Gay Labour manifesto promises Europe-wide recognition of civil partnerships

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The Labour Party’s international LGBT manifesto will be launched in Soho tonight by foreign secretary David Miliband.

The launch, which follows the launch of the party’s domestic LGBT manifesto last week, will see Mr Miliband handing out Labour leaflets in London’s gay heart before launching the document in a gay bar.

Speaking about the manifesto, Mr Miliband said: “Since Labour has been in government Britain has led EU and international efforts to tackle discrimination and promote equal rights for LGBT people. A Labour government will build on its massive development of LGBT rights in the UK since 1997 and will look to expand this abroad.

“Labour will use Britain’s unique strength in the world and of our international alliances to fight for our values, to challenge homophobia, promote equality and ensure other governments deliver LGBT equality. Under Labour the UK will continue to be a beacon of hope for LGBT people.”

The manifesto promises that Labour, if re-elected, will push for Europe-wide recognition of British civil partnerships and ban “hate preachers and far-right homophobes” from Britain.

Although it does not mention asylum for LGBT people fleeing persecution, it does promise that the party will speak out against homophobia in countries such as Uganda.

The manifesto says: “A Labour government will continue to campaign against anti-LGBT laws and defend the human rights of LGBT people wherever they’re under attack.

“In particular, we will always raise matters of LGBT rights in countries where there is systematic violence or harassment against LGBT people, including Russia, Uganda, Iran and Jamaica.”

It also promises to force Gibraltar to equalise the gay age of consent and ensure that all British embassies around the world are licensed to carry out civil partnership ceremonies.

At present, 29 British embassies are licensed to hold the ceremonies.

Last Thursday, the party’s gay domestic manifesto was launched in Soho by equality minister Harriet Harman and foreign office minister Chris Bryant, who is gay.

It promised that a Labour government would implement compulsory sex education, remove a ‘free speech’ amendment from homophobic hate crime laws and tackle homophobia and transphobia in schools and public services.

Some, but not all of the promises, are in the party’s main election manifesto.