LGBT manifesto promises to improve mental health services for young people
This evening Labour will launch their LGBT manifesto in Brighton. ‘A Better Future for Britain’s LGBT Community’ sets out a number of pledges aimed at tackling discrimination and providing better mental health and support services for LGBT people.
Angela Eagle, the shadow leader of the House of Commons, will say that the UK’s progress on lesbian and gay rights over the past 20 years is one of the Labour party’s proudest achievements, but that more still needs to be done.
In particular, Eagle will highlight disturbing figures showing that nearly a quarter of LGB people, and half of trans people, have attempted suicide. Half of young LGBT people say they have self harmed. This indicates that despite progress in equal marriage rights and an increased number of out public figures, something is still very wrong in our society.
Tonight Labour will pledge to prioritise access to mental health services for young people, including those who are being bullied because of their sexuality or gender identity. The new plans will also ensure that teachers are better equipped to identify problems early and link children to appropriate support services.
Angela Eagle, who was the UK’s first openly lesbian MP, will say:
“Too many LGBT young people are growing up scared and alone because they are bullied at school and don’t have sufficient support when their mental health suffers. In government Labour will finish the job we started and ensure every LGBT person has the chance to achieve their ambitions free from prejudice and discrimination.”
The five key pledges from the manifesto are:
Tackle discrimination in society and at work
Including strengthening the law on LGBT hate crime, undertaking a review of gender identity law and policy and implementing ‘Turing’s Law’ (offering posthumous pardons to gay men convicted for homosexuality.)
Provide an education free from homophobia, biphobia and transphobia
Age-appropriate compulsory sex and relationship education will be introduced in all state-supported schools so that young people ‘learn to respect each other’s relationships’.
Lead on LGBT rights around the world
Including the appointment of the UK’s first international envoy on LGBT rights to promote respect on LGBT rights globally. A review will also be undertaken into the procedures for asylum seekers fleeing persecution for their sexuality or gender identity, to ensure the rules are being upheld.
Provide accessible and supportive health services
Creating equal access to mental health treatment including talking therapies, and working with the trans community to improve access to gender care services.
Ensure fairer and more diverse representation in public life
Including working to improve LGBT representation in parliament, and challenging narrow representations of LGBT people in all walks of public life.
Ruby Stockham is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow her on Twitter
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