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Our Record

DELGA is the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender campaign group of the Liberal Democrats. Over many years we have kept the party at the cutting edge of the movement for LGBT equality - providing resources and information for councillors and parliamentarians and getting policy passed at party conference.

At each general election the Lib Dem manifesto has offered the best platform for LGBT equality, and independent polls show the Lib Dems to have done particularly well among gay voters as a result.

From the 2005 Liberal Democrats LGBT Manifesto:

Cover of 2005 Lib Dem LGBT Manifesto

At the core of Liberal Democrat philosophy is our belief that a diverse Britain, is a richer Britain. We would like to see a fair, free and open society that nurtures individuality and creativity - not one shackled by conformity, ignorance or intolerance. This means that we believe strongly in an individual's right to live their lives as they see fit, without discrimination, with personal privacy, with equal rights in front of the law and the opportunities to make the best of their talents. This applies to a person's sexuality and gender identity in the same way it does to their race, gender, or religion.

The Liberal Democrats have been consistent in our application of these principles and are proud of our track record on issues relating to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights. This Labour government has often appeared unwilling to sanction change and it has only acted because of European Court judgements or EU initiatives on things like the equal age of consent, equality in the armed forces, employment discrimination and transgender rights. It was the Liberal Democrats who were at the forefront of all these campaigns before they were fashionable, and led the Parliamentary fi ght to scrap Section 28 and introduce civil partnerships.

These battles have been fought and won. But there is much still to do. With a Labour Government that has too often chased the populist agenda and has not shown sufficient respect for fundamental civil liberties, it is imperative that the Liberal Democrats continue to push for equal rights, equal treatment before the law, and an end to discrimination. I am determined we will do just that.

From the protection of employees, to incitement to hatred; from HIV and health education to asylum; this manifesto sets out the policies that we will pursue over the next parliament.

Charles Kennedy MP

April 2005

Top Lib Dem policies for LGBT equality

(General Election manifesto 2005)

  • Strengthen the fight against discrimination with a single Equality Act. This will outlaw all unfair discrimination and harassment, including on the grounds of race, sex, religion, sexual orientation, disability, age or gender identity - this will be the biggest step taken to protect gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.
  • Press public bodies to tackle inequality and discrimination against lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender citizens.
  • Outlaw incitement of hatred against people on the basis of their sexuality and homophobic exacerbation of offences.
  • Equal treatment for same sex and heterosexual couples in pension arrangements.
  • End the exemption in the UK's implementation of the European Directive that allows religious organisations to sack, demote or fail to hire employees in non-proselytising posts on grounds of sexual orientation.
  • Improve education on HIV - prevention is better than cure. Over the life time of a Parliament we would refocus the spending and priorities of the health service on health education and screening.
  • Repeal provisions in the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act which discriminate against lesbian couples.
  • Introduce a rates relief for small businesses - boosting the pink economy which is based typically on the small business sector.