Tag Archives: lgbt equality

Vince: I strongly disagree with Tim Farron – and other Lib Dem reaction

Vince Cable has responded to Tim Farron’s interview today with a strongly worded tweet:

Party President Sal Brinton agreed:

Scottish Lib Dem Leader Willie Rennie endorsed this view as well:

Other senior Liberal Democrats stepped up with similar, straightforward arguments:

Our Deputy Leader:

 

Former Lib Dem Lords Leader Jim Wallace had this to say:

Christine Jardine reaffirmed her commitment to campaigning for LGBT+ rights:

Liz Barker also endorsed Vince’s tweets and particularly mentioned LGBT Christians:

And Brian Paddick revealed more about his resignation from Tim Farron’s shadow cabinet earlier this year.

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LGBT+ Lib Dems Acting Chair praises Tim Farron’s record on LGBT equality

An awful lot of people that I love depend on a world where LGBTI people have proper equality. I need my leader to be able to speak up for the young transgender person so that they can feel confident that someone is on her side and understands what she needs to be able to live a happy and fulfilling life, who gets that you you are unlikely to meet your potential if you are being bullied for being gay, and how important it is that you have a good support network. I need a leader who speaks out for LGBT rights locally, nationally and internationally. In Tim Farron, I have a leader I can absolutely trust on that score.

Mischief-making Labour people, seeking to comfort themselves at the prospect of the oncoming slaughter for them, have been having a go at Tim on Twitter on this subject.

Those of us who know that Tim is sound have been saying so. And you’d think that the acting chair of LGBT+ Liberal Democrats, Jennie Rigg, would have something interesting to say on the subject. And she does. And, as you would expect from her, she does not mince her words.

Dear media people,

I see that, thanks to Cathy Newman’s interview last night, the thorny theological topic of Sin has raised its ugly head once more.

Let me get this right out in the beginning: I don’t give a fig what Tim Farron’s religious beliefs are. You know why? Because I am a Liberal. He could believe the sky is made from Puff the Magic Dragon’s bumfluff, and I wouldn’t care one jot, whit or iota. What I do care about, and care deeply about, is
How Tim Farron votes in parliament

How he treats people – LGBT+ people in particular – in everyday life

So lets do a little list of things which illustrate how Tim Farron views LGBT people:

With one exception, Tim Farron voted fully in favour of same sex marriage. The one time he abstained? That was because he was trying to get an amendment passed on the Spousal Veto, a really nasty little clause which shafts trans people. Yep, that’s right, even the time he abstained was because he was fighting for LGBT+ rights, not against them.

He was the first party leader to issue a statement on the gay concentration camps in Chechenya. He condemned them in the strongest terms. And while the Greens have since joined in, none of the Tories, Labour, or UKIP have.

He campaigned against section 28 from its inception, and thinks that refusing people service for their sexuality (like bakeries not baking cakes for gay marriages) is unchristian.

He spoke out on the blood donation ban (I’m still banned from giving blood, by the way – because I have had sexual relations with bisexual men).

He has campaigned tirelessly for the rights of trans women in prisons, and trans issues in general. When we had a trans rights motion before conference, he was there at 9.30am in the front row to vote for it. Not because of the cameras – there were no cameras – but because he is enthusiastic about LGBT+ rights, and not just G rights with a smattering of L like many politicians.

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Lib Dem MBE Jen Yockney talks about discrimination faced by bisexual people

Last year Manchester Lib Dem Jen Yockney won the first MBE for services to the bisexual community. In the current issue of Big Issue North, she features in an article about bisexual people, highlighting the discrimination that they face, even within the LGBT community itself.

For example bi people earn less than their lesbian and gay peers. We are more likely to experience domestic violence and stalking than our gay friends. And we are less likely to feel we can be out at work – bi men are about four times less likely to be out at work, and given the impact on your income you might argue they are sensible to be cautious.

