Anti-Suella Braverman rally to protest Tory government’s continued LGBTQ+ failings
Pride in London is staging a “Stand against Suella” protest to “hold the government accountable” for its anti-LGBTQ+ agenda.
The demonstration is due to take place on Sunday (1 October) at 3pm in Parliament Square, and will be co-hosted by African Rainbow Family.
“Why are we protesting? Our prime minister still hasn’t banned conversion therapy,” the Facebook event page for the protest says.
“Our equalities minister wants to redefine sex in the 2010 Equality Act to refer to legal protections for ‘biological sex’ (sex assigned at birth). And now our home secretary says that fleeing your country in fear of LGBTQ+ discrimination is not sufficient to qualify for protection.
“Our government needs to support everyone, and we won’t stop until our community is protected.”
UK government has doubled down on anti-LGBTQ+ agenda
The demonstration comes after a particularly turbulent week for the UK’s increasingly embattled LGBTQ+ community.
It started with The Times revealing that a long-awaited conversion therapy ban that the Tories first promised to introduce five years ago could now be scrapped entirely by Rishi Sunak.
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Shadow women and equalities minister Anneliese Dodds condemned Sunak’s “zombie government”, describing the U-turn as a “betrayal”.
Things quickly went from bad to worse when Suella Braverman, the home secretary, claimed that LGBTQ+ people are seeking asylum in the UK out of fear of discrimination rather than actual persecution in a speech to an American right-wing think tank. She said this was not “sufficient” to claim asylum in the UK.
Braverman was widely condemned for her comments. Sebastian Rocca, chief executive of LGBTQ+ asylum charity Micro Rainbow, described her argument as “deeply disturbing”.
Instead of issuing an apology, Braverman instead doubled down, claiming people were pretending to be gay so they could “game the system” and get “special treatment” in the UK when they arrived as asylum seekers.
Elton John and the United Nations are among those who have publicly criticised the home secretary.
In a statement issued through the Elton John AIDS Foundation, Elton John said he was “very concerned” about Braverman’s comments.
“Nearly a third of all nations class LGBTQ+ people as criminals, and homosexuality is still punishable by death in 11 countries,” the singer said in a joint statement with his husband, David Furnish.
“Dismissing the very real danger LGBTQ+ communities face risks further legitimising hate and violence against them. Leaders need to provide more compassion, support and acceptance for those seeking a safer future.”
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