Stonewall, Britain’s leading charity for lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality, is urging voters to ‘Come Out’ this election and ask their candidates to commit to LGBT equality at the December general election.
Despite the progress made towards equality, too many LGBT people face exclusion, discrimination and abuse.
Stonewall wants the next government to prioritise building a society where every LGBT person is accepted without exception.
Ahead of the general election, it is seeking commitments from all parties and all candidates to help achieve true equality.
To help secure this, Stonewall is encouraging people to not only register to vote, but to sign up to the charity’s election manifesto and ask their candidates to publicly support these priorities ahead of the election.
The charity has raised concerns about compulsory photo ID and the impact this has on voters in marginalised communities. Stonewall wants the government to reconsider and instead implement initiatives that ensure everyone who is eligible to vote can do so.
Stonewall is asking the next UK government to:
- Change the law on LGBT hate crimes so they are treated in the same way as crimes motivated by race and faith
- Take steps to safeguard LGBT rights after the UK leaves the European Union, such as retaining the Human Rights Act
- Provide sufficient funding for schools to deliver LGBT-inclusive Relationships and Sex Education
- Improve Gender Identity Services to ensure they are fully equipped to meet the needs of all trans people and are accessible to everyone who needs them
- Respond strongly, quickly and effectively where LGBT people face violence or persecution internationally
Paul Twocock, Stonewall’s Interim Chief Executive, said: ‘On 12 December, we’ll be voting for the kind of society we want to live in. We’re living through one of the most polarised periods in our history – and that division has meant that minority communities, including LGBT people, are experiencing more hate and discrimination. The progress we’ve made is under threat.
‘The decisions made in Westminster have a huge impact on the everyday lives of LGBT people and, indeed, all of us. We need everyone who cares about LGBT equality to talk to candidates in their constituencies about LGBT rights, and we need people to vote for equality to help build more united communities.
‘We must keep LGBT equality firmly on the agenda and to press for a world where all LGBT people are accepted without exception.’