This month is Pride month, an opportunity to celebrate our sexual and gender diversity, but also to shine a light on the continuing injustices for LGBT+ community.
In Waltham Forest, we have a great opportunity to celebrate LGBT+ diversity through our unique position as the first London Borough of Culture. Throughout the year, music, culture and art will bring together the community not just for Pride month but for the whole year.
We know how important services like the East London Out Project are for supporting LGBT+ communities in our borough, and are proud that places like Leytonstone United Free Church led the way by being the first church in Waltham Forest to host same sex marriages in 2014.
However, as you may have seen, discrimination is still a daily reality for many as the recent attack on a same-sex couple on a London bus shows. Further still, same-sex couples in Northern Ireland are still denied the same rights as others in the UK by not being allowed to marry.
Liberal Democrats have always been clear that LGBT+ rights are human rights and that these rights are at the core of who we are as a party. It is why we pushed forward the amendment to repeal Section 28, it is why we legislated for same-sex marriage in the coaltion government, and it is why we are now continuing to campaign for same-sex marriage to be expanded to Northern Ireland.
Last year, the Lib Dem MP Layla Moran co-sponsored a Bill in Parliament that would bring same-sex marriage laws in Northern Ireland in line with those in England, Wales, and Scotland.
We are proud to be in a party that has been unequivocal in our support for equality and regardless of who wins our leadership battle, unlike the Conservatives, we know that equality will remain at the top of our agenda.
This Pride month, let’s celebrate how far we’ve come, celebrate our sexual and gender diversity, but please join us in tackling discrimination and prejudice wherever it exists.
If you identify or experience an issue of discrimination, whether for your sexual orientation, gender or otherwise - please let us know so can support you.