The former Liberal Democrat MP, Lynne Featherstone, was the architect of the same-sex marriage act, which legalised same-sex marriage in the UK on 5 February 2013. We are still fighting to protect the rights of all citizens throughout Europe and the World
As Lynne recently said, "I just happened to be in the right place at the right time to take the bill to parliament. But it took the courageous Liberal Democrat politicians to make this change against big lobbying interests. For many LGBT+ people, this fundamental change in law has made the most enormous difference to their lives. But just six years on, it feels ridiculous that anyone apart from extreme fringe groups would take issue with same-sex marriage.I’m extraordinarily honoured and proud to have been part of such a legacy"
For many LGBT+ people, this fundamental change in law in the UK and in many other European countries has made the most enormous difference to their lives. It's not the first time the Liberal Democrats have stood with the LGBT+ community.
The Liberal Democrats in the UK opposed "Section 28", a discriminatory law which prohibited the so-called promotion of homosexuality) right from the start. We were the first political party to support trans people changing their legal gende and today we are still campaigning to streamline the law to allow individuals to self-identify without unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles.
The fight for equality in Europe goes on.
Only recently, a report from the British charity Stonewall showed that 42% of LGBT+ students in the UK hide their identity, for fear of discrimination. One in eight trans people are physically attacked in their place of work. LGBT+ asylum seekers face a humiliating process to enter our country and many are turned away, to go back to countries where they face discrimination and jail sentences, simply for being who they are.
We have a long way to go.
It is our duty and responsibility to fight for equal rights everywhere we can. For LGBT+ people to express who they are, without fear. For trans people to be seen as people and welcomed into all spaces. For people of any sexuality and gender to come and live here without persecution.We must fight oppression in every form so that no LGBT+ person has to live in fear
We must fight oppression in every form so that no LGBT+ person has to live in fear.
Our MPs, Peers and members are fighting for these rights every day:
- Trans people being able to change their legal gender and streamlining the Gender Recognition Act to make it easier.
- Businesses with more than 250+ employees to monitor and publish data on BAME and LGBT employees, not just gender.
- A standard curriculum addition for Sex and Relationship Education (SRE), which will include in SRE teaching about sexual consent, LGBT+ relationships, and issues surrounding explicit images and content.
- Gender neutral bathrooms, gender-neutral school uniforms, and ‘X’ option on passports, official documents and forms for those who do not wish to identify as male or female.
Let us celebrate our identities and our freedom of expression. Let us embrace people from all communities in Europe and throughout the world and be proud of who we are.
This LGBT+ History Month, let us celebrate our identities and our freedom of expression. Let us embrace people from all communities and be proud of who we are.
That is the Liberal Democrat way.
To sign up to our Liberal Democrats newsletter in Europe - use the following link: