MICHAEL Cashman – a patron of the UK's Pink Triangle Trust, former Labour MEP and one-time British soap actor – has been made a Lord.
Cashman was one of a number of working peers appointed last week, and will add to the House of Lord's current membership of 770.
Having served as a Labour MEP for 15 years, the 63-year-old officially stepped down at this year's European Parliament election, having served his Midlands European constituency from 1999 till 2014.
Cashman said his appointment to the Lords was an "honour" and that he realised it was an "enormous responsibility," too.
It's a huge and humbling honour. I just wish my old Mum and Dad were alive to witness it. I will take this enormous responsibility with me in everything that I do.
It's a huge opportunity to speak out about the things that I'm passionate about: equality, human rights, inhumanity, and international development.
Michael Cashman has, for many years campaigned on the issue of gay rights and, in 1989, together with Sir Ian McKellen and a number of others, helped set up Stonewall, a national UK gay-rights organisation.
Today, he is a patron of the UK's only gay humanist charity, the Pink Triangle Trust (PTT), which was set up in 1992. The trust publishes the quarterly Pink Humanist magazine.