Join our team fighting for LGBT+ Rights

The new Exec of LGBT+ Lib Dems is now entering its second month. We’ve got an exciting mix of returning experts and new voices, and I’m very lucky to have the opportunity to Chair the team. One of the key objectives that many Exec members discussed in their manifestos back in July, was the need for us to open up and reach out. That’s a priority for me for the rest of our term – and that’s why I’m writing in Lib Dem Voice today.

In our first month we’ve made a good start on the important work that needs to be done, from reviewing our systems and constitution, to getting ourselves organised for Federal Conference in September. We’ve also run our first Pride Inside to commemorate Manchester Pride and Pride Cymru, where we hosted a panel on how the Lib Dems can win back trust amongst LGBT+ voters, followed by an absolutely hilarious quiz.

We’ve also got our first members Pizza and Politics in the diary for 7th September, and are hosting a series of Forums with LGBT+ Councillors (these will initially take place on 3rd and 7th September). I’m deeply interested in what we can practically do to support LGBT+ representatives, candidates and activists, and I hope that these sessions will give us more items for our to-do list!

There are also a sizeable number of of policy issues confronting LGBT+ people around the world at the moment. To name a few, these include the ongoing fight for trans rights; increasing hostility to LGBT+ people in Poland; as well as enduring systemic inequality still facing LGBT+ people in areas such as access to health & social care, employment, mental health and housing.

There is unresolved business in our own party, too. One of the things I have been sad to hear when talking to LGBT+ members over the summer is how many feel that LGBT+ voices are not consistently listened to. I recognise this feeling – but have been reassured by the response I’ve received from our party’s MPs in the last week around this issue. In the next couple of weeks we will be meeting with our MPs to discuss the lives of LGBT+ people in the UK in 2020, and how we can better work together to tackle discrimination and secure dignity and justice for all.

As a team we’ve still got lots to do. We need to continue reaching out to all the party’s AOs, SAOs and regions; we need to get training and toolkits ready for activists; we need to map out next year’s Prides and big events; and we need to be looking ahead to make sure our policy on LGBT+ rights is fit for the future.

There is a lot of meaningful work to do. If you want to support us, have ideas on how we can best fight for LGBT+ rights, or just want to meet fellow LGBT+ Liberal Democrats, then join us at lgbt.plusld.org.uk/crm/join.

 

* Gareth Lewis Shelton is the new Chair of LGBT+ Liberal Democrats. You can find Gareth at @GarethLShelton on Twitter and get in touch at [email protected] Outside of politics Gareth is an entrepreneur working in the creative industries.

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One Comment

  • Antony Watts 4th Sep '20 - 7:57am

    Just a comment. Even inventing LGBT, or BLACK, or POOR any other slice of our human pie, we are creating this division.

    We must forget such isolationism and treat everyone the same. This is a moral issue not governmental or economic. It has not part in a political party. By all means hold your own views of the situation of other people, but do not base any “movement” on it.

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