LGBT VOTERS ‘COME OUT’ FOR LEAVE CAMPAIGN

LGBT campaigners, including a number of MPs, have signed a letter in support of Britain leaving the EU. The letter, published today by Out & Proud, calls on voters to reflect on the role that parliament has played in bringing equality to the UK, and attempts to debunk the myth that LGBT rights and freedoms have derived from the European Union.

The letter has been signed by a number of prominent names, including Crispin Blunt MP, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, and LGBT rights campaigner James Wharton, who was the first openly gay serving member of the armed services to appear on the front cover of the army’s own ‘Solider’ magazine. 

The letter has also been signed by television personality and medical doctor David Bull, who only recently switched his support from the Remain campaign. 

 

Crispin Blunt MP, Chairman, Foreign Affairs Select Committee said:

“Britain is proudly at the forefront of LGBTI equality and will continue to be one of the world’s leading proponents of LGBTI rights if we Leave the EU.

There are some who purposely confuse the debate by muddling the EU and ECHR, and say that by leaving one we will leave the other. This is completely false. The EU and the ECHR are completely different treaties, and there is no question of us leaving the ECHR.

Outside the EU we will have a renewed positive global role. A role that is more attuned to our people, economic strengths, history and culture. We should Leave the EU to play a positive not a defensive and negative role in the world.”

 

Campaigners were out in force yesterday in Soho and campaigner make a last minute push to attract support. Adam Lake, Director of Out & Proud, commented, “It’s quite clear from talking to people this afternoon that LGBT people are seriously concerned about how unaccountable the EU has become. We enjoy a high standard of equality in the UK but that is only secure within a functioning democracy that has the ability to chuck politicians out every five years. The EU talks a good talk on LGBT rights, but when it comes to bringing in actual legislation and other protections its record is simply not good enough.”

[The letter in full] 

Sir,


Britain has undoubtedly led the world in the development of LGBT rights, which started with the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK in 1967.


We are allowed to marry whoever we love (Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013), make a family (Adoption and Children Act of 2002) and are protected from discrimination in society and at work (Equality Act 2010). This is something our country can be proud of.


It is a complete myth that these rights have come from the European Union, where many countries constitutionally ban same-sex marriage, have forced sterilisation for those who wish to change gender and even ban LGBT people from serving in the military.


The EU is now very different from when we joined. With the addition of socially conservative Eastern European countries in 2004, and countries such as Turkey, Serbia, Macedonia, Albania and Montenegro looking to join, LGBT rights look set to be held back further as those with a less tolerant views veto legislation, as we have recently seen from Hungary. 


Our rights in the UK have been secured and will be advanced further by having a strong, democratic and accountable parliament in Westminster. Where we know who our representatives are, can speak with them directly, and importantly can remove them if we choose to at elections every five years.


If we Leave the EU, we can continue to strengthen our rights in the UK, but also become more international in our focus. We have neglected our LGBT friends around the world and in the Commonwealth, where in many countries homosexuality is not only illegal but punishable by death. 

 

One of the best ways to improve LGBT rights around the world is through trade. With the EU banning the UK from agreeing our own trade deals, and taking our seat in the World Trade Organisation, we are banned from using our trade influence as a progressive voice to help LGBT people around the world. 


As members of the LGBT community we are confident that the UK will remain a beacon of human rights and have the tools to be a stronger advocate of LGBT rights around the world if we Leave the European Union.

Notes to editors

Below is a summary of LGBT rights across EU countries:

  • Constitutional ban on marriage: 6/28
  • Compulsory sterilisation to legally change gender: 13/28
  • No form of civil union: 6/28
  • No full adoption rights: 14/28
  • No right to IVF for Lesbians: 8/28
  • No serving in the military: 1/28
  • No right to legally change gender: 1/28
  • No ban on discrimination in providing goods/services: 4/28

Signatures (in a personal capacity)

 

Crispin Blunt MP, Chairman, Foreign Affairs Select Committee

Stuart Andrew MP, Member of Parliament for Pudsey

William Wragg MP, Member of Parliament for Hazel Grove

Iain Stewart MP, Member of Parliament for Milton Keynes South

Daniel Kawczynski MP, Member of Parliament for Shrewsbury

Nigel Evans MP, Member of Parliament for the Ribble Valley

Ross Thomson MSP,  MSP for North East Scotland

Dr David Bull, Television presenter, businessman and medical doctor

Malcolm Tyndall, Director of Fundraising, British Lung Foundation

David Bridle, Managing Director, Boyz Magazine

Will Fletcher, Operations Manager, Diversity Role Models

Tom Lees, Corporate Affairs, Mace Group

Isaac Duffy, Policy Director, Northern Tory Policy Group

JP Floru, author, City of Westminster Councillor

Lucy Paton-Brown, LGBT campaigner

The Reverend Steven Browning

Andrew Kennedy, political blogger and writer

Cllr Paul Seeby, Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Development, Broxbourne Council

Marc Cranfield-Adams, First openly gay Mayor of Richmond upon Thames 

Cllr James Cottis, Rochford Parish Council

Joe Lewis, Actor 

Cllr Joe Porter, Students for Britain

James Wharton, First openly gay serving member of the military to appear on the cover of ‘Soldier’ magazine, author and LGBT campaigner

Robert Winterton, LGBT campaigner

Adam Lake, Director, Out & Proud

Dr David Bull: Why I’ve finally decided to vote to LEAVE

David Bull is a television host and medical doctor. Here he explains the reasons why he believes that Britain is better of leaving the EU and why he thinks that this vote offers a huge opportunity for the country.  

David Bull is a television presenter, businessman and former GP

 

Like most people, the question of how to vote in the EU Referendum on Thursday has been weighing heavily on my mind.

It’s a question of such profound enormity that I have spent a long time reviewing, re-reviewing and questioning both sides. 

And like most people I have found myself pulled one way and then the other. 

One day I’m in and the next day I’m out.

It seems extraordinary to me that we have asked the population to vote on something so complex. Something that even the most hard-core politicos with extensive knowledge of EU matters find complex and without a universal panacea.

Trying to unravel the last 40 years of history since we first joined the Common Market (EEC) in 1973 and then the subsequent manipulation of countries into the European project is a Herculean task.

I’m 47 and I was way too young to remember the last time we had a vote on anything to do with Europe. I was only four years old when we voted to join the Common Market.

As far as I understand, the UK populous was asked if they wanted to join a single common market, the premise of which was that there would be no barriers to trade and it would allow European countries to trade easily with each other without the imposition of tariffs. And that was all the vote was about.

So how on earth have we been subsumed into this European superstate? We have never been asked if we want closer fiscal and political integration. We have never voted on whether we should set up a European Parliament and never voted to allow the EU to have primacy over our own Parliament. And yet that appears to have happened.

But now, for better or worse, we finally have a say. 

I was, until now, persuaded that the best course of action for the UK was to stay in the EU.

I even wrote an article in the Daily Mail explaining why I thought the NHS needed the EU. There are certainly arguments that go in favour of this premise. Not least that the NHS relies on 130,000 EU workers to keep it ticking over. Drugs are also licensed on a pan-European basis which should mean it’s quicker to bring them to market. We also have access to research funding and of course access to healthcare abroad. But the inescapable fact is that the NHS is collapsing around us. It is under extraordinary pressure from the huge surge in migration. It simply cannot continue to exist in its current form unless billions of pounds are pumped in or we start to ration services. Or privatise the whole lot. Something I do not believe in.

Even having said all that, this referendum isn’t just about the NHS. It’s about everything we do – how we legislate, what we have control over and how we protect and look after our country.

Last week the penny dropped for me.

Even though we are not in Schengen and don’t have fiscal uniformity with the rest of the EU, we are inextricably linked.

If you take a step back, and look at the bigger picture, it is clear to me what the European project is really about.

