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Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Labour to launch LGBT manifesto

Launching Labour’s LGBT manifesto, "A Better Future for Britain’s LGBT Community", Labour’s Angela Eagle will highlight figures showing nearly a quarter of LGB young people, and half of young trans people, have attempted suicide. She will pledge that Labour will prioritise access to mental health services for young people, including those bullied because of their sexuality or gender identity and ensure teachers are equipped to identify problems early and link children up with support.

Angela Eagle will say that the extraordinary progress Britain has made on lesbian and gay rights over the last 20 years is one of Labour’s proudest achievements. But there is no room for complacency. The commitment forms part of a wider package of measures to tackle discrimination and promote positive representation for LGBT young people, including action on homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in schools, strengthening the law on hate crime and challenging narrow and prejudiced representations of LGBT people in public life.

Labour’s LGBT manifesto will pledge five promises to the LGBT community to drive forward progress:

  • 1. Tackle the discrimination that holds LGBT people back:
  • Labour will strengthen the law on LGBT hate crime, undertake a review of gender identity law and policy and implement ‘Turing’s Law’ offering posthumous pardons to gay men convicted for homosexuality.
  • 2. An education free from homophobia, biphobia and transphobia:
  • With Labour, teachers will be equipped to tackle LGBT-phobic bullying, and we will introduce age-appropriate compulsory sex and relationship education in all State-supported schools so that young people learn to respect each other’s relationships
  • 3. Leadership on LGBT rights around the world:
  • Labour will appoint the UK’s first International envoy on LGBT rights to promote respect on LGBT rights globally, and review the procedures for asylum seekers fleeing persecution for their sexuality or gender identity, to ensure the rules are upheld fairly and humanely.
  • 4. Accessible and supportive health services:
  • With Labour, people will have an equal right to mental health treatment including talking therapies and we will work with the trans community to improve access to gender care services.
  • 5. Fairer and more diverse representation in public life:
  • Labour will work to improve LGBT representation in Parliament and challenge narrow representations of LGBT people across public life.

Angela Eagle, Labour’s Shadow Leader of the House of Commons, said: "I’m proud that over the twenty three years I’ve been in parliament Labour has helped to deliver legal equality for LGBT people, but now we face a fight to make that equality a reality for every single LGBT person in our country. Too many LGBT young people are growing up scared and alone because they are bullied at school and don’t have sufficient support when their mental health suffers. In government Labour will finish the job we started and ensure every LGBT person has the chance to achieve their ambitions free from prejudice and discrimination."

Commenting Gloria de Piero, Labour’s Shadow Equalities Minister, said: “As a country we have made huge strides towards equality in law and in life for LGBT people, and it is a source of huge pride that so many of these were delivered by Labour in Government. But when so many LGBT young people still suffer discrimination and bullying we cannot be complacent. Labour will continue to drive forward progress with a plan to tackle homophobic bullying, strengthen the law on hate crime, improve access to mental health services for all and provide international leadership on LGBT rights.”

Also commenting, actor, Sir Ian McKellen said: "I am impressed by the aims and commitments of Labour’s manifesto for LGBT people, particularly the appointment of Michael Cashman as an international LGBT Rights Envoy. Such initiatives cost little, yet help make the world a better safer place for us all."