proud_to_vote_labour1Launching Labours LGBT Manifesto in Brighton [where else?] Angela Eagle outlined a series of policies that Labour have developed to tackle discrimination against LGBT people by means of a five point plan.

1] Tackling discrimination by strengthening the law on LGBT hate crime to ensure that protection for trans and bisexual people is equalised. And it will ebsure recording by the CPS of Hate Crime cases and conducting a review of the gender identity law. A Labour Government will also implement Turings Law.offering posthumous exonerations to to those men convicted under the now repealed ant-homosexuality laws.it will also implement the dual discrimination provisions of the Equalities Act 2010—-thus strengthening the position of those so discriminated against It will also Abolish the Governments Tribunal fee system—that has denied acess o justice to so many.
2 An education free from homophobia,biphobia aand transphobia both through the above measures and compulsory age appropriate LGBt inclusive age appropriate relationships and sex education in all state funded schools. schools.Teachers must be trained to be able to properly tackle LGBT bullying and prioritise intervention in and referral of young LGBT people to mental health services
3 An ‘international envoy ‘ on LGBT rights to promote LGBt rights globally. It will work towards the decriminalisation of homosexuality worldwide in the 70+ countries were it is still a criminal offence including those where it is still a capital offence.[One criticism here -countries like Russia have shown that homosexuality may be in theory decriminalised in practice LGBt people have precious few rights]. It will also work towards greater protection and recognition of trans people against whom discrimination is often at its most extreme. Finally—-and in a welcome reversal to what was the case under the last Labour Government it will review procedures for [worldwide] LGBT ASylum seekers. {in the past procedures have often been cruel and ludicrous especially where applicants have had to ‘prove’ their sexuality—-procedures that have often revealed more about the cultural assumptions of the investigators than the sexuality of the claimants]

4. Accessible and supportive health services especially of mental health.Mental health support for LGBT people must be strengthened. LGBT people must have the same access to ‘talking’ therapies as they presently have for other treatments such as drugs . Teachers must be trained so that they can recognise the early stges of need and link children up with support. They must also work with the transgender community to improve access to gender care services. And the government will make reducing undiagnosed and late diagnosed HIV a national priorityand work towards challenging the ‘stigma’ of HIV and promote increased availability of testing.

5 Fairer and more diverse representation in public life.

MS.Eagle said that Labour had helped deliver LEGAL equality for LGBT people but that now we face a fight to make that equality a REALITY for every LGBT people in our country. Too many LGBT young people are growing up scared and alone and don’t have sufficient support when their mental health suffers. Labour will finish the job it started and ensure EVERY LGBT person has the chance to achieve their ambitions free from prejudice and discrimination

LGBT-pledge-card-twitterGay rights activist Kirill Kalugin poses for press during a one-man protest in St. Petersburg

Kirill Kalugin carries out lone protest for LGBT rights in St Petersburg. Shortly after this picture was taken he was beaten up by Russian Marines.

Sadly Kirill has had to flee Russia and is presently seeking asylum in Germany.

This is part of what he said.

“My name is Kirill Kalugin. I’m 23 years old. I’m from St. Petersburg.Russia and I leave my country because I was afraid for my life, and for my freedom” Kalugin,who is seeking asylum in Dortmund ,was arrested many times . He said that he grew used to death threats and being arrested but was most scared of ‘disappearing’ in a Russian jail. The police-he said-could do with you what they wanted. When a gay person is attacked the police often arrested the victim. Many of his friends are now in jail.
Who can blame him for wanting to reach safety.WE wish him well. But governments in western Europe should not only consider asylum claims sympathetically but do what they can to support those left behind in Russia and elsewhere
A Labour Government must do what it can to protect LGBt Rights—–which are simply HUMAN rights— wherever they are endangered or ignored.
CL 28/4/15

A COMMENT ON THE MANIFESTO

No manifesto is perfect of course. Thus no outright ban on conversion therapy. SRE only in state funded schools. Is it alright for the others to die of ignorance? Nothing on the largely unrecognised problem of LGBT domestic violence Or homelessness———————–
BUT
Without doubt this is one of the most comprehensive programmes of LGBT Rights ever put before the British electorate. WE do not entirely agree with Angela Eagle about legal rights—-some especially for trans people are still lacking—-but her concern that the priority now should be to translate legal equality into ACTUAL equality -forallof us is absolutely right
Indeed we could almost believe that she has been reading our website!

And it is right also to point out the continued importance of THe Human Rights Act ,the European Court of Human Rights in protecting not just OUR rights but those of other minorities as well. LGBT Rights are Human Rights And they extend to other minotrities. Similarly The Equalities Act and Hate Crime law[ with all its present weaknesses] protect not just us but other minorities as well.
Our job will be to actively engage with a Labour Government not only to implement these promises but advise HOW they should be implemented.

Collectively we know a lot about discrimination and inequality. We must make our voices heard even if-perhaps especially if-we do not dot every i and cross every t.

Colin Livett 30/4/15

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