queen Elizabeth II united people across the Commonwealth. The seven decades of her history-making reign bore witness to an age of unprecedented human advancement and the forward march of human dignity.” Biden added;

“Supported by her beloved Prince Philip for 73 years, Queen Elizabeth II led always with grace, an unwavering commitment to duty, and the incomparable power of her example. She endured the dangers and deprivations of a world war alongside the British people and rallied them during the devastation of a global pandemic to look to better days ahead. Through her dedication to her patronages and charities, she supported causes that uplifted people and expanded opportunity. By showing friendship and respect to newly independent nations around the world, she elevated the cause of liberty and fostered enduring bonds that helped strengthen the Commonwealth, which she loved so deeply, into a community to promote peace and shared values.”

California Governor Gavin Newsom released a statement saying:

“California joins the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth, and people around the world in mourning the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. […]

“Throughout her unprecedented seven decades on the throne, Queen Elizabeth remained true to that promise, providing an unwavering source of leadership, inspiration and stability through times of great social change and uncertainty while serving as matriarch to her own family. 

“As we reflect on her incomparable life and legacy, our hearts are with the King and the Queen Consort and the entire Royal Family during this time of great loss,” the governor added.

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New UK Prime Minister urged to mend fences with LGBTQ people

“It’s time for Truss to “show that she can keep her promises by pressing ahead and to put an end to political point-scoring”

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Liz Truss speaking to Parliament (Screenshot/YouTube CBS Miami)

LONDON – Conservative Party leadership announced Monday that Liz Truss was elected head of the party and will become the United Kingdom’s new prime minister, replacing her fellow Tory, Boris Johnson, who announced his resignation this past July following a slew of scandals and resignations from his government.

In her acceptance speech the Tory Leader pledged to “govern as a Conservative” by delivering a “bold plan to cut taxes and grow our economy.” Truss will occupy Number 10 Downing street as the UK grapples with looming cost-of-living crisis, rising inflation and soaring energy bills. 

Britain’s LGBTQ+ advocacy groups greeted the news with mixed reactions ranging from Nancy Kelley, the Chair of UK advocacy group Stonewall saying “This is a time for leadership, and we hope that our new prime minister will stand up for a world in which all LGBTQ+ people can live our lives to the full.” 

However, the Stonewall chair also urged the incoming prime minster to “build bridges with the LGBTQ+ community” by delivering on her promises to ban conversion therapy in the UK.

Other groups including Gendered Intelligence were alarmed by Truss being elevated to the post. Pink News UK reported that Truss takes office after a leadership race “marred by transphobia,” according to Cleo Madeleine, communications officer for Gendered Intelligence. 

Madeleine told Pink News UK that Truss as minister for women and equalities oversaw an office “that often worked to support trans people and she vocally committed to banning conversion therapy.”

Pink News also noted that Truss was reportedly blindsided by Boris Johnson’s decision to press ahead with a trans-exclusionary ban.

Madeleine said it’s time for Truss to “show that she can keep her promises by pressing ahead with the ban,” to put an end to “political point-scoring” and to address issues that matter, including the cost-of-living crisis, fuel poverty and climate change. 

“The government has an opportunity to stop the campaign of discrimination and hatred towards trans people that has led to international condemnation and skyrocketing hate crime. Let’s not waste it,” she added.

Transgender Britons have been under siege for the past three years with transphobic attacks launched by various anti-Trans special interest groups as well as court actions that has made trans healthcare difficult to receive in the UK.

This past June transphobic policies were endorsed by the outgoing prime minister Boris Johnson.

During a break in-between sessions during the first summit meeting of the Commonwealth nations since the coronavirus pandemic in the Rwandan capital this past June, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was asked by a reporter about the FINA ban on trans women athletes.

The prime minster’s response was that there were “particular problems” around “issues of gender.”

Johnson told reporters, “Look it’s very, very important that as a society we should be as understanding of everybody else as possible. I’ve always stood for that. When it comes to, when you start to move from issues of sexuality to issues of gender, you start to raise particular problems,” he said.

In a follow-up question the prime minster was also asked whether women can be born with a penis, he replied: “Not without being a man.”

Additionally there has been a sharp uptick in violence against the UK’s LGBTQ+ community.

This past January, a report released by the UK’s LGBTQ+ anti-abuse charity Galop found that that 1 in 4 LGBTQ+ respondents to a sexual violence survey experienced sexual assault intended to convert or punish them for their identity.

