Since Trump took power in January the US has been accused of rolling back its commitments to global LGBT equality – while Trump’s law chief Jeff Sessions has also pursued an aggressive campaign inside the United States to undermine protections for LGBT employees.
At a debate in the UK’s House of Commons today, politicians from across parties voiced concern at developments in the United States on LGBT issues.
Labour MP Stephen Twigg said: “I want to say something about what is happening in the United States of America. President Trump’s decision to ban transgender people from the US military is an enormous shame, one I hope we can condemn on a cross-party basis.
“President Obama left a very positive legacy on LGBT. Tragically, President Trump is undoing it.
“That leaves a vacuum in global LGBT rights. I hope that the United Kingdom, working with like-minded countries around the world, will play a leadership role to ensure we do not slip back, but instead move forward to global LGBT equality.”
Elsewhere in the Commons debate, the UK was urged to address the Colonial legacy of anti-LGBT laws.
Tory MP Nick Herbert said: “It is sometimes suggested that the UK may be guilty of some kind of neo-colonialism by seeking to impose our views on countries in the same way as we did in the past. It is true that 40 of the 53 member states of the Commonwealth criminalised same-sex activity using legislation inherited from the British empire.
“I would argue that our history gives us a special responsibility to atone for the measures that we introduced, and to act.
“That view is shared by the Prime Minister, who—I am delighted to say—said last week at the PinkNews awards: ‘On the world stage, the Government are standing up for LGBT rights, and challenging at the highest level those governments which allow or inflict discrimination or abuse. The anti-LGBT laws which remain in some Commonwealth countries are a legacy of Britain’s Colonial past, so the UK government has a special responsibility to help change hearts and minds. We will ensure these important issues are discussed at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, which we are hosting in London next April.’
“That is immensely welcome.