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Join the Liberal Democrats to help shape a more liberal, tolerant, inclusive society - and join LGBT+ Lib Dems to help us make sure our party remains at the forefront of LGBT+ equality and liberation.



Latest News


  • LGBT+ Lib Dems Winter Strategy Conference 2015
    Article: Sep 14, 2017

    It's Lib Dem Autumn Conference in Bournemouth over the next few days. Here are the highlights of LGBT+ Lib Dems' plans for the next few days.

    Exhibition Stall. We will be at stand 17 in the Liberal Democrats Autumn Conference 2017 Exhibition on Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Join us to pick up our Members Handbook, to join or renew, to hear about what we've been up to this year, and to pick up paperwork ahead of our AGM on Sunday.

  • Campaigners holding the Bisexual flag
    Article: Sep 14, 2017

    Stockport Town Hall debates how to serve bisexual residents most effectively tonight with a motion moved by Lib Dem councillor Lisa Smart.

    Welcoming the motion for debate, LGBT+ Lib Dems Chair Jennie Rigg said, "Too often in talking about 'LGBT' policy-makers concentrate on those first two letters. Ahead of Bi Visibility Day it is excellent to hear from Lib Dem councillors putting the focus firmly on the 'B' and the many ways bisexual people face specific challenges."

  • Article: Jul 27, 2017

    This year Liberal Democrats celebrate a more open liberal society, with same-sex couples able to marry and now huge steps forward for gender recognition.

    The Liberal Party were the first party to host a gay rights fringe at party conference, and the first party to commit in a manifesto to equal rights - from equal age of consent, to serving in the military, to same-sex marriage to gender recognition Liberals and Liberal Democrats have led on this issue for decades. And on issues such as PrEP on the NHS; ending the spousal veto; inclusive, appropriate Sex and Relationship Education in schools; offering asylum and ending deportation to at risk countries we continue to lead into the future.

    Jennie Rigg, Chair of LGBT+ Lib Dems said: "When we look back, even those supporting decriminalisation called homosexuality 'a disability' and 'a great weight of shame'. Bisexuals didn't even occur to them. Goddess knows what they'd think of all the diversity of sexuality we share today! It shows us how far we've come, how hard that fight has been, and how much further we still have to go."

    The Sexual Offences Act, 1967 received Royal Assent on 27 July fifty years ago.

    The Act was sponsored by Labour MP Leo Abse and Conservative Peer Lord Arran, and supported by Home Secretary Roy Jenkins, who went on to be a founder of the Liberal Democrats

    Coming 10 years after the Wolfenden Report had concluded that criminal law could not credibly intervene in the private sexual affairs of consenting adults in the privacy of their homes, this Act did not legalise gay sex, but introduced an exemption from prosecution for men over the age of 21 having sex in private.

    Men who have sex with men continued to be prosecuted for the remainder of the twentieth century, particularly for sex in public places ("cruising" and "cottaging") and under the unequal age of consent.

    It was not until 2003, after losing a case in the European Court of Human Rights, that the then Labour government were compelled to repeal the criminalisation of homosexual acts.

    Richard Flowers, Treasurer of LGBT+ said: "the '67 Act was not the beginning of LGBT liberation, and its eventual repeal was not the end. But it was a landmark. A step on the road out of oppression to the huge surge of acceptance seen in the last few years. We cannot forget the bravery of the people who walked that path for us."

  • PrEP on the NHS Graphic
    Article: Jul 18, 2017

    The Welsh Liberal Democrats have welcomed the beginning of a Welsh NHS PrEP pilot, which has been launched today (17th July 2017).

    Commenting, Welsh Lib Dem Equalities Spokesperson Cadan ap Tomos said;

    "The beginning of a three-year PrEP pilot in Wales is testament to the work and dedication of campaigners over many years in making the case for this life-saving drug to be made available on the NHS.

  • Article: Jun 19, 2017

    We note with regret the resignation of Tim Farron as leader of the Liberal Democrats, and his comments outlining his personal difficulties in aligning private believes with public office.

    From the start of the election campaign Tim was hounded by both the media and high profile supporters of other parties who were intent on exposing and exploiting his assumed personal views, and isolating these from both the views of the party and his actions as both MP and Leader. By his own acknowledgement Tim failed to adequately answer such questions and they cast a shadow over the campaign. Nonetheless, LGBT+ Lib Dems were at the forefront of the efforts to defend Tim based on his proven track record of friendship and support for our rights.

  • Article: May 17, 2017

    Because we Lib Dems believe that LGBT+ rights are human rights, a lot of the LGBT+ content in the manifesto (.pdf link) is spread out in the policy topic areas the manifesto covers. We like this, it means that LGBT+ rights are integral to our policies, not tacked on as an afterthought. However, it can make things easy to miss. In lieu of an index, therefore, our acting Chair Jennie Rigg has drawn it all together in one handy place, starting at the beginning:

  • Article: May 10, 2017

    The Liberal Democrats have announced they would ensure access to the HIV prevention drug Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) on the NHS for people in high-risk groups.

    Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a once-a-day pill that reduces the risk of HIV infection by 86%.

    Despite its proven efficacy and potential to deliver long-term savings, the NHS has yet to approve its use, and it is currently only available in the UK through a private prescription that costs approximately £400 for a month's supply.

    Liberal Democrat Shadow Health Secretary Norman Lamb said:

    "PrEP is a vital weapon in the fight against HIV, and it's high time that it was made routinely available to those who are at risk of infection.

    "The Liberal Democrats in Parliament have led calls for PrEP to be made available to all high-risk groups.

    "We know that PrEP is highly effective in reducing transmission of the virus. Prevention is always better than treatment, so it makes absolutely no sense to delay roll-out of the drug any longer."

    Liberal Democrat Leader Tim Farron said:

    "Offering PrEP on the NHS is the smart thing to do and the right thing to do, the needs of the communities this affects have been ignored for too long.

    "The Liberal Democrats will act quickly to fix this injustice."

    PrEP user and campaigner Nick Perry said:

    "It's absolutely right for the Liberal Democrats to press the NHS to get on with commissioning a wholly effective and proven HIV prevention tool - PrEP - across the UK.

    "Prevention isn't just better than cure clinically - trials and modelling have shown it to be highly cost- effective too.

    "Each day 16 more people in the UK are diagnosed HIV positive.

    "The end of new HIV infections is in our grasp, and the NHS needs to make it happen."

    ENDS

    Notes to Editors

    In 2015, an estimated 101,200 people were living with HIV in the UK and 594 people with HIV. In the same year there were 6,095 new HIV diagnoses. Around 47,000 gay or bisexual men and around 49,500 heterosexuals were estimated to be living with HIV in the UK by the end of 2015. In the heterosexual population of those living with HIV, 58% are from black African communities.

    PrEP is endorsed by the World Health Organisation and widely available in other countries, including Australia, France, Canada, Israel, Kenya and USA.

    PrEP is endorsed by the World Health Organisation[i] and widely available in other countries, including Australia, France, Canada, Israel, Kenya and USA.

  • Article: Apr 26, 2017

    Welsh Lib Dem Equalities spokesperson Cadan ap Tomos said;

    "Today's decision by the All Wales Medicines Strategy Group (AWMSG) is incredibly short sighted and will be a blow to those who have long campaigned for PrEP to be made available on the NHS.

    "It is also contradictory to the decision taken in Scotland, which became the first of the UK nations to approve the provision of PrEP by the NHS earlier this month."

  • Article: Apr 25, 2017
    By Jennie Rigg in HuffPost
    I've come across this a fair bit the last few days (can't think why it's been coming up *rolleyes*), and as it's a big frustration for LGBT+LDs I thought I'd better post about why.

    Lots of people high up in the campaigns department at LDHQ think it's great to say that "we achieved equal marriage". They think that because we campaigned for equal marriage, and the Same Sex Marriage Act passed, we should trumpet our achievement. They think that calling it Same Sex Marriage is bad "framing" and Equal Marriage sounds better*.

    The problem is that although we did campaign for equal marriage, we didn't get equal marriage. Here is a list of some of the things that remain unequal:
    • Northern Ireland. There is no recognition of same sex marriage there at all.

    • The Spousal Veto was a part of the Same Sex Marriage Act and actually made things worse for trans people. It's not extant in Scotland, but still applies in England and Wales.

