What does the Labour manifesto say about LGBTQ+ issues?

The Labour Party can “change Britain”, if – as the polls predict – it wins the general election, and its manifesto has promised positive improvements for the LGBTQ+ community.

Labour’s manifesto was published on Thursday (13 June) and offers to “stop the chaos” and “end the failure and division of the [past] 14 years”. 

The party will be relying on five missions: getting the country building again, switching on Great British energy, getting the NHS back on its feet, taking back the streets and breaking down barriers to opportunity. 

Labour leader Keir Starmer has made some concerning comment about the trans community recently, but the manifesto suggests positive changes. 

What does the Labour manifesto say about queer issues?

Labour’s manifesto mentions the LGBTQ+ community under its section on “breaking down barriers to opportunity”. 

The party emphasises the need to deliver opportunities for all, meaning “everyone should be treated with respect and dignity”. 

Conversion therapy ban 

Starmer had pledged to bring in a ban on conversion therapy, something the Tory government has continued to delay on, with numerous broken promises.

Conversion therapy refers to efforts to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

“So-called conversion therapy is abuse – there is no other word for it,” the manifesto says. “So, Labour will finally deliver a full trans-inclusive ban on conversion practices, while protecting the freedom for people to explore their sexual orientation and gender identity.” 

Labour pledges to update and reform gender-recognition law 

If Labour wins on 4 July, the party will “modernise, simplify and reform the intrusive and outdated gender-recognition law to a new process”,  the manifesto goes on to promise.

“We will remove indignities for trans people who deserve recognition and acceptance, [while] retaining the need for a diagnosis of gender dysphoria from a specialist doctor, enabling access to the healthcare pathway.” 

In December, a court found in favour of the UK government’s blocking of Scotland’s landmark gender law reforms. 

The judgement followed the Scottish government lodging a court case against Westminster’s use of a Section 35 order to block the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill.

Scotland’s reform would have made it easier for trans people in the devolved nation to change the gender markers on their official documents, as well as open up the legal transition process to those aged 16 and 17 for the first time.

Plaid Cymru, the Greens, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have all now published manifestoes. 

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