Bumper Pride weekend
It’s been a bumper LGBT+ Pride weekend in the North West, with Lib Dems at Oldham, Stockport and Liverpool Prides. All three were excellent and our thanks to the organising teams who put together three brilliant events – and a particular welcome to Stockport as it was the first LGBT Pride there.
The Liberal Democrats have a proud and unparalleled record of campaigning for and delivering on LGBT+ issues in Westminster – both in opposition or in government.
In the party’s 2017 manifesto we set out a number of LGBT+ policies and the battle to deliver on these continues in this parliament. These included:
- Our young people are bright, creative and want a world that is clean and green and that the rest of us haven’t wrecked. They want jobs, good health and the chance to choose who they love and how they live.
- Defending social rights and equalities: Many important protections such as the right to 52 weeks’ maternity leave and rights to annual leave are currently based on EU law, and many of these rights have been upheld at the European Court of Justice. Liberal Democrats will fight to ensure that these entitlements are not undermined.
- Ensure that LGBT+ inclusive mental health services receive funding and support.
- Make Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV prevention available on the NHS.
- Introduce a curriculum entitlement – a slimmed down core national curriculum, which will be taught in all state-funded schools. This will include Personal, Social and Health Education: a ‘curriculum for life’ including financial literacy, first aid and emergency lifesaving skills, mental health education, citizenship and age-appropriate Sex and Relationship Education (SRE).
- Include in SRE teaching about sexual consent, LGBT+ relationships, and issues surrounding explicit images and content.
- Challenge gender stereotyping and early sexualisation, working with schools to promote positive body image and break down outdated perceptions of gender appropriateness of particular academic subjects.
- Tackle bullying in schools, including bullying on the basis of gender, sexuality, gender identity or gender expression.
- Extend the Equality Act to all large companies with more than 250 employees, requiring them to monitor and publish data on gender, BAME, and LGBT+ employment levels and pay gaps.
- Campaign to reduce intolerance, including anti-Semitism, and hate crimes alongside organisations such as Show Racism the Red Card, the Anne Frank Trust UK, and Kick It Out.
- Ask the Advisory Committee on Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs periodically to review rules around men who have sex with men and other related groups donating blood to consider what restrictions remain necessary.
- Introduce an ‘X’ option on passports, identity documents, and official forms for those who do not wish to identify as either male or female, and campaign for their introduction in the provision of other services, for example utilities.
- Strengthen legal rights and obligations for couples by introducing mixed-sex civil partnerships and extending rights to cohabiting couples.
- Extend protection of gender reassignment in equality law to explicitly cover gender identity and expression, and streamline and simplify the Gender Recognition Act 2004 to allow individuals to change their legal gender without unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles, for example the intrusive medical tests currently required.
- Remove the spousal veto, and abolish remaining marriage inequalities in areas such as pensions, hospital visitation rights and custody of children in the event of bereavement.
- Ensure that trans prisoners are placed in prisons that reflect their gender identity, rather than their birth gender.
- Offer asylum to people fleeing countries where their sexual orientation orgender identification means that they risk imprisonment, torture or execution, and stop deporting people at risk to such countries.
- Develop a comprehensive strategy for promoting the decriminalisation of homosexuality around the world and advancing the cause of LGBT+ rights.
- Introduce legislation to allow for all-BAME and all-LGBT+ parliamentary shortlists.