It’s been six months since the Marriage Bill (Same-Sex couples) was passed and new research suggests fewer than half of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGB&T) couples research whether a destination is LGB&T-friendly before travelling overseas.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) is encouraging LGB&T couples going on honeymoons overseas to choose their destination with care after new research suggested that less than half of couples investigate whether an area is LGBT-friendly when planning a honeymoon abroad in a new campaign called Know Before You Go. 

Laws and attitudes relating to LGB&T people vary significantly around the world and can be very different to those in the UK.  In some countries same sex relationships may be punishable by a long imprisonment or the death penalty. More than half of couples didn’t feel confident in selecting a destination overseas that is LGB&T-friendly, with those over 55 least likely to do research, and those between 18 – 24 years old most likely. 
Although most same-sex newlyweds have positive and happy memories of their honeymoon, nearly a third of respondents to the survey said their experience had been affected by negative local attitudes towards gay people.  Taking the time to research thoroughly can help couples to ensure their honeymoon is the trip of a lifetime they hoped for.
John Heppenstall, Head of Consular Campaigns, said: “All couples looking to book and travel abroad for their honeymoon have an abundance of great destinations to choose from.  But it’s important for same-sex couples to be aware that attitudes towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender travellers vary considerably around the world and can be very different from those in the UK.  Our most important piece of advice is to always fully research your destination before booking.  It could be the difference between the trip of a lifetime and one you’d both much rather forget.  Visit for more information.”
Martin Iversen Christensen, European Member of the Board of ILGA (The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association), said: “It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of booking a holiday abroad, especially for a special occasion like a honeymoon.  But finding out how suitable a destination is should be a priority, so we welcome the initiative by the FCO to publish travel advice for LGBTI-people.  The ILGA monitors the legislation concerning LGBTI-people closely and our website ( can give an indication if, for instance, same sex marriage is recognised, or if, on the contrary, being gay or lesbian is considered a crime.”
Earlier this year, created an infographic highlighting their recommendations for LGB&T-friendly honeymoon destinations overseas.  Same sex couples travelling abroad can also visit for more information and advice on travelling abroad.

High School Coach Fired Over Alleged Homophobic Attack

An assistant basketball coach from a Catholic high school in Philadelphia has been forced to resign over allegations that he was involved in a homophobic attack against a gay couple who were held down, punched and beaten by up to a dozen people.


 Fran McGlinn, formerly of Archbishop Wood High School was released from his position by the Roman Catholic Archidiocese of Philadelphia on Thursday. 
“He was terminated this evening and will not be permitted to coach in any archdiocesan school,” Kenneth Gavin, the spokesman for the archdiocese, told the Philadelphia Daily News. “We expect all those who work with students in our school to model appropriate Christian behavior at all times.”
Despite the victims’ claims that homophobic slurs were used during the attack, the state of Pennsylvania’s hate-crime law doesn’t cover attacks based on sexual orientation or gender identity crime, so those acused will not face a hate-crime charge. 


Domestic abuse is not frequently talked about in the LGBT* communities and LGBT Domestic Abuse Forum say the lack of choices or safe accommodation for victims rarely gets any attention. That’s why LGBT DAF are inviting practitioners, researchers, services and members of the community to attend the 3rd LGBT* Domestic Abuse Conference on the 26 September, “Come and listen to some of those people who are making a difference and find out the best way to make the most of services are out there,” says Maria Sookias, Stonewall Housing’s development manager and Coordinator of LGBT Domestic Abuse Forum.


TfL Unveils Arsenal’s Rainbow Crossing

Transport for London have installed a ‘rainbow crossing’ outside Arsenal Underground station to raise awareness of Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces 2014 campaign. 

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Hollywood’s Homophobia Exposed

The creative and performing arts industry has long been regarded as a safe haven for the LGBT community. However, a recent survey of 5,700 members of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists has uncovered some shocking findings: 


More than 50% of lesbian, gay and bisexual performers “have heard directors and producers make anti-gay comments about actors” and “53 percent of LGBT respondents believed that directors and producers are biased against LGBT performers.”


More than a third of respondents reported that they had witnessed “disrespectful treatment” to LGBT performers on the set. Almost one in eight of non-LGBT performers reported witnessing discrimination against LGBT performers, including anti-gay comments by crew, directors and producers.


According to the survey, “gay men were the most likely to report they have experienced some form of discrimination, with one in five reporting an experience.”


Gender nonconforming gay and bisexual men were more likely to experience discrimination, as were men who were out professionally.


Twenty percent of gay men and 13 percent of lesbians who responded to the survey reported that they had experienced discrimination in the workplace.


“While 53 percent of lesbian and gay actors were out to all or most of their fellow actors, only 36 percent are out to all or most agents they know, and only 13 percent of actors are out to all or most industry executives.”

Perhaps even more shocking were the first-hand experiences of homophobia relayed by the respondents:

“I’ve seen gay men read for straight roles and when they left the room, the casting director indicated that they would not be taken seriously in the straight role because they were gay.”


“A director told me to recast a role after he found out the lead was a gay male.”


“An openly gay extra was fired because the lead character felt uncomfortable having him around. In fact, two were fired a week apart for the same reason.”


“I’ve witnessed actors discarded following an audition as being ‘wrong’ for a role because of perceived sexual image. As in ‘he’s too fey to play it,’ or ‘she’s too butch to play it.’”


“A friend almost cast a transgender actress and then found out and reconsidered because there would be a kiss with an actor and he did not know how the actor would feel.”


“People referred to the [transgen­der] performer as a ‘tranny’ and made references to using prostitution to pay for the procedures, all behind the performer’s back.”


“Female actress making a disgusted face and saying ‘he’s so gay’ towards a cast member. A general feeling of ‘I can’t talk too much to this guy’ from a TV crew towards an actor. All this needs to stop.”


“A transgender person …[was] told not to use the changing room to change in, but given no alternative except the bathroom to change in. Most people from background to crew members treated them like an outcast.”


“I was told by my agent that the casting director was afraid that I would come off as uncomfortable when put into a scene in the actual production with a female love interest. I wasn’t even given the opportunity to read opposite an actress at the callback for the part.”

“Although our industry is heading in the right direction, there is clearly work left to do as certain attitudes and behaviors persist and continue to put pressure on actors to stay in the closet,” said Traci Godfrey and Jason Stuart, national co-chairs of the SAG-AFTRA LGBT Committee. “We are confident that this unprecedented study will have profound ramifications for the entertainment industry as a whole… By utilizing the data it contains as it reflects the realities performers face, we can identify the obstacles to equal employment opportunities and full inclusion.”

British diplomat marries his partner in China

Brian Davisdon, the British consul-general to Shanghai, married his partner, Scott Chang at a ceremony held in the garden of the official residence of Britain’s ambassador to China, which is UK territory.

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Lily Tomlin Becomes First Out Lesbian To Receive Kennedy Centre Honor

This year Lily Tomlin will become the first out lesbian to be awarded a Kennedy Center Honor. She will be one of five recipients who will be recognised for their lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts.

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The arrival of gay retirement homes

Swedish flagWe’re all getting older. According to research by Stonewall, the UK lesbian, gay and bisexual charity, there are currently between 871,045 and 1,219,470 gay and lesbian adults aged over 55 in the UK – a figure roughly equivalent to the population of Birmingham. With a rise in the number of LGBT baby boomers, could the development of gay retirement homes become a new growth area in the property market?

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