Tag Archives: gay rights

Lynne Featherstone MP writes…A great leap backwards for gay rights

Uganda’s new anti-homosexuality legislation is abhorrent. It imposes draconian penalties for repeat offences of homosexuality, so-called ‘aggravated’ homosexuality, same-sex marriage, attempting to commit homosexuality and for the loosely defined ‘promotion’ of homosexuality. This is nothing short of a great leap backward – not just for Uganda but for gay rights across Africa. I believe it marks a growing state-backed homophobic trend across the continent, one we cannot and should not ignore.

From Day 1 in my role as Africa minister at the Department for International Development (DFID), strengthening the department’s LGBT rights strategy has been one of my top priorities. I …

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Lord Avebury writes… Gay asylum-seekers: we’ve come a long way, but much still left to achieve for LGBTI people around the world

It is estimated that worldwide more than 175 million people, some three times the population of the UK, are at risk of persecution because of their sexual orientation. Seventy-six countries criminalise consensual same sex relations, among them 54 countries of the Commonwealth.

Hatred against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people is deeply entrenched in the culture of these countries, and their elected governments reflect the prejudice of the masses. They know that persecuting LGBTI people is contrary to international law, and leads to friction with donor nations.

In the case of Gambia, when EU representatives were due to …

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Opinion: Let’s get case for Alan Turing pardon debated in Parliament

Today, I ask you as fellow Liberal Democrats to sign the Grant Alan Turing a Pardon petition on the number 10 website.

The petition reads:

“We ask the HM Government to grant a pardon to Alan Turing for the conviction of ‘gross indecency’. In 1952, he was convicted of ‘gross indecency’ with another man and was forced to undergo so-called ‘organo-therapy’ – chemical castration. Two years later, he killed himself with cyanide, aged just 41. Alan Turing was driven to a terrible despair and early death by the nation he’d done so much to save. This remains a shame on the

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Evan Harris writes… Lynne Featherstone delivers on Lib Dem equality pledge – a response to Peter Tatchell

“It’s a Coalition, innit!”

No one would accuse me – I hope – of a lack of commitment to LGBT equality. Nor would anyone  – I fear – of being a cheer-leader for the Government, nor indeed of slavish support for Liberal Democrats in Government. But I can not accept my friend Peter’s criticism of Lynne Featherstone set out in his article. I doubt many readers of Lib Dem Voice would do so either, because his failure to distinguish between “Liberal Democrat policy” and “Government policy” is schoolboy-obvious, and his attack thus falls as flat as a pancake that’s been …

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The Independent View | Peter Tatchell writes… Lib Dems should stick to their principles and urge Lynne not to renege on equality pledge

Bravo to the Liberal Democrat party conference. Two years ago, party members voted overwhelmingly to end the twin legal bans on same-sex civil marriages and opposite-sex civil partnerships. They committed a future Lib Dem government to scrap sexual orientation discrimination in marriage and partnership law. Well done. Thank you

Sadly, the Lib Dem Equality Minister, Lynne Featherstone, apparently with the support of the Lib Dem Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, is now actively backing discrimination. She plans to keep unequal laws, contrary to the Lib Dem’s election pledges.

Specifically, Lynne is vowing to retain the prohibition on heterosexual civil …

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Opinion: Mike Hancock has grave concerns for a gay constituent facing deportation to Uganda

Robert Segwanyi is a gay man from Uganda. Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda, and Robert was imprisoned and, he says, tortured because he is gay.

In June last year, he escaped and fled to Britain.

Now the UK Border Agency want to send him back.

UKBA does not accept he is gay and a judge rejected his appeal claiming that there is no risk to gay people in Uganda.

This is what Amnesty International said about Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Laws:

Both the current law and the proposed new law violate a number of human rights including the rights to equality and non-discrimination, privacy, liberty and

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LDVUSA: California’s Proposition 8 overturned

America’s gay rights activists were celebrating last night as a judge re-legalised gay marriage, making the latest step in the long-running battle in the US and the state of California.

