Jeremy Corbyn pledges to put gay history in the school curriculum
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has pledged to put LGBT history on the school curriculum and protect gay bars from property developers, as he launches his LGBT manifesto.
Mr Corbyn is re-running for the party leadership amid a challenge from MP Owen Smith, and is expected to win a large majority.
The leader today launched his LGBT+ Manifesto, which includes a number of radical pledges on equality.
In addition to making inclusive Sex and Relationship Education compulsory in schools, Mr Corbyn says he would reform the National Curriculum to put a focus on LGBT rights and history.
He said: “As part of our commitment to equality and inclusivity we will advance LGBT+ inclusion in the education system by updating the national curriculum to reflect LGBT+ historical figures and LGBT+ rights.”
“[We will] work with schools to promote a safe and inclusive environment for LGBT+ young people and encourage the adoption of inclusive practices and language to ensure that LGBT+ students achieve positive educational outcomes.”
Mr Corbyn told PinkNews after the launch: “Education shapes attitudes and having a positive educational experience and outcome lays the foundation for the rest of your life.
“More than half of lesbian, gay and bi school pupils have experienced direct bullying – we want to dramatically reduce that figure.
“It is why we have put forward polices to work with schools to promote a safe and inclusive environment for LGBT+ young people and encourage the adoption of inclusive practices and language to ensure that LGBT+ students achieve positive educational outcomes, to reflect LGBT+ historical figures and LGBT+ rights.”
Elsewhere in the manifesto, he pledged to intervene to protect historic gay bars from closing, as iconic venues including the Royal Vauxhall Tavern battle redevelopment plans.
Mr Corbyn affirmed: “The erosion and diminishing visibility of LGBT+ venues across the country is cause for concern, in London alone 25% of LGBT+ venues have closed with notable institutions in Manchester and Brighton also suffering
“We recognise that LGBT+ bars and clubs serve an important role in LGBT+ society, personal development, and our wider national culture and we must maintain these community hubs for future LGBT+ communities.
“[We will] Preserve the cultural and historic heritage of LGBT+ venues by supporting the expansion of Asset of Community Value status derived from planning legislation, securing venues for future LGBT+ communities by ensuring greater protection of venues from demolition or change of use.”
He also pledged to make HIV-preventing PrEP drugs available on the NHS, to abolish fees for bringing discrimination claims through the Employment Tribunal, and to bring in LGBT sensitivity training for police officers.
The manifesto was released just one day before the leadership voting deadline.
Explaining the launch, Mr Corbyn told PinkNews: “As part of our commitment to securing an equal society we have published series of documents setting out how our economic policy and our commitment to equality will deliver for everyone.
“This includes increasing representation and tackling discrimination and prejudice. Challenging these attitudes and transforming society will not happen overnight and the policies we have put forward are the start, not the end.”
Speaking at a screening of Pride alongside original members of Lesbians and Gay Men Support the Miners, Mr Corbyn said inclusivity and equality should be at the core of society.
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He said: “[The film] highlights how unity makes us stronger, and how the struggles of the trade union movement, our liberation movements together with our peace movement are all part of the rich fabric of our labour movement.
“Together all of us are part of that tradition and together I believe we are part of forging a better, stronger and more equal future.
“We have set out how our economic policy for investment in creating the new industries of the future…how our creation of decent jobs for all… how our ending of austerity and properly funding public services has delivering equality for all, ending discrimination and enabling everyone to live their lives and fulfil their potential at its heart.
“We are building an inclusive party that is growing, and building a social movement to win the general election. And then we will be in power to take decisive action to build an inclusive society.”