“We don’t feel the need to take an extra step legally. But since we’re committed for life, we feel it’s really important to take that step, and take advantage of that amazing change in legislation. We all live by example,” David Furnish said of his upcoming nuptials to Elton John. Since gay and lesbian marriage in England and Wales is now legal, the two have set the date for May. But will it be a big star-filled celebration? “We do like big parties,” Furnish said. “Over eight years ago, we had 650 people on the 21st of December at our house in Windsor… But with the kids, everything is different. I think what we’ll do is go to a registry office in England in May, and take the boys with us, and a couple of witnesses.”
Queen Elizabeth II gave her royal assent to the same-sex marriage bill in England and Wales making Britain the next nation to allow gays and lesbians to marry. The Queen signed the bill only a day after the bill cleared Parliament. According to the AP: “The law enables gay couples to get married in both civil and religious ceremonies in England and Wales, although the Church of England is barred from conducting same-sex unions. It also will allow couples who had previously entered into civil partnerships — which carry similar rights and responsibilities to marriage — to convert their relationships to marriage.” Same-sex marriages are expected to begin by next summer.
As hoped, the House of Commons has passed the equal marriage bill for England and Wales, and it will soon be given Royal Assent to become law. Proponents of the bill, which was sent to the House of Commons yesterday by the House of Lords, feared that conservative MPs would deliberately amend the bill in order to stall it from passing. While MP David Burrowes attempted to table an amendment, “Pro-equal marriage MPs padded out their speeches so that Mr Burrowes could not propose his amendment,” PinkNews writes. The bill will not need to return to the House of Lords. “Giving gay couples the right to marry will make Britain a more tolerant, open and welcoming place to live in and significantly increase the life prospects of so many people. It is absolutely fantastic that this change in the law, almost uniquely, was proposed by a Conservative prime minister and his Liberal Democrat Deputy with the support of the Labour party leader. Sometimes politicians can work together for the common good and this is a stunning example of this,” publisher of PinkNews.co.uk and Out4Marriage founder Benjamin Cohen said.
Grab your popcorn and get ready for six days of rich, diverse international premieres, industry master classes, pop-up screenings, and exciting live events at the East End Film Festival. What began as a small gathering in 2000, has grown to become one of the UK’s largest film showcases. From July 4-July 10, get caught in the excitement as all of London will be buzzing about this year’s program. There will also be plenty of LGBT-themed films thrown in the mix.
On Tuesday, the House of Commons voted 366 to 161 in favor of same-sex marriage. Although the bill has had a strong push it likely to face strong opposition when it is up for vote in the House of Lords. There are over two-dozen bishops that hold seats in the assembly. According to a poll taken by YouGov, 54 percent of British are in favor of gay marriage. Right-wing Tories are proposing an amendment that allows civil unions, but was swiftly condemned by Prime Minster David Cameron who is personally opposed to same-sex marriage and civil unions. His stance though, isn’t fully supported by the Conservative party where nearly half voted in favor of gay and lesbian marriage. Because of this, Cameron is receiving criticism for his inability to unite his own party. [AJ]
The wonderfully curious Princess Diana and the rock icon Freddie Mercury allegedly spent a night out in a gay bar in London during the 1980s. Princess Diana, dressed in female-to-male drag, and Freddie Mercury went undetected at the Royal Vauzhall Tavern, according to a new book by actress Cleo Rocos, The Power of Positive Drinking
The AFP reports:
Comedian Cleo Rocos describes in her book “The Power of Positive Drinking” how she, Mercury and fellow comedian Kenny Everett dressed Diana in an army jacket, cap and sunglasses for a night out at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, south London, in the late 1980s.
“When we walked in… we felt she was obviously Princess Diana and would be discovered at any minute. But people just seemed to blank her. She sort of disappeared. But she loved it,” said Rocos, who co-starred in Everett’s television show.
She said she did not know whether Diana was propositioned in the bar in her guise as a male model, but added: “She did look like a beautiful young man.” The presence of Mercury, Everett and Rocos diverted revellers’ attention and Diana was able to order drinks undetected, Rocos recalled.
The British Film Institute believes that they may have unearthed the first ever televised gay drama. South, adapted by Gerald Savory from an original play by Julien Green was aired on November 24 1959 and, according to The Guardian, “involves a dashing Polish army lieutenant exiled in the US deep south as civil war approaches and the question of who he really loves: the plantation owner’s angry niece, Miss Regina, or the tall, blond, rugged officer who arrives suddenly – a handsome man called Eric MacClure.” According to archivists, the fact that the drama ever aired in the UK is remarkable. Of course, during the late 1950s, you can expect that the reviewers weren’t particularly kind to the program. One review wrote: “I do NOT see anything attractive in the agonies and ecstasies of a pervert, especially in close-up in my living room. This is not prudishness. There are some indecencies in life that are best left covered up.” Homosexuality in Britain, in fact, wasn’t even decriminalized until 1967. For those lucky enough to be in London for the BFI’s 27th London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, you can check out the film this Saturday and Sunday.
If you’re traveling to London soon, the Gay UK News has recommended a show that sounds like way too much fun!
“Following last year’s Christmas sell out run at the Green Carnation, Snow White and her Seven Poofs are back by popular demand for Easter with more rude flirty fun and frolics. This pop-powered drag panto is suitable for adults only and stars 2008 Drag Idol winner Tanya Hyde, who is returning to her role of Snow White for the third year, the hilarious Mrs. Moore as the Queen and Simon Gross returning to his role as Horrible Hilda. This bigger, bolder, ruder fairytale is packed with audience participation and feel good party anthems including ‘Get The Party Started’, You’re the One That I Want, ‘YMCA’, ‘It’s a Sin’, ‘Hot Stuff’, and Rhianna’s ‘S&M’.”
For show times and ticket info Click Here.
Queen Elizabeth II has made history by supporting gay rights. On Monday the Queen signed a new Commonwealth Charter that permits freedom of expression and gender equality. Although the law does not specifically state anything on gay marriage, it clearly refers to equal rights. “We recognize that gender equality and women’s empowerment are essential components of human development and basic human rights.” It goes on stating “We are implacably opposed to all forms of discrimination, whether rooted in gender, race, color, creed, political belief, of other grounds.” This could mean a huge change of view for gay rights in the 54 nations that make up the Commonwealth. Currently only 13 countries of the British Commonwealth allow same-sex marriage. Gay activists have been critical for the Queen’s noninvolvement on this issue. The signing of this law comes at a significant time as her great grandchild from grandson Prince William and wife Kate Middleton will soon arrive, and regardless of gender will eventually reign. [tv.msnbc.com]
After last year’s massive mess of a Pride celebration, London Pride is once again in the news for their unpreparedness. Organizers say they may have to cancel the Pride celebration because they won’t be able to get enough funding in time for the June celebration. London LGBT + Community Pride was given the right to organize the festival for the next five years way back in October, but chair Michael Salter says that the lack of time has made organizing it impossible: “Although we are confident in our planning it is true that if we are unable to secure the funding and volunteers that we need to deliver a safe Pride—one that showcases the best of our community—we may have to cancel the event for 2013.” [QT]
Seems like the same story as last year, maybe it’s time to put people in charge who are capable of putting on a Pride that the LGBT community in England deserves.