Friday 28th July will officially mark 50 years since the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales. Back in 1967 this moment was seen as a huge step forward to ensuring equality for LGBTQI communities across England and Wales. On Friday, the rainbow flag will be displayed in River Gardens to mark the day.

Since 1967, even more changes have been made to law in the United Kingdom and most recently in 2016, the Isle of Man legalised same sex marriages. Find out more about the history of LGBTQI on the Stonewall website.

This week, the Government Equalities Office launched a survey to find out more about the experiences of the LGBTQI community in the UK. You can take part by visiting the Government website.

Derby City Council’s commitment to equality

As an organisation, Derby City Council are committed to equality and diversity and undertake varying activities to support not just sexual equality but equality for Derby’s many diverse groups and communities. You can see a list of the international days of equality and diversity we support, on our website.

We were Stonewall Diversity Champions between 2010 and 2014. During this time, we continuously achieved a top 45 ranking in the Stonewall Equality Workplace Index – top 100 Employers. Our LGBT Employee Support Network also won the Star Performer award on several occasions.

Although no longer members of Stonewall we still work to their principles and recommendations of good practice.

Every year on May 17th we mark International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia. On this day, we encourage our employees to wear rainbow colours and we have a formal flag raising ceremony by the current Mayor, with all our partners.

We also support LGBT adoption and fostering week every year to promote our need for foster carers and adopters from all walks of life to support children in Derby who need loving homes.

If you want to get involved in LGBTQI equality in Derby, you can come along to our Gender and Sexuality Diversity forum. Contact us to find out more.

Furthermore, we work with partners across the city including voluntary and community organisations in the city and we are part of Derby Equality and Diversity Network. This is a network of people from all types of agencies who work on equality issues. We meet to:

  • share good practice
  • see how each other is doing in equality
  • arrange events such as equality in procurement, the Equality Act, and equality impact assessment workshops
  • produce a multi-faith calendar with the help of Derby University Students’ Union.

Gordon Stirling, Director of Strategic Services and Customer Management and also Senior LGBT Champion at Derby City Council commented:

“This is a great opportunity for us to mark the day and to show others our commitment. There are still many countries in the World where people cannot be free to express themselves or their sexual orientation and so this day is a timely reminder that behind every rainbow there still is a lot of pain.”

In Derby, events are being held at QUAD in the city centre.

QUAD and Derbyshire LGBT+ present 50 Years Ago, 50 Years On, a season of film screenings throughout 2017 commemorating the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality.

Victim, from1961, screens in QUAD on the date of 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation homosexuality in 1967.  Victim is one of a series of ‘social issue’ films made in the 1950s and 1960s by Director Basil Dearden. It was the first British film to deal explicitly with and explore attitudes towards homosexuality. Barrister Melville Farr risks his career and his marriage to expose a sinister blackmailing ring. Victim (certificate PG) screens in QUAD on Friday 28th July at 8.30pm. The film will be introduced by Ian Robson, CEO at Derbyshire LGBT+.

Earlier on the same day in QUAD, LGBT-QWERTY in association with Derbyshire LGBT+ will present Looking Back, Looking Forward, a spoken word event commemorating 50 years since the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK and exploring LGBT+ life in 2017. Featuring performances of new works by Sophie Sparham, Ash Watson, Dan Webber, Rachel Green and Ciaran Hodgers.  Looking Back, Looking Forward takes place in QUAD Friday 28th July, 7.00pm to 8.00pm. Entry to the event is free with donations welcome, all monies raised will be donated to Derbyshire LGBT+

There are two further films screening as part of the 50 Years Ago, 50 Years On film season at QUAD. Laurence Anyways, from 2012 by critically acclaimed film-maker Xavier Dolan, centres around Laurence, when he tells his girlfriend Fred that he wants to become a woman. Confronting the prejudices of their friends and ignoring the counsel of their families, they brace themselves for the phobias of the society they offend and embark on an epic ten-year journey as they try to live through this transition. Laurence Anyways (certificate 15 with English subtitles) screens in QUAD on Friday 29th September at 8.30pm.

Prick Up Your Ears is Stephen Frears’ 1987 biopic of the British playwright Joe Orton,

which is celebrating its 30th Anniversary. Based on the diaries of Orton, the film tells the tragic story of Orton (played by Gary Oldman) and his older lover Kenneth Halliwell. Both are desperate for acclaim but it is the younger writer Orton that is shot to fame after his enormously successful plays Entertaining Mr Sloane and Loot hit the London Stage. Prick Up Your Ears (certificate 18) screens in QUAD on Friday 24th November at 8.30pm.

Tickets for any of the screenings are £8.20 or £7.00 concessions and can be booked by calling QUAD Box office on 01332 290606 or on the QUAD website.