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Volunteer at Pride

Pride16The Equality Network will be attending Pride Glasgow and Free Pride on Saturday 20th August. We are looking for volunteers who would be able to help us either before hand or on the day.

If you can spare some time on Saturday 20th August or in the days leading up to the pride events and want to support LGBTI equality please fill out the form below.

Pride Volunteer Form

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  • Volunteering with us.

    We are looking for volunteers to help us set up for the parade (from 11am) and give us some time from our stall (from 2pm) to hand out information, and donation badges. In return we'll give you a pass to get into Pride Glasgow and we'll reimburse reasonable travel costs and provide snacks and water. If you can't volunteer, you're still more than welcome to march with us in the parade.


An image of the Scottish Rugby LGBT Sports Charter signing can be found here. A video can be found on YouTube here.


For a PNG version of the advert click here.

For a PDF Print Ready version of the advert click here.

Sponsors and donations thank you

The Equality Network would like to say a huge thank you to all those who supported the event. Our principal sponsors Humanist Society Scotland and Unison Scotland. Media partners Pink News and Scotland on Sunday. Category sponsors Atholl Palace Hotel, LGBT Youth ScotlandPride Glasgow. And our programme sponsor, and event designer Apt!

A huge thank you to all those who donated prizes for our raffle. Without your support we couldn’t have run such a successful event. Our sincere thanks to:

Walkers Shortbread

£100 voucher for ski:n clinics products and £150 worth of skin care products – donated by sk:n clinics

Champagne lunch for two at the Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow – donated by the Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow

Two nights for two at the beautiful Atholl Palace Hotel, Perthshire – donated by the Atholl Palace Hotel, Perthshire

Racing Card signed by BBC presenter, journalist and former amateur jockey Clare Balding OBE – donated by Clare Balding

Signed copy of “More Fool Me” by author, comedian, actor, writer, presented and activist Stephen Fry – donated by Stephen Fry

Signed copy of “Parallel Lies” by author, writer and theatremaker Stella Duffy – donated by Stella Duffy

Signed copy of “Everything is Moving Everything is Joined” by author, writer and theatremaker Stella Duffy – donated by Stella Duffy

One year subscription to DIVA magazine – donated by DIVA magazine

Signed print “50 Shades of Scotland” by Emily MacKenzie – donated by Curiouser and Curiouser, Broughton St, Edinburgh

Two tickets to Frisky & Mannish at Oran Mor, Glasgow, 21st September – donated by Frisky & Mannish

Tickets to the Falkirk Wheel Experience (2 adults, 2 children) – donated by the Falkirk Wheel

Two nights for two at Jessie Mac’s B&B in Birnam, Perthshire – donated by Dot Mechan and Brenda Roddy, Jessie Mac’s B&B, Birnam

Two tickets for the Hearts v Ross County match at Tynecastle on 24th October – donated by Heart of Midlothian FC

Two tickets to the Loud and Proud Festive Concert on 11th December in Edinburgh – donated by Loud and Proud

Bottle of Casa Gheller Prosecco – donated by Villeneuve Wine, Broughton St, Edinburgh

Bottle of Edinburgh Gin – donated by Vino Wine, Broughton St, Edinburgh

Bottle of champagne – donated by Matthew Middler

Signed CD “The Thin Line”, signed tour DVD, signed T-shirt, plus two front row tickets to Heather’s show at St Andrew’s in the Square, Glasgow on 1st October, plus a meet and greet with Heather after the show – donated by Heather Peace.

Four tickets for Glasgow’s Xmas Panto “Peter Pan” at the SECC Clyde Auditorium, plus backstage meet and greet with stars David Hasselhoff and Michelle McManus – donated by Michelle McManus.

8 tickets to the Midstock Festival, Dalkeith, Saturday 12th September – donated by Forth FM

Two night stay at Vatersay House on Skye – donated by Andrew Modd and Brian Stacey, Vatersay House, Skye

Two night stay at West House, Ullapool – donated by Richard and Colleen Lindsay, West House, Ullapool

Two night stay at Eastwood House, Dunkeld – donated by Alex and Cat, Eastwood House, Dunkeld

Thanks again for all your support!


Media enquiry

The media are looking to speak to LGBT people in Scotland who have faced verbal or physical abuse, or other forms of discrimination, because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

If you have faced homophobic, biphobic or transphobic prejudice or discrimination, think that more needs to be done to tackle LGBT inequality in Scotland, and would be comfortable being interviewed by the media please contact the Equality Network by email with your contact details and a brief explanation of the discrimination you have faced: tom [at] equality-network.org

What are your LGBTI equality priorities for the next Scottish Parliament election?

survey reportHave your say on the LGBTI equality priorities for the next Scottish Parliament: www.equality-network.org/sp16

The next Scottish Parliament election (May 2016) could have a significant impact on the progress of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) equality and human rights in Scotland for years to come.

The Scottish Government and Parliament will decide changes to the law as well as policies, expenditure and initiatives in a wide range of areas that affect LGBTI equality, including education, health, policing, the justice system, gender recognition, family law, culture, media and sport.

