Over the last 30 years we’ve won the right to be protected at work, to raise a family and to serve in the armed forces.
This is brilliant progress. But there’s still more to do.
While we’ve seen considerable gains for lesbian, gay and bi people, progress for trans people has been slow. Since 2004, there’s been no change to the way the UK legally recognises trans people.
Equality for lesbian, gay and bi people isn’t consistent across nations. Even though a law has been passed that compels the UK Government to legalise same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland, this won’t happen until 2020 at the earliest.
Leaving the European Union (EU) will mean that our rights will be the responsibility of the UK Government. Already they’re under threat, as the law now says that we’ll lose protections such as the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights on the day the UK exits the EU.
We must not lose the protections we had as members of the EU, and we must ensure that our rights are extended post-Brexit. In the future, our law must continue to protect LGBT people from discrimination and ensure the equal treatment of every citizen.
We want to see committment from the UK government to:
- Ensure there is legislation that promises UK citizens will never have fewer human rights and equality protections than we did as EU members
- Protect citizens' rights by keeping the Human Rights Act, and the UK's signature to the European Convention on Human Rights, after the UK has left the EU
- Improve the Gender Recognition Act 2004 to streamline and de-medicalise the process for legal gender recognition. Reform must remove the requirement for intrusive medical tests, introduce a simple administrative process based on the principle of self-determination, and provide recognition for under 18-year-olds and non-binary people. This will bring us in line with international best practice
- Review the need for gender markers in official documents. Where markers are needed, introduce an 'X' category to enable non-binary people to be recognised
- Ensure the historic John Walker ruling on pension rights for same-sex couples is retained following EU withdrawal, so that inequalities in private and public sector survivorship schemes are permanently addressed
- Support the Love Equality campaign in Northern Ireland and make sure that, now marriage equality is set to be introduced, law is swiftly passed so that LGBT people, wherever they live in the UK, can marry the person they love