Despite the myth of bisexuality as a stepping stone towards coming out as gay or lesbian, Yockney says that at the Biphoria group as many attendees previously thought of themselves as gay as those who had considered themselves straight.

When I was first coming out 25 years ago the received wisdom was that bisexuality was kind of half gay, with an implication of having half the struggle, half the problems. That never made sense to me. After all, you never got half queerbashed! If you’ve a strong, secure sense of yourself as bi you can get through that but it’s silencing for a lot of people. And because you can’t tell by looking, that silencing makes bi people much more isolated.

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Anthony Lester on how Lib Dems and liberal politics have influenced progress of gay rights in UK

Yesterday in the House of Lords, Lib Dem peer Anthony Lester spoke about the Liberal Democrat involvement in changing the law, and, more importantly, public opinion on LGBT rights.

Here is his speech in full:

This year is the fiftieth anniversary of Leo Abse’s Private Member’s Bill that became the Sexual Offences Act 1967. It came ten years after the Wolfenden report recommended reform. The Act abolished the crime of sexual love between two men over the age of 21 in private.  It had crucial support from the then Home Secretary, Roy Jenkins.  But the path of reform has been long and tortuous and has required intervention from the European Court of Human Rights and the European Union.

The 1967 Act did not apply to Northern Ireland, and it required a judgment by the Strasbourg Court in Jeffrey Dudgeon’s case to persuade Parliament to abolish the offence in Northern Ireland.

The 1994 Act repealed the clauses in the 1967 Act that made homosexual activity in the armed forces and on merchant navy vessels a criminal offence. But clauses were introduced in this House that provided that nothing in the 1994 Act would prevent homosexual activity from constituting grounds for dismissal. The clauses were approved in Committee by a division on 20th June 1994.

The Strasbourg Court ruled in 2000 in Smith and Grady’s case that the provisions in the 1994 Act violated the right to respect for private life under a policy that involved investigating whether personnel were homosexual or had engaged in homosexual activity. If so, they were discharged.

EU employment equality directives and the Equality Act 2010 dealt with the problem. But the offending provisions remain disfiguring the statute book. As the Minister, Andrew Jones MP, said the Bill “addresses a historical wrong and the inadequacy of legislation to keep pace with out culture”.

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LibLink: Tim Farron on LGBT rights

 

As ever the Liberal Democrats are ahead of other parties when it comes to LGBT equality.

That is a quote from an article by Tim Farron in the Huffington Post titled The Tories Are Trailing Behind on Transgender Rights. 

In this post Tim argues that we still have some way to go but that public attitudes have noticably shifted in a positive direction. He refers to this poll in which 68% of respondents “say a person who was born male but has transitioned to become female should be housed in a women’s prison”.

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Farron: UK Government must push for better LGBT rights in the Commonwealth

Speaking to the Independent, Tim Farron has said that he’s disappointed that the Commonwealth Heads of Government Conference is not discussing the issue of LGBT rights.

But Tim Farron, the Liberal Democrat leader, said last night that the issue should have received greater prominence in Malta. He said: “Sadly, a majority of Commonwealth nations criminalise LGBT people, and in some places homosexuality still faces the death penalty.

The Government should have used the meeting in Malta to press commonwealth countries to live up to our collective values. We must be a beacon of human rights, tolerance and the defence of minorities. The British government must use our strong position to press the case for better LGBT rights in other Commonwealth nations.

Posted in Europe / International and News | Also tagged and | 4 Comments

LibLink: Norman Lamb MP.. I will stand up for LGBT rights as Lib Dem Leader

Tim Farron gave a major interview to Pink News a few weeks ago and now it’s the turn of Norman Lamb to lay out his views on LGBT issues.

He wrote for the site this week, starting off by reminding us that when he came into parliament, it was legal to discriminate against LGBT adoptive parents, section 28 was still in force, homophobic bullying was rife in school and LGBT couples were not allowed to get married (or even have a civil partnership).

