Baroness Liz Barker writes…Why Liberal Democrats should be out and proud in 2015

Next Saturday the LGBT community will celebrate Pride in London.

There has been a kerfuffle about whether UKIP should be allowed to attend. Of course they should. In this country the LGBT community is strong enough to be inclusive, to involve all sorts of minorities.  Moreover several hours in which to challenge the absurdity of being an LGBT member of UKIP – preferably through the media of song and interpretive dance – is a gift too good to be spurned.

This year the march will be led by Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners; an organisation of which many young people were unaware until they saw the film Pride. Do get the DVD. It is well worth a watch.  The presence of LGSM (as it said on the collecting buckets) is a timely reminder of how easily political fortunes can change and memories fade.

So this year it is more important than ever that Liberal Democrats have a visible presence at Pride events around the UK.  Our record in LGBT equality has always been outstanding – even if Stonewall refuses to say so. In government we stuck to our principles and brought in Same Sex Marriage.  It would not have happened without us. In DfID, Lynne and Lindsay fought hard to make LGBT equality a central factor in UK aid programmes and foreign policy.   However, be in no doubt that, as part of their plan to eradicate Liberal Democrats in our remaining council and parliamentary seats, the Tories and Labour will airbrush us out of the picture and claim the credit.  

We have worked hard, often in the face of adversity, to gain respect for our unswerving commitment to diversity. Our next leader must have an unequivocal commitment to equalities and inclusion. Together we need to build a Liberal Democrat vision of diverse, inclusive communities which appeals to future generations.

Meanwhile, let’s show our ongoing commitment to equality, by making a fabulous noise this summer.  Join LGBT+ in Baker Street at 12 on Saturday June 27th and get details of other Pride events around the country from the LGBT+ website and Facebook pages.

Happy Pride.

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2 Comments

  • Will Pride in London demonstrate against the horrific treatment of gays by Daesh? Why has the gay community been so silent on this but vociferous because a baker would not make a cake?

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