Vile homophobic trolls target GBBO’s ‘gay-at-home-dad’ Dan Beasley-Harling

Vile homophobic trolls target GBBO's 'gay-at-home-dad' Dan Beasley-Harling

Pretoria to host a spectacular Cirque du Soleil inspired Pride parade Photo: Great British Bake Off/Channel 4/Facebook Great British Bake Off star Dan Beasley-Harling has been targeted by homophobic trolls after appearing on the show.

The 36-year-old baker is a stay-at-home dad to his two kids, with his husband going to work. However, despite winning the nation’s hearts with his adorable personality, the homophobes have come out the woodwork.

A screenshot from a troll says: ‘At least “yummy mummy” doesn’t suggest they’re practicing sexual activities in front of the kids, like Gay-at-Home-Dad” does.’

While the user has since deleted that Tweet, there’s several others where he suggests the Dad has performed sexual acts in front of his kids. Gay-at-Home-Dad

Dan then posted a screenshot of the original statement. He added the caption: ‘The insidious, casual homophobia that has been directed towards me has been the most disheartening part of this experience.

‘I’m blessed that I don’t encounter these attitudes very often in my daily life, but it’s clear that as a community we have so much more work to do.’ The insidious, casual homophobia that has been directed towards me has been the most disheartening part of this experience. I’m blessed that I don’t encounter these attitudes very often in my daily life, but it’s clear that as a community we have so much more work to do #lgbt pic.twitter.com/iaHZAnsRNo — Dan Beasley-Harling (@DBeasleyHarling) September 26, 2018 Dan’s husband, Phil, was among those offering their support. He wrote: ‘At least we know how to raise OUR kids the right way… they’ll know love and be a force for kindness x’

Gogglebox star Kate Bottley added: ‘Furious on your behalf, I’m sorry you have to hear this homophobic nonsense, prayers and blessings for you and your family.’

Fellow gay baker Andrew Smyth also came in with condolences: ‘Sorry you’ve had to deal with this Dan.’

But it’s not all sad news from Dan Beasley-Harling. After several successful weeks, he was finally crowned Star Baker for his Giant Peach bake. Why be homophobic when you could be a great baker instead? More from Gay Star News:

There was a RuPaul’s Drag Race pun on Great British Bake Off and the internet can’t believe it

MLA welcomes LGBT fertility treatment on NHS

MLA welcomes LGBT fertility treatment on NHS

Alliance MLA ‘Kellie Armstrong has welcomed the news.’Photo by Brian Little / Press Eye. Alliance MLA Kellie Armstrong has said she is “absolutely delighted” that the Department of Health has confirmed that same-sex couples will be able to access fertility treatment at the Regional Fertility Clinic.

The MLA said the department had confirmed that couples would be able to able to receive the fertility treatment, including IVF, through the NHS clinic at the Belfast facility.

“I am absolutely delighted by this news and the further step towards equality it means for same-sex couples,” said Ms Armstrong.

“My thoughts are with all those who are going through fertility treatment and now all those who will soon be joining them. I will seek clarification from the Department on further details, including the criteria for proving infertility, but my thanks go to them for making this change.

“Congratulations go to everyone who made this possible – the campaign for fair access to fertility treatment has been a long one. I speak from experience when I say IVF and other treatments are no easy thing to go through, but now the wonderful staff at the Regional Fertility Clinic will be able to help all couples in Northern Ireland who want to go through that journey.”

A Department spokeswoman confirmed it was now offering the service and that it has a well-established policy of endorsing UK-wide guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) which identify evidence-based best clinical practice.

“This supports continuous development of services and informs investment decisions,” she said.

“The Department can confirm that in line with the endorsement of NICE Clinical Guideline 156 and as part of the HSC’s ongoing implementation programme for this guideline, same sex couples are now eligible for HSC funded IVF and related treatment.

“The HSCB is finalising the updated eligibility criteria for all people seeking fertility treatment in the Regional Fertility Centre taking account of the NICE guidance. When these amended eligibility criteria are finalised they will be made available.”

