Friday, March 7, 2014

British Monarch honours LGBT charity group

LONDON -- In what royal watchers say is a first, Queen Elizabeth II congratulated one of Britain’s oldest LGBT charity and advocacy groups, the London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard, Thursday evening. During her 62-year reign on the throne, the 87-year-old Queen has never once visited or become a patron of an LGBT charity LGBT and Human Rights activist Peter Tatchell said last year.
Buckingham Palace released a transcript of her message in which the Queen said,
“Best wishes and congratulations to all concerned on this most special anniversary.”
The London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Established as a voluntary organisation on March 4th 1974, its  mission is to provide an information, support and referral service for LGBT people and anyone who needs to consider issues around their sexuality with a trained staff of around 160 volunteer phone operators who are LGBT themselves.
The group estimates that it has provided support and information to more than 3 million people since 1974, and that its volunteer staff answers approximately 15,000 calls every year with an additional 100,000 people assisted who seek information from its online LGBT community resources website.
British Prime Minister David Cameron also congratulated the group along with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, London's Mayor Johnson and the head of the Labour party in Parliament, Ed Miliband.
The Queen last year had signed a royal assent for legislation that legalised same-sex marriage in Britain as well as officially pardoned under the little-known Royal Prerogative of Mercy, famed British mathematician and computer scientist Alan Turing, who was criminally prosecuted and convicted under Britain’s 1885 Criminal Law Amendment Act that criminalized homosexual activity and led to the convictions of over 49,000 British men, including Oscar Wilde.