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Coalition government publishes gay policies – but no action on gay marriage or blood ban

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  1. An excellent start, next course of action… do better still!!

    Now where are those ones that insisted that within a month of a Tory government all gay rights would cease? mmmm

  2. Anyone else feeling totally underwhelmed by this? Given Ms May’s authority over Police I would have expected to see some traction to dealing with gay hate crimes in terms of dedicated officers/police education rather then loose wording on better recording of hate crimes. The removal of historical convictions will impact a tiny minority whereas the issues of blood donations and gay marriage have far larger scope to the LGBT community. Looks like Clegg failed to exert influence or got shot down there…

  3. A couple of good things in it, but agree with Stewart that its pretty underwhelming, feels like a deflated ballon to be honest. They had the opportunity to do so much more, and remember, this is talking about LGBT progress for the next four or five years. That’s quite some time really. I doesn’t seem like much progress in light of the fact that this is what they are aiming for by the year 2015.

    Sadly I was pessimistic about Theresa May having a real commitment to LGBT rights if she seriously thinks this is “ambitious”. Maybe it was ambitious in the number of ham sandwiches they munched through discussing writing this all up, but on the ground where it matters, not too much progress that I can see.

  4. “allowing gay people to have religious civil partnerships”

    So the apartheid regime against same sex couples remains in place.
    I am not interested in getting a CP in a cult building. I expect equal access to the legal contract of civil marriage.

    “lobbying other countries to repeal homophobic laws and recognise UK civil partnerships”

    Oh F*** off. Why should any country recognise a British apartheid civil partnership when Britain REFUSES to recognise the same-sex civil marriages in another country

    “removing historical convictions for consensual gay sex from criminal records”

    Date by which this will be done?

    “tackling homophobic bullying”
    But no confirmation that all state funding will be removed from religious schools which teach homophobia. And religious schools are still exempt from equality laws. Basically this is nothing.

    “better recording of hate crimes ”
    Better RECORDING of hate crimes. But no policies on actually REDUCING them. This is meaningless PR.

    “ending deportation of LGBT asylum seekers fleeing homophobic countries”
    This is about the only element I can wholehearedly support. But how is to be applied in practice.

    Theresa May is not fit for office.

    We all need to bombard Nick Clegg, David Cameron and Theresa May to condemn them for their lack of action on LGBT equality matters.

  5. and why doesn’t it mention marriage equality or lifting the blood ban?

  6. Haven’t the government already said that they’ll wait for the independent medical report to come back before addressing the blood ban issue?

  7. Nick Clegg can be reached as follows:

    libdemleader@parliament.uk
    nickclegg@sheffieldhallam.org.uk

    David Cameron can be reached at:

    https://email.number10.gov.uk/Contact.aspx

    Theresa May can be reached at:
    public.enquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

  8. vulpus_rex 16 Jun 2010, 3:48pm

    Yes but also really important to note the following:

    1) No opening of gas chambers for gays announced
    2) No immediate re-introduction of clause 28
    3) No repeal of the age of consent equalisation or any other pro-equality legislation
    4) No feasting on the flesh of the first born of all gay parents.

    OK – I made the last one up but all three of the others are genuine examples of the rampant smearing and hysteria posted on here from the desparate supporters of Liebour. To be fair I suppose all they were doing is copying their filthy mendacious leaders (Vote Tory and you’ll die of cancer etc.).

  9. “ending deportation of LGBT asylum seekers fleeing homophobic countries”
    this matter is right now awaiting a judgement from our supreme court…..government action may not be necessary!

  10. This is all talk, wait until policy changes are looking them in the face and the religious right are complaining about the changes. A lot of the Tory Party grass roots are from the religious right.

    That’s when we will see what they will do!

  11. Patrick James 16 Jun 2010, 4:19pm

    The two good things are:

    Ending deportation of LGBT asylum seekers fleeing homophobic countries
    Removing historical convictions for consensual gay sex from criminal records

    But as andy points out:

    “ending deportation of LGBT asylum seekers fleeing homophobic countries”
    this matter is right now awaiting a judgement from our supreme court…..government action may not be necessary!

