LGBT+ LibDems’ Priorities
Posted by jonathanfryer on Sunday, 21st February, 2016
At a winter strategy conference at the Liberal Democrats party HQ yesterday, LGBT+ LibDems celebrated the real gains made for LGBTi rights during the life of the Coalition government but recognised that more still needs to be done. Though there has been an extraordinary shift in public attitudes in Britain over the past few decades that is more true in metropolitan London than in rural areas. Moreover, there are specific issues which still need addressing properly and a series of expert presentations at the conference helped us to do that. These included the need to promote the use of PrEP medication that acts as a preventive for HIV/AIDS among at risk groups, as has happened more effectively in France; work with schools and parents to tackle the causes of homophobic bullying; and improving Britain’s record in dealing with LGBTi asylum seekers, some of whom are still being returned to countries where they face persecution or even death. Tim Farron has come out strongly against the blood donor ban for gay men, but participants at the conference believed he still needed to be less ambiguous about his view of the “morality” of gay sex. Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats have been ahead of the curve in acknowledging the needs of the Trans community, yet often unconscious prejudice and bias remains at a personal level. In some ways, this area is the new frontier for the rights and diversity movement. The Party has also been carrying out a review of its own policies on diversity relating to its political candidates, committee structures and internal workings, about which the Party President, Sal Brinton, was able to update us and which figure in both the governance review and the 2015 general election review that are being taken forward to the York spring conference.