LAGLA at Pride & more!

Last week we joined in the celebrations for 2017’s Northern Pride! As always we had a wonderful time marching through the streets of Newcastle and meeting you all at our stall. We look forward to next year! If you have any pictures of us in the parade, we’d love it if you could tweet us then @laglanortheast 

And of course, pride is not over! Below are a list of events taking place over the next few weeks in and around Newcastle  

Films for LGBT 50

Events have been taking place up and down the country to mark ‘LGBT 50 – Celebrating 50 years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality’.

For anyone who would like to combine celebrating this important occasion with a trip to the seaside, our very own Whitley Bay Jam Jar Cinema is presenting a series of films chronicling the diverse range of gender from different time periods. This Thursday 10 August at there is a showing of Tangerine, a comedy drama about the life of a transgender sex worker in downtown Los Angeles. You can find more information and book tickets here:

Paws with Pride

For all you dog-lovers out there put Sunday 13 August in your diary, which sees the return of Northern Pride’s pet show Paws with Pride. The event takes place from 11.30pm to 4.30pm in Leazes Park and there are prizes for a wide range of categories including ‘Most Appealing Eyes’, ‘Feeliest Fur’ and ‘Waggiest Tail’. 

As if that wasn’t enough, this year the show has teamed up with Pride Heath Games which will take place on the same day. The aim of this joint venture is to promote and engage the LGBT community in healthy recreational activities and local sports groups. There will be taster sessions from local LGBT friendly sports and fitness groups, old school sports day games such as the Bleep test, Sack race and everyone’s favourite the Egg & Spoon race.

More details can be found here:

If any of you attend either of these events please send us photos that we can post on our Facebook/Twitter page!

We hope you’re enjoying your summer!


LAGLA NE at Northern Pride 2017

Northern Pride is just 10 days away and LAGLA North East will be attending again this year!

We will be at the march and fair on the Town Moor on Saturday 22nd July and we hope you can join us to celebrate the LGBT+ community.

We will be meeting at Haymarket Statue at 11am on Saturday if you want to join us in marching in the Pride Parade. The Parade will begin from the Civic Centre at 12pm. This is an excellent opportunity for us to demonstrate the presence and support the LGBT+ community has within the legal community.

After the parade you’ll find us at Stall 11 at the Town Moor Pride Market Place where we’ll be all of Saturday so feel free to come down, say hello and grab a badge!

This year’s pride looks to be an extra special one with the 50-year anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK so we hope you can come down join us in celebrating how far the LGBT+ community has come since.

Rebecca Weir

Secretary of LAGLA NE

#TheseAreOurPrinciples Campaign

The Law Society of Scotland and the Glass Network (an organisation for LGBT+ legal professionals in Scotland) has this week launched a campaign promoting LGBT+ equality in the workplace. The #TheseAreOurPricinples campaign invites law firms and legal professionals to voice their support for LGBT+ people working in the legal profession.

The launch event of the campaign on the 18th May took place at DLA Piper’s Edinburgh offices and saw leading figures from the legal sector and further afield including Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland and the Scottish Law Commissioner, Hector MacQueen, set out the key principles of law and facts about LGBT+ equality in the workplace.

Scotland has seen LGBT+ equality increasing over the last few decades in terms of laws that have been passed however, Drew McCusker, founder of the Glass Network, hopes the campaign will help to push this further by creating open and honest discussions about what more can be done to progress equality in the workplace and Scotland as a whole.

Despite the positive progress being made in Scotland and by the Scottish Law Society, it is worth noting that over 25% of LGBT+ people in the UK choose not to disclose their sexuality or gender identity at work. It is important that employers and employee support networks are wise to this and take steps towards creating an open and accepting workplace for all employees, in doing so, they will increase job satisfaction leading to increased productivity in the workplace and happier employees generally.

Law firms throughout the UK have been making the push towards equality and this was recognised with 17 leading law firms being listed this year in Stonewall’s Top 100 LGBT+ friendly employers. It is important that the legal sector continues to lead by example and demonstrates its commitment to LGBT+ inclusion so that more people feel comfortable being themselves in the workplace.

We would like to wish the campaign well and hope it is a great success!

For more information about the #TheseAreOurPrinciples campaign, a trailer can viewed here

Rebecca Weir

Social Secretary of LAGLA North East

LAGLA North East & Northumbria Police LGBT present: LGBT Domestic Violence: A Hidden Problem

On Thursday 27th, LAGLA North East and Northumbria Police LGBT joined forces for a one-of-a-kind event seeking to investigate the law’s approach to LGBT domestic violence, often a hidden problem.

With an introduction from Dame Vera Baird, keynote speech from Professor Catherine Donovan, and a panel featuring experts from the respective fields of the legal profession, third sector, police, and academia, the event provided an essential insight into the ways in which victims and professionals can develop best practice.

Held at Northumbria Law School and sponsored by Ben Hoare Bell, the panel featured Amy Tapping and Louise Cass-Williams of Northumbria Police, Lui Asquith (Ben Hoare Bell LLP), Professor Catherine Donovan (Sunderland University), Tara Stone (Be North East), and was chaired by Lou Provart (Norfolk Police). Approaching all aspects of policing and the legal profession, the panel had extensive discussions regarding the impact of, and the ways of dealing with, LGBT domestic violence, and how the law can be used to the victim’s benefit.

