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LGBT liberation is the responsibility of us all - Campbell

July 28, 2007 11:57 AM

Lib Dem Leader Menzies Campbell has marked the anniversary of the 1967 law reforms by calling for further steps toward LGBT equality including tackling harassment and hate crime, and giving public bodies a duty to promote equality. Further he has highlighted the Conservative Party's dire record on LGBT issues in both government and opposition.

On the 40th anniversary of the decriminalisation of male homosexuality, the party is also calling on the Government to implement a three-point plan to advance the cause of LGBT equality.

The Liberal Democrat plan calls for:

  • Better action in schools, including age appropriate sex and relationship education, and measures to tackle homophobic and transphobic bullying.
  • Consistent and comprehensive legislation, with a Single Equality Act using current race legislation as a template to protect people on the grounds of their sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.
  • A public sector duty to promote equality.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Leader Menzies Campbell said, "Gay, bisexual and lesbian rights have come a long way over the last forty years, and anti-discrimination laws have changed things for the better.

"But for true equality to be achieved we need a cultural shift too. We need to ensure that homophobic bullying is stamped out in schools and workplaces.

"It is not by accident that there are very few openly gay people in the sports world, or in the City: discrimination and fear of discrimination still overshadow the personal and professional lives of too many people.

"It is the duty of all of us to show our disapproval of discrimination in all its guises, in order that everyone has the chance to live their lives freely and without intimidation."

Eighty percent of the current Conservative Shadow Cabinet have voted against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) equality legislation, according to figures released today by the Liberal Democrats. DELGA Chair Jen Yockney commented, "David Cameron puts a gay-friendly spin on a deeply homophobic party - but under that veneer it is still the same Tory party that voted against equality measure after equality measure and is no friend of the LGBT communities."

Liberal Democrat Equality Spokesperson, Jo Swinson MP said: "That 80% the of the current shadow cabinet, appointed by David Cameron, have voted against significant LGBT rights legislation shows that his commitment to equality is paper thin. David Cameron's 21st Century rhetoric can't hide his party's 19th Century principles."