A NEWLY reworded 'Rainbow Plaque' is to be unveiled at a York church later this month - following a storm of controversy surrounding the original tribute.

York Civic Trust was engulfed in a row in the summer over the plaque to Anne Lister at Holy Trinity Church in Goodramgate, because it referred to her as "gender nonconforming" rather than "lesbian".

The plaque commemorated Easter Sunday, 1834, when Anne received what she considered a blessing of her ‘marriage’ to the woman she regarded as her wife, Ann Walker. This was said to be a key moment in LGBT+ history, 180 years before same-sex marriage was legalised in England.

But the wording prompted strong criticism, with one person tweeting “please don’t ignore that Anne Lister was a lesbian” and an online petition against the wording gathered more than 2,000 signatures.

In November last year the trust said that while the plaque, which was also created by The Churches Conservation Trust, York LGBT Forum and York LGBT History Month, was "universally welcomed in principle", a review would be launched into the controversial wording.

The original plaque read: "Anne Lister 1791-1840. Gender-nonconforming entrepreneur. Celebrated marital commitment, without legal recognition, to Ann Walker in this church Easter, 1834."

However, a public consultation in November resulted in a 95% endorsement of the revised wording which, surrounded by the corrected rainbow, reads: "Anne Lister 1791-1840 of Shibden Hall, Halifax. Lesbian and Diarist; took sacrament here to seal her union with Ann Walker, Easter 1834."

The newly reworded plaque will be unveiled at Holy Trinity Church on Thursday, February 28, as a grand finale to York LGBT History Month.

The plaque steering group consulted on the wording with Anne Lister biographers including Helena Whitbread, Jill Liddington, Anne Choma, and Angela Clare who works at Shibden Hall.

The celebration is open to everyone and will start at the church at 1pm, with the plaque due to unveiled at 1.15pm.

At 2pm there will be a guided walk by Gerry Bell as “Anne Lister” round key places of interest in Anne’s life when she lived in York. At 3pm there will be a gathering in a private room at the Cross Keys pub in Goodramgate, with food and drink available to purchase.

You can find out more about Anne Lister and Helena Whitbread at https://www.annelister.co.uk/about-helena-whitbread