Hundreds of LGBT+ celebrities and activists issue urgent plea for future UK government to commit to queer rights
Hundreds of LGBT+ activists, academics, drag queens, charity bosses and Pride organisers have signed a letter calling on the future government to unite in the aftermath of a general election that is shattering the UK.
From original Stonewall co-founders to figures on the front-line of LGBT+ rights worldwide, 180 high-profile queer leaders have signed a letter urging the government to protect and extend LGBT+ rights.
Trans author Juno Dawson, gay radio presenter Daniel Howell, drag queen Sassi Afrika as well as leaders behind queer charities akt and Terrence Higgins Trust are just some of the joint statement’t signatories.
As hate crimes rocket, the blood ban endures, the Home Office pelted by accusations of discriminating rainbow refugees and crucial reforms to the Gender Recognition Act buried by delays, the need for a pro-LGBT government is paramount.
But with multiple political parties vying for the top seats in parliament, who the public votes for could ultimately set the trajectory of queer rights for years to come.
You can read the letter in full below:
“On 12 December the country will vote to elect our next Government.
“The outcome of this General Election could determine the kind of country we live in for decades to come.
“During the campaign, political parties have offered their visions for our society.
“We have a vision to offer, too.
“As LGBT organisations, individuals and allies, including people from trans and bi communities, disabled LGBT people, LGBT people of colour, LGBT people of faith, LGBT migrants, older and younger LGBT people, LGBT people living in rural areas and other LGBT people experiencing marginalisation.
“Our common vision is that every single LGBT person should be able to flourish and feel safe within their communities and within society, especially those most at risk of being excluded.
“In recent decades, we have witnessed remarkable progress for equality, meaning that LGBT people across the UK have more rights than ever before.
“Victories on employment rights, parenting rights, partnership rights and an equal age of consent happened because people spoke out for equality and took action.
Change took place because people across and beyond party lines worked together.
“Yet, discrimination is still a reality for LGBT people, with one in five having experienced a hate crime that has been motivated by their perceived sexual orientation or gender identity in the last 12 months, and nearly half of LGBT pupils being bullied at school because of who they are.
“We must protect and extend the rights we have and ensure that no one is left behind.
“We are calling on all parties and candidates to play their part in protecting and improving rights for all LGBT people under the law, in education, health services and across society.
“We urge you to voice your commitments boldly, to recommit to maintaining progress and to go further.
“Our rights are not guaranteed unless all parties and candidates publicly commit to upholding them.
“As LGBT organisations and allies, we are urging everyone who holds political power to work with us to deliver a safe, healthy and equal future for all LGBT people.
“The past few years have been one of the most polarised periods in our history – and that division has led to many LGBT people feeling unsafe.
“In an era of increasingly polarised opinions, we need politicians who will stand against prejudice and unite people from all walks of life.
“Whoever forms the next government must bring together all parties and MPs behind equality for all LGBT people.”
And a fully list of signatories is below:
Drag queen Sassi Afrika, Farah Ahmed, Amnesty International UK director Kate Allen, The BAME LGBT Charity founder Ozzy Amir, LGBT Sheffield secretary Neale Gibson Abo Anber, GMB Union national equality and inclusion officer Nell Andrew, Ozanne Foundation trustee Anthony Archer, LGBT Advisor to The Mayor of Greater Manchester Carl Austin-Behan, Off the Record BANES counsellor Sarah Aza, LGBT+ Service Nottinghamshire director Helen Azar, writer Philip Baldwin, Notts LGBT+ Network secretary F. Barker, LGBT+ Advisory Group to Oxford University chair Dr Clara Barker, GIRES trustee Christina Beardsley, Youth Cymru equality, inclusion and programmes manager Rachel Benson, YouAct chairperson Sophia Bercia, Homotopia staff