A non-partisan group launched Monday (1 March) to make the LGBTI case for the UK to leave the EU.
Out and Proud will organize a number of events and host articles and comments pieces on its website in the run up to the referendum on 23 June.
‘One of the main purposes of the group is to dispel the myth that LGBT rights in the UK derive from EU membership,’ said Adam Lake, director of Out and Proud.
‘Out of 28 EU members six still do not formally recognize gay relationships in any form, sixteen have opted not to legalize gay marriage and seven feel so strongly that the concept of gay marriage is abhorrent that they have a constitutional ban on it ever coming into place.
‘Conversely the decriminalization of same sex acts, equal age of consent, equal partnerships and marriages, LGBT adoption and equal access to IVF and the right to change gender have all come in to place because of laws created and passed by the UK parliament.’
Some LGBT people support #VoteLeave, get over it.
— Out & Proud (@OutandProudUK) February 23, 2016
Out and Proud said the EU had failed in improving attitudes to LGBTI people in Eastern Europe and fighting for equality in the rest of the world, and ‘was too insular, too bureaucratic and too indifferent to injustice.’
The group also argued that a more internationalist, globally-engaged UK will be an even more effective champion of LGBT rights around the world.
‘It’s really important that LGBT people who support the leave campaign can do so without having to share a platform those who perhaps do not have the same commitment to LGBT equality as we do,’ added Lake.
‘This is about providing an opportunity for LGBT people to debate the issues in a positive and inclusive way so that everyone can make an informed choice on 23 June.’