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Election 2019: What do the party manifestos offer LGBTQ people?

Here's our handy guide to the seven main parties' queer manifesto commitments.

2019-12-10

Update: This article was amended on 11/12/19 to include pledges outlined by the Scottish National Party in their separate LGBTI Equality Manifesto.

Britain heads to the polls on Thursday 12 December, but as an LGBTQ person, how should you be using your vote to affect change for our community?

We've delved into the manifestos of each of the seven main parties to highlight each and every commitment to LGBTQ people, from healthcare to hate crime, LGBTQ-inclusive to asylum, access to PrEP to reform of the Gender Recognition Act.

Spoiler alert: some have more express commitments to our community than others.

Here's your guide to each party's LGBTQ manifesto pledges...

Conservative

"We will continue to help teachers tackle bullying, including homophobic bullying."

"We will protect people from physical attack or harassment whether for their sex, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion or disability, and expand funding for and protect places of worship. We will vigorously combat harassment and violence against all religious groups, and against LGBT people."

"We will champion freedom of expression and tolerance, both in the UK and overseas."

"We will support marginalised communities in the developing world, hosting the UK government’s first ever international LGBT conference."

Labour

"We will guarantee universal healthcare... by ensuring all our services are made accessible to BAME, LGBT+ and disabled patients."

Labour will create a new Department for Women and Equalities, with a full-time Secretary of State, responsible for ensuring all our policies and laws are equality-impact assessed in order to deliver a fairer society for women and all under-represented groups.

"Labour is committed to reforming the Gender Recognition Act 2004 to introduce self-declaration for transgender people."

"[Labour] will:

• Put LGBT+ equality at the heart of government, ensuring our public services are LGBT+ inclusive and delivering on the national LGBT Action Plan.

• Take steps to safeguard LGBT+ rights inside or outside the EU, such as retaining and promoting the Human Rights Act.

• Tackle the homelessness and rough sleeping crisis in the UK, ensuring that all strategies and services are tailored to understand needs unique to LGBT+ homeless people, particularly young people who make up a disproportionate number of our currently homeless people.

• Provide sufficient funding for schools to deliver mandatory LGBT+ inclusive relationships and sex education.

• Fully fund sexual health services and roll out PrEP medication.

• Respond fast and firmly wherever LGBT+ people face violence or persecution internationally and appoint a dedicated global ambassador to the Foreign Office on LGBT+ issues.

The Liberal Democrats

"Introduce a ‘curriculum for life’, in all state-funded schools. This will include... age-appropriate Relationships and Sex Education (RSE). Teaching about sexual consent, LGBT+ relationships, and issues surrounding explicit images and content will be included in RSE."

"Ensure that LGBT+ inclusive mental health services receive funding and support."

"Require that a fair proportion of all public funding for health research should be focused on research into mental ill-health, including research into the different mental health needs of different communities within the UK such as BAME and
LGBT+ people.

"Increase access to a broader range and number of clinically effective talking therapies... with equal access for older people, BAME and LGBT+ patients..."

"Address continuing inequalities in health services access faced by same-sex couples, and continue to improve LGBT+ healthcare overall.

"Complete the introduction of equal marriage, by:

  • Removing the spousal veto.
  •  Allowing those marriages that were dissolved solely due to the Gender Recognition process to be retrospectively restored.
  • Enabling the Church of England and Church in Wales to conduct same-sex marriages

"Tackle the rise in hate crimes by making them all aggravated ofences, giving law enforcement the resources and training they need to identify and prevent them."

"Complete reform of the Gender Recognition Act to remove the requirement for medical reports, scrap the fee and recognise non-binary gender identities."

"Introduce an ‘X’ gender option on passports and extend equality law to cover gender identity and expression."

"Ensure accurate population data on sexual orientation and gender identity by including a question on LGBT+ status within the 2021 Census.

"Increase statutory paternity leave from the current two weeks up to six weeks and ensure that parental leave is a day-one right, and address continuing inequalities faced by same-sex couples."

"Protect, defend, and promote human rights for all, including LGBT+ individuals who are persecuted across the world as well as those persecuted for their religion or belief."

"Develop a comprehensive strategy for promoting the decriminalisation of homosexuality around the world and advancing LGBT+ rights."

Greens

"Retain the Human Rights Act and reaffirm the UK’s commitment to the European Convention on Human Rights.

"Establish a new press regulatory regime which will allow women to make formal complaints about media coverage that will encourage misogyny against women. This regime will allow for third party complaints to be made, on behalf of women negatively affected by media coverage. Media-led misogyny affects women of all backgrounds, all ethnicities, all religions, cis and trans, lesbian, bisexual and straight – it’s time to end it once and for all.