Previously, legal gay marriage had been granted to Californians following successful legal challenge on discrimination grounds of the rules that meant marriage was only available to heterosexual couples.

Only after thousands of gay Californians had tied the knot did anti-gay activists manage to get a proposition on the ballot paper last to ask voters whether gay marriage should be disallowed.  By a narrow margin, Californians voted to end homogamy in their state …

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Hughes welcome Supreme Court ruling securing freedom from persecution for gay asylum seekers

Lib Dem deputy leader Simon Hughes has welcomed the Supreme Court’s ruling that two gay men who said they faced persecution in their home countries of Cameron and Iran have the right to asylum in the UK.

I am delighted this ruling recognises the rights of gay asylum seekers, ensuring their freedom from persecution around the world.

“This plight is one that my Liberal Democrat colleagues and I have campaigned on for years. It is an issue that the Coalition Government is committed to addressing as we seek to restore Britain’s reputation around the world as a leader in the

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Pink News comment: David Cameron and Nick Clegg’s shotgun civil partnership is best option for gay community

The piece says:

The electoral system, with its inherent unfairness for a party with widespread but not concentrated support like the Lib Dems was always going to end up with the Liberal Democrats in bed with either Labour or the Conservatives in a hung parliament.

The Liberal Democrats made the right choice in partner no matter how uncomfortable it feels to have a work and pensions secretary (Iain Duncan Smith) who disagreed with equal parental rights for lesbian couples, a Conservative party chairman who once claimed the abolition of section 28 meant children were being “propositioned” for gay relationships (Sayeeda Warsi), or

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“Labour is shunning gay Iraqis, asylum seekers”

That’s the headline on a comment piece run by Pink News:

As he launched Labour’s international LGBT manifesto last Wednesday, foreign secretary David Miliband made one howler, echoed by another in the manifesto’s text.

He said: “Under Labour the UK will continue to be a beacon of hope for LGBT people.”

This delusion sounded a lot like Home Office minister Phil Woolas’ article last year, when he wrote that he was proud of the attendees of the London Pride march who’d found sanctuary in the UK – never mind that his office would have refused them and fought tooth-and-nail to remove them.

The pair

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LibLink: Nick Clegg answers Pink News readers’ questions

Over at Pink News, Nick Clegg answers questions from its readers on gay marriage, homophobic violence, faith schools, LGBT asylum seekers, and many other political issues. Here’s a taster:


The number one question submitted by our readers was on whether Nick Clegg and his party support gay marriage. Mr Clegg said last month he supported civil partners calling themselves husband or wife but would he change the law to allow gay civil marriage?

Yes, I support gay marriage. Love is the same, straight or gay, so the civil institution should be the same, too. All couples should be able to make that

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Gay rights – what will you believe: the Tory spin or the Tory voting record?

Bless Nick Herbert: he’s doing his best today to make the claim that the Tories’ attitudes to homosexuality have changed, and that gay people should trust the party. The trouble is Nick has to contend with the reality of the Tories’ voting record – which, as the Lib Dems have pointed out, shows what the Tory party really believes.

The voting records of current Tory MPs who are standing again in 2010 show that:

  • One in six voted against the repeal of Section 28 in 2003 – including David Cameron and a third of the Tory shadow cabinet;
  • One in

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What will Cameron do next – as Polish friends show their prejudice once more?

Last week, LibDem Voice brought the news of Nick Clegg’s commitment to full rights and equality for gay, lesbian, transexual and transgendered people. In an article entitled ‘Clegg calls for full gay equality – what will Cameron do?’ it explained how Nick Clegg had ‘laid down the gauntlet to the Tory leader David Cameron to justify his ‘liberal Conservatism’ by following suit’.