Char Binns and Alex Ferguson, Liverpool Queer Collective directors Char Binns, Mel Underwood and Andrew Bullock, Gay Outdoor Club chair Peter Blackburn, All Your Vampires in-house illustrator Michael Blakely, Barnsley LGBTQ+ Forum co-chair Andrew Bogg, Free2B Alliance director Lucie Brooke, TransActual UK co-founder Chay Brown, Daniel Browne Therapy LGBT+ affirmative therapist Daniel Browne, 2buWakefield project lead Christian Buchan, SEND Support special educational needs and disabilities consultant Joe Butler, Drag Queen Story Time founder Thomas Canham, RMT general secretary Mick Cash, The Faith & Belief Forum director Phil Champain, The WOW Network director Lisa Charlwood-Green, Albany Trust practice manager Patrick Claffey, Albany Trust Counselling trustee and accredited therapist Jeremy Clarke MBE, Trustee, Sparkles vice chair of the Board of Trustees Lee Clatworthy, POA national executive committee Dave Cook, Salisbury Pride coordinator and deputy mayor of Salisbury City Council Caroline Corbin, Switched On team leader Lisa Cordery-Bruce, Rainbow Noir strategic lead Chloe Cousins, author Charlie Craggs, LGBT Youth Scotland chief executive Dr Mhairi Crawford, wansea MAD business director Charlotte Davies, Pink Therapy founder and CEO Dominic Davies, Liberate Jersey CEO Vic Tanner Davy, journalist and author Juno Dawson, Inclusion For All founder Shaun Dellenty, David Davies of Llandinam Fellow in International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) Paul Dillane, New Family Social chief executive Tor Docherty, Yorkshire MESMAC CEO Tom Doyle, Trans Pride NI secretary Adrianne Elson, Gendered Intelligence public engagement lead Cara English, FFLAG chair Hugh Fell, Trans Can Sport co-founder Rory Finn, My Genderation CIC director Fox Fisher, Manchester Pride Ltd CEO Mark L Fletcher, The Cactus Club dance teacher Peter Flockhart, Ozanne Foundation trustee and member of General Synod Anne Foreman, Queer Britain, The National LGBTQ+ Museum CEO Joseph Galliano, Allsorts Youth Project project member Ryan Gingell, Directors and trans advocates Jake and Hannah Graf, Stonewall Housing CEO Bob Green OBE, Terrence Higgins Trust chief executive Ian Green, Mermaids CEO Susie Green, Centre for Hate Studies, University of Leicester, associate professor and deputy director Dr Stevie-Jade Hardy, Ozanne Foundation trustee Rev Canon Rosie Harper, general practitioner and RCGP Mersey Faculty Board representative for LGBTQ+ Health & Community Dr Adrian Harrop, LGBT+ Catholics Westminster pastoral council member Peter J Hart, forum+ executive and governance officer Tessa Havers-Strong, Kris Hendry, The Lowdown LGBT+ coordinator Helen Heng, the Board at Hidaya, Walsall Pride For All trustee M Higgins, PCS national vice president Zita Holbourne, Equality Network director Tim Hopkins, akt assistant director of communications Matt Horwood, Rainbow Foundation chairperson Ryan Houston, comedian Daniel Howell, LGBT HERO chief executive Ian Howley, Communication Workers Union head of equality, education and development Kate Hudson, ELOP chair Sarah Humphreys, Intercom Trust CEO Andy Hunt, SafeLives chief executive Suzanne Jacob OBE, University of Nottingham assistant professor of philosophy Dr Katharine Jenkins, Base 51 deputy chief executive Joanne Jepson, MindOut LGBTQ Mental Health Service CEO Helen Jones, Birmingham LGBT director Steph Keeble, Not Alone Plymouth chairperson Erin Victoria King,GIRES chair of trustees Shaan Knan, Mosaic LGBT Youth Centre director Lukasz Konieczka, Off The Record counsellor and supervisor France Le Garnec, Trans Mission chair and founder Lisa Lee, Archdeacon of the Isle of Wight and OneBodyOneFaith chair of trustees the venerable Peter Leonard, Off The Record (Banes) counsellor and supervisor for OTR Marj Levy, Umbrella Cymru director Nick Lewis, LGBT+ Catholics Westminster Pastoral Council chairperson Thomas Lofaro, Essential Learning Curve Ltd founder Ellie Lowther, ParaPride community engagement director Daniel Lul, Merton LGBT+ Forum secretary Patrick Lyster-Todd, Switchboard (Brighton) CEO Lyndsey Macadam, Stonewall Scotland director Colin Macfarlane, Queer Chroma co-founder and editor Razia Mahri, singer Samia Malik, Brook CEO Helen Marshall, LGBT Foundation chief executive Paul Martin OBE, UNISON, the Public Service Union, assistant general secretary Christina McAnea, Gender Essence Support Services manager Keira McCormack, 