The self-aggrandisement of the EU leaders mean that they are trying to push 500million people from 27 disparate countries into a single Federal Entity. They are trying to create the United States of Europe.

That’s fine if you believe that we should replace our National Governments with a central Pan-European one but I don’t.

These bureaucrats that run it are unelected, unaccountable and can’t even get their act together to publish their accounts.

I hate the scare mongering that has been going on. If leaving is really so dreadful, if it would render us financially bereft and bankrupt the country, then why on earth did the Prime Minister offer the Referendum? Surely the role of an elected Government is to take decisions on behalf of the electorate. It shouldn’t have to have referenda on every nuance.

But we have been given the vote.

I’ve been totally torn. My heart says that we need to leave, stand on our own feet, broker our own trade deals and free ourselves from the shackles of a failing European superstate.

But my business head says personally I would be better off if we stayed. 

As a TV host, I work for many European companies, can work in any country in the EU without a visa and travel extensively with my work. I am also a landlord and rent many of my properties to EU nationals who have come to the UK to study or work. I also own two properties in Spain. I live in Canary Wharf which is the financial capital of Europe and expanding rapidly. Apartments are being snapped up at extraordinary prices as EU nationals and non-EU nationals fight to own property in the epicentre of the fifth largest economy in the World.

As a doctor, I like facts. I like evidence based medicine. And here is the evidence.

 

Migration

Last year 270,000 EU nationals came to the UK, not the tens of thousands that we were promised. Whilst many are working, they have still put enormous pressure on our infrastructure.

We simply don’t have enough schools, hospitals, our transport network is over capacity and creaking and it’s set to get worse.

How can the notion of the freedom of movement ever work? Essentially 500million people could chose to come and live in the UK even though we are a tiny landmass.

Yes of course, the counter argument is that we could live elsewhere in Europe but since we are the second strongest economy in the EU, it is more likely that people will come here than settle in Spain where youth unemployment is around 50%

 

Law

60% of our laws come from Brussels. We cannot repeal them. Our Parliament no longer has primacy. This has to be wrong

 

Economy 

Yes if we vote to leave, there is no doubt that there will be some correction. House prices will drop temporarily but will then recover. The pound will fall but then regain ground as we emerge as a proud, confident nation,

The Bank of England forecasts are wildly off and the talk of the Emergency Budget from George Osborne is boogey man tactics in the extreme. Two former Chancellors and two former Conservative Party leaders have called it nonsense.

We are the fifth largest economy in the World and the second largest in the EU. Our GDP is two trillion pounds.

Over the last three years, we have been the fastest growing economy in the G7 and most globalised. 70% of our GDP comes from exports. Surprisingly I found that only 6% of UK businesses export to the EU, but every single business, even those that don’t trade with Europe, are hamstrung by EU bureaucracy making business more expensive and increasing the cost base.

Interestingly the FTSE is higher now than when Cameron called the Referendum even though the markets think we will leave.  The pound is also stronger to the dollar. Leaving can’t be that bad. Uncertainty is horrendous for markets. As soon as the decision is made, things will stabilise.

 

Trade 

Even though the Government won’t tell us this, we trade more with countries outside the EU than with those in it.  In fact we trade more outside the EU than any other member state. Only 45% of our exports are to Europe (and this is due to fall further) and in the event of us leaving, they are hardly going to erect barriers to trade since we buy more from the EU than we sell. It would be sheer madness. 

Currently we are not allowed to negotiate our own trade deals with non-EU countries as the EU has our seat at the table at the World Trade Organisation. And the EU’s record on brokering trade deals is shocking to say the least . Leaving means we can negotiate deals with Commonwealth countries, the US, China, Japan and India. And, of course, the EU itself.

Even if we leave the EU, we will still have access to the single market thanks to regulations which are already in place. Many other countries outside the EU benefit from this already such as Norway, Iceland, Lichenstein and Sweden.  And from 1st January 2018, financial institutions outside the EU can provide cross border services into the EU. So we will not lose anything by leaving.

