Issues taken up
With its main campaigning days over, CHE continued with much reduced
resources, to take up issues affecting LGBT+ people.
Motions on the following subjects were passed at our Annual Conferences in
2015 onwards – see our Conferences page for more details (for Covid-19-related reasons there was no Conference in 2020 or 2021).
Future of CHE
The 2018 Annual Conferencre authorised the Executive Committee to explore
ways forward for CHE, including possibly partnership with another
organisation, and/or the transformation of CHE into a grant-awarding trust.
The 2019 Conference authorised the EC to proceed with theformation of a
'trust' or equivalent to take over from CHE and be responsible for the
marketing of Amiable Warriors.
The 2022 Conference replaced the existing Consitution with a shorter
version clarifying CHE's relationship to the new CHE Research Trust.
The Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Alliance
The 2019 Conference reaffirmed its commitment to TS and non-binary
rights, and declared its opposition to the aims of the recently formed LGB
Alliance, seen as formed to demonise trans people.
The Human Rights Act
The European Convention on Human Rights came into effect in 1953.
It has led to important advances for LGBT people in the UK (and elsewhere in Europe), including:
- descriminalisation of gay sex in Northern Ireland (1982) and Jersey (2007)
- compensation for gay men convicted of having sex where more than two
people were present (1996 and 2000)
- equal age of consent (2000)
- introduction of gender recognition certificates (2004)
- same-sex partners treated as "spouses" in tenancy cases (2004)
- adoption by same-sex couples in Northern Ireland (2013)
The Convention allows individuals to challenge the actions of governments in
the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. The change that the Human
Rights Act 1998 has made is that the Convention effectively becomes part of UK
law, and individuals can challenge the government in the British courts,
avoiding the delay and expense of taking the case to Strasbourg.
The 2015 CHE Conference in 2015 committed CHE to
campaign against any repeal of the Human Rights Act.
Equal marriage in Northern Ireland
The 2015 Conference congratulated the people of the Republic of Ireland
for having voted in favour of equal marriage, but noted the Northern
Ireland Assembly's refusal to follow suit.
LGBT History and archives
The 2015 Conference passed three motions on the subject of LGBT history and archives:
- LGBT History Festival: CHE will be continuing to fund the
Allan Horsfall Memorial Lecture, and supporting the LGBT History Festival in other
(For more about LGBT History Month and the Festival, see
LGBT History Project:
CHE will be working with other
organisations to ensure the long-term survival of the LGBT History Project [since renamed the UK LGBT Archive]
and the recruitment of additional volunteers.
(The LGBT Archive's online encyclopaedia is at
- Millivres-Prowler photographic archive: we plan to work with
Millivres-Prowler and other organisations to ensure that the photographic
archive is preserved and made available for study.
The 2016 Conference expressed its support for Gayle Newland, whose 8-year
sentence for 'sex by deception' seemed totally disproportionate.
CHE has resolved to deposit its archives in future with the Bishopsgate Institute, rather than with the Hall-Carpentere Archives
Support for Peter Tatchell
The 2017 Conference voted to donate £10,000 to the Peter Tatchell
CHE dealt with a variety of other issues in the earlier part of the 21st
- Equal marriage: Not everyone, and indeed not all members of CHE,
had the same
opinion as to the relevance of marriage in general.
The debate at the 2011 AGM bore that out. However marriage remained
an area in which homosexual equality had not yet been achieved. The Government held a consultation, concluding on 14th June 2012, and
CHE, together with Croydon Area Gay Society, issued a briefing note to our
members, with suggestions as to what to consider when replying.
- During the 2010 General Election campaign we encouraged our members
to write to all the candidates in their own constituencies to find out
their views on LGBT issues.
- In 2009 we asked our members to wrute to the Uganda High Commission
about the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, expected to come before the Ugandan
parliament that year, which would make that country one of the most
oppressive in the world towards gay people. It not only imposed very
severe sentences for homosexual acts, it criminalised those who fail to
denounce gay people to the authorities. The Bill had been widely condemned, including by our own Prime
Minister at the Commonwealth Conference, and many Christian groups in
the UK, including the Archbishop of Canterbury (but not so far the
Ugandan-born Archbishop of York) but it had the support of leading
politicians and church groups in Uganda, sponsored it is rumoured by
right-wing groups in the USA.
- For some years CHE had been concerned about homophobic
song lyrics, particularly in songs by certain Jamaican singers.
- CHE was concerned about the situation of older LGBT
(lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people who may need sheltered
accommodation. Will they be housed together with other LGBT people?
Will they at least be free from discrimination by staff and homophobic
behaviour from other residents?
- Life is very dangerous for gay men in Iraq. The UN Office for the
Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs believes that as many as 30 people
were killed in a 3-month period just for being gay. We publicised
article by Michael Donsky on the Edge network.
- The UK asylum system is failing to provide fair treatment for LGBT asylum
seekers, many of whom are in very real danger in their own countries. We
republished a talk on this by Peter Tatchell.