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This is what Labour’s leaked manifesto pledges to do on LGBT rights

Nick Duffy May 11, 2017

The Labour Party’s draft manifesto has leaked online – and PinkNews can reveal what it says about LGBT rights.

A draft version of the party’s manifesto was leaked online yesterday, ahead of the General Election next month.

The draft version of the manifesto was in its final stages of preparation ahead of a launch next week, but some details may change for the final version.

The document, seen by PinkNews, includes a dedicated section on LGBT rights that makes a number of specific equality pledges.

Under leader Jeremy Corbyn, the party has pledged to reform the Equality Act to bolster protections for transgender people, and bring hate crime laws for LGBT people in line with those on racism.

The party will also roll out LGBT anti-bullying training for all teachers, and ensure that the guidance for statutory sex and relationship education, which is now mandatory in all schools, is LGBT-inclusive.

The party also pledges to make HIV-preventing PrEP drugs available on the NHS, following a similar pledge from the Liberal Democrats.

Meanwhile, the document pledges to extend the right “to a safe, legal abortion [to] women in Northern Ireland” – but makes no such pledge to extend equal marriage to Northern Ireland, where progress has been blocked for many years.

Interestingly, the document appears to have ditched some pledges on LGBT rights that were made under former Labour leader Ed Miliband.

In 2015, Mr Miliband had pledged to “appoint an International LGBT Rights Envoy to promote respect for the human rights of LGBT people, and work towards the decriminalisation of homosexuality worldwide”.

However, there is no such pledge in the 2017 document.

2015 Labour pledges to “review the procedures for asylum seekers fleeing persecution for their sexuality or gender identity” and “ensure that development cooperation and aid supports LGBT communities” are also absent from the draft manifesto.

Sources within the party also told PinkNews that broader pledges on transgender issues, which have been under discussion, were not included in the leaked draft.

However, the document has not been finalised, and changes are expected before it is officially launched next week.

PinkNews understands that a separate LGBT manifesto is also currently being produced, which may have more detail than the LGBT section of the main manifesto.

The manifesto says: “Labour has a proud record championing the fight for LGBT equality. We abolished Section 28, equalised the age of consent, created civil partnerships, and it was only through Labour votes that equal marriage became law.

“However, there is still a long way to go issues such as education, equal access to public services, levels of LGBT hate crime, and mental and physical wellbeing.

“A Labour government will reform the Equality Act 2010 to ensure it protects Trans people by changing the protected characteristic of ‘gender assignment’ to ‘gender identity’ and remove other outdated language such as ‘transsexual’.

“Labour will bring the law on LGBT hate crimes into line with hate crimes based on race and faith, by making them aggravated offences.

It continues: “To tackle bullying of LGBT young people, Labour will ensure that all teachers receive initial and ongoing training on the issues students face and how to address them. And we will ensure that the new guidance for relationships and sex education is LGBT inclusive.”

“Likewise, we will ensure all frontline health and social care professionals receive ongoing training to understand and meet the needs of LGBT patients and service users.

“Labour will ensure that NHS England completes the trial programme to provide PrEP as quickly as possible, and fully roll out the treatment to high risk groups to help reduce HIV infection.”

The other parties are rolling out their manifestos in the coming weeks.

PinkNews Q&A: Submit your questions for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn

More: General Election 2017

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