UK LGBTQ+ groups unite in defence of trans people

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The UK government’s flagship LGBTQ+ conference, ‘Safe to be Me‘ is up in flames after UK LGBTQ+ groups withdrew en masse in protest at the Tories u-turn on trans conversion therapy.

In yet another blow to the Conservative government of the UK, their ‘world-leading’ LGBT conference, set to take place on the 50th anniversary of the first London Pride, was on the verge of collapse at the start of this week as queer groups across the country refused to take part.

Stonewall issued a statement that said, “Due to the Prime Minister’s broken promise on protecting trans people from the harms of Conversion Therapy, we regret that we are withdrawing Stonewall’s support for the UK Government’s Safe To Be Me conference. We will only be able to participate if the Prime Minister reverts to his promise for a trans-inclusive ban on conversion therapy.

“This is a decision we take with a heavy heart. As the UK’s first global LGBT+ conference, Safe To Be Me should be a moment for redoubling efforts globally to improve LGBTQ+ people’s rights and experiences. This is why we have worked hard with government and civil society organisations over the last few months to try to make the conference work.

“However, last week’s leaked plans, which revealed Number 10 planned to scrap the conversion therapy ban, has left us with no choice but to withdraw our support. That the Prime Minister would so casually walk away from four years of promises to the LGBTQ+ community is appalling, and we cannot in good conscience back Safe To Be Me at a time when our community’s trust in the UK Government is shattered.

“We recognise that in response to outrage from the LGBTQ+ community and our allies, the Prime Minister’s position has shifted.  He now proposes a partial ban, one that protects lesbian, gay and bi cis people, but leaves trans people, including trans children, at continued risk of abuse. This is out of step with every other nation that has recently introduced a ban conversion therapy, and ignores all credible international research that is available, including the position of the UN Independent Expert.

“It is apparent that trans people have once again been sacrificed for political gain. Commissioning a separate body of work to unpick something that has already been resolved many times the world over, can only be read as an attempt to kick the issue of protecting trans people into the long grass. This is callous and unacceptable.

“Conversion therapy is happening to LGBTQ+ people in the UK right now, and every day without a ban is a day where LGBTQ+ people remain at risk of lifelong harm.  Trans people are amongst the highest risk groups in our community – the latest research from Galop shows that 11% of trans people have been subjected to conversion practices by their own families.

“Trans people are no less worth of respect, care and protection than cis lesbian, gay and bi people. If the UK Government cannot stand behind and respect all LGBTQ+ people’s fundamental human rights, it should not be convening an LGBTQ+ rights conference on the global stage.

“Stonewall remains a civil society co-chair of the Equal Rights Coalition, and we continue to engage with ERC processes and events. This includes the upcoming ERC conference, which is separate from the UK government’s ‘Safe to be Me’ event, and which we will continue to be a part of. Our commitment to this mechanism, and to progressing global LGBTQI+ rights, remains unchanged.”

The statement is actively supported by the following groups:

  • 17-24-30 National Hate Crime Awareness Week
  • 2BU Somerset
  • AKT
  • Allsorts Youth Project
  • Andro and Eve
  • ANIMAGIC CIC
  • Balaclava.Q
  • Ban Conversion Therapy NI
  • BiPhoria
  • Bi Community News
  • Bisexual Index
  • Biscuit
  • Black Trans Alliance
  • Blossom LGBT
  • Bridlington Pride
  • Body Positive Cheshire and North Wales
  • Cara Friend
  • Carl Austin-Behan (LGBTQ+ Advisor to The Mayor of Greater Manchester)
  • Claire’s Transgender Talks
  • Charity So Straight
  • Chelsea Pride
  • CliniQ
  • Club F.O.D
  • Club Kali Network
  • Controlling Chemsex
  • Cornwall Pride
  • Cumbria LGBT Pride
  • Distinction Partner Support
  • Ditch the Label
  • Diversity Role Models
  • Educate and Celebrate
  • ELOP
  • End Conversion Therapy Scotland
  • Equality Network
  • Exmouth Pride
  • Forward (Stockport LGBT+ Centre CIC)
  • Free2B
  • Friends of the Joiners Arms
  • Gaydio
  • Gaydio Brighton
  • Gaysians
  • GaySocial
  • Gendered Intelligence
  • G(end)er Swap
  • GIN LGBTQIA Indian Network
  • GIRES
  • GiveOut
  • Global Network of Rainbow Catholics
  • GYRO LGBTQ+ Youth
  • House of Guramayle
  • Hidayah
  • Hull & ER LGBT+ Forum
  • It’s All About You Wellbeing CIC
  • It Gets Better UK
  • Just Like Us
  • Kaleidoscope Trust
  • Lancashire LGBT
  • Lancaster Pride UK
  • LEAP Sports Scotland
  • Learnest
  • Lesbian and Gays Support the Migrants
  • LGBT Bedfordshire
  • LGBT CLT
  • LGBT Cymru Helpline
  • LGBT Foundation
  • LGBT HERO
  • LGBT Health and Wellbeing
  • LGBT History Month
  • LGBT+ Network for Change
  • LGBT Out in the Bay
  • LGBT+ Sparkle Group Wolverhampton
  • LGBT+ Sport Cymru
  • LGBT Youth In Care
  • LGBT Youth Scotland
  • Live Through This
  • London Friend
  • Manchester Pride
  • Mermaids
  • Morecombe Pride UK
  • Mosaic LGBT Young Persons’ Trust
  • National LGBT Partnership
  • Naz and Matt Foundation
  • New Family Social
  • Northern Pride
  • Not a Phase
  • Oakley Coaching
  • Oasis Open House
  • Oasis TORCH Trans Support Group
  • OneBodyOneFaith
  • Opening Doors
  • OTR Bristol
  • OurStory Scotland
  • OutREACH Cumbria
  • Over The Rainbow
  • Ozanne Foundation
  • Parapride
  • Pastoral Council for LGBT+ Catholics Westminster
  • People’s Pride Southampton
  • Peter Tatchell Foundation
  • Pink Saltire
  • Pink Therapy
  • Proud2Be
  • Pride Cymru
  • Pride in London
  • Pride in STEM
  • Puppy Pride
  • Queer Britain
  • QueerFest
  • Queer Emporium
  • Quest – a support group for LGBT+ Catholics
  • Queer Trustees
  • Rainbow Project Rotherham
  • RCT Pride
  • ReportOUT
  • Sarbat Sikhs
  • Schools Out UK
  • Scottish Trans Alliance
  • Sparkle – The National Transgender Charity
  • Space Youth Project
  • Spectra
  • Steph’s Place
  • Stonewall Housing
  • Swansea MAD
  • Switchboard Brighton and Hove
  • The Amber Project
  • The Diversity Trust
  • The Intercom Trust
  • The Gathering Cardiff
  • The Kite Trust
  • The Open Minds Project
  • The Proud Trust
  • The Rainbow Project
  • The Tin Wardrobe
  • The National Trans Youth Network
  • Time for Inclusive Education
  • TMSA-UK
  • Tonic
  • TransActual
  • Trans Aid Cymru
  • TransClusive
  • Trans In The City
  • Transgender NI
  • Trans London
  • TransM
  • Trans Media Watch
  • TransPals
  • Trans Radio UK
  • Trans Staffordshire
  • Transforum Manchester
  • TRUK Listens
  • TRUK United FC
  • UK Black Pride
  • UK Pride Organisers Network
  • Unique Transgender Network
  • Unison
  • Undivided Consultancy
  • Umbrella Cymru
  • Vada Magazine
  • Young Enigma

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