The Equality Network has launched a consultation to find out which LGBTI equality issues you want the political parties to address in their manifestos at the coming election, and what LGBTI equality measures you would like to see the next Scottish Government and Parliament prioritise: www.equality-network.org/sp16

Your response will help inform our work in the run-up to the election and beyond, and we hope it will also influence the pledges that Scotland’s political parties make in their manifestos next year.

While this consultation is primarily aimed at LGBTI people it is also open to non-LGBTI people. The survey is anonymous and should take approximately 10 minutes to complete. If you have any questions about the survey please contact: tom@equalitynetwork.org

All of the Equality Network’s campaign work, including this consultation, is funded entirely by donations. If you would like to support our work for LGBTI equality please consider making a donation or becoming a Friend today: www.equality-network.org/support-us

Have your say on the future of civil partnership in Scotland

graphicTake the survey on the future of civil partnership in Scotland:           www.equality-network.org/cp

The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014 means that same-sex couples are now able to have a marriage or a civil partnership in Scotland.

Currently, mixed-sex (legally female/male) couples can only choose marriage because the law in Scotland prevents mixed-sex couples from having a civil partnership. This also means that mixed-sex couples in a civil partnership from another country have no legal recognition for their relationship in Scotland.

Last year, the Scottish Government made a commitment to consult on the future of civil partnership in Scotland. This consultation is expected to take place later in 2015. There will be a number of options discussed, including:

1) Keeping civil partnership and opening it up to mixed-sex couples, so that all couples have the choice of marriage or civil partnership in Scotland

2) Keeping civil partnership but continuing to restrict it to same-sex couples only

3) Phasing out civil partnership altogether so that marriage becomes the only option available to couples in future (existing civil partnerships would continue).

Around the world, in countries that allow same-sex marriage, some countries have marriage and civil partnership open to all couples (e.g. the Netherlands, New Zealand, France), and some just have marriage (e.g. Portugal, Norway, Sweden) with no option of civil partnership. Only one jurisdiction in the world (England and Wales) has marriage open to all couples but restricts civil partnership to same-sex couples only.

In Scotland, marriage and civil partnership have almost identical legal effects but they have different names and are legally a different status. For various reasons, some people prefer marriage and other people prefer civil partnership.

In advance of the Scottish Government consultation the Equality Network is asking your opinion on the future of civil partnership in Scotland: www.equality-network.org/cp

The survey is open to everyone, including LGBTI people and non-LGBTI people. It is completely anonymous and should take approximately 10 minutes to complete.

Your response will help inform our ongoing work on partnership rights in Scotland and our submission to the Scottish Government consultation.

Over 800 people have responded so far, but we want to ensure that as many people as possible get to have their say, so please also encourage others to respond by sharing the survey on Facebook and Twitter: Click to share on Facebook    Click to share on Twitter

If you have any questions about the survey contact us at: en@equality-network.org

Scotland rated best country in Europe for LGBTI legal equality

ilga GRAPHICThe Equality Network has welcomed the news that Scotland is now rated the best country in Europe for LGBTI legal equality, by ILGA-Europe (the European Region of ILGA, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association).

According to ILGA-Europe’s annual review of LGBTI equality and human rights laws across the continent, published today, Scotland now comes ahead of the rest of the UK and other countries in Europe in the legal protections offered to LGBTI people.

The ‘Rainbow Europe Index’ measures progress in European countries on LGBTI equality against a 48-point criteria that includes legal protections from discrimination in employment and services, measures to tackle hate crime, rights and recognition for transgender and intersex people, and equality in family law including same-sex marriage and parenting rights.

Following the legalisation of same-sex marriage last year, Scotland now meets 92% of ILGA Europe’s criteria, compared to 86% for the UK as a whole. The UK’s overall figure is brought down by lack of protections for intersex people in England and Wales, and Northern Ireland’s failure to respect LGBTI human rights in a range of areas including its refusal to legalise same-sex marriage.

The documents made public by ILGA-Europe show a composite score for the whole UK, which is calculated by assessing each part of the UK that has its own laws (England & Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland) and combining the results. The figure of 92% is based on ILGA-Europe’s assessment of the laws and policies for Scotland.

The Equality Network welcomes the recognition of the progress made in Scotland, which is down to the efforts of campaigners and also to the Scottish Government and Parliament’s willingness to properly consult with LGBTI people and pass progressive legislation. However, we would also warn against any complacency as we know there is still much more to do in order to achieve full equality for LGBTI people in Scotland.

Tom French, Policy and Public Affairs Coordinator for the Equality Network, said; “The fact that Scotland now ranks best in Europe overall on LGBTI legal equality is welcome recognition for the efforts of campaigners and the willingness of our politicians to properly consult with LGBTI people and then act on the evidence by passing progressive measures. However, the Equality Network warns against any complacency, as we know there is still much more to do to achieve full equality for LGBTI people in Scotland. As ILGA’s review shows there are still areas where Scotland is failing to respect LGBTI human rights and falling behind the progress in other countries, particularly when it comes to the rights of trans and intersex people. There is also a big difference between securing legal rights and ensuring full equality for LGBTI people in their everyday lives. Despite real progress in the law, LGBTI people in Scotland are still facing unacceptable levels of prejudice, discrimination and disadvantage throughout their lives.”