The panel then heard questions from the large audience, an essential component of starting the conversation and raising awareness of this hidden problem.

A resounding success, the event has highlighted a crucial issue, and therefore LAGLA North East will continue to work on this type of event, starting the conversation, and raising awareness.

LAGLA NE & Northumbria Police LGBT Association present: LGBT Domestic Violence

LAGLA North East and Northumbria Police are joining together for the first time to host a groundbreaking evening conference that will discuss the issue of LGBT+ Domestic Violence: A Hidden Problem.
The event will bring together notable members of the legal profession, the police, and academics to discuss the issues faced by LGBT+ members of the public and their interaction with the police and legal profession. The panel is sure to be challenging and insightful, and will add to wider discourse surrounding LGBT+ issues such as legal protections, rights, and prejudice.
Held at the Northumbria University Faculty of Business and Law, this event is expected to be widely attended and tickets are required. The event will be a unique and rare chance to create discussion between members of the police and the legal profession in order to investigate the hidden problems percieved by each profession.
The panel members will be a diverse mix of LGBT+ professionals bringing their unique perspectives to light and illuminating areas that need change.
5.45pm: Introduction by Vera Baird
5.55pm: Keynote speech from Professor Catherine Donovan
6.35pm: Comfort break (Refreshments and nibbles will be provided.)
7.00pm: Panel discussion of LGBT domestic violence and an opportunity for Q&A (EL 1.5 hour).
This one-of-a-kind event will be interesting and informative, and is not to be missed!
Reserve your place HERE in order to be a part of it and contribution to an important discussion around an often hidden issue.

Trump: Take Action

LAGLA North East is committed to promoting and supporting civil and human rights for all individuals, but today we know that these fundamental rights are under threat. One of the biggest and most visible threats comes in the form of the new President of the United States of America.

This Sunday at Northern Stage in Newcastle, MP’s, business leaders, activists and academics are getting together to share immediate practical thoughts on what can be done to oppose the divisive and dangerous actions of President Trump. What can we do as individuals, groups and as businesses? How can we ensure our actions have impact and our voices are heard.

This is not about having a moan – it’s about social self-defence using practical solutions. It’s about finding out exactly what you can do right now to make your voice heard and make a difference.

This is for anyone who wants to escape the echo chamber, get out of mourning and get organised.

You can register to attend the event here and find the latest info on their Facebook page .

Diversity in the Judiciary

Diversity in the judiciary is an established problem but progress is slowly being as those considered underrepresented groups (women, BAME, LGBTIQ and those from non-traditional backgrounds) continue to make in-roads.

The Judiciary Diversity Statistics published on 28 July 2016 showed there to have been a 3% increase in female court judges since 2015, taking the figure to 28%. Where those asked were under 40, this figure rocketed to 51% identifying themselves as female. This suggests that over time the number of judges identifying as female will continue to increase.

Ethnic diversity within the judiciary however remains low, with only 5% of respondents who declared their background identifying as BAME. This number has remained relatively consistent from 2011 to 2016.

The North East of England has the second highest percentage of judges who identify themselves as female, above the national average at 30%. With this in mind LAGLA North East is very excited about Northumbria University’s Judicial Diversity Networking Event which is being held on 30 March 2017 at the university with a keynote speech from The Rt Hon Lady Justice Hallet DBE. The event is aimed at legal professionals currently under-represented in the judiciary (women, BAME and those from non-traditional backgrounds) who are interested in a career in the judiciary. The event aims to give information about what it is to be a judge and also to provide practical advice on the application and recruitment process. There will also be the opportunity to network with serving members of the judiciary.

This is likely to be a popular event so those interested, and qualified (a requirement of the event), are encouraged to register soon!


For more information about Diversity in the judiciary please see the Judicial Diversity Statistics 2016 from which the above statistics were taken:

For further information about the Judicial Diversity Networking Event please visit:

LGBT History Month 2017

February is LGBT History Month (LGBT HM). For those who haven’t heard of LGBT HM, this organisation does fantastic work, with the aim of promoting “equality and diversity for the benefit of the public”, through teaching of LGBT History.

Whilst LGBT HM is celebrated in February, their fantastic work continues all year.

Their aims are to:

  • Increase the visibility of LGBT people, their history, lives and experiences in both educational and other institutions;
  • Raise awareness and advance education on matters affecting the LGBT community;
  • Work to make educational and other institutions safe spaces for LGBT communities;
  • Promote the welfare of LGBT people by ensuring the education system recognises and enables LGBT people to achieve their full potential.

Following LGBT HM 2016 with the theme of Religion, Belief and Philosophy, LGBT MH 2017 focuses on Citizenship, PSHE and Law, marking the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of male homosexuality in England and Wales.

If you’ve not had the chance to take a look at their website, head over to for resources, as well as further information about the events which will be happening. The LGBT HM National Festival will take place in 15 locations across the country, making it accessible for everyone. As part of the festival, there will be a three day academic festival, 100’s of presentations, schools and family strands and two new theatre productions.

