Tag Archives: lgbt history month

We’ve come so far, but the fight for full equality for LGBT+ communities is far from being over

We’re now on the second day of LGBT History Month 2018.

One of the things that makes me most proud to be a Liberal Democrat is our record on LGBT+ rights and equality.

We have, indeed, always been there on these issues…leading the way, with pioneering policies and brave advocates.

From campaigning for an end to discriminatory legislation such as Section 28, which barred the ‘promotion’ of homosexuality in schools, to enacting Same Sex Marriage legislation during the 2010-15 Coalition Government (by far, in my humble opinion, the best thing we did in office)…thank you, Lynne Featherstone!

From LGBT+ Lib Dems, to activists, Councillors, Parliamentarians and Ministers, Lib Dems have, overwhelmingly, been on the right side of history when it comes to the need for full equality for all of our communities.

As a gay man, I’ll always be so, so proud that it was Lib Dems in government who helped to ensure I and millions like me became as near to fully equal under the law as we’ve ever been.

The Labour government which proceeded the Coalition also deserves a good deal of credit on this agenda, to be fair.

But until everyone is equal, none are equal.

We must remember that in one part of these islands, Northern Ireland, Same Sex Marriage is still illegal…as the DUP, which props up the UK Tory government, continues to block progressive change in the province.

And until trans and non-binary folks are respected and made equal under the law, then we Lib Dems still have much work to do.

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LGBT History Month

Today is the start of LGBT History Month, marked in the UK since 2005 to raise the visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, their history, lives and their experiences.

In 2017, there was a clear unifying anniversary of fifty years since the partial decriminalisation for part of the UK of sex between men – enabled by then Home Secretary Roy Jenkins, whose political career took him from Labour minister via SDP leader to the Lib Dem green benches.

2018 has key round-number dates too, though: forty years since the …

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Tim Farron welcomes LGBT History Month

February is LGBT History Month, a chance to celebrate those campaigners who have made such a  difference for LGBT rights and a chance to remember all those who suffered as a result of repressive attitudes and laws. When I was growing up, I was heartbroken to hear accounts of long-term partners being frozen out of hospital visiting or funeral arrangements by family members who didn’t recognise their relationship. You could live with someone for decades and have no rights when they were ill or when they died.

It looks as though the US may be about to enter a period when these hard-won rights are cast aside and we’ll have new examples of the effects of harsh and cruel intolerance. There are numerous examples of repressive regimes where LGBT people face death or imprisonment. In this country, hate crime is on the increase. The road to equality across the world is still being built and it’s important that we all do our bit to help.

I am constantly awestruck at the courage of some of my friends, who took risks when same sex sexual activity was still illegal (officially until 1980 in Scotland) to support others and to lay the foundations for the much more welcoming environment we have today. Scotland is one of the best places in the world to be LGBT these days and it’s due to people like my friend Gregan Crawford, who is now Edinburgh Lib Dems’ Master of All Things Connect (seriously, he makes the best delivery runs EVER).

Anyway, here is his account of an International Gay Rights Congress which took place in Edinburgh in 1974 which ended up with 2000 people marching on the BBC:

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Who are your LGBT heroes?

February is LGBT History Month so I thought it might be a good idea to talk about our LGBT heroes. Let us know in the comments who you admire and why.

Here are three of mine to start us off.

First of all, Dr Meg John Barker, who is an academic specialising in gender identity, sexuality and relationships. From their Open University profile:

Meg John is a senior lecturer in psychology at the Open University and has published many academic books and papers on topics including non-monogamous relationships, sadomasochism, counselling, and mindfulness, as well as co-editing the journal Psychology & Sexuality. They were the lead author of The Bisexuality Report – which has informed UK policy and practice around bisexuality. They are involved in running many public events on sexuality and relationships, including Sense about Sex, Critical Sexology, and Gender & Sexuality Talks. Meg John is also a UKCP accredited therapist working with gender and sexually diverse clients. Meg John’s 2013 book Rewriting the Rules is a friendly guide love, sex and relationships

I find their blog, Rewriting the Rules, a really useful learning resource, written in an engaging and interesting way.

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Let’s celebrate LGBT history month

LGBT history monthLGBT History Month is a wonderful opportunity for us all to celebrate LGBT’s contribution to society and promote a more equal and diverse society which benefits us all.

The Liberal Democrats have been steadfast in campaigning for LGBT equality and inclusion working with a variety of organisations to make sure that a multiplicity of voices are heard and considered in Westmister and beyond.

The last Parliament marked a historic step in challenging the status quo. The Equal Marriage Act driven by the Liberal Democrats in Government was celebrated up and down the country but it is not always just the big things that count. We have been calling for proper sex ed in schools, an end to discrimination against transgender individuals by the state and better representation of LGBT individuals in public life. This change will not come overnight but I am certain that with a coalition of organisations, activists, politicians and public personalities all working together with common purpose change will come.

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