Friday, 8 November 2013

Does S onewall Awards have an anti-Lib Dem bias?

Consider the amount of work that Liberal Democrats have actually done in areas of LGBT equality. Being the first party to back a lifting of the life time blood ban on MSM donors, being the first national party to have actually voted to adopt equal marriage as policy and before that fully supporting introduction of civil partnerships, backing allowing same-sex couple to adopt. You'd think that somewhere along the way as these milestones were achieved that we might have picked up the odd Stonewall award for our politicians.

However, having checked the list I'm rather disappointed.

Politician of the Year:
  • 2006 Baroness Ashton Labour
  • 2007 Alan Johnson Labour
  • 2008 Lord Waheed Alli Labour
  • 2009 Ben Bradshaw Labour
  • 2010 John Bercow then Speaker but previously Conservative
  • 2011Chris Bryant Labour
  • 2012 Ruth Davidson Conservative
  • 2013 Baroness Stowell  Conservative and Yvette Cooper Labour
Even then some of these have been controversial not least one of this year's co-winners Baroness Stowell who controversially upset transgender equality by still maintaining the spousal veto which Sarah Brown outlines so clearly here.

So while they do nominate Lib Dems, their so called independent panel have failed to recognise all the advances in LGBT equality that are only possible as a result of Lib Dem involvement in the process. In the year that Marriage Equality Marriage (Same Sex Couple) has been delivered this is particularly hard to fathom. Especially when members of the both the other parties one who after Lynne Featherstone raised it went to pursue it, the other that very recently like S onewall were saying that Civil Partnerships were adequate and that there was no need for equal marriage.

Their attitude to this issue differs radically from Attitude magazine who for their politician of the year award honoured "Every MP who voted for Equal Marriage" recognising initially the leadership of Stephen Gilbert (Lib Dem), Nick Herbert (Conservative) and Chris Bryant. Their citation also mentions David Cameron and Lord Waheed Ali, but it goes to all 366 MPs who voted in favour.

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