September 16, 2020
Okay, so the American elections have almost achieved a bipartisan on their stance on the LGBT+ community. And let’s be honest, the conservatives have never been a fan of the LGBT+ community. They have rarely sided and taken a stance for the community. And Boris Johnson is just another voice from the right-wing that we might now have to rethink seriously.
Britain’s previous legislation which was also a conservative majority was one of the big reasons why the Brexit happened. And with the landslide win, the Prime Minister of Britain is now responsible for Britain’s economic stability. This also means that LGBT+ related laws and legalities are not a priority anymore.
So does this mean that the LGBT+ Community can relax for a bit?
Well, not completely. Helping the LGBT+ community has never been on the Conservative’s agenda. And neither Theresa May nor Boris Johnson has ever shown their support to the community. On the contrary, Theresa May even went as far as trying to ban the “abhorrent practice” of gay and LGBT+ conversion therapy.
The Forbes stated that “Other than the Brexit party, the Conservative party had the least mentions of LGBT people in their manifesto—two in total.” The other one listed the LGBT+ people under and equalities act. This would mean the LGBT+ community is under the “protect from physical attack or harassment” category.
And the only pledge under the foreign policy issues is a promise to host the U.K. government’s ‘first-ever international LGBT conference.’
What is in it for the Trans Community?
The trans and non-binary legal reform are not completely addressed by the Gender Recognition Act. Earlier, the Labour, the Lib Dems, and Green Party had mentioned that they would reform the act. And this means that even in the next term, we can most likely expect the reform to be delayed. Just like before.
And despite a 16-week long public consultation, the results of which were not even remotely realised. And when questioned, the Government Equalities Office spokesperson told Pinknews: “We will announce more detail on our proposed next steps in due course.”
The History of Homophobia
The conservatives in the UK have a long list of crimes and hatred against the LGBT+ community. Boris Johnson himself used the word “bum boys” to take a jab at the recently outed Peter Mandelson in a Daily Telegraph column in 1998. And then again in 2000, he decided to make a comment against the Labour during their fight against the homophobic Thatcher legislation Section 28. The section banned materials that “promotes homosexuality” in schools.
And three years down the road, he himself cancelled out Section 28 and made us wonder if he really belonged to the Conservative party. And our surprise only extended when he supported the pride event as the Mayor of London.
Boris Johnson is all over the place causing serious confusion. Is he for the community or not? How do we know for sure?
Can Boris Johnson be trusted on LGBT rights?
He did not apologise for his comment on Peter Mandelson. He did not apologise to media channels or his own party’s LGBT+ group. This is a clear proof the Boris is not really concerned about his sensitivity towards the LGBT+ community.
So what really can the people in UK look forward to in the next five years? With Johnson as the Prime Minister, we are not too sure if he will be checked out for his LGBT+ credentials. And in reality, he is actually been looked through and through to test out the waters. Will the Johnson Government see a pro-LGBT+ or an anti-LGBT+ future?
The people of the UK, specifically the UK LGBT Foundation have begun to weigh down on the Prime Minister and ask him to stand up for the LGBT+ community. With his recent win with the Brexit issue to which the country showed its support, the charity retuned the Brexit slogan to fit the new agenda. They are now chanting,
“Get EQUALITY Done.”
But will it really affect Boris Johnson and his government?
Only time will tell. So far, we know the LGBT+ community in the UK can expect to face lesser heat and lesser support. Which if not a win-win, is at least not a lose-lose case. And if not yet, we can soon see if the government is pro-LGBT or not. In the meantime, if one were to analyse the post events of the conservative party, we can see their leniency for an equal society if not an LGBT+ emancipatory one.
With Britain’s focus on the recovery from Brexit, and barely two policies in the manifestation, there isn’t much for the LGBT+ community to dabble with.
But tell us what you think. Do you think the Boris Johnson government will cause more harm? Or do you think indifference is bliss?