    So really, it is nearly nothing.

    Throughout these discussions I have always said that Conservatives won’t be repealing legislation on LGBT issues, rather they will be advancing the cause of religions.

    The real “progress” in this ConDem government is going to be for religions in the UK, and where their interests conflict with those of LGBT issues, the religions will win every time.

    I think it is the religious interest which is preventing full marriage recognition for LGBT people.

    The ConDem government is planning the biggest expansion of Faith schools since the 19th century as reported in the Daily Mail as well as many other places. These will no doubt be free from having to concern themselves over LGBT issues in education. On every occasion where religion was opposing LGBT rights David Cameron supported religion 100%. This is not because David Cameron is necessarily religious himself, but because in the Conservative party religion, in the form of the Anglican church, is hugely powerful, and Cameron simply complies to the will of the most powerful force acting upon him.

  12. I’m not convinced by their promise to tackle homophobic bullying – what are they goign to do about it? Give schools more power to punish the bullies? Schools have no omonpoly on what their pupils do outside the building; the government would do better by introducing some kind of education, starting very early on, to change opinions and prejudices.

  13. http://www.equalities.gov.uk/pdf/424757_LGBT-factsheet_Web.pdf

    The document also says “an action plan later this year which will set out our detailed plans for delivery.”

  14. These are all things that Labour were starting to deal with so bit disappointed there is nothing new especially as there is a Lib Dem push behind it all now.

    Assuming they have bigger issues to deal with first and neither side fancied rocking the boat.

  15. funny to see the lib dems have no power whatsoever in this new coallition. clegg the lapdog, cameron should put a collar on him.

    none of these these things make any fukin difference to my life. i dont care if they make other countries less homophobic – i care about this country being less homophobic. i dont care if gay asylum seekers get sent back to where they come from – we cant afford to house everyone who has a sh1t time somewhere else. i dont care that they’re going to make the police do their job as they should do – they should be stopping bullying and recording hate crimes anyway. i dont care about stupid civil partnerships – i want marriage equality.

    and ms may says shes proud of the LGBT rights in this country. So she must be ashamed of herself for voting against all the LGBT rights over the last decade.

    and vulva_rex, stop talkin sh1te. we all know how homophobic the tories were and are. you might want to ignore the reality of the people now in power. but some of us want freedom and equality.

  16. I’m not terribly excited by any of this. Whilst I’m happy that the new government is anxious to promote its pro-gay colours, they could have done a lot better. The initiatives they have announced are all things that i would have expected a government to be doing. I dont see these measures as ambitious. This really is a chance for the new government to shine on this matter and take the lead. I’m disappointed that they are missing this golden opportunity to show just how committed they are to gay equality.

  17. Sister Matu Clarance 16 Jun 2010, 6:51pm

    “i dont care if gay asylum seekers get sent back to where they come from – we cant afford to house everyone who has a sh1t time somewhere else.”

    “i dont care that they’re going to make the police do their job as they should do”

    “they should be stopping bullying and recording hate crimes anyway”

    “i dont care about stupid civil partnerships”

    “i want marriage equality.”

    Perhaps if we deported a few self-centred tw@ts we could have a bit more room to give shelter to gays fleeing torture and death, and frankly given the choice Jay, I’d rather have them than you.

    Funny isn’t it, the Tories are supposed to be the right wing ones focused on self interest.

  18. Hodge Podge 16 Jun 2010, 7:40pm

    Good, but not far enough. Now is the time to push for marriage equality. They would struggle to stop it.

  19. Why are the horrible Tories on here boasting? They’ve got absolutely nothing to be proud of.

    If it wasn’t for Labour, gay people wouldn’t have any rights at all, and the Conservatives opposed these every step of the way.

    Now they’re just taking the actions that should be expected from any government, it’s nothing special. There’s still nothing on marriage equality and there’s still nothing on the blood ban.

