Global LGBT Rights

Part of Modern Slavery Act 2015 – in the House of Commons at 3:39 pm on 26th October 2017.

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Photo of Ged Killen Ged Killen Labour/Co-operative, Rutherglen and Hamilton West 3:39 pm, 26th October 2017

I agree completely with my hon. Friend’s points, and I will come on to talk about LGBT rights elsewhere in the UK.

The TIE campaign found that teachers often do not know what they are allowed to talk about in schools and do not feel adequately trained to tackle LGBTI issues. The TIE campaign seeks to change that, and I welcome the excellent work it has done and continues to do. Just today, it has secured the support of the first Catholic priest to back the campaign. Father Morton is from Cambuslang in my constituency and he joins other faith leaders in the Scottish Episcopal Church and the Church of Scotland, as well as teachers, trade unions, charities and politicians from all political parties, in recognising that we need action for LGBTI young people at school. It is very important that such examples are set by leading figures in society.

Legislation and Government also have a leading part to play in changing societal attitudes. I therefore wonder what example the Prime Minister set when she welcomed into the heart of Government a party hardly famed for its support of LGBT rights.

When I get on a plane in Glasgow and land in Belfast, not far from where my husband was born, despite not having left the UK our marriage is no longer recognised, because the Democratic Unionist party, ignoring public opinion and blocking the will of the Northern Ireland Assembly, refuses to extend to the people of Northern Ireland the same basic rights that are enjoyed by citizens in the rest of Ireland and the UK.

Members of this House who now find themselves propping up this Government are on record making comments such as:

“I am pretty repulsed by gay and lesbianism. I think it is wrong. I think that those people harm themselves and—without caring about it—harm society. That doesn’t mean to say that I hate them. I mean, I hate what they do.”

Such comments about LGBT people harming society are shocking. The Prime Minister talks about how far we still have to go, yet this is the company she is keeping in Government.