“The news that the UK has fallen still further down ILGA’s European Rainbow List is sad – but also sadly inevitable.” That was the verdict of Helen Belcher, chair of TransActual UK on learning that the UK has today fallen to number 14 (out of 49 countries).
She went on: “For a country that prides itself on its tolerance of LGBTI people, that is not a good look. It is only 7 years ago that the UK was no.1; but last year alone, we dropped another 4 places.
“This reflects a failure to keep up with the times. At one point, the UK led the way on trans rights, passing the Gender Recognition Act in 2004. We provided protections for all LGBT people through the Equality Act in 2010. Not long after that, we introduced same-sex marriage – even if the spousal veto continues to be a source of pain for trans people.
“However, past achievement is no guarantee of present success. This year we have seen the government discriminating against trans people in respect of a ban on conversion practices. We have seen multiple attacks on trans people’s ability to live freely in public; and there are serious ongoing questions about the fitness for purpose of the EHRC, the UK’s principal body advising on Human Rights issues.
“It is just as well that the government was forced to cancel its #SafeToBeMe conference. This was in real danger of being a jingoistic platform from which the UK would have lectured the rest of the world on how to do LGBT rights, whereas increasingly, the evidence is that the UK has lost its way in this whole area.”
According to ILGA: “The United Kingdom is the country with the most dramatic drop in its score, losing 11% points in relation to the equality body mandate’s ineffective and non-systematic work on sexual orientation and gender identity and equality action plan not being renewed or implemented.”
ILGA-Europe’s Advocacy Director, Katrin Hugendubel said: “The situation in the UK is a sad reminder that when governments don’t stand strong on their commitments to advance minority rights, a powerful opposition can use that space to spread hate and division.”
For further information contact TransActual’s press office: firstname.lastname@example.org.