CommentIsLinked@LDV: Nick Clegg – While the Conservatives try to appear gay-friendly, they now stand shoulder with march-banning bigots

by Stephen Tall on July 4, 2009

Over at LabourList, Nick Clegg pens a powerful post in favour of the strides taken in recent years to enshrine equal rights for gay people. Here’s an excerpt:

Like many people, in 1997 I hoped that with the right cast into the political wilderness a permanent victory for gay rights was in sight. But discrimination still lingers in the statute book, and homophobia still festers in homes, offices and classrooms. Gay rights, like all minority rights, should by now have become unquestionable. But in practice they are still too often treated like privileges, falling in and out of favour with politicians. David Cameron’s recent apology over Section 28 is a prime example. Leadership is about speaking out on issues when they matter, not simply when you judge public opinion has moved. …

I am determined that the Liberal Democrats will remain outspoken and steadfast in our defence of gay rights, from backing same sex marriage to stopping the deportation of gay asylum seekers to countries were homosexuality is punishable by death. There has been much progress in recent years, and much to celebrate. But as long as homophobia still rears its ugly head in workplaces, in classrooms, and even in the home – politicians must continue to speak out in favour of the values of gay rights. For me, it is quite simply one of the touchstones of what a liberal society should be: open, tolerant and free of prejudice.

You can read the article in full HERE.