SOLIDARITY IN DIVERSITY
SOLIDARITY IN DIVERSITY

We post below a summary of a statement that we have had on LGBT Rights from the Corbyn Campaign. We have not received a similar statement from the Owen Smith campaign but would hope that he—-and indeed the entire Labour Party can unite around this statement in tis vital policy area. It builds upon the radical policy statement drawn up for the 2015 general election under the oversight of Angela Eagle.
There is little if anything in it with which we would quarrel—-it was particularly pleasing to note the support for the provision of Prep and the threat to hard won LGBT Rights that we could face if Theresa May gets her stated wish of withdrawal from the European Court of Human Rights.
Of course not EVERYTHING we would wish to see is there. Yet. There is no promise to outlaw conversion therapy or exonerate those convicted of gross indecency before the law was changed in 2003. We will continue to campaign for both—an exoneration would surely be particularly appropriate next year—-the fiftieth anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act which—albeit very partially-decriminalised homosexual acts between men.
In general though this is an excellent statement which every single member of our party ought to be able to unite around and campaign for

Diana Johnson et al – Letter to Norman Lamb

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1. Equality For All. Proud of Our Diversity

“in recent years we have made huge progress and gains for LGBT+ citizens—-Together we have achieved much but there is still much to do to build a society that is equal for all. I believe that we can do it together—–”

2. Creating An Equal ,Diverse and Inclusive Society

The erosion and diminishing visibility of LGBT venues across the country is a cause for concern. We recognise that LGBT+ bars and clubs serve an important role in LGBT+ society ,personal development and we must keep them for the future. We will therefor

Preserve the cultural and historic heritage of LGBT+ venues by using planning law to ensure greater protection from change of use
Maintain Britains place as one of the world’s leading proponents of LGBT+ rights and will seek to fight to secure and build on all EU securedLGBT + rights-enshrining them in UK statute.

2. Security At Work And Equal Access To Justiceotion

Whilst open homophobia in the workplace is rarer than it once was it remains a realiy.The Conservative Government’s introduction of employment tribunal fees has lead to increased difficulty in bringing discrimination cases. Labour is already committed to abolition of these fees. We will therefore
A] Implement Abolition of Fees
B] Strengthen employment and trade union rights from day one in a job such as protection from unfair dismissal and statutory rights for trade union Equality Reps
C] A Labour Government will use public procurement as a lever to improve equality in contract criteria. We will ensure that the promotion of race,gender,LGBT+ and Disability equality forms part of the value for money consideration for contracts and thereby improve companies equalities practice.
d] Public investment will enable the economy to grow and put the PUBLIC back into our public services and end the cuts to them. We will end the austerity that has harmed specialist LGBT+ services.

e] It is already difficult for young LGBT+ people who do not feel safe in their family home or hometown to move. Young LGBT+ people have long been over represented among the homeless–with research by the Albert Kennedy Trust showing that they represent 24% of the young homeless. Government changes to housing benefit have made things worse.We will take action aspart of our secure homes guarantee and end insecurity for private renters by introducing rent controls and a charter of private tenants rights.

3. Equality In Education

To help achieve this we will

A}Work with schools to promote a safe and inclusive environment for LGBT+ young people and encourage the adoption of inclusive practices to ensure that LGBT+ students achieve positive educational outcomes
B] Advance LGBT=inclusion in the education system by updating the national curriculum to reflect LGBT+ historical figures and LGBT+ rights
C] Ensure that Sex and Relationship Education is made compulsory in schools with a focus on sexual health,healthy relationships and LGBT+rights and tackling homophobia and misogyny

4 Healthcare

Some of Britains most glaring inequalities are in relation to health. Austerity has affected access to distinct health services used by LGBT+ patients. These include funding for treatments,information and advice which compound the serious health inequalities suffered by LGBT+ people. We Will
A} End the privatisation of our NHS . We will work with LGBT+ groups to improve health services for LGBT+ patients-including working with the trans community to improve access to gender identity services
B We will support the right to PrEp and work with support organisations to accelerate the provision of it to those at the highest risk of contracting HIV

5 Tackling Homophobia In Society

There has been a 22% increase in the number of hate crimes recorded against gays and lesbians in 2014-5. Transgender hate crime rose by 9% last year [Both Home Office Figures} THese figures account for reported crimes only

We will take active steps to ensure that all police officers are adequately trained about homophobic and transphobic crimes and educated to understand the barriers in reporting these crimes.

We will also implement Stonewalls recommendation to work with school ,the police and local authorities to prevent crimes happening in the first place

5. Increasing LGBT + representation in democracy and our party

Our democracy shoud represent the society we represent and we are proud that the British parliament has the highest proportion of LGBT+ in the world. We must build on this record and promote diverse representation at every level of our democracy and society.The Labour Party itself must make sure that it is a welcome accessible and inclusive environment for everyone and that we are removing barriers
We will ensure that equality is at the heart of all our policies

I believe that this statement should unite us across the party regardless of whom we support for leader and regardless of our sexuality. It is of course not perfect—but it is a policy well worth fighting for
Truly we should—on this issue of equality be united in our diversity. That is a source of strength–not weekness

Colin Livett 19th Sept 2016

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