Liberal Democrat MEPs and candidates have joined forces with other European liberals by pledging to fight for LGBT rights at the European elections next May.
Liberals 4 Equality, the European liberal network for LGBT rights, has been among the first to back a new campaign by ILGA-Europe to put LGBT equality issues at the top of the EU agenda.
ILGA-Europe’s Come Out campaign aims to mobilise support for human rights and equality among the candidates for the European Parliament elections on 22-25 May (22 May in the UK), and to encourage people across Europe to use their vote.
Sarah Ludford, Liberal Democrat MEP for London, who signed the pledge on behalf of the European Parliament’s liberal group (Alliance of Liberals & Democrats for Europe), said:
“Over the past five years, European liberals in the European Parliament have consistently pushed for LGBT rights. Just this week I co-sponsored a resolution condemning death threats to LGBT people in India and some African countries as well as the Russian campaign against ‘homosexual propaganda’.
“But there is more to be done in Europe as well as internationally, as almost half of the gay community in greater Europe is subject to some form of discrimination or harassment due to their sexual orientation. If re-elected I pledge to continue the Liberal fight for LGBT equality both within Europe and across the world, and urge my colleagues in the European Parliament to do the same.”
Giles Goodall, a prospective Liberal Democrat MEP for South East England and co-founder of Liberals 4 Equality, said:
“The EU has changed the lives of millions of LGBT people for the better around Europe, but we still have a long way to go. I urge all liberal candidates in the European elections to join ILGA-Europe’s campaign and commit to fighting for equality.
“With the rise of populist parties and the far right, voters have an important choice in May: back a party which has championed equality and human rights at home and abroad, or risk turning back the clock for LGBT communities across Europe.”
Liberals 4 Equality is the European liberal network for LGBT rights, bringing together equality campaigners from Europe’s liberal parties (Alliance of Liberals & Democrats for Europe – ALDE). It seeks to promote equality by campaigning, educating, stimulating debate and sharing best practice.