Minister for Africa announces vital funding for LGBT inclusion

Minister for Africa announces vital funding for LGBT inclusion

Last year, the UK government carried out a survey of LGBT people in the UK, to gather accurate and comprehensive data about their experiences and the challenges they face.

The response was unprecedented – over 100,000 people took part, making it the world’s largest ever national survey of LGBT and intersex people. As a result, the government has stepped up its efforts against LGBT hate crime. The reporting and recording of hate incidents has improved as well as the police response rate to these.

Although the UK leads the way in much of its LGBT legislation and policies, there is still more to do. At the Commonwealth Summit earlier this year, the Prime Minister Theresa May, expressed her deep regret for the UK’s past role in introducing laws in Commonwealth nations which criminalised same-sex relations, and for the legacy of discrimination and violence that persists today.

To continue addressing these historic wrongs, and to drive positive change, Minister Baldwin pledged that the UK government would invest more support through UK Aid Connect, to promote global LGBT inclusion .

Speaking at the Violence against LGBTI Individuals UNGA event, Minister Harriett Baldwin said: We have all come together as nations with a shared vision of a better future for LGBTI people everywhere. Through this vital UK Aid Connect funding, the government will work with LGBT groups, research institutions, human rights defenders and think tanks to: strengthen LGBT communities;

increase the economic inclusion of LGBT people;

reduce violence against them; and

instil respect for their human rights and personal wellbeing.

Step-by-step, the UK government is committed to working with international partners to make the world a safer and better place.

The UK government will invest £12million through UK Aid Connect to promote global LGBT inclusion.

Ards DUP councillors right not to support ‘militant’ LGBT campaigners, says Jim Wells

Ards DUP councillors right not to support 'militant' LGBT campaigners, says Jim Wells

Jim Wells MLA Jim Wells said DUP councillors were right not to support "militant" LGBT campaigners in a bid to light Ards town hall in the colours of Pride.

He was speaking after a DUP councillor defied his party in voting in favour of a motion to light up Ards Town Hall in the colours of Pride. A DUP amendment to the motion removed reference to the LGBT community and instead making it a general equality motion.

Expressing his sadness at the change to the motion, DUP councillor Tom Smith said it was a "missed opportunity" to reach out to the LGBT community.

MLA Jim Wells has had the party whip withdrawn after questioning the DUP leadership so therefore can not speak on behalf of the party. He said Councillor Smith should be referred to the party’s disciplinary processes for not following the party line.

He said the councillors were right to act in opposing the original Alliance motion.

He told the BBC Nolan show: "The party has been consistent, we do not support the illuminating of our buildings in support of militant campaigning groups.. very extreme groups… groups that don’t even represent the majority of the LGBT community.

"They are campaigning for fundamental changes to the way that we in Northern Ireland live in our legislation.

"It’s a very clear political campaign that North Down and Ards council was asked to support. It was nothing to do with the rights of LGBT people generally.

"They have no right to impose their views on the majority of the people in Northern Ireland."

However, John O’Doherty director of the Rainbow Project cautioned about the language used around the debate.

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He said he believed Tom Smith’s actions and his powerful speech in the council chamber in favour of the town hall being illuminated in the Pride colours were in line with Arlene Foster comments at Pink New events.

"Which you would assume would be the most up to date position for the DUP in relation to these matters," he said.

"We have heard little from DUP members on their position on LGBT support. We have heard of their opposition to same-sex marriage which is a valid political position to take.

"I think there will be more like Tom Smith come out and show their support for the LGBT community and that they are an equal part of our community."

He added: "Homophobia is a reality in our society. And it is incumbent for our elected representatives to send a message to end this scourge and show LGBT people they are celebrated and part of our community. [Lighting up a building] would not have been a huge step but it was move forward.

"We have to reflect on the realities for LGBT people. Thirty years ago it was illegal to be gay in Northern Ireland. So LGBT people are facing a very different reality to heterosexual people.

"Just because Jim Wells doesn’t agree with their position does not mean they are militant."

