Sunday 28th February, City & East Lib Dems celebrated LGBT+ History Month with an Equali-Tea at the wonderful Yurt Café in Limehouse.
‘LGBT History Month is a month-long annual observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history, and the history of the gay rights and related civil rights movements.’ (Wikipedia special.) City & East’s Equali-Tea proved to be an enjoyable and enlightening evening for Lib Dem LGBT+ and ally members- of different backgrounds and generations- to share their memories of the fight for LGBT+ equality and to discuss what still needs to be done.
The Lib Dems have a proud history of fighting for LGBT+ rights. We were at the forefront of challenges to Section 28, a pernicious piece of Thatcher-era legislation that prohibited local authorities from ‘promoting’ homosexuality or gay ‘pretended family relationships’. We advocated for an equal age of consent and were a strong voice in favour of civil partnerships. In government, Lib Dem equalities minister Lynne Featherstone was responsible for legalising equal marriage in England & Wales.
It was fascinating to hear how members have been affected by changing cultural views on LGBT+ rights. Several members grew up during the AIDS crisis and Section 28. To younger members, learning about the personal impact of such overt government endorsed bigotry was shocking. The discussion also touched on how race, gender, and LGBT+ issues intersected in 80s in America and to what extent the path towards LGBT+ equality varies from country to country.
The Equali-Tea was all the better for its superb location. The Yurt Café is an absolute gem. Delicious cake (Elaine was particularly keen on the fruit loaf) in a yurt- what more could you want? We will be returning for future events and already have plans to put together a Lib Dem team for the café’s board game night.
A good time was had by all and we hope to see you at our next social!