Trans equality is high on the news agenda following the launch of the Trans Manifesto by a number of major trans groups including Gendered Intelligence, Scottish Transgender Alliance, the Gender Trust and the National Trans Police Association.
As the General Election year approaches, the Manifesto is demanding that all political parties in the UK adopt two specific policies that will improve the rights of trans people. Supporters of the Manifesto want greater respect for trans people’s public image, autonomy and expertise. There are also calls to review the Gender Recognition Act of 2004 with regard to liberalising certain medical requirements and the abolition of the spousal veto.
Director of Trans Media Watch, Helen Belcher, was one of the main supporters of the Manifesto. She said, ‘the huge level of support for this within the trans communities, and society’s growing understanding of the issues that face trans people, mean that we should expect continuing improvements in the way that trans people are treated. My discussions with MPs and peers from all parties indicate there is support for this innovative approach’.
Paul Roberts, CEO of the LGBT Consortium, another of the initiatives behind the Trans Manifesto, argued that ‘now is the time to raise trans rights as a cross-party political issue which needs government support. LGBT Consortium has been really pleased to be able to facilitate this unprecedented step’. The LGBT Consortium supports various voluntary community sector organisations representing LGBT people all over the United Kingdom.
In recent years trans equality has benefited from a number of new laws and national initiatives such as the government’s Transgender Action Plan, the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Act and the 2010 Equality Act.