Senior LGBT+ Liberal Democrats urge party members to vote Layla Moran as leadership contest comes down to the wire

Layla Moran. (WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

LGBT+ Liberal Democrats have thrown their weight behind Layla Moran, urging party members to give her their vote in the leadership contest.

Moran is currently battling for the party’s leadership following the resignation of Jo Swinson last year.

The pansexual MP for Oxford West and Abingdon is competing with Ed Davey to become the next leader of the Liberal Democrats.

Now, Layla Moran has won the support of 100 LGBT+ party members, who are urging Liberal Democrats across the UK to make her the party’s new leader in an open letter.

The open letter praises Moran’s “compelling vision” for the UK and for her plans to “revitalise” the education system, the economy and the environment.

“It’s this broad vision which will help the Lib Dems rebuild trust and win again,” the letter reads.

“And win again we must. Because without the Lib Dems, who will vocally oppose authoritarianism and populism? Who will push like no other party for electoral reform? And who will continue to unreservedly and steadfastly champion the LGBT+ community?”

Signatories of the letter include Liberal Democrat councillors and party members from all corners of the country.

LGBT+ Liberal Democrats praised leadership hopeful Layla Moran for her steadfast support for queer rights.

The letter heaps praise on Moran for standing up for LGBT+ rights.

“She’s not treated this as a fringe issue – she recognises that it’s central to our belief as liberals that every person should be free to live life as they wish.

“She’s introduced a motion in parliament calling on the government to finally ban LGBT+ conversion therapy, working with other MPs and groups to protect young people form this outdated and harmful practice.

“She’s written to equalities minister Liz truss calling for a ‘firm timetable’ to ban conversion therapy as soon as parliament returns in September.

Layla has been strong in her defence of trans rights and stands in solidarity with trans people of all genders.

“She’s called on the government to overturn its ban on gay and bisexual men donating blood unless they stay celibate. Being able to donate blood should be based on scientific evidence, not on sexual orientation. Layla has rightly called for individual risk assessments.”

The 100 Liberal Democrat members also praised Moran’s track record on trans rights, noting that she has “strongly criticised” the Conservative government’s rumoured plan to scrap long-overdue reforms to the Gender Recognition Act (GRA).

“The trans community face untold discrimination and harassment. Layla has been strong in her defence of trans rights and stands in solidarity with trans people of all genders.

“As leader, we have no doubt Layla will continue to fight for LGBT+ rights in parliament and the media.”

The letter concluded: “We urge members who haven’t voted yet to join us in making history and electing Layla, so together we can move forward and continue fighting for a more equal future.”

The Oxford and Abingdon MP came out as pansexual earlier this year.

Moran came out as pansexual in an interview with PinkNews in January of this year, and revealed that she was in a relationship with a woman.

First elected to parliament in 2017, Moran explained that she identifies as pansexual because “it doesn’t matter about the physical attributions of the person you fall in love with, it’s about the person themselves.”

Last week, Moran doubled down on her criticism of equalities minister Liz Truss, telling PinkNews that she hasn’t “done her homework” on trans rights.

“She was rolling out well-known tropes and basically parroting some of the scare-mongering stories that we keep hearing and keep trying to fight.”