 

Euro

This is the most important aspect of the EU for the European leaders. And yes it is a total mess. Vast unemployment across Southern Europe, hyperinflation when currencies joined and a recession across most of Europe. They will do everything they can to prop up the single currency and we will have to bail it out yet again if we stay. Qualified Majority voting means the UK will be outvoted if we try and oppose bail outs. They will have to prop it up and since it shows no sign of resuscitating itself, we will have to pay for it.

 

LGBT

And before I finish, it’s worth reiterating that all the rights that we enjoy in the UK today such as equal marriage, family law and protection from discrimination came from UK legislation not EU legislation. The new countries especially those Eastern European ones trying to join the EU are very socially conservative and have terrible homophobic cultures. Many ban same sex marriage and ban LGBT people from serving in the military. Do we really want to embrace that?

Having taken everything into consideration, I feel that the days of the European Project are numbered. It’s a fanciful power crazed ideology. How can such divergent economies of the 27 member states be squeezed into a one-size-fits-all shoehorn where we have to share common currency, interest rates, employment law, trade, freedom of movement, and foreign policy.

Each 27 member state is unique, all the economies are wildly different with the Northern European countries remaining the powerhouse and the Southern European countries needing continuing bail outs. The project is doomed to fail. 

The only way that the EU can ever work is if there is full political and financial union. And the EU hierarchy knows it.

If we vote to remain in Europe, we are not voting for the status quo. 

If we vote to remain, the EU masters will push us bit by bit into fiscal and political union. The European Court will be in charge of our borders, immigration, asylum, and intelligence services. I understand there are already plans for a single European Army which have been kept quiet until after the referendum.

I’ve thought of little else but this referendum for months and sought wise counsel from as wide a group as possible.

Some months ago, I was at a dinner party in LA where I was being entertained by a CEO of a FTSE 50 company and his wife. He asked me why I was having such a problem with how to vote in the UK referendum. I explained why I felt it was so complex. 

His view was rather more simplistic. He explained that the vote was very simple. 

His take on it was that if we want full fiscal and political union and want to create a Federal Europe then we should vote to remain.

And if we don’t believe in that sort of union then we should vote to Leave. 

Short and succinct. And spot on.

The United Kingdom has never fully embraced the European project. We’ve negotiated all sorts of opt outs and we don’t even share the same currency as the Eurozone.

We are not part of the club as much as we would like to think we are.

It’s time that we made a decision to be fully in or fully out.

In my humble opinion, we need to get out and let Europe get on with it on its own.

We should Vote Leave and see if Europe can achieve its ambition of A Federal Superstate with total fiscal and political union. Or whether the entire project implodes and falls apart around itself.

I’m not a betting man but my money is on the latter

The European Union did not give me the right to marry my wife. That right was given to me by the British Government.

Lucy Paton-Brown has been married to her wife for just under a year now. She has served as a District Councillor, Office Manager to an MP and Government Minister, a Parliamentary Campaign Manager, and  many other roles. Lucy can be contacted at lucy@paton-brown.com. This article is written purely from a personal and voluntary perspective.

One of the questions I’m always asked by some of my progressive friends is that how can I, as a gay person, be in favour of voting to leave the EU. Surely I should be on the side of the EU and the things that make it sound progressive like integration, cooperation, or even diversity. How can I be supporting Vote Leave when the out people are presented as isolationist and backwards looking?

The European Union did not give me the right to marry my wife. That right was given to me by the British Government.

An MEP did not allow myself and my wife to have the same legal status as my parents. We were allowed this by my British MP and hundreds of his colleagues.

An out of touch and faceless EU commission did not make gay marriage a legislative priority. The democratically elected government of Great Britain did that.

The British flag of red, white and blue has waved for progressive causes like votes for women, equal rights and habeas corpus long before our great nation became a part of the EU.

