Gay and trans campaigners cancel Stonewall awards protest

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A demonstration planned for the Stonewall awards this Thursday has been cancelled.

Around 100 people were expected to protest outside the ceremony in central London over the gay charity’s stance marriage equality and because it does not lobby for trans issues.

But after Stonewall withdrew the nomination of a journalist who offended trans campaigners and announced it would lobby for marriage for gay couples, the protest was cancelled.

Figures including Peter Tatchell and trans campaigner Natacha Kennedy were due to speak at the event.

Andy Godfrey, who organised the demonstration, said that in light of recent “substantial progress”, campaigners would push for more communication on marriage equality and trans representation.

He said: “After weighing up the views of supporters, we have decided to cancel the demo outside the Stonewall Awards.

“There have been some very intelligent and articulate arguments put forward on both sides. But since there has been nowhere near the sort of overwhelming response in favour of continuing, we have therefore decided to cancel the demo.

“We have achieved substantial progress on two of the issues which the demo was about and should consider it a resounding success, it has certainly achieved more than either of us expected a few weeks ago.

“Instead we are going to try and use the opportunity to open some kind of dialogue with Stonewall about the same-sex marriage affair and about the outstanding issues relating to trans people. As things stand this may well represent the most constructive way forward.

“We hope, in particular, that this episode leads to a better relationship between Stonewall and the trans community, and that soon everyone will be able to choose to marry or have a civil partnership with whoever they want, regardless of their gender or sexuality.”

Stonewall previously said it would not lobby for gay marriage until it had sought the views of its supporters. A survey was carried out last month.

A Stonewall spokesman said last week: “We seek to secure marriage for gay people as a civil vehicle on the same basis as heterosexual marriage, available in a registry office but without a mandate on religious organisations to celebrate it. We seek to retain civil partnerships for lesbian and gay people recognising their special and unique status.”