Where even the tide is out...

1. What do you think the biggest challenges facing the LGBTQ+ communities are? And if you don’t know, how will you go about learning?


Being the LGBT+ Candidate for the area I have first hand experience dealing with the biggest challenges such as social exclusion, threatening behaviour that is acceptable to a scary amount of people, especially seeing it with the right movements that include Reform,

(I was at Crewkerne market yesterday and for simply having a Pride flag on my market stand I was threatened with verbal abuse, a barking dog, which was adorable as I get on with all dogs even though this one could have been a huge guard dog, the man was quoting bible nonsense).

This can thankfully be overcome very simply, education is key at all levels and ages not just teaching 'be who you are' in schools but to have Pride events across the County showing it's safe and there are more people who love and care for you than the news highlighted Racist, Homophobic bible basher bigots, we even see in our Town centres their hate speech isn't treated as a crime ban these fools from spouting hate on people for simply being born gay..




I think one of the biggest challenges facing the LGBTQIA community is sadly still the presence of discrimination and lack of acceptance. It's not acceptable that in 2024, we aren’t treating hate crimes against LGBTQIA people as aggravated offences which is something Labour wants to change at a national level. It is also something I feel strongly about on an individual level, I want our constituency to feel safe for all of its residents, not just some. The best way to understand the issues is to continue to listen to the people affected, and as a candidate who truly wants to represent the area and be its voice in Westminster I am committed to continuing to listen.




Firstly, I'm really disappointed to not be answering these questions at your hustings. It was an event I was looking forward to, and it's saddening that some of the other candidates refused to attend. Your voices matter. It sends the wrong message that this event was cancelled.

While significant progress has been made in the challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community, there is still so much more work to be done. With the real threat of regression, we must stand up, and stand with, the LGBTQ+ community.

There still remains the challenge of keeping the LGBTQ+ community safe and free from hate. Bridgwater Liberal Democrats undertook research ahead of this election, requesting information on hate crime in Somerset & Avon from the Police and Crime Commissioner. The results were shocking.

Hate crime is up by 62% compared with 2017, with the biggest rise in the number of hate crimes committed being related to transphobic abuse - a staggering 182% increase on seven years ago. This is the result of the political discourse at the top of politics, between Labour and the Conservatives, which has emboldened those wishing to erode away the rights of the LGBTQ+ community.

The Conservatives and Keir Starmer's Labour are two sides of the same coin when it comes to protecting the rights of the LGBTQ+ community.

Other concerns members of the LGBTQ+ community have told me about are related to self-identification, and being able to express identity freely. The Liberal Democrats will enshrine these rights in law.

I will continue to engage with the LGBTQ+ community, learning more about the problems the community faces. As an MP, my door is always open and I will be visible and accessible in communities.

I am a Liberal. It's what being a Liberal Democrat means. What we stand for is the freedom of expression and identity for everyone.





I believe one of the biggest challenges facing the LGBTQ+ communities is the lack of understanding in our wider communities.   Reporting of issues is sometimes compiled from an often unsympathetic point of view that reflects a misunderstanding of and fails to acknowledge the discrimination and prejudice many LGBTQ+ people face in their everyday lives or when seeking housing and jobs.   One of the key points in our manifesto on LGBT stuff is self-ID for trans people. We would make it easier for trans people to have their gender recognised, because we are clear that it is about dignity, that’s about making sure that trans people have the same dignity that the rest of us take for granted.   With a Co-Leader and staff members of the LGBTQ+ community the Green Party is benefiting from first hand contact with issues affecting the wider LGBTQ+ community, for Local issues, I would seek to reach out to members of organisations within our community.





I think the biggest challenges are gaining acceptance and fighting discrimination, although a lot of progress has been made in all of this.




Since being selected as the Conservative candidate last year my team and I have spoken to over 8000 people. The most common concerns raised are the cost of living, crime and anti-social behaviour including illegal traveller encampments, the time it takes to get a GP appointment, the lack of NHS dentists and the state of our high streets. None of the people I spoke to raised the subject of their sexuality, including the gay and lesbian couples that I spoke to.


I dislike the practice, common on the left of British politics, of dividing people into small groups and then assuming that all those in that group share the same concerns. If elected as the new MP for Bridgwater I will treat all my constituents equally.

2. Murdered MP Jo Cox is quoted as saying: “We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.” How would you ensure this is put into practice?


I think I've half mentioned this response above, Pride brings all walks of life to celebrate the community at large including straight friends and families 🙂

Education is key as is culture and celebrating who we are for what past hero's have done for our rights today, not unlike war hero's of the past. Events and highlight people such as Alan Turing who saved us in WW2 (broke the enigma code) and the awful thanks he received for doing so under the crime of being a gay man. Thankfully today millions of people's battles see us in a more free society, and we must fight to keep those rights unfortunately with how things are slipping in government.




I wholeheartedly agree with the statement from the late Jo Cox MP and I think that it’s important that people feel united by what they share, rather than torn apart by what they don’t. Locally, I think this means better representation for a diversity of voices and opinions so that we can all better understand one another, and unite in a shared interest to make the community in this constituency better for everyone.




