Tag Archives: lgbt+ lib dems

Liberal Democrats react to Transgender Equality Report

Today’s publication of the Transgender Equality Report by the Commons Women and Equality Committee should lead to some big improvements to services and better rights for transgender people. It has some useful recommendations around health services – ensuring, for example, that GPs have sufficient training in how they should treat transgender people. The Committee certainly seems to have listened to many of the concerns put to them.

Their approach to the spousal veto question was more cautious than I would have liked. They basically said that it needed more consideration but didn’t recommend doing away with it, even though they accepted that a spouse could stand in the way of a transgender person getting their legal recognition. However, if the law is changed to abolish that cumbersome process, as the Committee. This is a big step forward:

In place of the present medicalised, quasi-judicial application process, an administrative process must be developed, centred on the wishes of the individual applicant, rather than on intensive analysis by doctors and lawyers.

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Four priorities for LGBT+ in 2016

New chair of LGBT+, Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett has set out 4 priorities for the organisation in the coming year in his New Year message. They are:

Mental health

We know that suicides amongst LGBT+ people are at their highest, and that bullying and harassment leads to a myriad issues, from drug, sex and alcohol addiction, chemsex, lack of happiness, isolation and body image expectations. Where there are potential solutions like the use of PReP, or new Hep C drugs available, especially when HIV diagnoses are increasing, we need to lobby governments to tell pharmaceutical companies to make these medications available to those who are at risk and need that support.

International aid and asylum

 I’m proud to say that the Lib Dems set out our policy against the deportation of LGBT+ asylum seekers way back in 2008, and this policy made it to our 2010 manifesto and the Coalition Agreement. However, when the Tories took over the Home Office from Labour, they continued to send people back to countries where they may be persecuted, prisoned or killed. Our asylum system still sees it fit to probe people’s personal lives to try and determine whether their sexuality is genuine. I still find that hard to stomach; essentially you are asking someone to prove they are LGBT+ when in those countries the public knowledge of this may lead to perilous circumstances. Would we like our personal stories to be forensically detailed just to prove we love someone of the same sex?

Posted in LibLink | 2 Comments

Jo Swinson marks Bisexual Visibility Day

Bisexual Pride Flag23 September every year is Bi Visibility Day. Why, I hear you ask, do we need such a thing in these tolerant and accepting times? Didn’t we just pass same sex marriage?

Well, actually, there is still a fair amount of homophobia around. And if you are bisexual, you can actually experience  discrimination even from within the LGBT community.

A couple of years ago, The Bisexuality Report produced by the Open University and contributed to by LGBT+ Lib Dems’ Jen Yockney gave a snapshot of what life can be like for bisexual people in the UK. Many of its recommendations aim to tackle marginalisation of bisexual people and to promote a wider understanding of the specific problems they face.

Last year on Bisexual Visibility Day, LGBT+ Lib Dems’ Dave Page wrote an excellent post in which he outlined why this day is needed:

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Last chance to respond to Scottish Equal Marriage consultation

At almost the 11th hour, I have submitted my views to the Scottish Parliament’s Equalities Committee which will be considering Scotland’s Marriage and Civil Partnership Bill.

The deadline is today, so you really need to get on with it. The “other side” will make sure that they get their point of view across so it’s really important that the Committee hears from those in support.

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The Liberal Democrat Equal Marriage Act Roll of Honour

mark and ros at equal marriage vigilAs the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill receives Royal Assent and becomes an Act, which I’m reliably informed will be around now. I thought it would be a good idea to celebrate those people in the Liberal Democrats whose work made it happen. I know that such an endeavour is fraught with danger because I am bound to leave somebody out and they will be upset, or hate me forever, or both, but I thought it was worth the risk – and if I do …

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A victory for equality: 3 pieces of news about the same sex marriage bill

I thought it might be useful to do a quick catch-up on various aspects of the parliamentary debate on same sex marriage which took place on Monday and Tuesday.

How did Liberal Democrat MPs vote on the Third Reading?

There were no huge surprises – and given that 11 had voted on an amendment, which was defeated, to give registrars an opt out from marrying same sex couples on religious grounds, the fact that only 4 actually voted against the Third Reading was better than some had expected. Simon Hughes and Tim Farron were two high profile abstainers. They clearly struggled with …

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Opinion: Lib Dem MPs: Vote for equality, human rights and love today

The culmination of more than three years of heartfelt campaigning by the LGBT+ Lib Dems finally comes to the final hurdle in the House of Commons battle for equal marriage this week, with votes today and tomorrow.

It will sadly see the ultimate opportunity for those MPs who remain implacably behind the times in opposition to equality and fairness in the United Kingdom to block progress. It is also the opportunity for the sun to shine on those MPs who vote in favour of equality, fairness, human rights, respect and love. LGBT+ people want to celebrate and share their love just …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 32 Comments
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