PinkNews homepage, April 2012
Type of site
Online newspaper
Available inEnglish
Created byBenjamin Cohen
LaunchedJuly 2005 (2005-07)
Current statusActive

PinkNews is a UK-based online newspaper marketed to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning community (LGBTQ+) in the UK and worldwide. It was founded by Benjamin Cohen in July 2005.

It closely follows political progress on LGBTQ+ rights around the world, and carries interviews with cultural figures and politicians. The news is split into different sections, with most recent, prominent and trending stories showing on the home page by default. People can filter news by the sections they have most interest in, including: transgender, entertainment, world, politics, arts, and opinion.

PinkNews pays special attention to the topic of religion and homosexuality. It became one of the few LGBTQ+ publications to have interviewed an incumbent Archbishop of Canterbury in 2014, when Justin Welby discussed the Church of England's approach to homosexuality.[1]

PinkNews runs the PinkNews Awards, which launched in 2013 and take place annually in Westminster. The awards, which are voted on by the public alongside a panel of judges,[2] honour the work of LGBTQ+ activists in the field as well as political speakers and businesses. Previous high-profile PinkNews Awards winners include John Bercow,[3] Nick Clegg,[4] Richard Branson,[5] Ed Miliband,[5] Alex Salmond[5] and David Cameron.[6]


PinkNews was founded by Benjamin Cohen in July 2005.[7][8] A paper version, The PinkNews was officially launched in 2006.[9] However, PinkNews became an online-only publication when the print edition was dropped in 2007.[citation needed]

In 2018, PinkNews became the first LGBTQ+ publisher on Snapchat. It had an operating profit of £2million in 2021.[10] The website was redesigned in 2022. New filtering features were also added to its app in an attempt to counter news avoidance due to negative reporting.[7]

Editorial policy and interviews with politicians

The editorial stance of PinkNews is not to campaign in a partisan manner, although it does interview politicians and has a pro-LGBTQ+ stance. PinkNews does not endorse political parties in elections, but in previous elections has endorsed individual politicians regardless of party "based on their stance on gay rights issues."[11]

To date PinkNews has published articles by six British Prime Ministers: John Major,[12] Tony Blair,[13] Gordon Brown,[14] David Cameron,[15] Theresa May,[16] and Boris Johnson. PinkNews has also interviewed other political figures in the United Kingdom, including Nick Clegg[14] and Jeremy Corbyn, who has also written for the paper.[17][18] On 2 January 2020, UK MP Layla Moran revealed in an interview with PinkNews that she is pansexual; she is believed to be the first UK parliamentarian to come out as pansexual.[19][20]

News International legal threat

In 2006, two tabloid newspapers, the News of the World and The Sun, published a false story about two Premiership footballers having a gay orgy with a DJ. Although the News of the World did not name any of them, it used a pixelated photograph of footballer Ashley Cole to illustrate the story. PinkNews published what it claimed to be the unpixelated original photograph. Cole, along with the DJ, Masterstepz, sued these tabloids' parent company News International and won at least £100,000 plus legal costs.[21] News International threatened to pursue PinkNews, under the Civil Liability (Contribution) Act 1978, for a share in these costs, but did not in the end follow through. If they had, PinkNews would have been closed down, as it was just a startup at the time.[22]

Relationship with Stonewall

PinkNews reported heavily on the refusal of Stonewall, an LGBTQ+ rights group, to actively campaign for gay marriage.[23] Stonewall's then Chief Executive Ben Summerskill suggested "it would cost a staggering £5 billion to implement", a figure later seized upon by opponents of same-sex marriage despite its lack of factual basis. The rift came to a head at Liberal Democrats conference in 2010, where Summerskill argued that "there are lots of lesbians who actually don't want marriage". The event was attended by Lynne Featherstone, the minister for equality; Evan Harris, president of Liberal Democrat LGBT+ group DELGA; and Steve Gilbert, the Lib Dem MP, all of whom said they supported same-sex marriage. A poll commissioned by PinkNews and answered by more than 800 of their readership found 98% in support of marriage equality, with many comments calling for Summerskill's resignation.[23] Stonewall was also criticised by a former founder, Michael Cashman, MEP, over its policy.[23]

Summerskill later accused PinkNews of running an "unethical campaign" against Stonewall after asking every LGBT organisation and political group to outline their stance on the issue, with only Stonewall refusing to comment. In October 2010, Stonewall revised its policy and agreed to support same-sex marriage, stating "Stonewall is pleased to be widening its campaigning objectives to include extending the legal form of marriage to gay people".[24][25]

PinkNews also regularly reported on criticism of Stonewall for its refusal to campaign on transgender issues.[26] PinkNews has collaborated closely with Stonewall following the departure of Summerskill in 2014. A year later, under Chief Executive Ruth Hunt, Stonewall decided to begin campaigning on transgender issues.[27]

