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Unwavering opposition to discrimination

November 17, 2019 8:18 PM

Liberal Democrats believe that in 21st century Britain, discrimination is something none of us should need to fear. That we should all have the same opportunities regardless of where we come from or our circumstances. And that our children and grandchildren can be who they want to be without any fear of persecution or intrusion.

But this is not the reality in the UK today. The Conservatives and Labour have entirely failed to stand up to hatred or combat entrenched inequalities. The Conservatives have been relentlessly hostile in their rhetoric and policy around migration and have failed to take allegations of Islamophobia within their party seriously; Jeremy Corbyn has failed to tackle institutional anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. For decades, both parties have seen civil liberties as an inconvenience, which has meant attacks on individual rights and surveillance of citizens conducted outside the law.

Our plan is for a free society where every person's rights and liberties are protected and where the contribution of migrants to our society is celebrated. A plan for a world where everybody's rights are respected and society is fair and diverse; a plan to allow everyone to get on and live as who they are, free from discrimination or state intrusion; a plan that means that those who choose to come to the UK to work, study or join their families are welcomed for the skills and contributions that they bring; a plan where family unity is protected and the rule of law is respected. We will:

  • Tackle the rise in hate crimes by making them all aggravated offences, and condemning inflammatory rhetoric - including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia - by those with public platforms.
  • Provide funding for protective security measures to places of worship, schools and community centres that are vulnerable to hate crime and terror attacks.
  • Complete reform of the Gender Recognition Act to remove the requirement for medical reports, scrap the fee and recognise non-binary gender identities.
  • Introduce an 'X' gender option on passports and extend equality law to cover gender identity and expression.
  • Ensure accurate population data on sexual orientation and gender identity by including a question on LGBT+ status within the 2021 Census.
  • End period poverty by removing VAT on sanitary products and providing them for free in schools, hospitals, hostels, shelters, libraries, leisure centres, stadiums, GP surgeries, food banks, colleges and universities.