The Zhoosh! Brighton Blog
Last week on the 16th June, the coalition government set out its plans - its programme for Government that it will follow to create the “radical” change they say the UK needs. It covers all aspects of life, including the environment, business, education, sport, the workplace, the criminal justice system and equality. Within this they set out the coalition government’s promises on gay and trans rights.
The 34-page document builds on the four-page deal produced during negotiations in the immediate aftermath of the UK election. If you want to read it for yourself you can do so at: http://programmeforgovernment.hmg.gov.uk/
So what plans have the coalition Government agreed to for those who are LGBT?
Crime and Policing. Point 17:
- We will promote better recording of hate crimes against disabled, homosexual and transgender people, which are frequently not centrally recorded.
Equalities. Point 6 & 7.
- We will stop the deportation of asylum seekers who have had to leave particular countries because their sexual orientation or gender identification puts them at proven risk of imprisonment, torture or execution
- We will use our relationships with other countries topush for unequivocal support for gay rights and for UK civil partnerships to be recognised internationally.
Justice. Point 7.
- We will change the law so that historical convictions for consensual gay sex with over 16s will be treated as spent and will not show up on criminal records checks.
Schools. Point 6.
We will help schools tackle bullying in schools, especially homophobic bullying.
Both the Pink Paper and Pink News reported that the document also includes ‘work to allow same-sex couples to register their relationships in a religious setting‘, but I went over the document with a fine tooth comb and could not find reference to this? Do let me know if you spot it.
PinkNews also reported that the document says the government ‘has commissioned research in a number of areas, including work on the size and nature of the trans population, discrimination in the workplace and how LGBT people can take a full role in civil society. It also promises to publish the first government action plan on trans equality next year and work towards providing safe refuge support people for trans people in need of shelter’.
But again, I couldn’t find any reference to this in the document? Do update me.
What does it leave out that we hoped for?
There is no mention of full marriage equality, which deputy prime minister Nick Clegg said he supported. Despite growing support for lifting the blood donation ban on gay and bisexual men, this is also missing, yet both party leaders have said previously they believed the ban was unfair.
What’s the next step? A more detailed plan will be published at a later date to set out how the changes will be made.