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Tuesday, 19 November 2019 23:24

It Is Time To Put LGBT Rights Back At The Heart Of The British Elections

2019 uk elections lgbt rights

With the upcoming elections in the United Kingdom, we are entitled to ask ourselves whether LGBTQ rights will play an important role in these elections? I’m afraid we’re a little disappointed. Brexit and climate, equally important issues for the British, should play a major role.

But with the anti-trans atmosphere in the United Kingdom, whether in the media or on the street, it is important to re-motivate LGBTQ+ troops for these elections, as the decisions taken in Westminster have consequences for the entire community.

What about the Gender Recognition Act?

There remains the Gender Recognition Act introduced by former Prime Minister Theresa May in 2017.

I wrote about it when the government launched a consultation on the subject in 2018, but since then, particularly with the many “twists and turns” concerning the Brexit, they have postponed the law.

stonewall 2019 general election manifesto

Stonewall publishes the 2019 General Election Manifesto

The British LGBTQ organization Stonewall has published a manifesto in which it “urges voters to ‘Come Out’ this election and ask their candidates to commit to LGBT equality at the December general election.”

Stonewall is asking the next UK government to:

  • Change the law on LGBT hate crimes so they are treated in the same way as crimes motivated by race and faith
  • Take steps to safeguard LGBT rights after the UK leaves the European Union, such as keeping the Human Rights Act
  • Provide sufficient funding for schools to deliver LGBT-inclusive Relationships and Sex Education
  • Improve Gender Identity Services to ensure they are fully equipped to meet the needs of all trans people and are accessible to everyone who needs them
  • Respond strongly, quickly and effectively where LGBT people face violence or persecution internationally

“On 12 December, we’ll be voting for the kind of society we want to live in,” said Paul Twocock, acting general manager of Stonewall, in a press release. “We’re living through one of the most polarised periods in our history–and that division has meant that minority communities, including LGBT people, are experiencing more hate and discrimination. The progress we’ve made is under threat.

“The decisions made in Westminster have a huge impact on the everyday lives of LGBT people and, indeed, all of us. We need everyone who cares about LGBT equality to talk to candidates in their constituencies about LGBT rights, and we need people to vote for equality to help build more united communities.

“We must keep LGBT equality firmly on the agenda and press for a world where all LGBT people are accepted without exception.”

Of course, homosexuality has no longer been a crime since the 60s. Certainly, many protections are already in place, unlike in some countries, but is conversion therapy legal in the United Kingdom? Yes.

And there are still discrimination based on sexual orientation and, in particular, on gender identity, especially in employment.

So don’t forget to register and contribute to promoting LGBT rights in the UK. You can vote ten times without feeling like you’re contributing to something until the day you put a ballot in an envelope that works with others to make things happen.

Mine once helped to legalize equal marriage and adoption. For me, this will remain one of my greatest pride.

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