The DUP did not respond to a request for comment.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

Italian court recognises US adoption by lesbian couple

Italian court recognises US adoption by lesbian couple

An Italian court has ruled that an Italian-American woman’s US adoption of her wife’s biological child is valid in Italy, after being initially rejected by the Bologna City Council and Italy’s Interior Ministry.

The couple, who have two children conceived through artificial insemination, are each the biological parent of one child and the adoptive parent of the other.

While the adoptions were approved by a court in Oregon in 2004, the pair ran into legal difficulties after relocating to Emilia-Romagna in northern Italy, the ancestral home of one of the women, and applying for their American documentation to be transferred.

Their application was initially rejected on the grounds that Italian law did not recognise stepchild adoption by same-sex couples at that time. According to The Local , Italy’s Constitutional Court also reviewed the case, which began in 2014.

During the course of their legal challenge, Italy passed the Cirinnà bill in 2016, which gave same-sex partners similar rights to those held by heterosexual married couples. Religious groups strongly opposed the bill, however, which stopped short of allowing same-sex adoption, even in cases where the second partner in a couple was the child’s biological parent.

It took until 2017 for an Italian court to rule that the non-biological parent of a child raised by a same-sex couple could be legally recognised as their parent. LGBT rights around the world are increasingly being enshrined in law (Scott Barbour/Getty) The couple’s lawyer, Claudio Pezzi, said the ruling represented “another important step in the struggle to affirm the rights of minors and homosexual couples in our country, reaffirming, among other things, the important principle of opening up our system to an international dimension.”

In concluding, the Court of Appeals judges stated that the women’s parenting skills were not in question.

The decision follows comments made by Italy’s families minister, Lorenzo Fontana, in June this year that same-sex families “don’t exist.” When questioned on his remark, he replied that, “under the law, they don’t exist now.”

Fontana, who is from the right-wing Lega party, has a history of consistently opposing LGBT rights.

In July this year, he told a parliamentary hearing that same-sex couples who have children via surrogacy abroad should not be recognised as legal guardians.

Fontana has previously said that gay marriage and mass immigration threatened to “wipe out our communities and traditions.”

Gender-neutral toilets in Canada targeted with anti-transgender ‘penis’ stickers

Gender-neutral toilets in Canada targeted with anti-transgender ‘penis’ stickers

File photo. Similar stickers observed in the UK (Charleston Trust) The use of anti-transgender stickers bearing the words “women don’t have penises” has spread to Canada.

Canada’s national broadcaster CBC reports that stickers similar to the ones used in the UK recently are being used to target the gender-neutral toilet facilities at Memorial University of Newfoundland.

The university recently opened a number of single-stall gender-neutral toilets in addition to the men’s and women’s facilities, to cater for trans and non-binary people who may not feel comfortable in gender-segregated toilets. Memorial University The trans-inclusive toilets are now being plastered with “women don’t have penises” stickers and others that claim “transitioning worsens dysphoria.”

Andrew Kenney, MUN student union’s trans rep, told CBC: “It makes me uneasy.

“Putting the gender-neutral washrooms in place was a huge step for trans people on campus feeling safe, and now that those areas have been targeted it’s disheartening, and it’s kind of scary.

“Being a trans person I know that transphobia exists. I’ve seen it before, [but] it’s disappointing to see it in my university where I’m supposed to feel safe.”

A statement from student union president Gary Kachonoski said: “Recently we were made aware that material carrying transphobic messages has been posted on doors and walls around the St. John’s campus, including in gender-inclusive washrooms.

“Memorial is committed to providing a safe, respectful environment for all members of the campus community and these messages do not align with our values.

“We strongly condemn and will not tolerate hateful speech directed towards members of our community.

“Campus Enforcement and Patrol (CEP) and Facilities Management staff are in the process of removing these materials and investigating their source. If you have any information relevant to their creation and dissemination, please contact CEP at 864-8561.” Anti-transgender feminist activist groups across the UK have recently adopted the tactic of using packs of stickers to display their messages in prominent public places.

