Photo via WikiCommons/Terry Moore
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is divided between two chambers: the House of Commons and the House of Lords. While members of the House of Commons are elected by the people in general elections, members of the House of Lords sit in parliament by virtue of their station, either being hereditary peers or life peers. Unlike hereditary peerages, which can date back hundreds of years, life peerages are appointed to people whom the government feels could continue to provide service to the nation. Prime Minister David Cameron announced today the 45 people to be made life peers on the annual Dissolution Honors list, and among them are a number of strong pro-LGBT advocates.
Lynne Featherstone, who sat in the House of Commons until losing her seat in this year's elections (her Liberal-Democrat party was virtually wiped out), is one such politician. She has been described by PinkNews as the "equal marriage architect," the person who laid the groundwork for England and Wales legalizing marriage equality in 2014 under the Conservative-Liberal-Democrat Coalition government. Speaking with PinkNews, Featherstone said:
“It’s great. Thank you Nick Clegg! As a minister I did get to change the world for the better and same-sex marriage is definitely my happy place."
“Now I will have the chance to keep on fighting injustice: gay rights in Africa, ending FGM and saving the planet. That should keep me busy!”
Additional appointments are the openly gay former Chief of Staff to Liberal-Democrat leader Nick Clegg, Johnny Oates, and former Foreign Secretary William Hague, who helped incorporate the firm promotion of international LGBT rights into Britain's foreign policy. Michael Salter, Chair of Pride In London, will also be awarded an MBE (Member of the Most Excellent British Empire) for public service.
[H/T Pink News]