In a damning move, three advisors have quit their roles on a UK LGBT Advisory Panel, saying they have “no confidence” that the Government want to protect the LGBTQ+ community and are instead creating a “hostile environment”.
The advisors cited problems with equality ministers Liz Truss and Kemi Badenoch and the Government’s inaction on banning ‘conversion’ therapy and failing to protect the trans community and LGBTQ+ asylum seekers.
In an interview with ITV, Jayne Ozanne explained why she had stepped down from her position. “I fear it’s this Government’s attitude to the trans community that is right at the heart of this. They need to embrace the trans community and protect them rather than vilify them which, I’m afraid, both Liz Truss and Kemi (Badenoch) seem committed to doing.”
Saying they were known in the LGBTQ+ community as “ministers for inequality”, Ozanne added, “I’ve been increasingly concerned about what is seen to be a hostile environment for LGBT people among this administration. Over the years which the advisory panel has met, we’ve seen an increasing lack of engagement and the actions of ministers have, frankly, been against our advice.”
“I don’t believe that they understand LGBT people, particularly trans people,” Ozanne continued. “I’ve sat in meetings and I’ve been astonished about how ignorant they are on issues that affect the real lives, particularly of younger people.”
NEW: Full resignation statement below from the second equalities advisor to resign from the government’s LGBT+ panel tonight.
James Morton says he now has
“no confidence that the UK Govenrment wishes to protect the existing quality of life and human rights of LGBT people.” pic.twitter.com/Vrv0wQXBdh
— Paul Brand (@PaulBrandITV) March 10, 2021
Another of the advisors who quit their position – James Morton of the Scottish Trans Alliance – in a letter to MP Liz Truss, stated, “Despite the harm and distress caused to trans people by the UK government’s mishandling of the potential Gender Recognition Act reform, I wanted to work constructively with you as part of the LGBT Advisory Panel to help progress modest improvements to LGBT+ people’s lives.
“However, the lack of engagement that you, minister Badenoch and the Government Equalities Office civil servants have had with us as a panel, coupled with the rhetoric used in ministerial statements, leaves me with no confidence that the UK government wishes to protect the existing quality of life and human rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.”
Morton went on to tell the BBC in an interview, “After we have been trying to explain to them how badly fuelling culture wars affects trans people and their day-to-day lives, they continue to make comments about ‘war on wokeness’, and how LGBT and race equality have become ‘too fashionable’ and therefore need to be de-prioritised.
“It certainly does not feel fashionable to be a trans person in the UK at the moment, it feels really scary.”
Solidarity with the other panel members that have resigned and best of luck to those that remain. More pressingly, solidarity to those LGBT people whose life is worse now than a few years ago. As a trans person I know that's a lot of people. I see you and I'm furious for you.
— Ellen Murray (@ellenfromnowon) March 11, 2021
Ellen Murray, the third advisor to quit, shared on social media “I’ve resigned my seat on the UK LGBT Advisory Panel due to the government’s persistent and worsening hostility towards our community in myriad areas. From conversion therapy to trans healthcare to the shameful treatment of LGBT refugees, the govt has acted in appalling faith.”
Murray continued, “There’s precious little patience I have left for the government at this point but with what remains: get your act together. Use the panel for what it was intended and actually prohibit conversion therapy. Stop deporting LGBT refugees. Drop the trans culture war.”
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