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Queen Honors 5 For Their Work In LGBT Rights & Visibility

Queen Honors 5 For Their Work In LGBT Rights & Visibility


A poet, a doctor, an advocate for our parents, and two advocates were honored by the queen this week.

Queen Elizabeth II of England has included four LGBT-rights advocates in her annual honor roll of Britons who have made a difference, according to Pink News.

Nigel George Warner, who is the advisor to the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex Association's Council of Europe, was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his work fighting to uphold the dignity, equality and rights of LGBT people in the U.K. and abroad.

Carol Ann Duffy, the first out lesbian to ever be named the U.K.'s poet laureate in 2009, was made a dame.

Jerry Broughton, 80, was named to the Order of the British Empire for founding the U.K.'s Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. Jay Stewart, PhD., was also honored with an OBE for his work founding the organization Gendered Intelligence and for service to the transgender community. Jenny-Anne Christine Bishop was also honored with an OBE for her work on behalf of transgender people.

Mixed 2014 for LGBTs in the Realm
The big picture for LGBTs in 2014 under the queen's realm, i.e., those living in the U.K., was mostly positive. There were important legal victories, including the arrival of same-sex marriage rights in March.

Scotland, whose ultimately not-so-near brush with independence from Britain was likened to a gay couple's impending divorce in a farcical video that went viral, also ushered in marriage-equality as the year came to an end. In fact the first gay couple to wed in Scotland exchanged vows Tuesday.

However, there were horrifying stories of homophobic backlashes and attacks, including that of Connor Huntley, whose former roommate was sentenced this year for bashing in Huntley's head with a hammer.

Huntley, who was 18 and asleep at the time of the attack, is a gay man whose survival has been called miraculous. Anyone who saw the shocking x-ray image of Huntley with the hammer still impaled in his skull understood why. His attacker, Joseph Williams, got 14 years in prison.

On the other end of the spectrum, a tragic beating in Manchester that happened because a group didn't like the idea of two gay guys singing show tunes on a public tram. The gay-bashing story turned into a citywide singalong, joined in by hundreds and cheered on by thousands who showed up to express their disdain of homophobia and their support for LGBT equality.

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Thom Senzee