    Imagine how much worse this would have been without the LibDems in the government.

  20. None of this is new. They may have well just published this:
    LGBT Policies.
    1. Continuing the same half-arsed if not negative stuff as Labour have been doing for the last 13 years.
    2. See above.

    Don’t get me wrong, Labour did make some very important changes such as equalising the age of consent and introducing the Equality Act (2006). Those are events rather than processes; you do them once and they’re done, and at the end of the day it was a Labour government that did them. Processes, like ‘tackling homophobic bullying’ and ‘better reporting of hate crime’ are easily continued from one government to the next and doing so indicates nothing more than a lack of blatant antipathy for those causes (whether you believe such antipathy exists in a more subversive form is subjective of course). If the coalition wants to claim to believe in LGBT equality, continuing processes set in motion by Labour isn’t good enough. We want an end to the blood ban, we want marriage equality, we want gender identity freedom… The crux of the matter is that we want sexuality and gender identity to be a non-issue in society. Will the Con/Dem coalition bring that about? I can’t see it happening myself. Of course I couldn’t be happier to be proven wrong.

  21. Sister Maty Clarance 16 Jun 2010, 8:28pm

    David, another one who the Treaty of Amsterdam, the European Convention on Human Rights and even the Council of Europe passed by without even the slightest notice I see.

    And the world is flat David, completely flat.

  22. de Villiers 16 Jun 2010, 9:02pm

    > But as andy points out: “ending deportation of LGBT asylum seekers fleeing homophobic countries” this matter is right now awaiting a judgement from our supreme court…..government action may not be necessary! So really, it is nearly nothing.

    If that is right, then much of what Labour did should be considered as “nearly nothing” – given that much was in response to judgments from the European Court of Human Rights or the implementation of European Directives.

  23. You can try and defend your beloved Tories as much as you want Sister Clarance, it won’t make a blind bit of difference. You can’t alter history and you can’t change what the government has done today.

    The Tory government is doing the bare basics it can get away with regards to gay rights (and those rights wouldn’t have existed at all if it wasn’t for Labour), and we’re supposed to be grateful?

    The fact that some Tories on here are going round boasting about the Tories not repealing the many advances in equality, as though it’s some sort of achievement is quite pathetic.

  24. BobbetStillTheSame 17 Jun 2010, 4:23am

    Squidgy, IF this government survives, it will erode gay rights little by little, conceding to the lobbying that will surely come from the religious and the right wingers.

  25. BobbetStillTheSame 17 Jun 2010, 4:29am

    What Theresa Dismay is doing accounts to nothing but acknowledging the actual state of affairs, brought about by Labour. She isn’t introducing anything new. She isn’t promoting equality. What to expect from a bigot? She is just acting according to her usual self.

  26. So, after opposing gay rights for decades, the Tories are now being lauded as a party of equality. It’s laughable. Until David Cameron realised that he had to support gay rights to try and de-toxify his party, he had absolutely no interest in securing our equality what so ever. Indeed, he repeatedly voted for discriminatory laws.

    And, Pink News editors – the government has no say in the blood ban. It’s an issue of public health, and decisions about its retention or amendment will be made by the independent committee on the safety of blood. The lap dog should keep his nose out of this – if he knew anything about the epidemiology of HIV, and the limitations of even fourth-generation and nucleic acid testing assays, he’d know that there are sound public health arguments for the retention of a ban.

  27. Father Tafferty O'Cavity 17 Jun 2010, 10:12am

    Well they are not the same Tory party of the 1980s – that’s certain. What they are proposing are steps in the right direction at least. Even if they look like small steps.

    I belive that we will have to wait a decade or so for marriage rights. The Tories are unlikely to go for it, but I can see a future left-leaning government (Labour or a Lab-Lib majority) going for it.

    Patience. Patience. We will get there.

  28. Tim Hopkins 17 Jun 2010, 12:25pm

    I agree that this is good, although disappointing on marriage. It does however invite people “with a key interest” to say “what the next stage should be for civil partnerships”. So that’s an opportunity for equal marriage supporters in England and Wales to do some campaigning.

