“We’ve come a long way since my Conservative opponent in 1997 described me as a sterile, disease-ridden homosexual who would put my constituents’ children at risk.”
GRA review to go ahead early
The government is planning to launch a consultation on reforms [of the Gender Recognition Act] in the next few weeks.
Theresa May last year announced plans to consult on changes to the Gender Recognition Act to streamline the process that allows transgender people to change their legal gender, after a report called for a ‘self-identification’ system.
Progress on the issue has been plagued by setbacks and hostile media coverage, and the consultation – initially touted to launch in 2017 – has still not materialised.
But Minister for Women Victoria Atkins has this week vowed to push ahead with progress on the issue, after attending an event hosted by PinkNews and Stonewall where transgender people spoke about their experiences.
‘Gay Cure’ therapy to finally be banned in the UK
Controversial “gay conversion therapies” are to be banned as part of a government plan to improve the lives of gay and transgender people.
A national survey of 108,000 members of the LGBT community suggested 2% have undergone the practice with another 5% having been offered it.
It also found more than two-thirds of LGBT people avoid holding hands in public, for fear of negative reactions.
The prime minister said nobody “should ever have to hide who they are”.
A 75-point plan to improve the lives of LGBT people, costing £4.5m, has been produced in response to the survey. It includes plans to introduce a national LGBT health adviser, tackle discrimination, improve the response to hate crime and to improve diversity in education institutions.
The charity Stonewall added there were still “pockets of society” where the LGBT community was “far from safe”.
Tory LGBT reforms described as ‘inadequate’ by Labour:
The government has been accused of missing out a number of key issues from its landmark LGBT action plan.
Ahead of a Downing Street LGBT reception today, the government has set out an action plan making key commitments on LGBT rights, vowing to outlaw gay ‘cure’ therapy and tackle hate crimes and homophobic bullying.
However, many of the commitments in the report – such as new guidance on sex and relationship education and a consultation on gender recognition laws, simply repeat previously-stated commitments, while other issues were missing entirely.
There was no mention of any strategy to bring equal marriage to Northern Ireland, and much-demanded reforms for LGBT asylum seekers who fled homophobic persecution were also absent.