Stonewall, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans equality charity, has today announced its equality manifesto ahead of the upcoming general election. The charity will be campaigning on four main pillars:
- Statutory PSHE and Sex and Relationships Education for primary and secondary schools in England. This includes talking about different types of families to make people aware of the diversity of family life. It also means ensuring that the issues facing LGBT young people are included across the board, including in discussions around consent, abuse and online safety. Finally, Stonewall is calling on the next government to show its commitment to tackling homophobic, biphobic, and transphobic bullying by ensuring all teachers are trained effectively.
- Combatting homophobic, biphobic and transphobic hate crime. This must be high priority, and should be added to the list of ‘aggravated’ offences alongside hate crime based on race or religion. The next government should spearhead a campaign that encourages LGBT people to report all incidences of hate crime; the notion that some incidents are not serious enough to report must be abolished.
- International aid. The next government must develop initiatives to ensure aid reaches LGBT people across the world. It should encourage its partners to embed LGBT equality into the way they plan and deliver aid, with the support of LGBT people in their countries, and it should make specific funding available for LGBT groups to achieve social change.
- Reviewing the laws affecting trans people. Across the UK, trans people have to fight for the right to be themselves, often struggling with a legal system that doesn’t make that easy. That’s why we’re asking all candidates to commit to reviewing laws affecting trans people, including the Gender Recognition Act, to ensure that all trans people are treated as equal citizens with equal rights.
Ruth Hunt, Chief Executive, Stonewall said: ‘A lot has been achieved during this parliament; however the biggest risk now is that huge achievements in legal equality may result in complacency. Legal equality is not enough by itself; we need to encourage our candidates to help change hearts and minds in their communities in order to achieve social equality. It’s not acceptable that this year alone 75,000 LGB young people will be bullied just for being who they are; it’s not acceptable that every week there are over 100 hate crimes committed against lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people – and that’s just the number reported; and it’s not acceptable that aid money isn’t always reaching those parts of the international LGBT community that are most in need.
‘Equality must sit at the heart of the political agenda, and we will call out any instances of homophobia, biphobia or transphobia that we see from any political party or candidate. We must not be bystanders. With just under six weeks to go until the election, the political parties should be thinking long and hard about how they can help us fight for a world where every LGBT person can be themselves, and be safe, every day.’
Stonewall is encouraging supporters to share their stories directly with local candidates, as well as encouraging candidates to stand up publically and show their support for equality in their constituencies.
To download the full Stonewall manifesto, and for more information on how to contact your local candidates, please visit stonewall