Here is what Labour’s new manifesto says on LGBT rights

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The Labour Party has launched its manifesto – but key LGBT rights rights pledges are missing from the document.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn launched his new manifesto today ahead of June’s snap election.

The manifesto’s section on LGBT rights is largely similar to a draft version that was leaked last week.

Here is what Labour’s new manifesto says on LGBT rights
The 2017 Labour Party manifesto. (Photo by Nick Duffy)

It the pledges to reform the Equality Act to bolster protections for transgender people, and bring hate crime laws for LGBT people in line with those on racism.

The party will also roll out LGBT anti-bullying training for all teachers, and ensure that the guidance for statutory sex and relationship education, which is now mandatory in all schools, is LGBT-inclusive.

The party also pledges to make HIV-preventing PrEP drugs available on the NHS, following a similar pledge from the Liberal Democrats.

However, 2015 Labour pledges to “review the procedures for asylum seekers fleeing persecution for their sexuality or gender identity” and “ensure that development cooperation and aid supports LGBT communities” are absent from the document.

PinkNews understands that a separate LGBT manifesto is also currently being produced, which may have more detail than the LGBT section of the main manifesto.

A 2015 pledge to appoint an LGBT rights envoy has also been toned down.

In 2015, then-Labour leader Ed Miliband had pledged in his party manifesto to “appoint an International LGBT Rights Envoy to promote respect for the human rights of LGBT people, and work towards the decriminalisation of homosexuality worldwide”.

Speaking in 2015, Mr Miliband had said he would appoint Stonewall co-founder and Labour peer Lord Michael Cashman to the role. The former MEP was influential in shaping policy on LGBT equality under the previous Labour government.

However, Lord Cashman resigned from his party role last year after a feud with current party leader Jeremy Corbyn. He was not replaced.

In the section on diplomacy, the new manifesto says: “We will appoint dedicated global ambassadors for women’s rights, LGBT rights and religious freedom to fight discrimination and  promote equality globally.”

Meanwhile, the document pledges to extend the right “to a safe, legal abortion [to] women in Northern Ireland” – but makes no such pledge to extend equal marriage to Northern Ireland, where progress has been blocked for many years.

The manifesto says: “Labour has a proud record of championing the fight for LGBT equality. We abolished Section 28, equalised the age of consent, created civil partnerships, and it was only through Labour votes that equal marriage became law.

“However, there is still a long way to go on issues such as education, equal access to public services, levels of LGBT hate crime, and mental and physical wellbeing.

“A Labour government will reform the Gender Recognition Act and the Equality Act 2010 to ensure they protect Trans people by changing the protected characteristic of ‘gender assignment’ to ‘gender identity’ and remove other outdated language such as ‘transsexual’.”

It continues: “Labour will bring the law on LGBT hate crimes into line with hate crimes based on race and faith, by making them aggravated offences.

“To tackle bullying of LGBT young people, Labour will ensure that all teachers receive initial and ongoing training on the issues students face and how to address them. And we will ensure that the new guidance for relationships and sex education is LGBT inclusive.

“Likewise, we will ensure all frontline health and social care professionals receive ongoing training to understand and meet the needs of LGBT patients and service users.

“Labour will ensure that NHS England completes the trial programme to provide PrEP as quickly as possible, and fully roll out the treatment to high-risk groups to help reduce HIV infection.”

PinkNews understands that a separate LGBT manifesto is also currently being produced, which may have more detail than the LGBT section of the main manifesto.

The other parties are rolling out their manifestos in the coming weeks.

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