Equality

Equality works for you

We believe that everyone should have an equal opportunity to succeed in life. Whilst this runs through all of our policies, especially with more equal access to education, health care and justice but we also have some policies more specifically surrounding equality.

  • UK wide, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Ban Shortlists for the House of Commons and in devolved parliaments. We are against all shortlists for candidates regardless of whether they are based on gender, disability or any other characteristic. We are firmly against discrimination of all types and while shortlists are known as positive discrimination, they are still a type of discrimination. There are huge improvements needed to ensure everyone has equality of opportunity however shortlists create a system where some groups are excluded from running for certain seats making a system with shortlists unfair.

  • UK wide.

Official Status for the Native Languages of the UK. We support recognising, and giving co-official status, to the UK’s native languages. These include English, Scots, Ulster Scots, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Cornish, Irish Gaelic, Shelta, Angloromani, British sign language and Irish sign language. For many of these languages just being given official status will help them and this is the first step to recovering many of the native languages within the UK.

  • UK wide.

Nameless Recruitment. This would stop employers from seeing the name of people they are looking to potentially employ during the application process. Discrimination as a result of a person’s name can often be through the employer believing a certain name may mean the person they are employing is from a certain place, country or culture. This may then mean prejudices against that area could reduce the chances of candidates with names from certain origins or even those that sound like they are from a certain origin. It makes it more likely the people selected will be selected based on their skills rather than their background.

  • UK, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Take the Definition of Marriage Out of the Legal Framework. We believe that marriage is a personal choice and the government should not try to influence people in making that choice. Therefore, we would take the definition of marriage out of the legal framework so governments wouldn’t be allowed to benefit, or disadvantage people based on whether they are married.

  • England and Wales.

Recognise Humanist Weddings in Law. This would only apply to England and Wales as Scotland and Northern Ireland already recognise them. All weddings should be viewed equally, and this should include those that are not religious. Recognising them in law would mean allowing couples to just have a humanist wedding, rather than just a humanist celebration and a civil ceremony to be married in law.

  • England and Scotland.

England should not have a state religion and the Church of Scotland should no longer be the national church of Scotland. England’s current state religion is the Christian Church of England and the national church in Scotland is the Church of Scotland otherwise known as the Kirk. Both of these would be removed as state or national churches as the UK is both religiously diverse and includes those without religion at all. Therefore, no religion should be placed above all others by the state.

  • England, Wales Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Provide Free Sanitary Products and Contraceptives. It is extremely concerning that issues such as period poverty still exists within the UK today. Therefore, we propose that condoms, femidoms, tampons, the pill, sanitary towels and menstrual cups should be provided free of charge. For distribution providing them through; schools, universities, food banks, toilets, homeless shelters, women’s refuges, workplaces and through the NHS GP surgeries will be a priority. Whilst Scotland has a law for free period products and most of the UK has free contraceptives, for Scotland this would involve increasing the availability of free contraceptives and for the rest of the UK it would also include free sanitary products.

  • England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Cap the Cost of Child Care. Childcare costs in the UK are far too high and this affects women who end up quitting their jobs to stay at home. Childcare includes both child minders looking after children at home and nurseries. Childcare is extremely beneficial to parents, society and the economy. It means parents have more money to spend on other things and can work with the peace of mind that their child is being cared for. This means more people in work growing the economy and it will reduce the number of people moving away from the UK due to unfavourable childcare policies. This policy would cap the cost of childcare at £140 per month and poorer families will get it for free, a policy currently used in Sweden. This would be available until children start education, under our plans this would be at age 7.

  • Northern Ireland, Scotland and the UK.

Decriminalise Sex Work. Whilst prostitution itself is legal in the UK, many of the activities related to it are illegal. A new law should be based off of New Zealand’s 2003 Prostitution reform act which decriminalised prostitution. The new law would aim to protect sex workers from violence, abuse, allow for the enforcement of safer practices and it would also try to reduce discrimination against prostitutes. The primary focus would be on protecting those who take part in prostitution from harm. Management of brothels would be decriminalised, and strict rules would be placed on their management practices. It would also further ensure no one under 18 is able to buy prostitution or become a prostitute.

  • UK wide.

Remove the two doctors’ rule on abortions before 20 weeks pregnancy. We believe that women should have control over their bodies and their own private medical decisions. Whilst the 1967 abortion act means women who want an abortion must have the approval of two doctors, we would make abortions available simply on request within the NHS before 20 weeks into a pregnancy. After this time, they should be available with the approval of two doctors as is currently the case.

  • UK wide.

Ban Protests of Medical Decisions Outside Hospitals and Clinics. This would be a one-mile exclusion zone and protesters would not be allowed to approach those going to clinics or hospitals regardless of how far away the clinic or hospital is. This would also ban the protest of abortions outside clinics by introducing buffer zones around all clinics.

  • UK wide.

