Friday, 29 June 2018

Celebrating Pride

One of my own proudest political moments as a Liberal Democrat was moving the amendment in a parliamentary committee that abolished section 28 – that shocking discriminatory law which banned the "promotion" of homosexuality by local authorities and schools. And with 2018 marking 30 years since the original passing of Section 28 we need to recall the damage that odious law did: it not only led to the LGBT+ community being shunned by some but it also gave rise to homophobic bullying in many communities.

I’m proud our party campaigned successfully to repeal that disgraceful legislation – and delighted we are campaigning today to go further, with our policy to make Sex and Relationships Education fully LGBT+ inclusive. As a party, we are committed to building and safeguarding a country and world where no one is forced to hide who they are or are made to feel ashamed of their identity.

We have never been afraid to speak up for what is just and right, even in the days when arguing for “gay rights” was seemed dangerously revolutionary and certainly wasn’t popular. And that long Liberal tradition of campaigning for equality was wonderfully advanced by my friend and colleague, Lynne Featherstone in the Coalition. She successfully led the Liberal Democrat fight for the introduction of same sex marriage – now our challenge is to ensure the government affords same sex couples with the same legal rights and protections as others.

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