The LGBT History Project NE is a separate organisation based in the north east with support from Sunderland University. As part of the North East’s LGBT History Project, our own Lui Asquith and Alexander Maine will be speaking at the Civic Centre on the 11 February 2017 at the North East LGBT History Project; a day full of interesting talks and discussion right in the heart of Newcastle.

Alexander, our Vice-Chair, is giving a presentation at 11:05 entitled, “Illegal to Conjugal: Journey of the LGBTQ in Law” in the Armstrong Room.

Lui, our Chair, is giving a presentation at 11:30 entitled, “LGBTI asylum seekers and the humanitarian crises of 2016” in the Collingwood and Stephenson Room.

Tickets can be obtained here: and although all tickets have been distributed at time of writing, we understand that there will be a ‘ticket amnesty’ so keep an eye out for a further ticket release!

Don’t despair if you can’t get to the day event, as there is a ‘Taster Talk’ session on 24 January 2017 and our Lui will be giving a speech at this event also on LGBTQ law and the progression of it. You can sign up for a free ticket here:

We hope to see some of you there!


Social Secretary of LAGLA North East


LAGLA North East is 1!

On Thursday 8 December 2016 we held our first birthday celebration at Glass House on Dene Street in Newcastle. Guests joined us for prosecco, canapes and live music in the cosy Whiskey Lounge. 

We also held a raffle with many fantastic prizes donated by various local organisations, and which helped to raise £125 for Rainbow Home, a social and support group for lesbian, gay, bi and trans people who are seeking asylum in the UK or who have not yet settled here. More information about the group can be found here . Thank you to all who attended and donated prizes.


2016 has been a huge year for LAGLA North East. We held our ‘Starting the Conversation’ panel Q&A at Newcastle University in February, our film screening of ‘Pride’ at Alphabetti Theatre in April, we welcomed Robin White of Old Square Chambers to discuss ‘Transgender Law: Past present and Future’ in June and had our first ever stall and joined the march at Northern Pride in July.


From its inception just 12 months ago LAGLA North East has grown to an organisation with over 200 people on our mailing list, a growing number of members and a profile that is being recognised on a national level. Our chair, Lui Asquith, has been elected onto the national LAGLA committee as Regional Coordinator and huge organisations such as Northumbria Police are working with us to raise awareness on LGBT issues and how they affect us as legal professionals and society as a whole.


We could not have come to where we are without the support of our members and our sponsors, and we are extremely grateful to all of you who have supported us along the way.


Best wishes




Secretary for LAGLA North East

Still Having to Hide: Seeking Asylum in the UK

We are currently in the middle of the biggest humanitarian crisis since the Second World War. With 60 million refugees and internally displaced people across the globe, this is almost equivalent to the population of Italy being displaced from their homes. While not to detract from the plight faced by all refugees, those who are both refugees and a member of the LGBT community often face an added level of hardship.

Consensual sexual acts between same sex adults are criminalised in 72 UN member sates and only 50 countries across the globe recognise Trans people’s rights to have their gender identity legally recognised. Those persecuted or facing persecution on the basis of real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity are able to claim asylum in the UK.

A recently released report jointly authored by Stonewall and the UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group (UKLGIG) has shed light on the experiences of LGBT people in UK detention centres. The report found that centre staff are often not equipped to meet the needs of LGBT refugees and are unable or unwilling to protect them from potential harassment by other detainees.

The vast majority of those interviewed for the report expressed that they felt they were treated like criminals when seeking refuge in the UK despite the fact that seeking asylum is not a crime.

LGBT asylum seekers who are open about their sexual orientation or gender identity reported facing harassment and abuse from other detainees and often discrimination from staff. Consequently, many people reported feeling forced to hide their sexual orientation and gender identity.

Members of the Trans community are particularly at risk, with many being housed in single-sex detention centres that do not correspond to their gender identity. Those who have been misplaced are put at risk when sharing bedrooms and communal showers with other detainees. Additionally, Trans detainees are often left unable to continue their transition due to health care staff being unequipped to respond to these needs. This leads to a direct ill-effect on detainees mental and physical health.

Following their experience of detention, many LGBT asylum seekers will find it hard to settle back into society. It leaves many suffering from severe mental health issues and isolation as they are excluded from or unable to access their national communities or LGBT communities, resulting in losing out on the support these communities would otherwise provide.

In the North East Rainbow Home are taking steps to end the isolation often felt by the LGBT community when seeking asylum. Rainbow Home is an LGBT Asylum Seekers Group that offers support and a place to feel at home for LGBT Asylum Seekers in the North East.

In order to show support and solidarity with LGBT Asylum seekers, LAGLA North East will be holding a raffle to raise money for Rainbow Home at their First Birthday event at the

Glasshouse on Thursday 8th December 2016. Places are limited to 40 guests on a first come, first served basis. If you would like to attend, please RSVP by email to .

For more information about the problems facing LGBT Asylum Seekers in the UK, you can read Stonewall and the UKLGIG’s full report here – for more about the important work being done by Rainbow Home in the North East.


Rebecca Weir

LAGLA North East

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