Stickers used by the Liverpool ReSisters group bear the slogan “women don’t have penises,” while another anti-trans pressure group, Transgender Trend, produced a set that reads : “Is Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria the new anorexia?”

Similar stickers were previously used to target London-based LGBT+ charity Stonewall , which has several transgender employees. Transgender Trend previously apologised for producing a sticker set after the group’s suggestion that it was a “good idea” for children to put the stickers on their school notebooks was met with hostility.

Transgender Trend said: “Although we obviously never intended our stickers to be used in schools, we understand people’s concerns that they could be used to create conflict between students.

“This is the last thing we want, so we have withdrawn the stickers from our site. We are sorry, we made a mistake.”

Several other anti-transgender sticker sets are still available to download from other sources. Several have been shared by users of online forum Mumsnet, which has become a hotbed of anti-transgender activism.

Gay man ‘punched in the face’ at London Wetherspoon pub in suspected hate crime

Gay man ‘punched in the face’ at London Wetherspoon pub in suspected hate crime

Student Sam Duffy was allegedly assaulted at a pub in London more than a month ago.

His alleged attacker, a man in his mid-to-late 50s, has not been apprehended and, despite the pub claiming to have barred him from its premises, Duffy says he has spotted him at least twice more at the venue.

Duffy, a 21-year-old student at the University of Westminster, lives close by The Beaten Docket, a Wetherspoon pub in Cricklewood, North West London .

According to Duffy, he was having dinner at the pub on August 18 when he became aware that a group of people sitting near him were making negative remarks about ethnic minorities and LGBT+ people.

“The people next to me were making some homophobic, racist comments among themselves—transphobic as well. You name it, they were saying it. I tried to ignore it but it went on and on,” Duffy recalled in a conversation with PinkNews.

Duffy, who was wearing a rainbow flag wristband at the time, said he overheard the group talking specifically about him. He told PinkNews that a man in the group referred to him and his wristband and said: “He is one of them.”

Feeling increasingly uncomfortable, Duffy said he reported the conversation to a member of the pub staff, who then confronted the group. A view of the pub on Cricklewood Broadway (PinkNews) The man—whose identity isn’t known—is said to have reacted angrily and complained that it was a “free country,” and he could “say whatever he wanted.”

“Then the staff left me for a minute and the guy came and sat down at my table. He said: ‘Give me one reason why I shouldn’t punch you,’ and before I could respond, he punched me in the face,” Duffy said.

The student then decided to call the police but deemed his injury, a swollen eye, not serious enough to call an ambulance as he lived in close proximity to the pub.

By the time the police arrived, the man had left. The student posted an account of the assault on Facebook later that night as well as picture of the man who assaulted him that he managed to take at the venue.

Duffy claims the pub management initially discouraged him from calling the police. “It would damage their reputation,” he said he was told. Wetherspoon’s response

Duffy formally complained about this behaviour in a message sent to Wetherspoon’s customer support centre earlier this month that PinkNews reviewed. He also suspects that the man was able to leave the pub before the police arrived because he is a regular customer.

A Wetherspoon customer support officer that dealt with Duffy’s complaint offered him a £20 gift card by way of apology. She did not directly address the claim that the pub management had discouraged Duffy from calling the police, but stated that all Wetherspoon employees undergo diversity training. She also assured him that the man had been barred from the pub premises. Duffy took a picture of the group that was sitting next to him on the day of the assault (Courtesy of Sam Duffy) Duffy says he had another encounter with the man, on September 3. He returned to the pub with his flatmate and her mother around 6.30pm. “He was in there, having a drink and being served by the same people who were there when I was assaulted,” he said.

The student says he was unsure what to do after spotting the man—he did not want to alert the pub staff again because he felt they failed to help the first time and feared they’d allow him to flee again. After discussing the situation, his flatmate’s mother suggested he call the police.

He dialled 101 from the front of the pub while pretending to have a cigarette but, by the time police arrived, the man had once again left.

Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon told PinkNews in a statement: “Firstly we would like to apologise to the customer for the distress caused by the incident. We have zero tolerance towards violent and homophobic behaviour in our pubs.

