Our current campaign priorities are as follows, as decided at our
Annual Conferences in 2015 and 2016 (Read the full text of the Conference motions passed in 2015
and in 2016).
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.
Following a decision by the CHE Conference in 2015, CHE is committed 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
Read about some other campaigns that CHE has been involved in in recent years.