Stephanie Lloyd, LGBT Labour. proud to stand here in solidarity with JLM and the NEC to support this Rule Change.
To be honest Conference I’m heartbroken that I am even having to make this speech.
As a party we are well versed in highlighting how we transformed the lives of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans community in this country. We Abolished things that should never been there – a ban on serving in the military, section 28 and unequal age of consent – and created new rights – the Equality Act, civil partnerships, the Gender Recognition Act, the right for LGBT couples to adopt – to name just a few.
Our party turned British society from one that marginalised and openly oppressed LGBT people into one where I am proud to stand in front of you today as an out lesbian.
We proudly say we are the party of equality - but if that is stay true we now have a very clear choice to make
Currently our rules mean if someone in this room was to stand against the party in an election they would be more severely disciplined by the party than if someone stood up right now in this conference hall shouted homophobic abuse at me.
Conference the hardest thing to do is take an honest and difficult look at ourselves and accept that as a party we are not free from homophobia, transphobia, sexism, islamphobia and antisemitism in this party.
Conference We still have councillors that believe being gay is a sin - our patron Angle Eagle has been a victim of horrendous homophobia over the past year - women threatened with rape threats for daring to have an opinion and some of the most vile antisemitism tweeted and screamed at members in our party just because they are Jewish.
We can’t hope to change this country again if we haven’t got the bravery to change our party.
Conference I am asking you to vote for this rule change
I am asking for you to stand with all of us
To not just talk about equality but to be better - to set the gold standard and continue to raise the bar for everyone else
I’m asking you to vote for every Person that has ever been abused and harassed for just being who they are
To stand with all of us at a time where we need to feel we aren't just a tagline for the party but we are at the heart of the party
I’m asking you to show us that this is a party that will continue to change the world
To show that hatred is not welcome in party and to give the party the powers it needs to protect us
LGBT Labour would like to thank our friends and allies at the Jewish Labour Movement and in Labour Party leadership for making this rule change a possibility. Conference, let's make this a reality.