On behalf of lesbian and gay asylum seekers, Lord (Eric) Avebury has been tireless in raising awareness of the perverse situation whereby countries in which gay men and lesbians are known to be persecuted are nonetheless deemed ‘safe’ by the Home Office.
On wider immigration issues, he led a great deal of the UK Borders Bill. The automatic deportation provisions, for example, would have received little scrutiny without him.
On the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill, he was one of the few, if not the only one, to raise concerns about 'Special Immigration Status', which places asylum seekers who are not protected by the Refugee Convention, but cannot be returned to their countries of origin, in permanent limbo and destitution.
Lord Avebury has been consistently vocal on welfare of children and detainees.
It was under the wing of Stonewall in 1993, while Angela Mason CBE, was it's Director, that the original Stonewall Immigration Group was formed.
A lifelong campaigner for equality and human rights, Angela led campaigns for the equalisation of the age of consent, lifting the ban on lesbians and gays in the armed forces, the Civil Partnership Act and the repeal of Section 28.
In 2003, Angela was appointed Head of the Women and Equality Unit, based in the Dept. for Communities and Local Government. In this post she was responsible for the Civil Partnership Act and the Equality Act, setting up the Commission for Equality and Human Rights, as well as leading a major review of all discrimination law with a view to developing the Single Equality Bill.
Angela is currently National Adviser for Equalities and Cohesion at the Improvement and Development Agency for local government (IDeA).
Lord (Waheed) Alli, received the accolade "Politician of the Year" in the Stonewall - Barclays awards 2008.
TV producer, entrepreneur and politician, Lord Alli was made a Life Peer in 1988. At age 34 he became the youngest and first openly gay peer in Parliament. He took a prominent role in the battle over the age of consent and the campaign to repeal Section 28.
During the debate preceding a crucial vote on the age of consent in April 1999, Lord Alli spoke thus in the House of Lords: "I have never been confused about my sexuality. I have been confused about the way I am treated as a result of it. The only confusion lies in the prejudice shown, some of it in this house, and much of it enshrined in the law. In tonight's vote I should like your Lordships to speak out for me and millions like me, not because you agree or disagree or because you approve or disapprove, but because if you do not protect me in this House you protect no one."