Galop asked 935 LGBTQ+ survivors of sexual assault: “At any age, have you experienced sexual violence that you believed was intended to convert you to heterosexuality or your assigned gender at birth, or to punish you for your gender or sexual identity?”, and almost 1 in 4 (24%) reported back that they had.

While serving as the UK minister for women and equalities Truss did away with reforms to the Gender Recognition Act which critics charge has severely limited trans youth to be able to receive proper healthcare.

A spokesperson for trans youth group Mermaids told Pink News that the Tory government must urgently “reframe trans healthcare as a public health issue”, with the system in “dire need of funding, specialist resources and expertise”. 

It added the government cannot “pick and choose” which members of the LGBTQ+ community are protected by legislation banning conversion practices. 

“Trans people deserve the freedom to be ourselves as much as the next person,” the charity said. 

Other high priorities for the LGBTQ+ advocacy groups are ending new cases of HIV by the end of the decade and addressing the monkeypox outbreak of which there were as of 26 August, 3,389 confirmed and highly probable cases of monkeypox in the UK. 3,239 of those are in England itself.

Ceri Smith – head of policy for the Terrence Higgins Trust called on Truss to appoint a “monkeypox tsar” to oversee the “response and finally show the leadership in tackling the outbreak that the government response to date has been desperately lacking.”

Truss will travel to the Queen Elizabeth’s summer residence in Balmoral, Scotland on Tuesday to be officially appointed Prime Minster by Her Majesty and asked to form a government.

Liz Truss Selected As New U.K. Prime Minister:

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Gender critical (TERF) group tossed out of Pride Cymru, Wales

Groups labeled as ‘Gender Critical’ believe “the view that someone’s sex – whether they are male or female – is biological and immutable”

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Scouts Cymru participating in Pride Cymru, Cardiff, Wales UK (Photo Credit: Scouts Cymru/Twitter)

CARDIFF, Wales, UK – A group calling itself ‘Get The L Out’ was removed from the Pride Cymru in Cardiff Saturday after members of the group had sought to block the Pride parade route. In a statement released Saturday evening, South Wales Police said that the group was asked to disperse and leave and that no arrests were made.

BBC Wales reported that the group, carrying banners including one that read “transactivism erases lesbians” told the BBC the group was aligned with Merched Cymru, Wales Women’s Rights Network and the LGB Alliance. Those groups are labeled as ‘Gender Critical’ believe “the view that someone’s sex – whether they are male or female – is biological and immutable” and “cannot be conflated” with their gender identity (whether they identify as a man or a woman).

In some cases the Gender Criticals or as they are referred to in the U.S. as TERFS, (Trans Exclusive Radical Feminist(s)) have deployed harsh rhetoric in attacking the transgender community. ‘Get The L Out’ co-founder Angela Wild told BBC Wales; “It seems like same-sex attraction is now becoming a hate crime,” Ms Wild said. “We went to Pride to say this is wrong, and we got removed.”

In the press release, South Wales Police said that its officers had worked closely with the local authority and Pride Cymru to facilitate the march through Cardiff City Centre on Saturday, 27 August. 

During the event, officers were required to engage with a small protest group who had assembled themselves on the route to block the procession. To ensure no further disruption to the event, officers asked the group to move to an alternative location nearby which they agreed to do.

Officers explained why they needed to move, provided guidance about protesting lawfully and offered to facilitate a lawful protest. According to the South Wales Police, the group was cooperative and left the area shortly after. The statement went on to note that Contrary to some social media reports, nobody was arrested or forcibly moved by officers. 

A spokesperson for Pride Cymru said: “Everyone involved in the parade needs to register in advance, to ensure we can keep everybody safe.

“This group interrupted the parade two-thirds of the way into the route, they were not part of the march, they had not registered so were not entitled to be there. South Wales Police moved them on.”

“There is no place for hate at Pride. And as our parade said today loudly and clearly ‘trans rights are human rights’,” said Gian Molinu, chair of Pride Cymru, in a tweet posted Saturday evening.

BBC Wales also reported that Wild said her group did not try to register to participate in the Pride parade because they felt they would have been rejected after some members of the LGBT community labelled their position transphobic.

“The needs of lesbians are in direct contradiction with men who identify as women,” she added.

“As soon as lesbians say that, we get called transphobic and we need to open a discussion on that as a start.”

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United Kingdom

Boris Johnson to resign as the UK’s Prime Minister

“I have appointed a Cabinet to serve until a new leader in place,” the prime minister said Thursday outside Downing Street

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Boris Johnson (Bigstock photo by shganti777)

LONDON – Boris Johnson announced that it was time to step down as leader of the Conservative Party and prime minister Thursday after his government was left disabled by a wave of resignations of senior officials and cabinet officers fed up with what many publicly referred to as Johnson’s “lack of integrity.

