Manchester Labour has always been at the forefront of supporting LGBT+ rights, from marching against Section 28 to campaigning for equal marriage. And for many years we have supported and celebrated both Manchester Pride and Sparkle Weekend, Manchester’s annual celebration for trans and non-binary people.
We are therefore extremely concerned at reports that the Government plans to row back on proposed reforms to the Gender Recognition Act (GRA). The reforms would mean trans and non-binary people could have their gender legally recognised without having to go through the current lengthy, and often distressing procedures. Instead the Government seem intent on attacking an already vulnerable and marginalised group in society. This group has in recent years been the subject of increased hostility in both mainstream and social media.
The Government’s own consultation on GRA reform showed 70% of respondents were in favour of people being able to self-declare their gender. Yet this 70% is apparently being ignored. Furthermore, it sends the signal that the Government may be prepared to roll back on other hard-won LGBT+ rights.
Concerns have also been expressed by LGBT Foundation, Amnesty International, and by the Sparkle charity. Sparkle Weekend was due to be held in July, but due to coronavirus will not now be taking place. Its organisers are campaigning against this Government U-turn, with their message that “we are the 70%”.
Manchester Labour want trans and binary people to know that we are part of that 70%. We stand by you, and will continue to do so.
We also support LGBT+ Labour’s campaign on this issue, and encourage people to sign their petition: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfFaVLZYIDy0BQBD9dT1QxPzBKa_LEtY936Ocpb6oN5S__JjA/viewform
Cllrs Bev Craig and Chris Wills, Labour Councillors and LGBT+ Leads, Manchester City Council