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Lib Dems ‘most LGBTI-friendly choice’ for Europe

April 5, 2014 9:35 AM
50 days ahead of the European elections on 22 May, a new analysis shows that Liberal Democrats are the party most likely to push for improved LGBTI rights if elected to the European Parliament.

More Lib Dem candidates for the European elections have signed a pledge to stand up for human rights and LGBTI equality than from any other political party in the UK - or Europe. The pledge is being run by ILGA-Europe- an EU-wide network representing over 400 LGBTI organisations.

The Lib Dems currently lead the field with 16 candidates backing the pledge, ahead of Labour with 14 candidates, three Greens, and just one Conservative. Ukip are snubbing the LGBTI community entirely, with not a single candidate committing to equality.

Giles Goodall, Lib Dem MEP candidate for South East England and founder of Liberals 4 Equality, a Europe-wide campaign group, said:

"I'm delighted that so many of my fellow Lib Dem candidates have committed to standing up for equality and human rights in Europe, making the Liberal Democrats the most gay-friendly choice.

"The EU has been a strong force for equality and helped to improve the lives of millions of LGBTI people over the years, but Ukip and the Tories would put that progress at risk by playing with an EU exit.

"The Liberal Democrat record on LGBTI rights at home and abroad is second to none, and Nick Clegg is the only party leader fighting to keep us in a fairer Europe. I hope all LGBTI voters will use their votes to make a difference on 22 May."

Ed Fordham, Chair of LGBT+ Liberal Democrats said:

"We are proud and delighted that yet again so many of our candidates have signed up to pushing equality forwards and tackling discrimination and prejudice wherever it occurs. There is still a huge issue of achieving equality across the world and the European Elections are precisely the right forum in which to raise these issues."

Background

ILGA-Europe's pledge for MEP candidates is part of their Come Out 2014 campaign ahead of the European elections. Candidates are invited to support an EU roadmap for LGBTI equality, anti-discrimination legislation, and rights for rainbow families, as well as EU efforts to promote LGBTI rights worldwide.

232 candidates across Europe have so far signed the pledge. The Liberal Democrats lead the field with 16 signatories, followed by Labour with 14, the German social democrats with 13 and the Swedish liberals and Austrian social democrats, each with 9.

Contact: Giles Goodall giles.goodall@gmail.com Twitter: @GoodallGiles