“The victim had approached the bar and reported that the party were airing homophobic opinions. The duty manager approached the group to investigate and at the stage the members of the group and the victim started shouting, so the duty manager asked them both to leave as they were being disruptive to other customers in the pub.

“At that stage the assault took place and the duty manager and her colleague intervened. One of the duty managers dealt with the aggressors and the other moved the victim away from the group, and asked how he was. She was aware that he appeared to have cut the inside of his lip, but appeared otherwise physically OK. “The victim requested that the police were called, which the duty manager did. The duty manager also offered to call an ambulance but this was declined.”

Wetherspoon, however, disagrees with Duffy’s claims about the pub urging him not to call the police and the man’s return to the premises.

“We refute the statement that staff told the customer not to call the police. We also refute the statement that members of the group have been seen in the pub since the incident,” said a spokesperson for the pub group.

“The man and others in the group have been barred from the pub. If he comes into the pub he and others in the group will be asked to leave. That is the case with anyone barred in our pubs and likely in all pubs,” the statement provided to PinkNews read. Record of the call to 101 Duffy made after spotting his alleged attacker in the pub again (Courtesy of Sam Duffy) When pressed further about Duffy’s recollection of the exchange with the pub management on August 18 and of spotting the man on September 3, the Wetherspoon spokesperson clarified that the statements provided reflected the pub management’s version of the events. A third sighting

Passing by the pub on September 26, Duffy said he once again spotted the man sitting inside, as he told PinkNews in a series of messages that evening. He said he again called the police, using the 999 emergency number this time, but officers did not arrive in time and the man had left the pub by the time they got there.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed they received a call from Duffy on September 26 in relation to “the sighting of an outstanding suspect in an alleged offence reported on 18 August.”

The police are treating the incident as a hate crime. The investigation continues.

“Detectives are treating the assault as a hate crime.The victim has alleged a homophobic remark was directed towards him. There have been no arrests and enquiries continue,” said a spokesperson for the Met Police.

Who is John Partridge? EastEnders star and Celebrity Masterchef finalist

Who is John Partridge? EastEnders star and Celebrity Masterchef finalist

If you watch Celebrity Masterchef , you know that we’re set for an all-male finale, with Spencer Matthews, Martin Bayfield and John Partridge taking on the show ’s last challenge.

The last woman competitor Paralympian Stef Reid left the show on Thursday, leaving the men to fight it out.

Partridge is a familiar face on British television as an actor, as well as a pretty good cook. Who is John Partridge?

Fans of the TV soap EastEnders will be no stranger to Partridge, who played Christian Clarke on the show from 2008 to 2012. Clark was Jane Beale’s brother and Roxy Mitchell’s best friend.

A short description of the character by the BBC reads: “Christian ‘kiss-my-guns’ Clarke has the biceps of a god, and an innate inability to live a quiet life. It’s no surprise that he’s Roxy Mitchell’s best mate, then. His put-downs are legendary, but Christian’s brash exterior is very much that. “ John Partrige is one of the three contestants to make it to the final of Celebrity Masterchef 2018. (BBC) “The Christian that his friends and family know is sensitive, generous and fiercely loyal. If you’re feeling down, he’ll take you out for the best night of your life and provide a shoulder to cry on in the taxi home.” Christian and Syed

On EastEnders , Clarke was gay and proud and this was a theme that was explored throughout his time on the show. His storyline included a steamy love story with Syed Masood, who Clarke eventually married. The couple departed for America to start a new life after Syed’s family disapproved of the relationship.

Partridge stated he left the show in 2012 to care for his mother, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2010.

Partridge has reprised his role as Clarke a few times since then, returning to the show for two episodes in May 2014, then four episodes in February 2015 and again in May 2016. The man behind Christian

Just like his character, Partridge is gay, out and proud . He’s been in a civil partnership with Jon Tsouras since September 2011 and the couple have been together for 16 years.

The stage loves him, too. Before his run as Christian Clarke, Partridge was a West End staple.