The murder of Jo Cox was horrific and heart-breaking and lessons must be learned in how politics is conducted. The political culture needs to be better, the public, politicians and the media need to be part of creating a better politics that doesn’t fuel hate.

I have experienced harassment and online abuse, so I am aware of how difficult the political culture can be.

If elected, I would be an MP for everyone. Not just those that voted for me or who I agree with, politically, and I would push to implement the necessary changes in parliament. 

At a local level, I will be visible in meeting with the community, talking with residents about their concerns. 

We also need to look at education. By educating people - adults and children - of the rights enshrined in law that are afforded to everyone, we can foster a collaborative community. It will take time, but I am an optimist and have the political will to help advance society for the better. 

We need liberal values now more than ever, and I will be vocal in advocating them.




I believe lack of education and understanding allows divisive opinions to flourish, we must ensure our future generations of young people learn about diversity. We know that ignorance doesn’t protect children and so appropriate relationship and sex education in schools, including inclusive education about LGBTQ issues, is a must.  The Green Party would do our best to protect age-appropriate, inclusive relationship and sex education in schools. It is really important that young people learn about all the different types of relationships, all the different ways of living and being.  Apart from anything else, we share a common adversity in Climate and Ecological dangers, where we will need all of our individual talents and expertise to succeed in overcoming them.




Well I am a practicing Christian so for me this is very easy-everybody is born equal under the sight of God and is equally important regardless of their lifestyle choices.




By serving all my constituents to the best of my ability and treating everyone I meet with courtesy and respect.

3. Trans rights have been consistently eroded and even endangered in recent years, what will your party do to ensure that everyone in the LGBTQIA space is valued?


I want to lead a movement to show its of no concern to anyone on how people identify their lives, it's unfortunate that some people feel the need to attack people in vile ways for just them being who they are again.

I hear from alot of people on the streets when questions are asked about this subject and at large most people do not care as they see it's that person's right to choose 🙂

So to the small percentage of haters out there it's of no concern or impact to your lives do not force your outdated opinion on any of us.

The public do support us and our rights, we need laws in place to safeguard against the small minority of bigoted people still out there, with time they will disappear and with strong laws in place it will be a more safer place for the community at all ages.




In respect to Trans rights, the Labour manifesto is clear. We are pledging to deliver a trans-inclusive ban on conversion therapy and reform the intrusive and outdated gender recognition law to remove indignities for trans people while enabling access to the healthcare pathway.


Ultimately, I want to be the representative of all residents in this constituency and value their voices and contributions immensely. I will admit when I don't know something, and listen to try and understand, I hope to be the voice in Westminster that gets their concerns heard on a national level.




To repeat the statistics I mentioned above, hate crime against the trans community has risen by 182% in seven years in Avon & Somerset. This is not good enough and we are failing the trans community. 

Labour's veer towards the Conservatives on Trans rights is as shocking as it is disappointing. 

First, we need to confront this rise in hate crime and ensure the law is applied and those that engage in transphobic hate are held to account. 

We then need to strengthen the rights of trans and non-binary people.

The Liberal Democrats will enshrine the rights of self-identification and the rights of the trans community in law, removing the requirement for medical reports. 

The party will continue to advocate for all within the LGBTQ+ community, making sure we have equality in the workplace and society at large. 

The Liberal Democrats are on the side of the LGBTQ+ community and the more Liberal Democrat voices we have in parliament, the stronger we can stand up for LGBTQ+ rights. 




I believe that The Green Party are helpfully, really clear on equality issues. One of the key points in our manifesto on LGBTQIA needs, is self-ID for trans people. We would make it easier for the trans people to have their gender recognised because we are clear that it is about dignity, that’s about making sure that trans people have the same dignity that the rest of us take for granted, that if they get married on their marriage certificate or on their tombstone, when they pass away, their gender is recorded accurately.

We would also push for an “X” marker to be available on a passport so that non-binary people can use that if they prefer, and making sure that there’s good access to trans healthcare and, indeed, access to all forms of healthcare for everybody.

I think the Green Party concern about inclusivity recognises the value individual members can contribute to a better society and how each individual can bring something unique to share.

If I were elected, I would enjoy representing our LGBTQIA communities.   





We in the Workers Party are wholeheartedly opposed to discrimination in any and all of its' forms.




There are voices that seek to divide people with toxic and unhelpful debate but that is not the way we should conduct ourselves. We should try and speak kindly of one another.

I don't accept that "Trans rights have been consistently eroded and even endangered in recent years". It is right that the UK has protections for those whose sense of self does not match their biological sex. However, I do not want the safety and privacy of women and girls to be undermined. I support the Conservative proposal of introducing legislation to clarify that the protected characteristic of sex in the Equality Act means biological sex." 

I am proud of the Conservative Party's record of supporting LGBT rights. Only last year we celebrated ten years since the passing of the Same-Sex Marriage Act, introduced by a Conservative Prime Minister. We have reduced the cost of a Gender Recognition Certificate from £140 to £5 to ensure the process is more affordable for transgender people. And we changed blood donation criteria so that more men who have sex with men can donate.

22nd July 2023

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