Welsh politicians say progress is ‘not irreversible’ at PinkNews Cardiff summer reception
Welsh politicians gathered at the National Assembly for Wales to discuss LGBT+ rights and discrimination at the PinkNews summer reception in Cardiff today (July 11).
Jeremy Miles AM, Counsel General for Wales and Brexit minister, gave an introduction looking back on the Stonewall uprising and expressing his Pride at being one of three openly gay members of the Welsh assembly.
He said: “It’s an opportunity as we celebrate Pride this year, to remember that the things that we have in common aren’t just our shared experiences but our differences.
“Everybody is different—a different blend of charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent, and we all should celebrate that.”
“The Stonewall riots remind us that, where Pride is about celebration, the roots of our movement were actually about struggling.
He commended brands that show support for LGBT+ rights during Pride month, but emphasised that “rainbows are fabulous but respect, equality and rights are even better.”
“Being a gay politician does not give us a free pass,” he continued. “It is not enough to just elect gay politicians, we also have an obligation to live up to our promises and to our rhetoric.
“Progress is not inevitable and progress is absolutely not irreversible.”
Suzy Davies AM: “Progress is a process which doesn’t always move forward”
Welsh Conservative assembly member Suzy Davies also called attention to the fact that progress is something that needs to be continually fought for.
She said: “Progress is a process which doesn’t always move forward.
“This year’s British social attitudes survey suggests a reversal in attitudes to gay sex and relationships… it’s a reminder of the fragility of what has been achieved and it is not the time for timidity.”
Davies added: “This Conservative is prepared to say that the UK Government has got it wrong with some of its deportation decisions and haven’t caught up with the fair treatment of asylum seekers who have fled because of their home country’s inhuman treatment of LGBT+ people.
“It’s not just about being anti-discrimination: it’s about pro-right, pro-equality, the positives of being a human being.”
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Leader of Welsh nationalist party Plaid Cymru Adam Price focused on discrimination against transgender people, and said it was “our responsibility to show total solidarity with our trans siblings.”
Mark Drakeford, First Minister of Wales, could not be at the reception, but sent a video message to convey his vision for “a Wales which is open, which is welcoming, which is inclusive of people of all sorts of backgrounds, all sorts of possibilities in life.”
Hannah Blythyn, Welsh deputy minister for housing and local government, spoke about the issue of online homophobia in the “post-EU referendum and Trump era.”
The PinkNews event took place in the National Assembly of Wales and was supported by lead partner Great Western Rail, and supporting partners Admiral and Lewis Silkin.