by Steve Beasant on 28 June, 2019
June is LGBT+ Pride Month!
LGBT+ Pride events are being held across the country to recognise the impact LGBT+ people have had in the world and the struggle they still face for equal recognition. The Liberal Democrats have always championed the rights of the LGBT+ community. Here are 7 things that we have done:
1. Opposed section 28
In the 1980s the Liberal Democrats were the first party to openly oppose Section 28 – an act which prohibited the so-called promotion of homosexuality. In 2003, the Lib Dems were the first to introduce legislation to repeal the act. After over 20 years since the act was introduced, parliament finally voted to abolish it!
2. Supported lowering the age of consent to 16 for same-sex relationships
In 1994, the Lib Dems unanimously supported amendments to the Criminal Justice and Public Order Bill to reduce the age of consent for homosexual sex to 16, bringing it in line with heterosexual sex.
3. Supported Same-Sex Couples adopting children
The Liberal Democrats supported amendments to the Adoption and Children Act 2002 to allow adoption by unmarried couples, including same-sex couples. We unanimously opposed Conservative attempts in the Lords to reject these amendments.
4. Led on Trans Rights
Allowing trans people to change the gender on their birth certificate had been Liberal Democrat party policy since 1998. It was six years until the Gender Recognition Act came along, and it was wholeheartedly supported by the Lib Dems. The Tories in the House of Lords tried to destroy the legislation but were successfully opposed by Liberal Democrat peers.
5. Introduced the equal marriage bill
In 2013, the Same Sex Marriage Act was introduced because of the hard work of our MP Lynne Featherstone in coalition government. Since then, thousands of same sex couples have been able to get married.
6. Campaigned for blood donation rules to be based on science not sexuality
Currently gay and bi men are excluded from donating blood. In light of this, we adopted a policy in 2011 for Britain’s blood donation rules to be based on the risk of the individual, not on sexuality.
7. Campaigned for LGBT inclusive workplaces
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We are fighting for businesses with more than 250+ employees to be made to monitor and publish data on BAME and LGBT employees, not just gender. We hope that this will end unfair discrimination against LGBT employees at work.