Standing outside Number 10 Downing Street, the official residence of the prime minster on Thursday afternoon, addressing reporters and others watching, Johnson said: “It is clearly now the will of the party that there should be a new leader. The process of choosing a new leader should begin now.”

The prime minister will step down as party leader today but hopes to stay as PM until autumn to allow a leadership contest to be held and a successor appointed.

Johnson said the timetable for his departure and selection for the party’s new leader will be announced by a committee of senior Conservative MPs next Monday. A successor will likely be chosen by the end of August into early September.

“I have appointed a Cabinet to serve until a new leader in place,” the prime minister added, “I want to say to the millions of people who voted for us in 2019: thank you for that incredible mandate, the biggest Tory majority since 1987.”

The BBC had reported that Johnson announced his plans to continue to serve as prime minister until the autumn to allow a Tory leadership contest to take place in the summer, but many in his party including numerous Tory MPs called for him to resign immediately after more than 50 government ministers and aides quit his government as of Thursday morning.

The deputy chair of the influential 1922 Committee of backbench Tory MPs has joined colleagues calling for Boris Johnson to be replaced as prime minister immediately.

Amid boos and an occasional cheer, a still pugnacious the prime minister said it was his “duty and obligation” to stay on in his role. But he acknowledged that it was the time to step down.

Nus Ghani, MP for Wealden, said Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab should take over from Boris Johnson immediately on an interim basis.

The BBC said that Johnson came to the decision to step down after pressured by the fact his government was collapsing around him and he had lost nearly all support.

Dominic Cummings, Boris Johnson’s former right-hand man turned nemesis, earlier urged Conservatives to remove him as PM Thursday tweeting a warning that if he is not removed there will be “carnage.” Cummings also noted that he supported the push to make deputy PM Dominic Raab the interim PM.

Wednesday afternoon a former ally of the prime minister, openly gay Housing Minister Stuart Andrew announced on Twitter that he had resigned citing in his letter posted to Twitter:

“Our party, particularly our members and more importantly our great country, deserve better. Having a marginal seat I have seen the huge sacrifice our members make in volunteering considerable hours to campaign on our behalf and I cannot, in all good conscience, tolerate them having to defend the indefensible.”

Johnson survived multiple scandals including a vote of no confidence in the House of Commons, multiple investigations and a criminal fine from police for his involvement in a series of law-breaking coronavirus pandemic lockdown parties.

However it was his denial of knowledge of the sexual assault allegations brought against Chris Pincher, the Tamworth MP who Johnson had elevated to a primary political position in the conservative party as deputy chief whip that ended up being the catalyst setting motion the multiple demands for his resignation and the departure of the over 50 government ministers and officials.

The denial from Downing Street regarding accusations of sexual misconduct against Pincher and still appointing him to a critical role was ultimately the proverbial final straw.

As late as Wednesday Johnson was still defiant telling Commons in remarks in the chamber, “The job of a prime minister in difficult circumstances when he’s been handed a colossal mandate, is to keep going.”

PinkNewsUK notes that Johnson’s government had “promised a lot to the LGBTQ+ community.” This included a reformed Gender Recognition Act, a trans-inclusive conversion therapy bill and a conference to celebrate the global LGBTQ+ community.

None of this happened. The government scrapped the GRA reforms, refused to protect trans people from its already-delayed conversion therapy and cancelled the Safe to Be Me conference after more than 100 LGBTQ+ groups pulled out in opposition to Johnson.

The prime minister also disparaged UK Trans athletes in answering a reporter’s question two weeks ago when he was asked about the FINA ban on trans women athletes.

The prime minster’s response was that there were “particular problems” around “issues of gender.”

Johnson told reporters, “Look it’s very, very important that as a society we should be as understanding of everybody else as possible. I’ve always stood for that. When it comes to, when you start to move from issues of sexuality to issues of gender, you start to raise particular problems,” he said.

In a follow-up question the prime minster was also asked whether women can be born with a penis, he replied: “Not without being a man.”

“I think I’ve spoken of three concerns I’ve had in the past. They are to do with the age at which you can deem it competent to transition, the question of safe spaces for women, and the difficulties you have with sporting competitions,” Johnson continued.

“These are all very difficult problems and you have to be very sensitive. But these are the areas.”

Under the Johnson and Tory-led government Britain, which led in the ILGA-Europe’s ranking of the most LGBTQ+ friendly nations in Europe in 2014, now stands at number14 in 2022.

Johnson resigns:

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