“Increase funding for areas of the NHS heavily relied on by LGBTIQA+ people, including trans healthcare, gender identity clinics, HIV treatment and mental health provision.

“Properly fund training to support the delivery of comprehensive, age-appropriate Personal Health and Sexual Education (PHSE) lessons in schools covering all aspects of sex and relationships, with a focus on consent.

End the opt-out of LGBTIQA+ inclusive PHSE classes at school to ensure that every child learns about different types of couples and families that make up UK society.

“Train school staff in spotting and stopping sexual harassment and bullying, to ensure that schools are safe places for all to learn in.

Remove the spousal veto so that married trans people can acquire their gender recognition certificate without having to obtain permission from their spouse.

“We will also change the law so an X gender marker can be added to passports for non-binary and intersex people who wish to use it, and update the Gender Recognition Act to allow trans youth and non-binary people to get legal recognition through self-declaration.”

Scottish National Party (SNP)

"SNP MPs will oppose any attempts by the UK government to scrap the Human Rights Act and withdraw the UK from the ECHR."

"SNP MPs will push for reform of the detention and asylum system for LGBT+ individuals escaping countries where homosexuality is still criminalised, removing unfair and invasive demands for ‘proof’ of sexuality or gender identity."

"While Scotland is in the UK, SNP MPs will continue to demand the full devolution of equality, employment and immigration powers so that the Scottish Parliament has the powers to protect LGBTI equality and make Scotland a fairer and more equal place to live."

"While equality law remains reserved to Westminster, SNP MPs will press the UK government to take action so that all LGBTI people are fully protected from discrimination and harassment, including multiple discrimination."

"The SNP government was the first in the UK to commit to reforming gender recognition law to secure equality and human rights for trans people. A draft Gender Recognition (Scotland) Bill will be published by the end of the year, with a consultation on the detail of the legislation."

"SNP MPs will press the UK government to allow non-binary people to record their gender as “X” on passports and all other UK-wide records and identity documents. The SNP government is also establishing a non-binary working group to consider changes to procedures and practice in Scotland."

"The SNP government introduced the Historical Sexual Offences (Pardons and Disregards) (Scotland) Act 2018, the UK’s most extensive Turing Law, with a public apology by the First Minister on behalf of the country. SNP MPs will continue to press the UK government to extend the scope of its legislation – so that it also covers all the old discriminatory offences and provides an automatic pardon to gay and bisexual men who are still alive."

"SNP MPs will press for intersex people and organisations to be fully consulted on changes to the law and policy to introduce effective protections for intersex people’s human rights."

"Scotland was the first UK nation to approve the provision of Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) by the NHS to prevent HIV. SNP MPs will continue to support efforts to improve the availability of PrEP on the NHS in the rest of the UK too."

"The SNP opposes LGBTI conversion therapy practices, which are discriminatory and proven to have a harmful effect on the mental health and wellbeing of LGBTI people. SNP MPs will press the UK government to reform laws and regulations, which are reserved to Westminster, to ban and prevent the practice of LGBTI conversion therapy."

"While Asylum remains reserved to Westminster, SNP MPs will press for reforms to ensure that people forced to flee persecution because they are LGBTI have access to asylum in the UK, are not held in arbitrary detention, and are treated in a fair manner with dignity and respect."

"The SNP will continue to champion the advancement of LGBTI equality and human rights around the world. While foreign affairs remain reserved to Westminster, SNP MPs will continue to press for the establishment of a special envoy to promote the rights of LGBTI people, and to make LGBTI equality an integral part of UK foreign policy."

Plaid Cymru

"We believe that LGBTQI+ voices and experiences need to be heard and affirmed. Having secured recurrent funding for the Gender Identity Clinic, Plaid Cymru will work to improve the provision and ensure timely access to the service.

"Schools in Wales will be required to keep a register of bullying incidents related to sexuality, to take action where necessary and to involve students in anti-bullying initiatives."

"We will promote LGBT participation in sport, as part of broader efforts towards healthier lifestyles, and work with clubs and organisations to reduce homophobic, transphobic and sexist behaviour."

"Plaid Cymru will support the reform of the Gender Recognition Act to introduce a streamlined, de-medicalised process."

"We will support efforts to reform the Equality Act to include ‘gender identity’ as a protected characteristic and to remove the use of the terms ‘gender reassignment’ and ‘transsexual’ from the Act."

Brexit Party

There is no mention of LGBTQ people or issues in the Brexit Party manifesto.