    • Likewise, to get a gender recognition certificate prior to the Same Sex Marriage Act, if you were married, you were forced to have your marriage annulled, even if your spouse was supportive. These stolen marriages have never been restored, despite Same Sex Marriage now being legal.


    • The church of England and the church in Wales are legally prohibited from performing same sex marriage ceremonies. This is manifestly unequal for same sex couples who are adherents to the state religion.

    • Adultery and non-consummation. To commit adultery, you must have vaginal intercourse with a member of "the opposite sex". Yup, not only is the strict gender binary embedded in law, but so is the necessity for PIV to happen for it to count as sex. This is... problematic for people who do not adhere to the strict one man, one woman, no genderqueer people model of relationships. Non-consummation of marriage and adultery both rely on PIV sex. And sure, reasons you might split up don't apply at the moment of marriage, but not every marriage will last, and equity in the divorce courts is surely a consideration before we start calling it equal marriage?

    • The special requirements for registering premises for the conduct of non-CofE religious same-sex marriages are more restrictive than for opposite-sex marriages in religious premises. If the premises are shared by several small denominations - which is often the case with evangelical, African and pro-LGBT churches - every last one of the faith organisations which share the premises has to give their permission for the premises to be used for same-sex marriages. In effect, anti-gay churches have a veto over pro-gay churches.
    • There's no humanist marriage in England and Wales (despite the best efforts of the lovely Julian Huppert) - which affects both mixed sex and same sex couples, but still means that humanists are second class citizens (unless they live in Scotland). Equal marriage should be equal for all beliefs (and lack thereof) as well as for all genders and sexualities.
    Now, imagine you are one of the people who is affected by one of these things. Imagine you have been faithful to your partner for decades, and you've finally been allowed to marry under this legislation, and you retire loving and happy, only to discover that your pension rights are not equal.

    Imagine you are a trans person, and your spouse has been supportive all along, and first you had your marriage stolen because that had to happen for you to get your gender recognition certificate, and when that happened you got a civil partnership because that was the best that was available and you loved your spouse, and then when same sex marriage came in you had to get married for a third time to convert your civil partnership into a marriage, and you'd meantime been supporting other people going through transition and the spousal veto had applied to some of those people... How would you feel in that situation if you were told that we'd achieved Equal Marriage?

    Imagine you were the chair of an LGBT+ campaigning organisation. Imagine trying to persuade people that there are still inequaiities that need to be corrected, that people are still suffering injustices that need to be righted, that work still needs to be done, when everybody says but we achieved Equal Marriage, didn't we? What are you fussing about?

    Imagine trying to persuade other LGBT+ people to vote for your party, when they can look at what your party is saying about "equal marriage" and think but they are completely tone deaf to the actual concerns of LGBT+ people, or else they would know that 'equal' marriage is nothing but!

    For anybody, in any of those situations, Lib Dems trumpeting we achieved equal marriage! is going to feel like a proper slap in the face. It's going to feel like the inequalities and injustices that you suffer do not matter to Lib Dems. Equal Marriage, as framing, makes a very ugly picture indeed if you are suffering from one of the unequal effects of the Same Sex Marriage Act.

    Please, please, please, for the love of Cthulhu, if you are a Lib Dem, stop saying we achieved equal marriage. We achieved same sex marriage. There's still a way to go before it's equal. Our leader gets this. Please get it too.



    * NB: Our Glorious Leader is not one of these people, and completely gets everything I am posting about here, and that's yet another reason why I get annoyed with partisan Labour types going BUT TIM HATES THE GAYS!!!!! at me. Apart from anything else the conflation of gay rights andLGBT+ rights is infuriating.
  • Article: Apr 19, 2017
    By Jennie Rigg in HuffPost

    Dear media people,

    I see that, thanks to Cathy Newman's interview last night, the thorny theological topic of Sin has raised its ugly head once more.

    Let me get this right out in the beginning: I don't give a fig what Tim Farron's religious beliefs are. You know why? Because I am a Liberal. He could believe the sky is made from Puff the Magic Dragon's bumfluff, and I wouldn't care one jot, whit or iota. What I do care about, and care deeply about, is

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