Today comes another opportunity for Cameron to demonstrate his liberal conservative values. Twenty seven members of the Conservatives’ European Parliamentary allies, the Polish Law and Justice Party, are yet again targeting gays as they demand a government clampdown on paedophiles. Cameron …

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One-third of Cameron’s shadow cabinet opposed to gay rights

Nick Clegg made some waves this week by calling for full gay equality, and challenging the Tories and their leader David Cameron to follow his example. Well, now Lib Dem research has shown what an uphill battle the Tory leader will have on his hand even convincing his own shadow cabinet to back such moves – let alone his even more right-wing backbenchers – as The Guardian reports:

Nearly a third of David Cameron’s shadow cabinet voted against gay rights legislation at some point over the last two parliaments, demonstrating their “shameful” record in tackling discrimination, according to the

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Clegg calls for full gay equality – what will Cameron do?

Nick Clegg has taken the opportunity of an interview with The Independent’s Johann Hari for Attitude magazine to lay out a comprehensive range of measures to promote gay equality – and has laid down the gauntlet to the Tory leader David Cameron to justify his ‘liberal Conservatism’ by following suit.

Here’s how the paper summarises Nick’s proposals:

* Force all schools – including faith schools – to implement anti-homophobia bullying policies and teach that homosexuality is “normal and harmless”.

* Change the law to allow gay men and women the same marital rights as straight couples, including the symbolic right to use

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Daily View 2×2: 17 December 2009

Good morning, and welcome to Daily View. Today we’re wishing happy birthday to children’s author Jacqueline Wilson and commemorating the death of Dorothy L Sayers.

2 Must-Read Blog Posts

What are other Liberal Democrat bloggers saying? Here are two posts that have caught the eye from the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator:

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Daily View 2×2: 3 December 2009

Good morning and welcome to Daily View. With just 28 days until the end of a year, what an ideal time to hear Delia on Woman’s Hour and prepare for Christmas – whatever your gender.

Today is the anniversary both of Elvis’s ’68 Comeback Special and the awful Indian Bhopal disaster where, in 1984, a chemical leak killed thousands and injured hundreds of thousands. The Guardian has a photo series.

Today we also sing happy birthday to Eamonn Holmes and remember International Day of Disabled Persons.

2 Big Stories

Gays won’t go to heaven, says cardinal

Over in the Telegraph is the latest skirmish in the battle between Catholics and homosexuals.

“Transsexuals and homosexuals will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven and it is not me who says this, but Saint Paul,” said Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, 76. In remarks which outraged gay rights groups, he claimed that people were not born gay, but chose to embrace homosexuality of their own free will.

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Stop executions of gay Iraqis

Iraqi-LGBT reports that the administration in Iraq is about to begin executing gay Iraqis.

Urgent action is needed to halt the execution of 128 prisoners on death row in Iraq. Many of those awaiting execution were convicted for the ‘crime’ of homosexuality, according to IRAQI-LGBT, a UK based organisation of Iraqis supporting gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in Iraq.

According to Ali Hili of IRAQI-LGBT, the Iraqi authorities plan to start executing them in batches of 20 from this week.

IRAQI-LGBT urgently requests that the UK Government, Human Rights Groups and the United Nations Human Rights Commission intervene with due speed

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Recent Comments

  • User Avatarstuart moran 1st Sep - 5:24am
    Richard Dean Perhaps, but you have clearly failed to raise any points of worth, answered any questions and seem to be happy to follow whatever...
  • User AvatarAntony Hook 31st Aug - 11:54pm
    I remember in 2003 (after IDS resigned) the consensus was that is Davis stood he would have won the Tory leadership. But he decided to...
  • User AvatarRichard Dean 31st Aug - 11:52pm
    This is now definitely the Thread of the Big Waste of Time.
  • User Avatarstuart moran 31st Aug - 11:28pm
    Richard Dean A lot of times - why have you? Experience tells us there have been 57 deaths due to Islamic terrorism in the UK...
  • User AvatarRichard Dean 31st Aug - 11:06pm
    @stuart moran Experience is a good teacher. Have you actually ever done a risk assessment?
  • User Avatarstuart moran 31st Aug - 10:28pm
    Richard Dean In the end our responses to any potential hazard have to be based on statistics - it is how all risk assessment is...