Hot on the heels of the announcement of my joining the Board at our AGM, I have now attended my first external event on behalf of Diversity Trust.
On 3rdJuly the Minister for Women and Equalities, Penny Mourdant MP, launched the Government’s LGBT Action Plan. The plan was formulated against the backdrop of the results of the National LGBT survey which the Government Equalities Office (GEO) undertook towards the end of last year. Whilst the outcomes of that survey are not a complete or representatives study (for example, it excluded respondents under the age of 16, and BME communities were very unrepresented. Nevertheless, with over 108,000 responses in England and Wales, the survey does serve as a useful benchmark.
The Government has put together ran action plan of 75 specific actions. Some will require legislation, but most of the action points can be achieved by Government Departments and Agencies rethinking how they do things, and how they can reconfigure those services to be more inclusive of the needs of those who identify as LGBT or non-binary gendered. The ‘headline’ grabber was about ‘banning’ so called ‘Conversion Therapy’ which the Government describes as ‘wrong’. Worryingly these so called ‘therapies’ are being offered by medical practitioners in the UK. The actions also focus on harder to reach groups, education syllabus at faith schools, accessing housing and health and training Police and CPS. Plenty of opportunities for the Diversity Trust to bid for work there too!
One really welcome announcement by the Minister was on a reform to Gender Recognition to take out the long and bureaucratic and intrusive processes, and focussing on dignity and rights for those who are trans. “Trans-women are women, trans-men are men” said Ms Mourdant. Hardly news, I know, but a welcome public statement by a Cabinet Minister and a good starting point for reform.