Remove abortion from criminal law. Abortions should be regulated under medical regulations rather than under criminal law as it currently is under the Abortion Act of 1967.

  • Scotland and the UK as a whole.

Ban non-consensual and unnecessary intersex operations. We would ban operations on intersex people if they are both not medically necessary and are done at an age where consent cannot be asked of the person who is having that operation.

  • England and Northern Ireland.

Ban parents from smacking their children. Whilst this is already the law in Scotland and Wales, we support extending the ban on smacking to England and Northern Ireland. This is because children should be protected from physical punishment in the same way adults are protected.

  • Gender pay gap reporting.

LGBTQ+ rights:

  • England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Relationship and sex education (RSE) that ensures all students learn about LGBTQ+ issues. RSE in schools must include students learning about the LGBTQ+ community, including teaching about different identities, different prejudices that members of the community may encounter, different types of sex and promoting awareness of past and current LGBTQ+ movements. We are pushing for the rest of the UK to adopt a RSE curriculum like Scotland’s, which does all of these things. As well as this, it does not let parents ‘opt-out’ their children from partaking in any part of this curriculum.

  • England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Remove the delay in implementing the new curriculum in England. In June 2020, the Government pushed back the requirement for schools to start teaching their new LGBT+ inclusive curriculum from September 2020 to the summer term of 2021. We are asking for the Department of Education to move this date back to September, as this means that an inclusive LGBT+ education is taught sooner.

  • UK and Scotland.

Reform the GRA to allow self-identification. To be able to change your gender, you need to have lived as your preferred gender for 2 years and get a diagnosis of gender dysphoria by 2 different doctors. This is a lengthy and difficult process that self-identification would prevent. We are advocating for a version of self-identification like Portugal uses, where people are allowed to change their gender by making a statutory declaration. In order to achieve this, different measures would need to be taken by different bodies depending on their jurisdiction due to devolution.

  • Scotland and the UK.

Remove gender markers on legal documents. There is currently no non-binary or intersex option on legal documents, meaning that often people are forced to identify themselves using a gender that they are not. We therefore support removing gender markers on legal documents, including passports. Whilst an alternative solution would be to use a statutory declaration system where people could choose between male, female and an ‘X’ marker, we have concerns about creating a list of people who identify as neither male or female.

  • UK and Northern Ireland.

End the spousal veto. Divorce and annulment legislation already exists. Couples should be free to make the decision of whether to continue the marriage, yet this should not be tied to one of their gender. It is open to abuse and instead leaves the person who is legally changing their gender at a huge disadvantage- with them often having to wait a long period of time. This has already been abolished in Scotland.

  • UK parliament and Northern Ireland.

Reform the census so that data on the amount of LGBTQ+ people is collected.

At the moment, we are unaware of how many people are LGBTQ+ in the UK. We believe that this data should be collected in our next census, which is in 2021, with this already being done in Scotland.

  • UK parliament.

Ban Conversion Therapy. This has not been done, even though it has been widely condemned, even by healthcare professionals. Conversion therapy refers to “any form of treatment or psychotherapy which aims to change a person’s sexual orientation or to suppress a person’s gender identity.” It should be noted that this was written in the Conservatives LGBT+ action plan from 2018, yet still hasn’t been implemented.

  • England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Abolish the ‘gay blood ban’ that stops sexually active gay and bisexual men from donating blood. Currently, there is a ban that prevents men from donating blood if they have had oral or anal sex with another man in the last three months. We believe that this legislation is outdated and discriminatory, hence we advocate for it to be scrapped.

  • England, Wales Scotland and Northern Ireland.

To support local councils and devolved bodies in creating accessibility grants. Currently in the UK there is a lack of LGBT+ venues that are fully accessible to those who are disabled, one example is that there are currently no LGBT+ venues that have disability access in central London. In order to solve this, we are pushing for central government and the devolved assemblies to provide grants to local authorities. These will be granted to local venues, to ensure that they remain accessible. 

  • Northern Ireland.

Ensure that transgender people are able to have fair access to social housing in NI.

At the moment, transgender people in NI can be refused social housing as transphobia is not recognised by the Housing Executive, meaning that transgender people are often unable to gain social housing points.

  • UK as a whole.

Stop transgender people from being put in the wrong prisons. At the moment, if a prisoner hasn’t fully completed the GRA process and obtained a GRC (Gender Recognition Certificate), they will be put in the prison that is for the gender that they were born as. This issue would be solved by a GRA reform that allowed people to self-identify. How to do this within the UK was stated previously in this section.

  • Scotland, Northern Ireland and the UK as a whole.

Have accommodation provided for non-binary and intersex people. Our proposed GRA reforms would mean that people have the ability to identify as being non-binary and be recognised as intersex, with this being a legally recognised gender identity. Therefore, our prison system would need to reflect that, with non-binary and intersex people also being accommodated.