With the prospect of a general election looming, an LGBT charity is urging political parties not to treat trans and non-binary people “as political football”.
Emma Meehan, assistant director of Manchester-based LGBT Foundation, has urged all parties to consult with LGBT communities and organisations “to develop clear plans and policies to create a fair and equal society”.
Her comments come days after the Times reported claims, made by an unnamed “insider”, that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s administration has been polling “culture war” issues, such as transgender rights, to see whether “they can be weaponised against Labour in northern working-class constituencies”. Number 10 has denied this.
“We’re please to see that Number 10 have denied this claim,” Meehan told RightsInfo. “The validity of trans and non-binary people is not up for debate and, in a time when hate crime against trans people is increasing, should not become a political football.”
She added: “With the likelihood of a general election increasing, we would urge all political parties to consult with LGBT communities and organisations to develop clear plans and policies to create a fair and equal society for all LGBT people.”
Image Credit: Ted Eytan / Flickr.
Data obtained by the BBC in June revealed that hate crimes against transgender people rose by 81 percent in the last year. There were 1,944 crimes across 36 police forces in England, Scotland and Wales in the last financial year compared to 1,073 in 2016-17.
The Home Office attributes the increase largely to better reporting and recording. But the Stonewall charity says it shows the consequences of a society “where transphobia is everywhere”.
Writing in PoliticsHome, Labour MP Lisa Nandy dismissed the idea that so-called “culture war” issues could be used to sow division in northern, working-class constituencies.
“In Wigan, I have been inspired by the LGBT+ young people who have had to battle for fair and equal treatment and have shown huge bravery in standing up to discrimination, hostility and bullying,” she wrote.
Featured Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons.