The Tories aren't the only party with a leader who's fighting a General Election for the
first time. Charles Kennedy took over the Liberal Democrats from Paddy
Ashdown and has not only taken a personal lead on many gay issues since his appointment but
also ensured that equality is at the forefront of the party’s 2001 General Election
The Liberal Democrat manifesto contains pledges to introduce an all-encompassing
Equality Act, to allow gays and lesbians the right to adopt children, to reform
laws on sexual offences, to remove discrimination against trans-sexuals and to recognise
The party has also consistently committed itself to scrapping Section 28, unequivocally
supported the equalisation of the age of consent and called for anti-discrimination laws
for people with HIV and AIDS.
As the new leader of the Liberal Democrats Charles Kennedy may not have made the initial political
impact that many were hoping for, but his dedication to achieving equality for all cannot be questioned.
Stonewall welcomes the Liberal Democrat manifesto pledge to repeal section 28. It also
praises the Liberal Democrat commitment to establish a civil partnership register
for same-sex couples and to pass a single Equality Act protecting all citizens from discrimination.
Angela Mason, executive director of Stonewall, congratulated the Liberal Democrats
on a "brave manifesto that makes it clear that human rights are not negotiable".
"Some of the Liberal Democrat candidates, who have strong track records on lesbian and gay
equality issues, are standing in marginal seats facing a Tory challenger. Those who support
equality and human rights, who will make their ballot box decisions based on these issues,
should consider the candidates' records and use their vote wisely" Angela Mason added.
You can find out more about the Liberal Democrats manifesto on their website:
OutUK's coverage of election 2001 will continue to update you on aspects of the campaign
that affect gay men. Stonewall are also encouraging us all to vote tactically and you can
find out more about their excellent website using the link below.
We also have more on the other main party manifestos, and the issues contained in them.
OutUK Election 2001
Stonewall's Political Campaign