The fact of the matter is, on the issue of equality, Britain has not just won the race but is one of the only contestants. Quite simply the EU has not brought positive social change across the continent.

The EU is home to countries with proud cultures and wonderful people that I love to visit. But that does not overshadow the fact that in some EU countries we still see a lack of equality and even out and out homophobia. 

Some countries are allowed to prosper in the EU, with British cash, where they have not just a lack of support for gay marriage, but in some cases a draconian constitutional ban. I don’t just want to leave the EU because I don’t respect its record on LGBT rights, I also want to leave so we can control our own boarders to ensure that while we tightly control migration, we can be the shining beacon for those who want to come to a nation increasingly at ease with itself on gay rights, like a great rainbow coloured lighthouse in the sea.

There are many reasons I want to leave besides the LGBT cause such as the astronomical cost, immigration, and the undermining of our judicial system. But I do feel compelled to put my unique view forward.

To all my fellow people who are “out” but may not be supporters of the “out” campaign yet, let me leave you with one final thought; how can we support an institution that is simply not doing enough to support people like us across the continent? Let’s believe in the country that has made great strides in the LGBT struggle – let’s believe in Great Britain.

 

 

You don't need to be LGBT, or Boris Johnson, to be Out & Proud

by Adam Lake

When we asked Boris if he’d be happy to support the Out & Proud campaign we had no idea how much interest his video message would provoke. Within hours he had brought in 60k views (it’s now well over double that) and, as is the reality of the news these days, the social media storm brought with it a decent chunk of press coverage too. ITV even decided to do a piece to about the furore. As the whole point of Out & Proud is make as much noise as we can against the narrative that our LGBT rights derive from EU membership, we thought it was a good day’s work. 

Then something funny happened. Some people got really angry. Matthew Parris started it in The Times on Saturday, then Nick Cohen, and then a few others. Journalists, big important ones with regular columns and occasional guest spot on Question Time, were going hell for leather to annihilate BoJo. It’s been personal, it’s been nasty, and rather curiously, despite his Out & Proud video being the catalyst, it has had seemingly little to do with LGBT rights. The cocktail of equal rights and Euroscepticism seems to be raising eyebrows in some quarters.  

We’ve only just go the point, and only just, where we can deal with the notion that LGBT rights can come from both Conservative and Labour led governments. Section 28 will never be forgotten, nor should it, but by and large it has been forgiven by an electorate that appreciates you are now more likely to find an openly gay Tory than one that espouses homophobia. The days where a Tory gets chided for being a hypocrite simply for being both pink and blue are over, or so we thought. So what’s the beef with Boris?

I sometimes wonder if Out & Proud is like an inversion of “Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners”, made famous recently in the excellent film Pride. An assortment of sexual outcasts come together to show solidarity with a small mining community in Wales that hasn't quite got its head around the difference between a ‘lesbian’ and a ‘vegetarian’. (Not terribly different from our recent chance meeting with some of the folk from Farmers for Britain, but that’s another story.) The point is that Out & Proud was always going to be an interesting group because for many of those who fought so hard for LGBT rights for so many years it’s tough to see an LGBT group with a significant following sharing a platform with such unusual bedfellows. But this is why it is so important that we have Out & Proud.

Leaving the EU is a fight that can be won by looking pragmatically at the impact that membership has on the economy, security and sovereignty. Anyone that tries to make it sound more complex is up to something, it really does come down to just those three things. This isn't about the left and the right, about ‘traditional’ values or flag waving nationalism – it’s just about the economy, security and sovereignty. The reason why we have our own little separate campaign group is not to try and make this vote all about LGBT rights, thought there are important arguments to be had, but because we can do more to help remind all people that you don’t have to be a stereotypical Eurosceptic to make the sober judgement that our economy, security and sovereignty are better off out of the constraints of the EU.

