The Scottish National Party will push for full devolution of equality laws to Holyrood as part of a renewed commitment to LGBTI rights.
The party has launched a 12-point equality manifesto which they hope puts them front and centre to win the votes of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people in Scotland.
They’ve promised to support plans to appoint an international LGBTI envoy, to press the UK Government to improve the way LGBTI asylum seekers are treated and to consult with intersex people on changes to equality law.
The party are hoping to gain maximum support from the LGBTI community in the run up to the General Election on 8th June and the 12-point “LGBTI Equality Manifesto” is the most comprehensive set of commitments of any of the main parties.
Commenting, Leader of the SNP, Nicola Sturgeon, said:
“The SNP is committed to securing full equality for LGBTI people, and we have a proud record of championing LGBTI equality in government and at Westminster.
“This manifesto sets out our commitments, at the UK general election, to secure LGBTI equality in those areas of responsibility that remain reserved to the Westminster parliament – including commitments to world-leading reforms to improve LGBTI equality in Scotland, the UK, and internationally.
“Equality and human rights are fundamental to our values and aims as a progressive social democratic party, and under the SNP Scottish Government Scotland has become one of the best countries in the world for LGBTI equality.
“We have delivered Scotland’s progressive equal marriage and hate crime laws, we have given record funding to LGBTI equality organisations, and we have driven forward equality in our public services – but we know that there is still more to do.
“A vote for the SNP on June 8th is a vote for a strong, united and effective team of SNP MPs that will champion LGBTI equality at Westminster, and work hard to make Scotland the best country we can be.”
The SNP Leader has also committed her MPs at Westminster to support changes to pension laws to allow same-sex partners to receive equal benefit from pension companies compared to mixed-sex spouses. They will also work to push the UK Government to recognise non-binary people in the passport system who may want to record their gender as “X”.
The full list of commitments are:
- Push for the full devolution of equality law, so that the Scottish Parliament can protect and extend LGBTI rights in Scotland.
- Extend discrimination protections, and reform the protected characteristics, toensure that all LGBTI people are fully protected from discrimination, multiple discrimination, and harassment.
- Ensure equal pension rights for same-sex couples, by changing the law to stop pension companies from discriminating against same-sex spouses through paying them much smaller survivor’s pensions than mixed-sex spouses.
- Make world-leading reforms to gender recognition law in Scotland, so that all trans and non-binary people can access their human right to legal gender recognition. SNP MPs will also press the UK government to do the same within this parliament, and push for reforms to allow non-binary people to record their gender as “X” on passports and all other UK-wide records and identity documents.
- Introduce a full Turing Law in Scotland, and press the UK government to improve its Turing Law by extending an automatic pardon to all gay and bisexual men convicted for same-sex sexual activity that is now lawful – including, crucially, those who are still alive.
- Support the provision of Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) by NHS Scotland to prevent HIV, and support efforts to have PrEP made available on the NHS in the rest of the UK too.
- Oppose any attempt to roll-back human rights, including any Tory attempts to scrap the Human Rights Act, withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), or further water-down the Equality Act.
- Improve intersex equality, by pressing for intersex people and organisations to be fully consulted on changes to the law and policy to introduce effective protections for intersex people’s human rights.
- Reform the asylum system to ensure that people forced to flee persecution because they are LGBTI have access to asylum in the UK, are not held in arbitrary detention, and are treated in a fair manner with dignity and respect.
- Promote LGBTI rights internationally as an integral part of UK foreign policy, including through the establishment of a special envoy to advance the rights of LGBTI people in Chechnya and across the world.
- Show continued leadership in government and at Westminster by listening to LGBTI people and organisations, and by speaking out on LGBTI equality issues.
You can read the full manifesto by clicking here: