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Stonewall response to the Queen’s Speech

Here is our response to the Queen’s Speech

While today’s Queen’s Speech understandably focused heavily on Britain’s exit from the European Union, we were pleased to hear a clear acknowledgment that more must be done to tackle discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in the next two years, alongside other forms of discrimination.

But we are very concerned no mention was made of tackling discrimination based on gender identity.

The last Conservative government were open in acknowledging that trans people in our society face endemic levels of discrimination and abuse. 

They also pledged to review the Gender Recognition Act to de-medicalise the process and remove the intrusive and humiliating barriers that trans people must currently face to have their identity recognised in law.

Many LGBT people and communities are concerned about a backslide on LGBT equality, particularly in a time of so much political change.

We will be seeking urgent clarification from ministers that this remains the intention of this new government, and that they will make progress on the other priorities we set out in our manifesto for the general election. We asked all parties:

  • Will you protect LGBT rights, and commit to improving them?
  • Will you take hate crimes against LGBT people seriously, and give them the punishments they deserve?
  • Will you take a zero-tolerance approach to bullying in schools?
  • Will you make the NHS a better service for LGBT people?
  • Will you commit to kicking homophobia out of sport?
  • Will you stand up for LGBT people abroad?

Today was a missed opportunity to make clearer and more specific commitments on LGBT rights. But the government has an opportunity to demonstrate their commitment in their actions.

Many LGBT people and communities are concerned about a backslide on LGBT equality, particularly in a time of so much political change.

As we leave the EU, we need concrete guarantees that our human rights will be protected in the future; and it’s vital that any deal with the DUP to support the government’s programme does not water down its commitment to make progress on fighting discrimination and securing equality for all LGBT people.

Today was a missed opportunity to make clearer and more specific commitments on LGBT rights. But the government has an opportunity to demonstrate their commitment in their actions.

As a start, they can ensure we take a momentous step forward for all young LGBT people. Just before the election the government passed a law with cross-party support for all schools in England to provide relationships and sex education.

That will transform the health and well-being of the next generation of LGBT people – but only if it is LGBT inclusive. We look forward to working with the government to make that happen.

At a time when parliamentary energy will necessarily focus heavily on Brexit, Stonewall wants to reassure our supporters that we will work hard to ensure there is no backslide in LGBT equality. We want acceptance for all LGBT people, both here and abroad – no exceptions.