It is time the House grew up, realised how our constituents are living out there, stopped hiding in the past, and removed this odious legislation from the statute book once and for all.Ed Davey MP, 2003.
In 2003, the Lib Dems tabled an amendment to the Local Government Bill to repeal Section 28, and voted unanimously in favour of it.
On the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, we recognise just how far LGBT rights have come. Sadly we’re still a little way from achieving full equality as events in Birmingham these past few months have shown.
Equal rights means equal rights for all. In a truly liberal society we embrace our diversity – its those differences that make us stronger, and we should not allow them to divide us. The Liberal Democrats have always been at the forefront for full equality, from the days of the old Liberal Party – who fought to decriminalise consensual same sex acts between men, to Baroness Featherstone’s calling for legislation to recognise all trans people, whether or not they have had (or wish to have) gender reassignment surgery and, of course, becoming the first major UK political Party to support equal marriage.
However, there are still areas in the United Kingdom where this legislation is not recognised. The Conservative government, propped up by the Democratic Unionist Party, has repeatedly failed to extend equality to Northern Ireland – flying in the face of the overwhelming public support for LGBT equality in that nation.
It’s a position which cannot be allowed to continue; and so, while we acknowledge just how far we have come over the past 50 years, we must not ignore the fact that there is still work to do. The Liberal Democrats give our assurance that we will continue to fight for full LGBT equality across the whole UK.