Lib Dems: Working to End Homophobia
Tuesday 17 May marks International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, highlighting the discrimination that persists against people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or non-gendered.
London MEP Sarah Ludford, Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman, Vice President of LGBT Liberal Democrats and an active member of the European Parliament lesbian & gay rights intergroup, said:
"In the UK, the Liberal Democrats, who have always been proud to represent and stand up for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans rights, are leading a consultation on how to remove inequality between marriage and same-sex civil partnerships. The Lib Dem equalities minister Lynne Featherstone, backed solidly by the party, is determined to make progress on this.
"At international level there is still a fight on very basic justice. A priority for the worldwide gay rights effort is universal decriminalisation of homosexuality across the globe and eradication of the death penalty for homosexuality in the 8 countries that still impose this appalling punishment.
"I'm very glad that the UK coalition government has pledged to push for unequivocal support for gay rights as part of foreign policy. But that pressure is needed even within the European Union.
"We have recently seen backward steps on LGBT rights in Europe, such as Hungary's new constitution omitting - contrary to EU law - sexual orientation as a legal ground of discrimination. Liberals in the European Parliament have led the way in criticising this and urging the Commission to take tough action to uphold EU commitments."
Notes to Editors
- Homosexuality is still punished by the death penalty in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia, the United Arab Emirates, Mauritania and Yemen. In many other countries it is punishable by imprisonment, and in others it is not formally illegal, but LGBT people suffer endemic violence with no protection from police.
- The Liberal Democrats remain the only major UK political party, and the only UK party of Government, to have policy supporting equality of marriage.