In 2017, Stonewall and PinkNews co-hosted an election hustings,[28] and Ruth Hunt has written for PinkNews on a number of occasions.[29]

Advertising and support

See also


  1. ^ Cohen, Benjamin (13 May 2014). "Archbishop of Canterbury: It's 'great' that equal marriage is the law of the land". PinkNews. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
  2. ^ "The nominees for the fifth annual PinkNews Awards". PinkNews. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  3. ^ Kentish, Benjamin (16 October 2019). "Nancy Pelosi presents John Bercow with LGBT rights award". The Independent. Retrieved 17 October 2019.
  4. ^ "Nick Clegg receives a Pink News award for equal marriage - GOV.UK". Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  5. ^ a b c "The PinkNews Awards Winners and Nominees in full". PinkNews. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  6. ^ Davies, Caroline (26 October 2016). "David Cameron gets award for introducing same-sex marriage". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  7. ^ a b Tobitt, Charlotte (12 December 2022). "Pink News tackles news avoidance with positive news filter". Press Gazette. Retrieved 13 December 2022.
  8. ^ Cohen, Benjamin (30 July 2007). "Comment: How changed the gay media". PinkNews. Retrieved 15 January 2023.
  9. ^ Shoffman, Marc (29 June 2006). "The Pink News launches new gay era". PinkNews.
  10. ^ Tobbit, Charlotte (1 September 2022). "Pink News CEO on how £2m profit LGBTQ+ brand resonates with Gen Z". Press Gazette. Retrieved 9 November 2022.
  11. ^ "Pink News editorial policy". PinkNews. Retrieved 4 April 2012.
  12. ^ "Sir John Major: We should remember those who have fought for a more accepting Britain". PinkNews. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  13. ^ Blair, Tony (5 December 2005). "We are living in a new age of equality". PinkNews.
  14. ^ a b Luft, Oliver (28 July 2010). "Pink News five years on: 'revenue could rise ten-fold'". Press Gazette. Archived from the original on 10 September 2012. Retrieved 21 December 2011.
  15. ^ Cameron, David (23 June 2011). "Why It's vital to kick homophobia out of sport". PinkNews.
  16. ^ "Theresa May writes for PinkNews on the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act". PinkNews. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  17. ^ Roberts, Rachel (12 June 2017). "Theresa May appoints Justice Secretary opposed to LGBT rights". The Independent. Retrieved 18 June 2017.
  18. ^ Jeremy Corbyn: Much more needs to be done to tackle homophobia in our society. PinkNews. Published 26 July 2017. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  19. ^ Duffy, Nick (2 January 2020). "Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran comes out as pansexual: 'Pan is about the person, not the gender'". PinkNews. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  20. ^ "Layla Moran: Lib Dem MP announces she is pansexual". BBC News. 3 January 2020. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  21. ^ Brook, Stephen (26 June 2006). "England star wins libel payout over sex slur". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
  22. ^ Park, James (9 July 2011). "How the News of the World threatened PinkNews after Ashley Cole expose". Retrieved 22 May 2012.
  23. ^ a b c Reeves, Andrew (28 September 2010). "What does Stonewall want if it isn't gay marriage?". Archived from the original on 8 June 2013. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  24. ^ "Stonewall undermines campaign for gay marriage". Peter Tatchell. Archived from the original on 4 December 2010. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
  25. ^ Geen, Jessica (27 October 2010). "Stonewall says it will campaign for gay marriage". Retrieved 22 May 2012.
  26. ^ "Celebs split over trans protest at Stonewall Awards". PinkNews. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  27. ^ "Stonewall announces it will now campaign for trans rights too". PinkNews. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  28. ^ "General Election 2017: Stonewall LGBT hustings sells out". PinkNews. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  29. ^ "Ruth Hunt · PinkNews". PinkNews. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  30. ^ "C4EM supporters". C4EM. Archived from the original on 2 January 2013. Retrieved 4 April 2012.
  31. ^ "Peter Tatchell Day declared". Rainbow Forum LGBT Group. Archived from the original on 25 February 2012. Retrieved 4 April 2012.
  32. ^ "Peter Tatchell Day poem". PinkNews. 24 January 2012. Retrieved 4 April 2012.
  33. ^ Gray, Stephen. "Video: Coalition for Equal Marriage releases beautiful viral campaign film". Archived from the original on 1 January 2013. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
  34. ^ "Comment: I hope my Equal Marriage film wakes us all up to support changing the law". Archived from the original on 24 June 2017. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
  35. ^ "Out4Marriage". Retrieved 26 July 2015.
  36. ^ Grice, Andrew (24 May 2012). "Home Secretary Theresa May records video declaring full support for gay marriage". The Independent. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
  37. ^ Guardian, The (24 May 2012). "Theresa May records video in support of gay marriage – video". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 May 2012.