Introducing LGBT+ Liberal Democrats

lGBT+ lib dems logoNew members have been asking about Lib Dem organisations that they can join.  You are welcome to submit similar items on behalf of other organisations.

The Liberals were the first party to support gay rights in a general election manifesto. The Lib Dems opposed Section 28 from the start, were the first to call for legal gender recognition for trans people, literally wrote the law on civil partnerships and were the first major party to support same-sex marriage, which was pushed through in Government by Lynne Featherstone as Equalities minister.

It’s clear that as a party we’ve always been there for LGBT+ people, and we always will. Liberalism is inherently opposed to conformity, and our party is constitutionally supportive of people regardless of gender orsexuality. However, there is room for an organisation which proactively advances the cause of equality and liberation.

LGBT+ Lib Dems, like its predecessor organisations, exists to promote the needs of LGBT+ people. We have ensured that the Lib Dems have been ahead of professional organisations such as Stonewall. As a recognised party body we submit policy straight to the Conference floor. We help the Lib Dems get the details right to make the best difference to LGBT+ peoples’ lives.

Our other duty is to promote the Lib Dems’ record of action and promise of more to the LGBT+ communities. We run national petitions and campaigns, and provide leaflets, petitions and stickers to local and regional parties to distribute at Pride events all around the country.

We’re funded by membership subscriptions and donations, which pays for our communications, our Conference fringes, our members-only twice-yearly strategy conferences, and for our election fighting fund. In 2015 we supported six MPs who had excelled in support for LGBT+ people above the party’s high standards – Julian Huppert, Lynne Featherstone, John Leech, Stephen Gilbert, Jo Swinson and StephenWilliams. We arranged fundraising and donations, but also encouraged campaigning and phone banking.

We have delivered in Government, but we are used to leading the agenda from Opposition as well. Whether it’s gender-neutral passports, blood donation based on science not stigma, tackling LGBT+ phobia in sport or better funding for Gender Identity Clinics, LGBT+ Lib Dems will be leading the Lib Dems as pioneers for equality, just as the Lib Dems have led UK politics for decades.

We hope you can join us and hope to see you at our all-members Summer Strategy Conference in Manchester on 4th July.

* Dave Page is an activist from Manchester and one of the founders of Liberal Democrats to Revoke Article 50.

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5 Comments

  • One of my strongest memories of the 2015 election campaign was when Sal Brinton posted on facebook a link to an interview with Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett, parliamentary candidate in Vauxhall, in which he spoke of his experience of being gay and becoming HIV+. He came over as very genuine, but it also struck me that many political parties and organistions would try to hide that story. Instead, seeing Sal as party president, supporting him and celebrating him had me proud to be a Liberal Democrat.

  • Everyone seems to be claiming credit!
    There have always been people in other parties who helped, some, but not all waiting until It was fashionable.
    And I have come across gay friends who were treated badly in the past by midlands Labour parties.
    It is amusing to see the rush for credit. I hope this means more settled and happy lives.

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