SNP Equalities spokesperson Angela Crawley MP has said the Tory government has questions to answer on LGBTI equality, after confirming a backroom deal with the DUP to hold onto power.
The MP for Lanark and Hamilton East has today written to the Prime Minister to seek assurances on what LGBTI equality legislation the Tory government will bring forward in this parliament, after the Queen’s Speech contained no specific commitments for the next two years despite Tory election pledges.
Commenting Angela Crawley MP said:
“LGBTI people across the country have deep concerns that the Tory backroom deal with the DUP could halt progress on equality.
“Before the election Theresa May and Ruth Davidson both committed to changes in the law to improve LGBTI equality – but these commitments were entirely absent from the Queen’s Speech, which outlined the UK government’s legislative priorities for the next two years.
“We now need firm assurances from the UK government that LGBTI equality will not be sidelined for political expediency – and we need to see a clear timetable for when LGBTI equality legislation will be introduced.
The letter includes questions on when non-binary people will be able to record their gender as “X” on passports and other documents; the extension of the protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010; and calls for the full devolution of equality law in Scotland to Holyrood.
Ms Crawley continued,
“The SNP will continue to champion LGBTI equality in government at Holyrood, and SNP MPs will hold the Tory government to account at Westminster so that LGBTI equality does not fall off the agenda.”
Previously, a Queen’s speech covered a 1-year term of Parliament and the bills and laws expected to be debated within that year, however the government extended the ‘term’ of the current legislative programme to cover 2 years due to business relating to Brexit.
The DUP have consistently resisted calls for same-sex marriage laws to be approved in Northern Ireland and the country is now the only part of the United Kingdom yet to make the change. A deal was announced on Monday that will see the 10 DUP MP’s supporting the Tory government in a number of key votes, after the General Election delivered a minority Conservative government.