DIVA was there, alongside Lord Chris Smith, tennis ace Billie
Jean King, current GT cover star Ben Cohen, Gareth Thomas, news
presenter Jane Hill and author Stella Duffy. Lesbian MP Margot
James was also present.
Following a performance by the London's Gay Men's Chorus, the
Prime Minister opened his speech with a well-received joke about
Sir Ian McKellen being "a queen".
"It's great to have this reception here today," he said. "Sir Ian
McKellen is here tonight, I think, and we had the Queen and Prince
Phillip here for lunch yesterday. Who can say they've had two of
Britain's most prominent queens over in 48 hours?"
He then went on to add that, although Britain was recently named
the best place in Europe to be gay, there is no room for
"I think it's a huge testament to the work of the last government
and what this government has done as well. It's also great to see
politicians from all parties here tonight.
"I want to say one thing that made me very proud in the House of
Commons today. It was a Conservative member of parliament who stood
up and congratulated the government and previous governments on the
reception tonight - that wouldn't have happened years ago. Ian
Stewart asked that question and I'm proud he did. I was proud to
answer that question. It shows that organisations can change and
welcome this agenda.
"It was a moment which made me proud."
The PM then went on to say that the large survey the government
has commissioned on transgender issues is also something they are
Members of Stonewall, the Albert Kennedy Trust and Pride sports
were also in attendance, as were leading sports teams and
Honouring this, the PM said the government should be doing "far
more" to encourage gay and lesbian sports players to come out. He
also added that bullying in schools is another priority - something
which he considers a "societal problem, not just a governmental
The Prime Minister also said he was pleased that the government
was maintaining its promise in offering economic aid to poor
"I think this is right morally because as a rich country, we
should be helping the poorest people in the world. But it also has
a spin-off benefit of giving us some moral authority in the world
to talk to other leaders and governments about our relationship
with them and what we expect from them.
"I'm very proud of the fact we [put] huge pressure on the leader
of Malawi about an issue in that country but I'm convinced we can
do more. We have got the ability to speak to African leaders,
African governments, about this issue that I know concerns everyone
here tonight. And it concerns me."
Following the speech, attendees networked and discussed the
future of gay people in sport - as well as the role of government
in implementing change.
Author Stella Duffy, a staunch Labour supporter, said she
attended despite her political persuasion because "there were
prople who needed to be introduced to each other in order to
Equalities Minister Lynn Feartherstone added that - regardless
of a person's political party preference - the very fact that the
PM held the event was, in itself, impressive.
"He's the Prime Minister for goodness sake!," she said. "It
doesn't get much bigger than that. This has the potential to have
Lord Chris Smith, a Labour MP for 22 years, added that the
coalition government's approach to LGBT issues is spot-on.
"There's no doubting that they are doing a good job. I may not
always agree with them on other policies, but on the matter of gay
equality they are spot-on."