But as part of the assessment of those three things we need to be honest about the role that the EU has in protecting the specific, related, issues that just affect LGBT people. The reality is that there is not one protection where you could not reasonably argue that we would have brought it in ourselves if we were outside of the EU. Conversely there are dozens of protections, freedoms and rights that we enjoy that our brothers and sisters in Eastern Europe are unlikely to see for a generation. Our membership hasn’t given us those rights, and the UK leaving will not endanger the possibility of those rights being brought into those countries. Our presence is immaterial; LGBT rights come about when an electorate demands them from their own governments. And as we have seen in Hungry when the EU tries to push things through it provokes a reaction that rather tragically mixes nationalism with homophobia with LGBT people losing out. So let’s get real about how these things work.

Having Boris in bed with the gays, as it were, scares the hell out the remain campaign because it knows that the first step in winning this thing is convincing Joe Public that the leave camp isn't just a gaggle of Bill Cash and Nigel Farage thinkalikes.  The haters aren't angry that Boris, the man who rebelled against his party on Section 28 and  banned ‘gay cure’ adverts on London busses, supports an LGBT Brexit campaign group, they’re angry that a significant proportion of the LGBT community might support his arguments as to why we should leave.

The recent grumpiness is a sign of real progress for the leave campaign, because it has been all too easy in past years to sweepingly disregard it as full of old school right wingers, and that becomes considerably harder to do when people who don’t fit that stereotype start nailing their rainbow colours to the mast. You don’t have to be LGBT, or Boris Johnson, to be Out & Proud.

Adam Lake is the Director of Out & Proud.

Email info@outandproud.org.uk to contact.

 

 

 

Defence Minister launches Out & Proud

Defence Minister launches Out & Proud

Out & Proud, the LGBT campaign working to build a positive future for the UK outside the European Union, hosted its launch event last night at the Light Lounge of Soho’s iconic Ku Bar in Central London. Over 150 people, of all ages and political persuasions, attended the event, and heard speeches from Armed Forces Minister Penny Mordaunt and James Wharton, the first openly gay person to appear on the cover of Soldier magazine. Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, sent a video message saying, ‘I’m Out & Proud’.

LGBT rights are safer in the hands of the British public, not the EU

When it comes to LGBT rights the British public are far more qualified to keep tabs on the government than the EU. 

Out & Proud launched this week and it’s already clear where the pink battle lines will be drawn in the run up to the 23rd June. To simplify, the LGBT case for staying in is that the EU has been an ardent defender of our rights and has successfully brought about legislation to enforce those rights. The case for out is that equality owes more to UK legislation and shifting social attitudes than a handful of EU policies that heed little notice from less LGBT friendly member states.

Comment: A 'Remain' campaign delineated by dishonesty, deceit and disingenuity

Marc Cranfield-Adams was for 30 years a “One Nation” pro-European Tory. He has served as a Councillor in the Vale of Glamorgan and Richmond upon Thames, where he was the first openly gay Mayor. He is a member of the Conservative Party; between 2004 and 2008 he was a Liberal Democrat. He writes in a personal capacity

"It came as no surprise recently that the Europe Minister, a former work colleague, David Lidington, dismissed the case for 'Brexit' as “confusing, contradictory nonsense”. Au contraire, Minister! After six years in the Foreign Office we can be forgiven for concluding he has gone 'native'. 

There are three popular myths in circulation. The first is the UK is better remaining in a “reformed” European Union (as the Prime Minister misleadingly refers to it). But, there will be no reform of the EU. Reform requires treaty change. The German President (Mrs Merkel) and senior officials in the Commission have stated in recent weeks that there will be no treaty changes to favour the UK.

In his 2013 Bloomberg Speech, David Cameron identified three challenges facing the EU: the Eurozone, competitiveness and democratic accountability.1 Yet his recent negotiations do little, if anything, to tackle these issues. The UK is not in the Eurozone so we have no basis for discussions on its future. The PM claims we have to be treated equally and there would be no threat to sterling. But in his letter2 to member states after the UK decision EU President, Donald Tusk, makes it clear those outside the Eurozone will have no veto or means of delaying urgent decisions. Mr Tusk has conceded more needs to be done in relation to competitiveness. But why has it taken the stark reality of 'Brexit' to galvanise the EU to address these issues? Why are we playing catch up with faster growing economies in other parts of the world? Even if China's growth is slowing down, it still outstrips the EU. Within the Eurozone not all member economies are growing at the same pace, or at all in some cases – ask the Greeks!

