Leader of the Conservative party, Theresa May launched the Conservative’s 2017 election manifesto this week. Entitled “Forward, Together,” it promises a plan for “a stronger Britain and a prosperous future.”
“Together” is an interesting choice of word, given that there isn’t a single mention of LGBT+ issues in the 80-page document. “This is our vision of a nation united, of shared opportunity, of safe, vibrant and sustainable communities and of a Great Meritocracy,” it concludes, “where everyone, in every part of our country, is given the chance to go wherever their talents will take them.”
Theresa May voted against an equal age of consent and same-sex adoption, and her manifesto has zero LGBT policies. An insult to LGBT people.— Owen Jones (@OwenJones84) May 18, 2017
“Confronting Burning Injustices” makes no mention of sexuality. While there are provisions for tackling mental health issues and homelessness rates across the UK, these are issues that disproportionately affect LGBT+ youth and yet no mention of this is made. A “knowledge-rich curriculum” is promised, but no reform of sex and relationship education (SRE) is mentioned, which currently doesn’t make accommodations for LGBT+ issues and sexual health.
In a recent interview with Pink News, Theresa May answered various LGBT-focussed questions. She explained how the government are currently reviewing the “Gender Recognition Act” and how they “added provisions to the Children and Social Work Bill earlier this year” to amend SRE. “Our commitment to equality for LGBT people is unequivocal,” she added. Why these issues aren’t therefore included in the manifesto is uncertain.
Labour, in their manifesto, claim that, “Under the Conservatives, progress is being rolled back for women, people with disabilities, LGBT people and BAME communities.” The Tories seem to have made zero effort to readdress this issue.