John Bercow stands down

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House of Commons Speaker John Bercow has announced that he will stand down as Speaker by the end of this month or even sooner, depending on when the elections will be called. Elected in 1997, the LGBT-supportive Speaker gained many supporters among MPs and average Brits. Although the holder of the office of Speaker is required to be politically independent, Bercow repeatedly stood up for LGBT+ rights during his decade in the prominent role and his resignation will come as a blow to LGBT+ advocates. He was one of those people thanking to whom unmarried and same-sex couples have become legally able to adopt in 2002. In 2009, he spoke out in favor of holding civil partnerships at the Palace of Westminster, saying: “So far as civil partnerships are concerned, I feel very strongly that this is a matter of equity and justice.” He has said he feels a duty to campaign on behalf of LGBT+ people, and in 2011 he helped launch two LGBT+ charities – Diversity Role Models, which is aimed at tackling homophobic bullying in schools, and Kaleidoscope Trust, a nonprofit organization that campaigns for LGBT+ people abroad.

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