The trained dancer and actor dropped out of school at 16 to join the cast of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats . In 1998, he played Rum Tum Tugger, the picky, never satisfied feline in the TV movie of the musical. Partridge has played Prince Charming in Cinderella pantomimes, Zach in the West End revival of A Chorus Lin , and Billy Flynn in a 2016 UK tour of Chicago .

He was also a judge on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s TV show Over the Rainbow , which set out to cast a new Dorothy for the producer’s revival of Wizard of Oz . He’s been both a presenter and contestant on several reality shows since then. John Partridge is one of the three contestants to make it to the Celebrity Masterchef 2018’s finale. (BBC) Battle with cancer

In March 2018, Partridge appeared on Good Morning Britain and revealed he had a battle with testicular cancer.

“I was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2004 while waiting for a hernia operation,” he told the show.

The actor did not make his health public at the time because he felt it would be detrimental to his career as a musical actor.

By his own account, having sex “saved [his] life.”

“I had a hernia operation, as I have danced all my whole life,” Partridge told the hosts. “I was told I can’t have sexual activity for six weeks.

“But I disobeyed my doctor and it saved my life. There was complication with the surgery which took me back to hospital where they found my tumour.”

As part of his cancer treatment, one of Partrige’s testicles was removed, which left him with 120 stitches and feeling emasculated. “As a man, I felt I’d lost part of my sexuality, my masculinity, my virility,” he said.

However, the star recovered and appeared in Full Monty Live 2018 in early April.

Who are the Drag Race stars in A Star is Born?

Who are the Drag Race stars in A Star is Born?

Halleloo, bitches, guess who’s making a cameo in the upcoming remake of A Star is Born ?

The movie, which comes out on October 3 is packed with great acting, amazing vocals and two small but meaty cameos from Drag Race Royalty ™.

The film features cameos from RuPaul’s Drag Race favourite Shangela Laquifa Wadley and the controversial Willam Belli. Two Drag queens are (re)-born

A Star is Born tells the love story of fading rock star Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper) and wannabe singer Ally (Lady Gaga). The two meet after Ally performs a rendition of Edith Piaf’s “La Vie en Rose” at her local bar on a night typically reserved for drag acts.

In the scene in question, Maine, drunk, enters the bar by chance and is instantly charmed by Ally’s vocals (and her taped-on eyebrows). Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper starring in A Star is Born, Cooper’s directorial debut. (Warner Media) In the movie, Shangela and Willam play drag queens at Ally’s local club. Shangela, the bar’s MC, is presented as Ally’s drag mother.

“LG [Lady Gaga] would really like you to come in to audition for this role,” Shangela told Metro about landing the part. “I guess you could say she did hand-pick me to audition for the role.”

Shangela said she loved working with Gaga and Cooper on the movie, and had very nice words for Cooper, who also directed A Star is Born .

“He was so warm, and he knew so much about the LGBTQ community we were creating in this scene, and he was also interested to know more, so it was really cool and super refreshing to work with him,” said Shangela. Shangela plays the drag bar MC and Lady Gaga’s drag mom in A Star is Born (Netflix) Willam plays Emerald, whose role is literally lusting for Bradley Cooper.

In the movie, the bar is introduced as a welcoming environment for Ally, who is a cis woman. Gaga was a guest judge on the Season 9 premiere of RuPaul’s Drag Race .

“She attributes a lot of her [joie de vivre] to her life with [drag] queens in clubs,” RuPaul told ABC News in 2017.

“She’s an amazing person and a really loving person,” he said. “And I’m always surprised when I see these people because she’s a child! You know, when you strip down the makeup, it’s like, ‘Oh my God!’” The 411 on the queens

Willam Belli attends the premiere “A Star Is Born” on September 24, 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty) For those not acquainted with the work of Shangela and WIllam, first of all: girl, what are you waiting for?

Shangela, whose name is D.J ‘Shangela’ Pierce, appeared on Seasons 2 and 3 of RuPaul’s Drag Race . She was also the runner up of the third All Stars season of the show. Fans of the drag competition got a chance to see the performer go from drag baby to stunning diva.

