Sunday, 13 March 2016

The silenced minority #ldconf #lgbt

I have just listened to most of the Liberal Democrat motion on increasing diversity of our MPs. While there were women (the main beneficiaries of the motion), disabled, BME and Trans speakers on this motion. One of the minority groups that is not represented in our MP gay men was not represented, indeed through most of the speeches LGBT+ rights was barely mentioned.

In fact the most mention of LGBT+ candidates came in the request for a reference back. This is a way to ask for the motion to be looked at in more depth and brought back to a later conference. The call for the reference back mentioned LGB and non-binary inclusion to be considered. This was not even voted to be debated. So it appears that Liberal Democrat Conference didn't even want to listen to the concerns of LGBT+ representatives on this issue.

Between the lack of those called, the lack of consideration from most speakers and the failure to even listen to the reference back, it appears that Liberal Democrat Conference does not care about the impact of have no LGBT+ representation and the fact that the chance of having any gay male MPs after the 2020 election appears almost non-existent.

As as gay man who has stood in three election cycles I will be almost 51 at the 2020 election, but almost 56 at the 2025 election. I have spoken on issues affecting women, disability and BME people at conference in the past. I'm not someone who only speaks at conference for people like me, but today I'm sorry that conference seemed to have a debate covering a wide range of boxes, but each of those from a box or boxes addressed "mostly" only those within their box and little outside that box.

It has therefore as a result of the debate this morning that this candidate sees no way to advance as a candidate. There is a lot I can offer to the party going forward, but the party this morning has just shut the door on the potential for me as a Westminster Candidate.

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