Tim Farron MP
Lib Dem Party President and MP for the Lake District, Tim Farron, has sent a message to party members about the new consultation on same-sex civil marriage. He said:
One of our fundamental values as a party is our firm belief in equality. This is why I am member of our party and why I am so proud to be your President. We have always stood for individual liberty and the right to choose how we lead our lives. That’s why we came into being in the 19th century to protect the rights of religious minorities, its why we led the support for equality for women and why we decided before any other major party that civil marriage should be open to same-sex couples equally. The Liberal Democrats in Government are now delivering on that, with today’s consultation on how best to deliver equal civil marriage, which will lead to new legislation in this Parliament.
The Government consultation asks about the best way to implement equal civil marriage, and our party conference agreed that the best way to do that is in the context of full equality of marriage and civil partnerships.
It’s important that you, and as many people as possible, respond to this consultation. LGBT+ Liberal Democrats have prepared a guide to the consultation, what it means, and how to respond to support the Liberal Democrat policy of equality. You can also order free leaflets from LGBT+ Lib Dems to distribute around local venues – not just ones specific to the LGBT+ communities, since equal marriage affects everyone!
For more detail on our LGBT+ campaigning, please see http://lgbt.libdems.org.uk/ or follow @lgbtld on Twitter.
Tim Farron MP
Liberal Democrat Party President
Commenting on the Supreme Court ruling that it is not acceptable to refuse asylum to an individual on the basis that they can hide their sexuality to avoid persecution, Lib Dem deputy leader Simon Hughes MP, said, “I am delighted this ruling recognises the rights of gay asylum seekers, ensuring their freedom from persecution around the world.
“This plight is one that my Liberal Democrat colleagues and I have campaigned on for years. It is an issue that the Coalition Government is committed to addressing as we seek to restore Britain’s reputation around the world as a leader in the protection of human rights. I believe that today’s ruling will go some way to restoring that reputation.
“Other countries around the world must now follow the UK’s lead and recognise freedom of expression and freedom of sexuality for all people.”
The annual summer conference of the Lib Dem lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality group Delga will be held in Manchester next weekend.
Stephen Gilbert MP will formally open the conference.
The event is open to all members of the Lib Dems interested in LGBT issues and campaigning.
To find out more about it see their website or call 020 7227 1395.
Sarah Ludford MEP
Today was the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO). At the Town Hall in Ashton-under-Lyne and around the country, town halls, businesses and other properties flew the rainbow flag to raise awareness of prejudice and violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people.
Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman Sarah Ludford MEP, a Vice-Chair of the Liberal Democrat LGBT group Delga and an active member of the European Parliament lesbian & gay rights intergroup said, “Homophobia is still widespread in the 21st century and the fight against it must be reinforced. It can be vicious and life-threatening, as in aggressive legislation abroad; prejudiced, as in attitudes even in EU countries; or insidious as in football or the media here. Whatever from it takes, it is unacceptable.”
“Just recently the courts in Lithuania – an EU country – almost prevented Baltic Gay Pride celebrations citing ‘security’ concerns. Neighbouring the EU, Belarussian police in Minsk just last Saturday broke up a Slavic Gay Pride event, tearing away their flags and arresting a number of the marchers.”
“The Liberal Democrats and our ALDE group in the European Parliament have always led the way in campaigning on LGBT rights, both in our home countries and abroad.”