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From The Socialist newspaper, 25 July 2018

Tories' LGBT Action Plan: 'A cynical ploy with no solutions'

Fighting for LGBT+ liberation means fighting for socialism, photo Paul Mattsson

Fighting for LGBT+ liberation means fighting for socialism, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Michael Johnson, Socialist Party LGBT+ group

Two thirds of LGBT+ people are afraid of holding their partner's hand in public, or being open about their sexuality for fear of a negative reaction.

More than a quarter of young LGBT+ people in education have experienced verbal harassment, insults or forced 'outings'. A quarter of LGBT+ people in work have had negative reactions to their sexuality in the last 12 months.

Nearly half of LGBT+ people have faced homophobic reactions from strangers in the last year. Nearly all LGBT+ people experiencing this harassment do not report it for reasons like "it happens all the time" or the feeling that nothing would change.

The Tories have launched their LGBT Action Plan to tackle these issues. Unsurprisingly it fails to do anything of the sort.

The plan acknowledges a huge number of the issues facing LGBT+ people. From lack of education in schools about sexuality, to shrinking services for LGBT+ people. From the disproportionate representation of LGBT+ youth in the homeless population, to lack of access to mental health services. More than half of LGBT+ people trying to access mental health services report difficulties due to long waiting times.

Of course nowhere in this plan is there any recognition of the Tories' role in creating this environment. Policies like Section 28, and in the modern day, austerity and privatisation, have had a brutal impact on the NHS and LGBT+ services.

The plan frequently acknowledges services like sexual health (where a number of services across England have had funding cut in half), gender identity, domestic violence and victim support are massively oversubscribed.

But the solution of ending austerity and properly funding these services is ignored. A 4.5m 'LGBT Implementation Fund' will barely meet existing need, let alone improve access to services.

Indeed, very few of the problems raised in this action plan are met with real solutions. To the question of tackling LGBT+ youth homelessness, their answer is data collection. Not building affordable, safe council housing.

Meeting LGBT+ people's physical and mental health and social care needs? Data collection and policy writing. Not ensuring a fully-funded NHS and social care system.

Addressing LGBT+ people's safety around the world? Giving them travel advice. Do the Tories realise that deporting LGBT+ asylum seekers doesn't count as giving them travel advice?

There's no doubt that this plan is a cynical ploy by the Tories to appear 'progressive' without providing any genuine improvements in LGBT+ rights or services.

In truth, the only way the needs of LGBT+ people highlighted in this plan can be met is the same way all the steps forward for the community have been made so far. Fighting and campaigning. LGBT+ people should unite with trade unions and other campaigning groups to build a united working class movement against Tory austerity and for socialist change, the only way to win real liberation for all.

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In The Socialist 25 July 2018:


What we think

Corbyn and unions must act to bring down government in crisis


News

New health secretary, same privatisation agenda

Fight the racist far right

Universal credit causes £24m rent arrears

Dodgy MP lobbied for genocidal Sri Lankan leader

Them & Us


Workplace

PCS members back fightback on pay - keep building pressure

Blacklisting of Militant supporters by Thatcher government revealed

Victory for Swansea postal workers against management victimisation

Hull recycling workers win right to sick pay

EDF Energy strike victory against vehicle tracker device

Sheffield tram workers strike for 72 hours


Trump protests

250,000-strong human tide sweeps London against visit of bigoted billionaire Donald Trump

School students: why we walked out against Trump

Protesting Trump's visit - action around the country


Nationalisation

The case for socialist nationalisation


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Kentish Road victory: Respite centre saved by determined campaign

Tories' LGBT Action Plan: 'A cynical ploy with no solutions'

Fighting for trans rights at Bristol pride

10,000 at Northern Pride

Durham Miners' Gala 2018

Obituary: Ged Travers 1957-2018


Environment

Plastic waste - capitalism's Frankenstein monster


 

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Related links:

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triangleSocialist Party national LGBT+ meeting

triangleCWI news in brief

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triangleHuge but chaotic Brighton Pride needs to be politicised

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triangle'Tories out' demo

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triangleDerby Socialist Party: Tories out! End austerity

triangleTories Out. End austerity. Mass working-class action for a general election

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triangleCare crisis cashing in

Austerity:

triangleFrance: union-led action and assemblies can defeat Macron

Section 28:

triangle30 years on from Section 28: the legacy of fighting LGBT+ attacks must continue

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