UKIP and Tory MEPs named and shamed over LGBT voting record

New research released today on the eve of International day against homophobia (17 May) reveals that UKIP and Conservative MEPs are amongst those with the worst records on LGBT rights in the European Parliament.


The research by the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights shows that:


  • UKIP voted against  EU-wide recognition of same-sex marriages, while the Conservatives abstained.


MEPs back action against LGBT discrimination despite Tory/UKIP opposition

The European Parliament has today overwhelmingly approved a new European Union ‘LGBT roadmap’ to help tackle widespread discrimination against the gay community across Europe.


The Lunacek report calls for:

Huffington Post Blog: Despite their claim to be a Libertarian party, UKIP have a shocking record on LGBT Rights

On the UKIP website, it states "As a libertarian party, we are entirely at ease with their (LGBTI community) choice and wish all of them well." I question the appropriateness of this folksy language and the implication that homosexuality is a lifestyle choice, particularly considering that LGBTI citizens continue to be the target of around 100 hate crimes per week. But even if it was well intentioned, why then do we consistently hear voices from within the party spouting homophobic comments?

European liberals pledge to fight for LGBT equality

Liberal MEPs and candidates have joined forces with other European liberals by pledging to fight for LGBT rights at the European elections next May.

MEP backs end to Russia LGBT gag ahead of Sochi Games


Survey shows widespread LGBT discrimination


A survey produced by Gallup Europe for the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) to mark the forthcoming International Day Against Homophobia (May 17th) has revealed that almost half (47%) of the Lesbian, Gay, Transgender and Bisexual community in Europe has been personally discriminated against or harassed on the grounds of their sexual orientation.


The survey was the EU’s largest LGBT hate crime and discrimination survey ever conducted with responses from over 93,000 LGBT people from all 27 EU Member States, plus Croatia which is about to join.


World Pride

London had the honour of hosting not just London Pride but 'World Pride' last Saturday. Even though the day's events had to be scaled back, there were still tens of thousands on the march and the usual carnival atmosphere prevailed.

Meanwhile in Budapest, their Pride took place on the same day with 3,000 marchers. It was judged a success simply for taking place safely, since threats from far-right groups necessitated heavy police protection.

A lot of hard work has gone into changing attitudes and laws in the UK over the last 50 years to get us to the point where equal marriage is a real prospect. The UK is now judged by the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) to be the leader in Europe on human rights of LBGT people.

London's World Pride showcases UK equality leadership

Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman and London MEP Sarah Ludford is attending this year’s World Pride march to show her commitment to LGBT equality.


She will be part of a Liberal Democrat group including LGBT+LibDem chair Adrian Trett and Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone.


Sarah Ludford, who is Vice President of UK LGBT+ Liberal Democrats and active in the European Parliament LGBT intergroup, commented:


Sarah's speech to Parliament on the fight against homophobia

Sarah Ludford (ALDE ). - Madam President, I was delighted that ILGA has rated the UK as the best country in Europe for respecting the human rights of LGBT people. I cannot claim that all of the credit for this belongs to the coalition government of the last two years, as we are of course building on previous work, Mr Cashman.

Cross-party support expected for MEP anti- homophobia resolution

Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman and London MEP Sarah Ludford is hopeful of strong cross-party support for a resolution in the European Parliament today against homophobia in Europe.

The resolution highlights laws in Eastern European countries such as Russia, Hungary, Lithuania and Latvia restricting public information about LGBT issues and the banning of Pride marches. It deplores hate speech, violence and murder against gay people.

The resolution calls on the European Commission and Member States to ensure that same sex couples enjoy EU free movement rights without discrimination.

Sarah Ludford, Vice President of UK Liberal Democrats' LGBT+, commented:

International action needed on homophobic bullying and discrimination

On International Day against Homophobia, Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman and London MEP Sarah Ludford has given her support to young LGBT people suffering from bullying or discrimination at school.

Sarah has taken part in a video message from European leaders to gay and lesbian youngsters, telling them how they are working to ‘make things better.’ She commented:

Campaigns supported by Sarah

On this page you can find information about NGOs and campaigns currently supported by Sarah, links to recent related press releases and to campaign websites. Please use the drop-down menu below, or scroll down.



Justice logo

Sarah's bulletin: 2nd April

Dear friends,

We were particularly busy on consumer and citizens' rights in Brussels last week, as well as - very importantly - the interests of taxpayers. More on those stories later, first a word about the London Liberal Democrat conference last Saturday. 

London LibDems

Citizenship report shows LGBT community still face discrimination

The European Parliament has adopted its latest annual report on implementation of rights for European citizens under EU law. One of the issues highlighted was the barriers that still exist for same-sex couples.

The report demands full freedom of movement with recognition of legal rights for same-sex couples and an end to Member States' obstruction of a 2004 EU law meant to achieve this.

Sarah Ludford, Vice President of the LGBT+ Liberal Democrat group commented:

“Due to disarray in the ranks of the European Socialist and Democratic group (S&D) to which the Labour party belong, the key relevant paragraph got deleted at committee stage due to the voting power of the right-wing parties.”

About Sarah


Sarah Ludford

Baroness Sarah Ludford is a Liberal Democrat Member of the House of Lords. She was a Member of the European Parliament for London from 1999 until June 2014 and a councillor in Islington from 1991 to 1999.


Gay marriage slurs will not keep us from equality

In recent days the debate over equality in marriage for same-sex couples has been marked by inflammatory and derogatory remarks by vocal opponents the Catholic Cardinal Keith O'Brien and his apparent echo the newly UKIP MEP Roger Helmer.

Helmer’s gay marriage slurs show UKIP’s true colours

Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman and London MEP Sarah Ludford has expressed outrage at UKIP MEP Roger Helmer's comments on same-sex marriage.

Sarah Ludford who is also Vice President of the LGBT+ LibDems and an active member of the European Parliament lesbian & gay rights intergroup said:

"Mr Helmer's backward comments are a disgrace. To link gay marriage to incest and polygamy typically scrapes the barrel of prejudice without any foundation whatsoever."

Update from Sarah Ludford MEP

Welcome to my London LibDem members’ update, where I let you know what I have been doing in the European Parliament and across the London region recently.

I’ve had the great privilege of being London’s Liberal Democrat Member of the European Parliament for a good while now, but the job continues to fascinate me. I still work a great deal on issues of justice and fighting crime, but the role of an MEP stretches to a great many other topics of concern to London and my constituents.

Liberals in Europe key group for LGBT rights

Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman and London MEP Sarah Ludford has expressed disappointment at the defeat of a key paragraph in a European Parliament committee vote on a report on EU citizens' rights. This paragraph demanded full freedom of movement with legal rights for same-sex couples and an end to Member States' obstruction of a 2004 EU law meant to achieve this.

EU must lead by example in fighting homophobia worldwide

Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman and London MEP Sarah Ludford has welcomed a resolution approved with a large majority in the European Parliament today on tackling homophobia.

This applauds the first-ever UN resolution on LGBT issues - co-sponsored by 21 EU countries - and calls on the EU to make an even stronger commitment to ending discrimination and violence on the basis of sexual orientation across the world. But the MEPs' resolution also demands that EU governments fully address the findings of a 2010 report by the EU's own Fundamental Rights Agency which highlighted inequalities and discrimination still experienced by LGBT communities across Europe.


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