International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:32 pm on 16th May 2019.

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Photo of Nick Herbert Nick Herbert Conservative, Arundel and South Downs 3:32 pm, 16th May 2019

Through the hon. Gentleman’s intervention he has made his point to the Government and I am sure the Government will reply. But the broader point is right: in order to lead on the world stage we must ensure that our domestic agenda is fully complete. There are still outstanding issues in relation to trans equality, to ensuring education is genuinely LGBT-inclusive and to asylum for LGBT+ people. There are intersex issues where a response to a consultation is awaited. Most obviously there is still Northern Ireland’s failure to introduce equal marriage despite strong public support for that in Northern Ireland. All those things need completing as well.

None of this is for Governments alone, although the UK Government’s role is vital: it is also for business, civil society and NGOs to play their part. I congratulate all the NGOs that are engaged in promoting LGBT rights both in the UK and globally on their work. The all-party group on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights, which I have the honour to chair, will continue to work with them.

We have a common objective. It was very well expressed by the Prime Minister in her foreword to the “LGBT Action Plan” that the UK Government published last year. She said she wanted to make the UK

“a country where no one feels the need to hide who they are or who they love”.

That should be our ambition for the world as well.