UK: Here's What The Government Says It Will Do To Improve LGBT People's Lives

The British government has unveiled an "LGBT action plan" with dozens of pledges to reduce discrimination, hate crimes, and health inequalities by the end of this parliament while improving the experience of LGBT people at school, on the street, in hospitals, and at police stations.

But opposition MPs and campaigners have cast doubt on the budget allocated and the ability of the government to implement its promises.

The plan is the result of a vast survey of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people the government conducted last year, which took in 108,000 responses from the public – the largest in UK history.

As BuzzFeed News exclusively revealed last week, the government will also set about banning conversion therapy – so-called gay "cures" that attempt to make gay people heterosexual or make transgender people cisgender. The action plan does not, however, say how such a ban would be enforced, only that a range of legislative and nonlegislative measures would be considered.

The initial budget for all the government's proposals is £4.5 million between now and the end of 2020. The campaigner Peter Tatchell called this "derisory". Further money will be allocated after 2020, the government said.

The promises are divided into seven key areas: health, education, safety, workplace, data and monitoring, representation, and international. An "advisory panel" will be set up to assist Penny Mordaunt, the women and equalities minister, in the implementation of the plan.

Among the health proposals is a promise to hire a "national adviser" to tackle the multiple ways in which the wellbeing – physical and mental – of LGBT people is worse than heterosexuals. Such an adviser would oversee better training for medical staff to understand the needs of LGBT patients better. The action plan also promises to improve fertility services for LGBT people, improve the services for people at gender clinics, and improve mental health provisions.

Among the more significant announcements is the commencement this week of the government's long-awaited consultation on the gender-recognition process for trans people. The action plan itself states only that the government will "consider ways to make it easier to tell the government if you have changed your gender".

One way to do this, the plan suggests, is for the government to look at how its current "Tell Us Once" service, which enables citizens to inform the authorities only once about a bereavement, could be applied to those transitioning.

For the first time, the government will launch a "call for evidence" for nonbinary people and separately for intersex people to better understand the plight of those whose gender identity is neither male nor female, or who physically have a range of gender-variant conditions.

Read more via Buzzfeed


Access the full LGBT Action Plan here