Lib Dems from across the county join Pride in Surrey celebrations in Godalming this weekend

September 27, 2021 5:05 PM

Liberal Democrats from across Surrey came together on Saturday last week to join in Pride in Surrey celebrations in Godalming. Led by local Parliamentary Spokespeople Zöe Franklin, Alasdair Pinkerton and Paul Follows, councillors and activists took part in the parade and hosted a stall at the event.

Zöe Franklin, Guildford and Cranleigh's recently reselected Parliamentary Candidate, shared her reflections afterwards:

Paul Follows, Zoe Franklin & Alasdair Pinkerton at Pride in Surrey stall"I was honoured to be part of the cross-party group at the front of the parade. It's great that those parties present were able to put aside their political differences and focus on showing their commitment to being allies to the LGBT+ community and their parties' commitments to continuing the fight for LGBT+ rights.

"For me, attending Pride and being an ally to the LGBT+ community is personally really important. I have friends who are gay and transgender and still find it shocking when I hear them share about the regular abuse and shaming they suffer for who they are and who they love. We may have come a long way as a society but clearly, there's still a long way to go.

"Politically I'm also proud of the long history the Liberal Democrats have of standing with the LGBT+ community. From our work to end Section 28 which finally succeeded in 2000, to our work in the Coalition of 2010 to 2015 when we ensured that the equal marriage act passed, to our current work on trans rights, we will keep fighting for a safer, more equal society.

"One of the things that was so wonderful about Saturday's Pride event was seeing people young and not so young being able to be completely themselves. It was a privilege to meet and speak to a number of people who were at Pride for the first time. One person that really stands out for me was a young person, who talked about how emotional they felt at being somewhere they were completely accepted and able to use their chosen name rather than hide who they are. It was beautiful."

ZF adding name to Ban Conversion Therapy banner

As well as marching in the parade and chatting to those attending Pride and who visited the Lib Dem stall, our volunteers running the stand were asking people to sign a petition calling for a complete ban of 'conversion therapy.' This was signed by near 600 people, many of whom were shocked and angry to discover that - in spite of repeated Government promises - it has not yet been banned.

All signatures collected will be added to the national petition on the same issue and will help Liberal Democrat MPs to demonstrate how much public support there is for banning the damaging practice of conversion therapy. We will be sharing more on this later in the week and will update this article with a link.

If you're part of the LGBT+ community or an ally but not yet a Lib Dem, you can find out more about our work on LGBT+ issues here. We encourage you to consider joining the Liberal Democrats and getting involved in our continued campaigning for better LGBT+ rights and wider issues - you can join online here.

27th September 2021