Government’s ‘inadequate’ LGBT action plan under fire from Labour’s Dawn Butler and campaigners

Labour's Dawn Butler (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

The government has been accused of missing out a number of key issues from its landmark LGBT action plan.

Ahead of a Downing Street LGBT reception today, the government has set out an action plan making key commitments on LGBT rights, vowing to outlaw gay ‘cure’ therapy and tackle hate crimes and homophobic bullying.

However, many of the commitments in the report – such as new guidance on sex and relationship education and a consultation on gender recognition laws, simply repeat previously-stated commitments, while other issues were missing entirely.

There was no mention of any strategy to bring equal marriage to Northern Ireland, and much-demanded reforms for LGBT asylum seekers who fled homophobic persecution were also absent.

British Prime Minister Theresa May (Matt Dunham – WPA Pool/Getty)

Labour’s Shadow Equalities Secretary Dawn Butler has accused the government of half-baking plans for “legislative or non-legislative” bans on gay cure therapy, while other LGBT campaigners criticised the omissions from the Action Plan.

In a statement to PinkNews, Butler said: “Cruel and inhumane conversion therapies have been allowed to spread fear and hatred in our society for far too long. Unfortunately, this report does not commit to legislative change. We call on the Government to bring forward legislation which proposes nothing short of a full ban.

“With one in five LGBT+ people experiencing a hate crime in the last year, we are disappointed that the Government has not met Labour’s call to make these crimes an aggravated offence, the same as hate crimes based on race and faith.

“It’s exasperating to see the Government re-announce an announcement they made a year ago about consulting on the Gender Recognition Act. Labour is calling for the Act to be updated to ensure greater protections for trans people, and we urge Theresa May to finally work with us to make it law.

“We are glad that the Government is giving more attention to LGBT+ issues, especially in relation to health and education, but much of this plan is yet more reviews and consultations.

“After years of empty rhetoric and broken promises, we need to see concrete actions to show the Government is serious about tackling the inequalities faced by LGBT+ communities.”

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