MPs and peers across party lines have formed an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on LGBT Rights. The aim of the group is to help tackle breaches of LGBT+ rights around the world and push LGBT+ rights issues forward in Parliament. APPGs are informal groups working on specific issues across party lines. The group is chaired by Conservative MP Nick Herbert, while Caroline Lucas (Green) and Stewart Macdonald (SNP) serve as vice chairs.
The Kaleidoscope Trust attended the launch event hosted by the APPG’s patron, Speaker of the House John Bercow MP, alongside other charities and leaders in the LGBT movement, including the Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group, Black Pride and Justice for Gay Africans.
Speaking at the launch reception, Chair Nick Herbert MP acknowledged the importance of the Kaleidoscope Trust’s Parliamentary Friends group, a group of MPs concerned with LGBT issues internationally established in early 2013, in laying the foundations for the current APPG.
Lord Cashman, Labour’s special envoy on LGBT rights, also spoke at the event saying:
“Human rights and civil liberties need to be the top priority of every party that takes itself seriously.”
Philippa Drew, Trustee of the Kaleidoscope Trust and Chair of the Doughty Street Group, also addressed the audience.
Chair Nick Herbert announced that as its first task the group will launch an enquiry into LGBT rights abuses internationally to understand the issue. The enquiry will include testimonies from individuals and organisations.
The Kaleidoscope Trust looks forward to working closely with the APPG in our work to tackle LGBT discrimination and abuses and ensure that LGBT rights are part of UK policy around the world.