September 16, 2022

Liz Truss & Her Cabinets' Record on LGBTQ+ Rights

Liz Truss &  Her Cabinets'  Record on LGBTQ+ Rights

The new Tory Prime Minister, Liz Truss, comes with a mixed history of voting for and against LGBTQ+ rights.

Elected as MP for South West Norfolk in 2010, Truss was one of the few Tory MPs who voted in favour of marriage equality for the public in 2013.

When Truss became Equalities Minister in 2019, she vowed to use her power to stamp out ‘identity politics’.

Instead of spearheading progress for the LGBTQ+ community, in 2020, Truss abandoned proposed reforms to the Gender Recognition Act 2004. Reforms which would have made it simpler for trans people to change their legal gender.

Beyond that, Truss also excluded trans people from the long-sought proposed conversion therapy ban.

She has supported even more anti-trans legislation recently. Just days into her new role, Truss has been reportedly trying to block Scotland's Gender Recognition Act Bill, asking lawyers for advice on how to "pause or prevent" the reforms.

Furthermore, the new cabinet appears to be dominated by MPs of social conservatism and anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment.

Some cabinet members have voted consistently against LGBTQ+ rights entirely, including marriage equality. Others, like Suella Braverman, have spoken in favour of 'LGB' rights but are exclusionary towards trans rights.

Let's take a look at some of their records.

Thérèse Coffey, Health Secretary and Deputy PM, opposes marriage equality, defending this position as recently as 2020.

Coffey also opposes abortion.

Suella Braverman, Home Secretary, has consistently opposed trans rights.

Braverman's claims that it is "lawful" for schools to deadname and misgender trans kids have been criticised by barristers as incorrect, and raised concerns from teachers for their students' mental health.

Nadhim Zahawi, Equalities Minister, sparked fears of a new Section 28 during his own Tory leadership bid.

Zahawi's comments on "protecting children" in schools from "inappropriate nonsense" was compared to Thatcher's notorious legislation which banned the "promotion of homosexuality in schools".  

Certain members of the new cabinet like Chloe Smith and Brandon Lewis do have a strong track record of supporting LGBTQ+ rights, but it remains to be seen whether these records will continue in a government dominated by anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment.

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