It has been a privilege throughout that time to have had the chance to be part of the movement to change these profoundly homophobic laws that institutionalised bigotry, created misery and held back people’s freedom to love and thrive.

So far, my contribution to that change was as Health Minister in the Coalition government. I made the cause of equality for those suffering mental ill health a true NHS priority for the first time.

I recognise the impact of mental ill health on the LGBT community. I introduced the first maximum waiting times for mental health treatment.

I also worked to tackle the evil of gay ‘conversion therapy’, that treat people’s sexuality as a sickness rather than something to celebrate.

I proposed and secured the first ever memorandum of understanding with all the key bodies to commit clearly that this so called therapy has no place in a modern country.

There is, he argues, so much more to do:

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LoveProudly: An interview with Stephen Donnan about the fight for Marriage Equality in Ireland (North and South)

Tomorrow Ireland votes on whether to allow equal marriage. I recently interviewed Stephen Donnan who is one of the founders of LoveProudly , a grassroots group dedicated to marriage equality across all of Ireland. He is also a former Chair of the LGBT group in the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland.

Mathew: Stephen, tell us a bit about this new initiative.

Stephen: Well, basically, Mathew loveproudly was set up by myself and a number of other activists from Belfast, Dublin and elsewhere in Ireland to facilitate and support the calls for Equal Marriage in both Northern Ireland and in the Republic.

We want to promote and campaign for Marriage Equality and highlight the existing inequalities in the law in both jurisdictions, but in a positive and constructive way.

We don’t want to indulge in the campaign of fear and division; that isn’t what loveproudly is about and we want to follow in the example set by MarriageEquality and Equal Marriage NI.

MH: It sounds great, Stephen, so is this a cross-party campaign?

SD: It’s strictly independent of endorsing or being endorsed by any one political party.

I am not doing this within the confines of a political party, however we have had input and support from various political representatives across the spectrum and across the border.

MH: So what campaigning have you done and will you be doing?

SD: Our first aim was to get the message out about who we are and what we are aiming to achieve and I think we did that successfully when we launched on Valentine’s Day.

Our next step is formulating a plan with the two campaigns.

There is a Marriage Equality referendum in the Republic of Ireland on May 22nd and while we are optimistic we are still very far from an assured Yes vote.

We will be canvassing with the YesEquality campaign in the south and getting the word out on why a Yes vote is so crucial.

MH: How’s it looking in the Republic…and what influence has Equal Marriage having become law in England, Scotland and Wales had on people there?

SD: It is clear that we are living in changed times.

The recognition of same sex marriage in the rest of the UK, and in places as unimaginable as Slovenia and North Carolina, has had a massive impact on the debate here.

If Ireland and NI want to be seen as part of Europe, part of a diverse future where same-sex couples can celebrate their relationships freely and safely, then there’s nothing to lose from a Yes vote in the referendum.

Polls are showing that it will pass but that could lead to complacency and that would be fatal for us.

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LibLink: Nick Clegg: UKIP would rather turn the clock back on LGBT rights

rainbow flag on white background  : harvey milk plaza, san francisco (2012)In an article to mark today’s International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, Nick Clegg has told readers of Pink News what the Liberal Democrat MEPs have done for LGBT rights both within Europe and globally:

Your Liberal Democrat MEPs have already been fighting for the rights of the LGBT community in Europe. For example, they have supported a European Parliament campaign for the recognition of equal marriage, civil partnerships and cohabitation in EU countries, as well as for

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Liberals need to stand up against hate speech and prejudice. If we don’t, we condone it.

Over the last couple of weeks, several events have proved, as if we needed it to be proved, that hate speech and prejudice is alive and well in 21st century Britain.

Last week, Pink News reported  a disturbing, angry and hate-filled transphobic rant by Julie Burchill which appeared as a comment on an article by Paris Lees. Paris had written of her delight in being catcalled and wolf-whistled while on holiday in Ibiza and asked if that made her a bad feminist. Burchill’s reply seemed to be trying to make out that she was a bad human being.

I don’t …

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