Scotland is joined in ILGA-Europe’s ranking of the top five countries for LGBTI legal equality by the rest of the UK (86%), Belgium (83%), Malta (77%), and Sweden (72%). The five countries ranked worst for LGBTI legal equality in Europe include Azerbaijan (5%), Russia (8%), Armenia (9%), Ukraine (10%) and Monaco (11%). With a few exceptions, the human rights of LGBTI people are generally better respected in Western Europe than Central Europe, and are least protected in Eastern Europe.

It is worth noting though, that while Scotland is ahead of other countries in many areas of LGBTI legal equality we still have some way to go to achieve full legal equality. In particular other European countries such as Malta are ahead of Scotland in best practice on transgender and intersex rights, with more progressive gender recognition laws and better protections for intersex rights.

Last year the Equality Network launched our Equal Recognition campaign, which calls on the Scottish Government to ensure better legal protections for transgender and intersex people. You can support the campaign and find out more information by visiting the following link: www.equality-network.org/equal-rec

Further information about the ILGA-Europe Rainbow Europe Index 2015 can be found through the following links:

Commonwealth Secretary-General responds to LGBTI rights petition

Petition Handover

Kamalesh Sharma, the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, has responded to our petition calling on Commonwealth institutions and member states to take action on LGBTI rights. The petition was jointly delivered to the Commonwealth headquarters in London earlier this month by representatives of the Equality Network, the Kaleidoscope Trust and the Peter Tatchell Foundation. Priyanka Chauhan, Acting Head of the Commonwealth Secretary-General’s Office, received the petition.

The Secretary-General responded to the petition with a letter stating that ‘equality and non-discrimination are important tenents of the Commonwealth Charter’, he also outlined ongoing work to build the capacity of national human rights institutions and parliaments to protect and promote equality and non-discrimination. The full text of Mr Sharma’s letter can be found here.

The petition, signed by 2,500 people, was collected by the Equality Network and LEAP Sports Scotland at Pride House Glasgow, Glasgow Pride, Pride Scotia and online in the run up to and during the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. The petition was part of wider efforts to highlight LGBTI human rights during the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow which included an international conference at the University of Glasgow. The conference gathered human rights activists from across the Commonwealth resulting in a joint declaration on LGBTI rights. LEAP Sports also facilitated a Pride House for LGBT athletes and spectators during the games and the Equality Network curated an exhibition the LGBTI people of the Commonwealth.

The Equality Network would like to thank everyone who took the time to sign the petition and all the partner organisations involved.

The petition stated:

To the Commonwealth Secretary General

Of the 53 member states of the Commonwealth, 42 continue to criminalise consensual adult same-sex relationships, with maximum penalties in some states of life imprisonment or execution. Across the Commonwealth, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people are denied equal access to rights, education, employment, housing and

We call on Commonwealth member states to:

1. Immediately stop applying laws that criminalise lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or intersex (LGBTI) people and limit their access to human rights.

2. Work with local LGBTI and human rights groups to better understand the struggles they face in accessing their human rights.

We also call on the Commonwealth Secretariat to:

1. Work with member states to uphold the Commonwealth Charter in full, by developing a shared understanding of the required non-discrimination grounds as including sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.

2. Work with member states to meaningfully include LGBTI rights into national human rights frameworks.

3. Work with LGBTI groups across the Commonwealth to better understand the struggles they face in accessing their human rights.

LGBTI Human Rights in the Commonwealth Speakers

We are delighted to announce some of our confirmed speakers for the LGBTI Human Rights in the Commonwealth conference. You can register for the event here.

Key Note Speakers


Conference speakers:

Silvan Agius – Policy Coordinator (Human Rights), Government of Malta

Bisi Alimi – LGBT/HIV advocate and lecturer, Free University of Berlin (Nigeria).

Barbara Bompani

Dr. Barbara Bompani, Centre of African Studies, University of Edinburgh.

Morgan Carpenter – Intersex activist and researcher, President of Organisation Intersex International Australia.

Jonathan Cooper – Chief Executive of the Human Dignity Trust. He is a barrister and human rights specialist.

Jermaine Grant – University of Ghana alumni and former lecturer, awarded this year’s Chevening Scholarship for Guyana.

Pauline Kelly – Media and Campaigns Officer, Amnesty International – Scotland.

Pallav Patankar – Director of Humsafar Trust, Mumbai, India.

Shanon Shah

Shanon Shah – singer-songwriter, playwright and journalist from Malaysia.

Alistair Stewart – Assistant Director of the Kaleidoscope Trust

Mayur Suresh – Legal representative, Voices Against 377 (India)

Monica Tabengwa – Human rights defender and an activist from Botswana, now based in Kenya.

Peter Tatchell – Campaigner for human rights, democracy, LGBT freedom and global justice

Dr. Matthew Waites – Senior Lecturer in Sociology, co-editor of Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in the Commonwealth: Struggles for Decriminalisation and Change (London: School of Advanced Study, 2013)

Full biographies to follow and more speakers to be announced.