Peter Tatchell – Official Biography
Although great progress has been made in repealing anti-gay laws in the UK, he is still campaigning to complete the unfinished battle for queer equality: for an end to the ban on same-sex marriage, action against homophobic hate crimes and bullying in schools, and the enforcement of the laws against inciting homophobia violence.
He is also supporting LGBT activists in many of the more than 70 countries that still totally outlaw lesbian and gay relationships, and which punish same-sexers with maximum penalties including flogging, life imprisonment and execution. This solidarity work has included support for queer activists in South Africa, Nepal, Iraq, Nigeria, Iran, Uganda, Malawi, Russia and Zimbabwe.
More than 40 years after first beginning his human rights campaigns, Peter Tatchell continues to campaign for the independence of the Western Sahara, Palestine, Baluchistan, and West Papua. He supports the struggles for democracy and human rights in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Burma, Columbia, Somaliland, Pakistan, Zimbabwe and elsewhere.
As well as opposing the war in Iraq and the post-war occupation, he has spoken out against US threats to attack Iran.
A high-profile campaigner in British politics for three decades, he opposes ID cards, nuclear weapons and energy, the privatisation of public services and the erosion of civil liberties by draconian anti-terror laws.
Believing that climate chaos is the biggest threat faced by humanity, he proposes a switch to renewable energy and, in particular, a coordinated international scientific endeavour to develop safe, clean, sustainable fuels for cars and planes.
He supports a fairer proportional voting system; and an elected head of state and upper house; as well as a written constitution and a bill of rights.
An opponent of animal-based medical research, on both scientific and humanitarian grounds, he urges major funding for an EU-wide effort to devise more reliable, effective and cruelty-free research technologies.
A radical anti-materialist and critic of the celebrity-obsessed consumer society, he advocates quality – not quantity – of life; arguing that ever-increasing personal income and material wealth is not the key to human happiness.
A strong proponent of economic democracy, he believes in the redistribution of economic power and wealth, in order to make Britain (and the world) a more economically democratic, participatory, inclusive, transparent, just and compassionate society.
Peter's ideas for economic democracy include a legal requirement for one-third employee and consumer directors on the boards of all private and public institutions with more than 50 staff, to defend the interests of employees and the wider public; trade union supervised administration of their members pension funds, in order to decentralise the control of capital and investment; staff rewards for increased productivity in the form of new share issues, payable into a share fund for the collective benefit of all employees; legal rights and low-cost loans to enable employees to convert businesses into cooperatives; and bonuses for frontline public and private sector staff who devise efficiency savings without damaging product and service provision. He also advocates making corporate recklessness and negligence a criminal offence, to reign in big business cowboys and to ensure more prudent economic decision-making.
From the late 1970s onwards, he called for a single, comprehensive, all-inclusive Equal Rights Act to harmonise the uneven patchwork of equality legislation, to ensure equal treatment and non-discrimination for everyone.
Peter has proposed an internationally-binding UN Human Rights Convention enforceable through both national courts and the International Criminal Court; a permanent rapid-reaction UN peace-keeping force with the authority to intervene to stop genocide and war crimes; and a global agreement to cut military spending by 10 percent to fund the eradication of hunger, disease, illiteracy, unemployment and homelessness in the developing world.
For many years, Peter Tatchell wrote regular columns for The Guardian’s Comment is Free website. Read his archived articles here:
In 2007, he hosted a weekly online TV current affairs programme, Talking With Tatchell, which has since been archived at http://www.veoh.com/search/videos/q/tatchell
He is the author of over 3,000 published articles and six books, including The Battle for Bermondsey (Heretic Books), Democratic Defence – A Non-Nuclear Alternative (Heretic Books/GMP) and We Don't Want To March Straight - Masculinity, Queers & The Military (Cassell).