2SLGBTQI Out in the Bay, Lancaster Pride and Morecambe Pride CEO Robert Mee, LGB&T Dorset Equality Network organisation Alan Mercel-Sanca, Not Alone Plymouth vice chair Rebecca Mercer, Quaker Gender and Sexual Diversity Community Committee co-clerk Dr Zemirah Moffatt, chair of Pride Cymru and UK Pride Organisers Network co-chair Gian Molinu, London Friend chief executive Monty Moncrieff MBE, Inclusive Community Church senior pastor and chair of the board of trustees Rev Dwayne Morgan, The Bisexual Index chair Marcus Morgan, Scottish Trans Alliance manager James Morton, Human Rights defender and campaigner Maria Munir, Queer Chroma editor Riyad Mursi, Pride Community Network chair Mark Nichols, Galop chef executive Nik Noone, chair and director of North Devon Sunrise David Chalmers, Trades Union Congress deputy general secretary Paul Nowak, bisexual activist and writer Lewis Oakley, NHS consultant psychiatrist Dr Janet Obeney-Williams, Live Through This founder Stewart O’Callaghan, The Rainbow Project director John O’Doherty, Trans Creative artistic director Kate O’Donnell, Kaleidoscope Trust executive director Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, Ozanne Foundation director Jayne Ozanne, School for Social Entrepreneurs communication Henna Patel, Equity general secretary Christine Payne, LGBTQ+ Youth Liverpool support service team lead and asocial worker Chris Porter, Stonewall co-fouder Lisa Power MBE, Proud2Be CIC co-foudners Max and Maya Price, National Education Union LGBT+ national executive member Annette Pryce, Migrants’ Rights Network co-chief executive officers Fizza Qureshi and Jilna Shah, Finding A Voice founder Khakan Qureshi, Queer Chroma co-foudner and editor Jay Rao, Off The Record lead youth worker Amie Redwood, Gender Identity Research and Education Society founding trustees Bernard and Terry Reed, Consortium chief executive Paul Roberts OBE, Wandsworth LGBTQ+ Forum & The London LGBT+ Forums Network chair David Robson, Derbyshire LGBT+ CEO Ian Robson, Off the Record Bath and NE Somerset LGBT+ development worker Harriet Rose, Iris Prize chief executive Berwyn Rowlands, Free2B Alliance director Nicki Ryan, Trans Pride Brighton chair Sarah Savage, Chartered Society of Physiotherapy LGBT+ network convenor Ian Scrase, University of Brighton professor of public health and health promotion professor Nigel Sherriff, activist Calum Sherwood, akt CEO Tim Sigsworth, The Lowdown Youth Counselling clinical manager Laura Simms, Off The Record Bath counsellor Jennie Simpson, Spectra CEO Karen Skipper, Proud ‘N’ Diverse CEO and advisor R.L. Smith, RMT LGBT+ Advisory Committee train operator John Stack, Yorkshire MESMAC operations manager Paul Storey, Sophia Forum co-chair Sophie Strachan, Quest chair Gerard Swan, What the Trans!? Podcast and LGBT Foundation broadcaster Ashleigh Talbot, The Faith & Belief Forum head of operations Hannah Taylor, Outdoor Lads chair Matt Tennant, Leicester LGBT Centre community project officer Reuben Thomas, TransLeeds director Oliver Thompson, Barnsley LGBT Forum co-chair Kay Tinkler, UNISON, the Public Service Union, UNISON equality head of membership participation Carola Towle, Trans Masculine Support & Advice UK founder and chair, TransPALS chair Patricia, Musicians’ Union general secretary Horace Trubridge, Lancashire LGBT chief executive Dr Lewis Turner, the lowdown, Out There and Out There Plus fundraising and marketing manager Sophie Hannah Turner, Stonewall interim chief executive Paul Twocock, LGBT Health and Wellbeing policy and influencing manager Dr Rosie Tyler-Greig, Allsorts Youth Project CEO Katie Vincent, author Mia Violet, Opening Doors London director Alice Wallace, Gaydio Brighton/CIC director Ian Wallace, Space Youth Project chief executive Helen Walsh, The Trustees of Warwickshire Pride, Encompass Network Cambridge chair David Webb, GenderAgenda.net founder and educator Katy Jon Went, Stonewall Cymru director Andrew White, The Diversity Trust director Berkeley Wilde, Inclusive Church national coordinator Ruth Wilde, Gasbags North East director Steve Williamson, and Gasbags North East secretary Cara-Friend, the lowdown CEO Sharon Womersley, BAYC youth worker Edward Wright, Bi Community News, BiPhoria & Bi Community News editor and BiPhoria convenor Jen Yockney MBE, UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group executive director Leila Zadeh and METRO Charity CEO Dr Greg Ussher.