There are some important decisions to be taken by all voters in the forthcoming General Election. Particularly if you are gay, you need to look at the past record of the current government and decide for yourself whether they have achieved any of their commitments and in any way improved the lives of those in the LGBT community.

Do you want to see 5 more years of the same, or is it time for a change to an administration that is going to listen to the people and encourage the sort of society that every LGBT person want to live in. You can best make that decision by considering what happened in British Politics, and what didn't, during the time that the Conservatives have been running the country.

In July 2017, the Tory Government launched a national survey of LGBT people. The survey was open to anyone who identified as having a minority sexual orientation, gender identity or had variations in sex characteristics.

It questioned people’s experiences of living in the UK and being able to access education, healthcare, personal safety and employment. There were more than 108,000 responses, making it the largest national survey of its kind anywhere in the world. The Tories made a commitment to take bold action based on the results of the survey.

The "LGBT Action Plan" championed by the then Minister for Equalities, Penny Mordaunt, explained how they would advance the rights of LGBT people both at home and abroad, and improve the way that public services work for them.

Former Equalities Minister Penny Mordaunt
Photo: UK Government
OGL 3 via Wikimedia Commons
The Government promised they would establish an "LGBT Implementation Fund" to deliver the action plan, allocating £4.5 million of funding until March 2020, with additional funding for future years. The funding would be used to deliver the commitments made in the plan, and enable public, private and voluntary sector organisations to deliver projects that respond to the findings of the survey.

They promised to ensure that LGBT people’s needs were at the heart of the National Health Service, as the survey showed that LGBT people felt their specific needs go unaddressed when accessing healthcare. They promised a National Adviser to provide leadership on reducing the health inequalities that LGBT people face, and would establish a more modern care model for adult gender identity services in England.

Specifically in education they would act to ensure that every child and young person feels safe in education, recognising that homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying is a major problem that needs to be addressed. They promised to ensure that transgender people are treated with dignity and respect and said they would launch separate "Calls for Evidence" on the issues faced by non-binary and intersex people.

None of it happened. Absolutely none of it.

Penny Mordaunt was replaced as Minister for Women and Equalities. There was no "LGBT Implementation Fund" or any sign of £4.5 million of funding. The NHS reforms didn't go ahead and homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in schools is as bad as it ever was. There have been no "Calls for Evidence" on the issues faced by non-binary and intersex people.

None of it happened. Absolutely none of it.

The Government killed off the action plan on LGBT issues just after the last election, despite assurances from the then leader Boris Johnson that he would "remain committed" to it. He himself went on to make a number of homophobic slurs, including the phrase "tank-topped bum boys", which he has repeatedly refused to apologise for.

When Peter Mandelson resigned from the Labour administration Johnson talked of how the "lipstick" would come away from Tony Blair’s government.

He then said, "If gay marriage was OK – and I was uncertain on the issue – then I saw no reason in principle why a union should not be consecrated between three men, as well as two men, or indeed three men and a dog."

Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson
Caricature by: DonkeyHotey
CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
It was clear that Johnson was no friend of the LGBT community. A new equalities minister Liz Truss was put in post, and she immediately announced that the Government’s LGBT advisory panel was being disbanded, even though they had never even met any senior government representatives. Liz Truss claimed the new Government’s "priorities" were to focus instead on a ban on conversion therapy and a planned conference on global LGBT rights.

It was the second time we had heard such a pledge from the Conservatives. To this day, neither of those so-called new "priorities" have been achieved. No conversion therapy ban and no conference on global LGBT rights. The Government in question has now been dissolved ahead of the forthcoming General Election on July 4th.

None of it happened. Absolutely none of it.

LGBT Failures of this outgoing Tory Government

Here are just some of the failed commitments to the LGBT community made by this last Conservative administration:

Prejudice: - No trial of innovative ways to tackle deep-seated prejudices in our communities.

LGBT Advisory Panel: - The LGBT Advisory Panel never met with a senior government representative.

LGBT Health Adviser: - No national LGBT health adviser to provide leadership on reducing the health inequalities that LGBT people face.

Schools: - No extension of the anti-homophobic, anti-biphobic and anti-transphobic bullying programme in schools.

Gay Conversion Therapy: - No proposals to end the practice of conversion therapy in the UK have been passed by the Government.

LGBT Hate Crime: – No improvement in the recording of, reporting of, and police response to LGBT hate crime.

Gender Recognition: - No reform to Gender Recognition reducing the long and bureaucratic processes or any focus on the dignity and rights of those who are trans.

LGBT Fertility Services: - No significant improvements to LGBT fertility services and mental health care.

LGBT Homelessness: - No scheme to address disproportionate levels of homelessness among LGBT people.

Non-binary and Intersex People: - No Government research on the experiences of non-binary and intersex people.

Global LGBT Rights: - A conference on global LGBT rights has never been organised by this Governmemt.

Historical Gay Sex Offences: - Those convicted of historical gay sex offences were promised they could apply for a formal pardon from the Home Office but fewer than 200 people have received pardons.

Blood Donation Restrictions: - Blood donation restrictions have been eased but anybody who has had anal sex with new or multiple partners in the last 3 months cannot donate which effectively rules out many gay men.

Homophobic Abuse: - Reports of homophobic abuse in the UK have skyrocketed during this Conservative Government, increasing from 5,807 in 2014–15 to 13,530 in 2018–19 with overall hate crime levels reaching more than 100,000 for the first time ever.

Homophobic Abuse: - Prime Minister Boris Johnson called Gay Men "tank-topped bum boys" and he has repeatedly refused to apologise for saying it.

Abysmal LGBT+ Asylum: - The UK Home Office continues to be notoriously inhospitable to LGBT+ asylum seekers whose asylum claims are refused at a higher rate than the national average.

Reform of the Gender Recognition Act: - Crucial reforms to the Gender Recognition Act, the bedrock of trans rights in the UK, have been consistently delayed by the Conservatives before being dropped altogether this year.

Rise in Anti-trans Rhetoric: - The Conservative Government's inaction following the GRA consultation has been cited as a driving force for the rising transphobia in the UK, which has grown so severe that the country was singled out in a recent Council of Europe report on anti-LGBT+ hatred.

LGBT Rights League Table: - The UK has dropped down the annual ranking of LGBTQ+ rights across Europe for the third year running.

Conversion Therapy: - There is still no conversion therapy ban in the UK which remains legal more than six years after the Government first pledged to ban the practice and confirmed again in 2019, 2022 and 2024.

Legal Recognition for Non-binary People: - Non-binary people are still unable to gain legal recognition in the UK, and the Conservatives have continued to ignore the growing demand despite a several countries in the EU, New Zealand, several US states and Canadian territories all offering ‘X’ gender options on legal documents.

Falling short on HIV: - More than 5 years after committing to ending the UK’s HIV epidemic by 2030, the government has yet to take any affirmative action on this issue according to 35 major HIV charities, LGBT+ groups and health bodies.

Falling short on HIV: - The government pledged £600,000 to Public Health England’s HIV Prevention Innovation Fund, earmarked for innovative UK schemes to help reduce the risk of people getting the virus and reducing stigma, but more than two years later the HIV Action Plan still has not been fully funded.

None of it happened. Absolutely none of it.

The election on July 4th gives you an opportunity to pass your judgment on the failures of this Tory Government. Make sure you vote for change.

REMEMBER TO TAKE YOUR PHOTO ID and go to your local polling station to use your vote wisely. Don't leave it to others - Make your voice heard!


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