While the victory for woman received almost universal praise in the 2014 Queen’s honours list, the reaction from the pink press was, as is often the case, much more mixed. Honours and the gay agenda are hot topics for both the pink and mainstream media.
In case you didn’t see a newspaper at the beginning of the year, it was a landmark year for women in The New Year’s Honours lists. For the first time in history, women received more honours than men.
After many years of wait, this great tradition that is the honours system, is finally showing signs of acquiescence to the equality agenda. This development will give hope to many other groups and subsections of society, currently underrepresented, that equality really is at the top of the agenda.
In recent years, the pink press has devoted many column inches to covering the voting habits of parliamentarians receiving honours (on gay issues). This strategy, of outing parliamentarians, is potentially, very effective. The message is clear. In the same way as with racism before – they beg the question of whether an MP should be allowed to receive an honour if they hold a view that so clearly in opposition to equality and diversity.
Edward Leigh, a vicarious opponent of David Cameron’s stance on gay marriage, was knighted. Perhaps the most outspoken opponent of the bill, his honour spurned a wave a media interest.
During the recent parliamentary debates on gay marriage, he warned: “We have to get away from the idea that every single thing in life can be forced through the merciless prism of equality.” Clearly, Sir Edward missed his ultimate calling in life, to join the diplomatic core.
The Gay Star highlighted the news that three senior MPs, all straight, had voted in favour of gay marriage.
There was far less controversy regarding honours for prominent members of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) community.
Among those receiving honours, gay composer, Sir Maxwell Davies was given the title of Companion of Honour. This title is reserved for only the most outstanding achievers in the arts, literature, music, science, politics, industry or religion – Sir Maxwell becomes only the 40th companion to date.
Blackpool nightclub owner, Basil Newby, (pictured above) was given a MBE for services to business and the LGBT community. Mr Newby, whose clubs include Flamingos and Funny Girls, commented at the time that he felt “very humbled”.
With all-round equality a consistent message in the Honours List, there is every reason to make sure your nominee stands the best chance of an honour for their work and achievements.
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