Today, 1st of July, we are marking an incredible 50 years since the first Pride rally took place in the UK.
We have made incredible strides when it comes to protecting the fundamental human rights of those with LGBT+ identities. I am proud that our party has supported LGBT+ rights since its very conception.
We opposed Section 28 in the same year that we formed and were unafraid to call to "Guarantee equal rights for gay men and lesbians through changes to criminal law, anti-discrimination legislation and police practices" in the following General Election.
Pride is a celebration of how far we've come so I'd be remiss not to mention Lynne Feathersone's unparalleled work legalising same-sex marriage in 2012.
But we still have so much work to do. In this country, the rights of LGBT+ people are still increasingly under attack. The Home Office has said that hate crimes based on sexuality have doubled in four years. This is simply unacceptable in a modern society.
As Liberal Democrats, we need to not only fight against discrimination wherever we see it, but to create a society in which this persecution cannot exist. We will always uphold the values of individual and social justice, reject all prejudice and discrimination, and oppose all forms of entrenched privilege and inequality.
LGBT rights are human rights. We will continue to stand up to protect them against the Conservatives.
Thank you to the trailblazers who marched to show the true meaning of LGBT+ joy 50 years ago. Wishing you all a happy and meaningful Pride!
Note: If you attended the first UK Pride March in 1972, please do send your photos to [email protected]