According to the second myth, to be at the table means we can shape the development of the EU. But we are frequently ignored. This goes to the issue of democratic accountability. The UK has been voted down 27 to 1 no less than 72 times in the Council of Ministers. In other words, we have no influence. The PM claimed in the House of Commons in February3 that the UK now had an opt-out from closer integration. In such circumstances how can we reform the EU, or play a part in that process in the future? Will EU member countries, who do not have an opt-out, take any lessons or advice from the UK?

Third myth: to leave the EU would be a leap into the unknown. This is nonsense. There are 193 member states of the United Nations, 165 of which function and trade with each other perfectly well outside the EU. The great unknown is the future of the EU. The migration crisis is hastening the end of the Schengen Agreement with borders now being closed, with more razor wire than we ever saw in World War II. Austria and the Eastern European members are tearing up the rule book. The EU is paralysed in its response. The Dutch people are now demanding their own referendum. Expect more rules, regulations and red tape.

To listen to those advocating 'Project Fear', you can be forgiven for concluding the world will come to an end on 24 June. A very clear impression is being given that every trade deal will collapse, every computer screen go blank, our telephones will stop working. We face economic, diplomatic and political armageddon; really? We're the fifth largest economy in the world. We are in our own right a member of the United Nations and NATO. To suggest the EU or European governments would stop working with us on security and terrorism issues is simply absurd.

Having a clear vision of the UK as a confident, independent and outward looking nation, open to global trade and with Europe, able to make its own laws and manage its own boundaries, with its own parliament sovereign, is not a leap in the dark. It is what made us the most successful and powerful nation in the world for 400 years. The future may not be so grand, but it is better than being shackled to a sclerotic, over-bureaucratic, artificially-created political construct which is on the brink of collapse."

1 https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/eu-speech-at-bloomberg (23 January 2013)

2 http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2016/02/02-letter-tusk-proposal-new-settlement-uk/

3 https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/prime-ministers-statement-on-eu-renegotiation-3-february-2016


LGBT group launches leave campaign

For immediate release

An LGBT group has launched their campaign for Britain to leave the EU. Out and Proud, who are not affiliated with any political party, will aim to bring together members of the LGBT community who think that the UK would be better off outside of the European Union. The group will organise a number of events in the run up to the referendum on 23rd June as well as hosting articles and comments pieces covering a range of related topics on their outandproud.org.uk website, which launched Monday.

Adam Lake, Director of Out and Proud, commented, “One of the main purposes of the group is to dispel the myth that LGBT rights in the UK derive from EU membership. Out of 28 EU members six still do not formally recognise gay relationships in any form, sixteen have opted not to legalise gay marriage and seven feel so strongly that the concept of gay marriage is abhorrent that they have a constitutional ban on it ever coming into place. Conversely the decriminalisation of same sex acts, equal age of consent, equal partnerships and marriages, LGBT adoption and equal access to IVF and the right to change gender have all come in to place because of laws created and passed by the UK parliament.”

Out and Proud are asking supporters to create ‘Coming Out’ videos and post on social media under the hashtag #EUComingOut in a bid to encourage others to share their views. 

“It’s really important that LGBT people who support the leave campaign can do so without having to share a platform those who perhaps do not have the same commitment to LGBT equality as we do,” added Adam Lake. “This is about providing an opportunity for LGBT people to debate the issues in a positive and inclusive way so that everyone can make an informed choice on 23rd June.”

The group will be hosting a launch event in London on 23rd March, for more information about the campaign, or to get involved, please visit outandprouduk.org.uk or email info@outandproud.org.uk.