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LGBT+ Lib Dems congratulates equality champions among new Liberal Democrat Peers

August 28, 2015 12:39 PM

LGBT+ Liberal Democrats have warmly welcomed

Lynne Featherstone MP at a same-sex marriage vigil outside Parliament (Zöe O'Connell)

Lynne Featherstone during the passage of the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Act

the news that Lynne Featherstone, former Equalities Minister, is to join the Lib Dems team in the House of Lords. Lynne oversaw the initial stages of the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Act, and has been described as the "architect of same-sex marriage" by Pink News. After losing her seat in the 2015 General Election, Lynne was retained as a spokesperson by Lib Dem leader Tim Farron MP.

Lynne said, in response to the news, "As a minister I did get to change the world for the better and same-sex marriage is definitely my happy place. Now I will have the chance to keep on fighting injustice: gay rights in Africa, ending FGM and saving the planet. That should keep me busy!"

Chair of LGBT+ Liberal Democrats Dave Page added, "We could scarcely have hoped for a better ally than Lynne Featherstone. She is attentive to detail, and understands that the LGBT+ communities have different needs and priorities. Her work promoting same-sex marriage for England and Wales in Government will go down in history as one of the major advances in legal equality here. But Lynne has always been acutely aware that legislation is only a foundation stone of an equal society, and that we must keep up the pressure for social change. As the Liberal Democrats march at various Pride events this weekend, showing our devotion for Human Rights, we will play our part in that pressure."

Also headed for the Lords in the Dissolution Honours is Jonny Oates. Jonny is a former Liberal Democrat councillor and Deputy Leader in Kingston-upon-Thames. He was Ed Davey's election agent in 1997 when he took the seat of Kingston and Surbiton from the Conservatives. Jonny has worked in a number of political, communications and public affairs roles for Westminster Strategy, the Westminster Foundation for Democracy, Bolland & Associates and Bell Pottinger Public Affairs. He also served as Policy and Communications Co-ordinator at the Youth Justice Board. He served as Director of Policy and Communications for the Liberal Democrats and in 2009 was appointed Director of General Election Communications for the 2010 General Election. From 2010 Jonny served as Chief of Staff to Nick Clegg. (biography from Liberal Democrat Voice)

Andrew Stunell, former MP for Hazel Grove and former chair of the Liberal Democrats' Diversity Engagement Group, is also announced as a peer, as are Shas Sheehan and Dorothy Thornhill who are both equality campaigners. Richard Duncalf JP and Ben Williams were both awarded OBEs.