    Which brings me to my second point, which is to do my usual thing of correcting the failure of news reports to point out that most of it does not apply to Scotland. Civil partnership law, schools, most public services, most sport issues, most civil society issues, and crime and justice are all devolved to the Scottish Govt.

    The Equality Network will be using this document in talks with the Scottish Govt, because the Scottish Govt’s commitments do not go so far in some of these areas.

  29. Pumpkin Pie 17 Jun 2010, 2:16pm

    Pretty unimpressive overall, but I am glad to see that trans issues aren’t entirely invisible. I had a few suggestions of my own.

    1) Scrap the Waddington amendment to the Equality Bill. If people are allowed religious grounds to discriminate against us, then they should be allowed the same grounds to discriminate against colour or disability. I don’t care what anyone’s views on “freedom of speech versus hate speech” is: having one rule for us and another for everyone else is blatantly unfair, no matter how you slice it. A commitment to halt hate crimes or bullying seems utterly toothless if almost nothing is even considered a hate crime.

    2) Criminalise conversion therapy. Unfortunately, we’ll have to deal with point #1 first, seeing as how the protection of conversion therapy was one of the basic tenets behind the Waddington amendment (it contains an explicit reference to being allowed to urge gay people to refrain from or modify their behaviour).

    3) I know they’re eager to let schools do whatever the hell they want, but they need to lay down iron-clad rules on how children are to be taught about sexuality. And, they need to stop with the social engineering. Why are we hidden from young children so much? Teachers need to be as honest and open about same-sex partners as they are about mixed-sex partners, right from day one. This way, children won’t be susceptible to the same sort of anti-gay conditioning we had to endure.

    4) Gay marriage. Kind of ironic to be pushing for acceptance of civil partnerships abroad when Britain doesn’t recognise gay couples who were married abroad, eh? OK, so marriages are apparently automatically converted to CPs over here, while I’m not sure that the reverse is true in countries with gay marriage, but… It would all be unnecessary if they just gave us gay marriage already!

    Those are my main concerns regarding LGB rights (I’ll leave the T stuff to someone with inside knowledge on that area). What I’m looking for is not tolerance, but acceptance. If there’s little we can do for the current generations, we must make sure that future generations are not raised with the anti-gay bias we were (and are still being) raised with.

  30. For once, I’m spot on with you Pumpkin.
    I am sick and tired of all these political sit-on-the-fence compromises by all parties. Either do something demonstrably constructive or STFU. All this poncing about, skirting the real issues in a pathetic attempt to win Labour voters, and appease Tory ones convinces nobody.

    Cameron stated he wanted *real* change. Well we are still waiting.

  31. > Ms May said: “I’m proud of the fact that Britain is a
    > world leader for LGB and T equality but we must not be
    > complacent.

    That single sentence destroys her case completely. As the leading proponent nation for discriminatory civil partnerships and refusal to recognise foreign same-sex marriages, the only major western country providing no alternative but reparative therapy for transsexual children, the leader in requiring a mental disorder diagnosis, divorce, and abandonment of privacy to access the right to a changed legal sex, and with rampant homophobia and transphobia in the media, etc., the UK is miles from leading in any way of which anyone should be proud.

    As for commissioning research on how many “transgender” people there are, words fail me. Why would they need to know? How are they going to count what they cannot even firmly define (are the intersex included, against their will, as are most with a transsexual history? What about the hundreds of thousands of occasional, male-identified and mostly heterosexual cross-dressers, whose organisation claims to be country’s largest transgender group? What about butch lesbians? Or women who wear their hair short, or men who wear earrings, both of which are claimed by some transgender activists as defining marks? And where does vital privacy go when a government has decided, for no apparent, good reason that it wants numbers?

  32. Recognition of British cp abroad – you may be interested in this website, it states that many countries already recognise it anyway
    http://www.uklgig.org.uk/phpBB/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2213

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