View from the House: UK are fourth in Europe for LGBT+ equality

Dawn Butler MP for Brent Central

Dawn Butler MP for Brent Central - Credit: Archant

As shadow minister for women and equalities, progressing the rights of LGBT+ people is of huge importance to me. So it is a great shame that the UK has fallen from being the leading country for LGBT+ equality in Europe to fourth place under the Conservatives.

LGBT+ people have sadly experienced increasing hostility, hate crime and discrimination and been affected by cuts to specialist services. So we must recognise how far we still have to go in the fight for equality. We cannot allow ourselves to go backwards – we must support change and get our domestic laws in order.

So after much pressure from Labour, I’m pleased that on the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the government finally committed to launching the consultation on Gender Recognition Act before summer recess. This delay unfortunately created a hostile environment for trans people.

The government also finally committed to releasing the results of the National LGBT survey. Only when we see the results will we understand the lived experiences of the LGBT+ community and move things forward. Labour will continue to hold the government to account, so we can make the world a better place. I’m proud the last Labour government did more than any other in history to advance LGBT+ equality; the next Labour government will do even more.

Fighting for somebody else’s rights does not in any way diminish our own rights. Equality is equality. You cannot pick and choose, and I will continue fighting for equality for all.

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