British Foreign Secretary David Miliband pledged this evening that the UK would be a “relentless champion” on the world stage for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights, if Labour were re-elected next month for an unprecedented four term.

He was speaking at the launch of Labour’s international LGBT election manifesto at Village Soho in the heart of Central London’s “gay village”.

“Since Labour has been in government Britain has led EU and international efforts to tackle discrimination and promote equal rights for LGBT people,” Mr. Miliband said.

“A Labour government will build on its massive development of LGBT rights in the UK since 1997 and will look to expand this abroad,” he promised.

“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.

“I’m proud that we – as a party and country – are proactive on LGBT rights and made a massive change,” he told an enthusiastic audience.

Mr. Miliband, who has relentlessly championed LGBT right throughout the world – from the European Union to the United Nations, has even encouraged British Embassies to fly, where appropriate, a rainbow flag during Gay Prides.

In a statement this evening, Michael Cashman, Labour MEP for the West Midlands and co-president of the European parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights, said that great strides had been made in equality for the LGBT community.

“Labour’s courageous record for LGBT people has seen us achieve equality in the UK. Now Labour is leading the campaign in Europe.

“There is still opposition to LGBT equality, and the Tories have opposed us every step of the way – whether in Westminster or in the European Parliament.”

The International Manifesto promises that a Labour government will:

• Be a relentless champion at the UN, on the world stage and in the European Union and Commonwealth for LGBT rights;

• Campaign to extend Labour’s equality measures in Europe and across the globe, especially establishing civil partnerships in every EU state;

• Push for the UK’s Civil Partnerships to be recognised in the European Union with equal status to marriage;

• Ensure every British Embassy licensed to hold Civil Partnerships;

• Equalise the age of consent in Gibraltar;

• Ban homophobia from our shores.

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