John Bercow, the speaker of the House of Commons, proudly declared that “trans rights are human rights” at the 2019 PinkNews Awards.
Bercow took to the stage to accept a Special Award in recognition of his tireless support of LGBT issues during his 22-year political career.
He was honoured by his US counterpart, speaker Nancy Pelosi, who called him “a steadfast ally and a committed fighter in the struggle to end discrimination and honour the dignity and worth of every human being”.
In his acceptance speech, Bercow recalled the journey to legalising same-sex marriage, and compared this to the current struggle faced by trans and non-binary people today.
“From the criminalisation of a type of love 50 years ago to almost complete legal equality today, that is one hell of a journey,” he said.
“But as others have noted, I feel I must acknowledge that there is still work to be done, work to be done on trans rights, because trans rights are human rights.”
His words were met with a tremendous applause from the audience of LGBT advocates, celebrities and politicians.