Parliament set for LGBT ‘equality network’ group

A Parliamentary group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people is to be launched tonight, with Speaker John Bercow as its President.

The group, named ParliOut, was created with the advice of homosexual lobby group Stonewall.

At the weekend the Deputy Speaker, Nigel Evans, confirmed that he is a homosexual. He is also backing ParliOut.

David Cameron

ParliOut is the first in a series of “equality network groups” to be launched in Parliament, although no details have been released about the others.

Prime Minister David Cameron called ParliOut a “fantastic and welcome opportunity” to help dismantle “barriers preventing LGB and T people from becoming MPs” or parliamentary staff.

Mr Cameron added that he wanted “Britain to remain a world leader in LGB and T equality”.


The group will provide “mutual support” and a mentoring programme, according to homosexual news website

PinkNews report that a board including Labour’s Chris Bryant, the Liberal Democrats’ Stephen Gilbert and Margot James from the Conservatives will oversee the group. All three are homosexual.

Mr Bercow said he was “delighted” at being able to welcome ParliOut’s creation.

He commented: “Parliament as a workplace should set an example in good practice when it comes to equality and diversity.”

Free speech

Before he was Speaker Mr Bercow supported the previous Government’s attempt to remove a free speech safeguard from a sexual orientation ‘hate speech’ law.

The current law says that, for the avoidance of doubt, criticising same-sex conduct or urging people to refrain from such conduct is not, in itself, a crime.

It was inserted by Parliament to a sexual orientation ‘hate crime’ law following a string of alarming cases where Christians had been investigated by the police for their beliefs about sexual ethics.

Mr Bercow has said the free speech amendment is “at best superfluous, and at worst deeply objectionable”.

He has added: “Some—although not all—of its supporters would not even know how to spell the word ‘equality’, let alone sign up to it.”