It’s likely you’ve seen Shangela, the ultimate professional, in popular TV shows such as Glee , 2 Broke Girls , Bones and even Toddlers and Tiaras (as a guest mentor). She’s also made a few appearances in the pages of Vanity Fair and Glamour .

Willam appeared on Season 4 of Drag Race and was infamously kicked off the show for “breaking the rules.” While Drag Race contestants are meant to remain in perfect isolation during the taping of the show, it was revealed Willam was sneaking her husband in for “conjugal visits,” although, as she said herself, “there was not much talking” going on.

In addition to Drag Race , Willam has made TV cameos in CSI , Criminal Minds and Sex and the City to name a few.

Both queens appeared in Hurricane Bianca , a movie effort by Drag Race contestant and Season 6 winner Bianca Del Rio.

Michael Gove pledges support for gay farmers

Michael Gove pledges support for gay farmers

Michael Gove (Jeff Spicer/Getty Images) Michael Gove has signed a pledge to support the rural LGBT+ community.

The Conservative MP, who is currently the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, threw his weight behind a pledge to support LGBT+ people living and working in rural communities.

Gay people in farming communities have high rates of suicide, with farmers explaining that homophobic stigma is rife in the rural countryside. Britain’s Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary Michael Gove (DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty) On Tuesday, Gove met with activists from Agrespect, a body which “aims to start positive conversations about inclusivity in agriculture.”

At the meeting, the politician signed a pledge to “stand against prejudice and support rural LGBTQ+ diversity, inclusion and enablement.”

Gove said: “Farming today is an innovative and progressive industry that benefits greatly from being open to all, regardless of their background, gender, religion and sexuality.

“I hope that through the signing of this pledge we can further demonstrate our ongoing support for LGBTQ+ people in our rural communities.” 2017 film God’s Own Country explored attitudes towards gay farmers The pledge was also signed by Defra permanent secretary Clare Moriarty, National Farmers Union president Minnette Batters and Country Land and Business Association (CLA) director general Helen Woolley.

Woolley said: “It’s encouraging to see how the world has moved on in recognising LGBTQ+ rights in the last 20 years, but we are not yet as inclusive a society as we need to be, including in our rural communities.

“Agrespect has highlighted a really important issue for diversity and inclusion, and by sharing personal stories and experiences they are uniting the rural LGBTQ+ community to change things for the better.

“I am incredibly proud to sign the Agrespect pledge to demonstrate Defra’s support for this brilliant work.” Environment Secretary Michael Gove (Jack Taylor/Getty) Agrespect was launched after a moving Countryfile report in April this year shed light on the prejudice faced by LGBT+ farmers.

Lincolnshire flower grower Matt Naylor, one of the farmers behind Agrespect, said: “Agriculture and the rural economy are going through a period of massive change and the countryside needs to retain and attract the very brightest and best people. We need to welcome everyone.

“It is really important to promote the countryside as a vibrant and accepting place to live and work regardless of your gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation.

“Farming and food production is the bedrock of society and it is important that the people managing and working in these industries are fully representative of the people that they feed.” A cow tongue (BORIS ROESSLER/AFP/Getty Images) Research suggests a high prevalence of suicide among LGBT+ people in rural communities.

Psychiatrist Dr Ciaran Mulholland of Queen’s University Belfast explained: “We’re very aware that farmers are men who often work in isolation and face a lot of pressures in life, so they’re very prone to hopelessness and very prone to depression and to suicide.

“Gay men are also prone to hopelessness, depression and suicide, and it seems reasonable to assume that a gay isolated farmer is even more at risk.”

Gove has long been a supporter of LGBT+ rights, voting consistently in favour of LGBT+ equality in Parliament.

He also covered LGBT+ issues during his career as a broadcaster.

One memorable clip from 1993 surfaced of him reporting from a Pride parade for BBC News . He also appeared on a 1992 discussion show arguing for homosexuality in the British Army.