UK: Theresa May sacks equalities chief Justine Greening, leaving LGBT reforms up in the air

Justine Greening, the most senior out politician in the country, has been sacked as equalities chief by Theresa May.

Ms Greening, who came out in 2016, was today dramatically sacked as Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities. She was offered a move to another role by the PM – but quit the government rather than allow herself to be moved out of the brief.

The move throws ongoing key initiatives on LGBT rights into uncertainty, as Ms Greening had been the driving force behind plans for LGBT-inclusive sex education and gender recognition reform.

Just last month the Education Secretary launched a consultation on the future of sex and relationship education in schools. The consultation was aimed at “inviting views on age-appropriate content” on LGBT issues, as as well as on mental wellbeing and staying safe online. The future of the reforms will now depend on the incoming minster. Ms Greening, a moderate conservative, had clashed with the PM over the party’s commitment to expanding grammar schools.

And hostile media coverage also led to work on transgender issues being stalled. Last year Ms Greening had announced plans to review the Gender Recognition Act, a 2004 law that allows transgender people to gain legal recognition.

LGBT advocates had called for the law to be streamlined to reduce the hurdles that transgender people have to jump through to get a Gender Recognition Certificate, adopting a simpler ‘self-declaration’ system that operates in Ireland and other countries across Europe.

But the review was reportedly stalled last month after an anti-transgender media campaign, with The Times reporting that the issue’s “complex and divisive” nature had led to plans being stalled. Read more via Pink News