14 Apr 2021: The Equality Network is a government funded lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) equality and human rights charity.
Its influence over SNP policies and many areas of Scottish society is absolute. Political Party’s will be expected to conform to the LGBTI agenda or face oblivion at the ballot box. But the electorate may not subscribe to the changes without consultation of which there has been very little, to date. People are afraid of change and this might well be reflected in the way in which they cast their votes on 6 May 2021.
The network which represents around 0.4% of Scotland’s population is monitoring the commitment of political parties in Scotland to social and changes in the laws of Scotland advocated by the network and has reported the applicable agenda for change in the Green Party manifesto, which states:
“We will ensure that health and social care services throughout Scotland, including mental health services, are fully inclusive of LGBT+ people and designed to remove barriers and tackle health inequalities.”
“Implement the Time for Inclusion Education (TIE) campaign recommendations, including the delayed delivery of promised funding to assist this important
“Deliver long overdue reforms to the Gender Recognition Act, including statutory self-declaration, recognising non-binary identities and all genders, and providing access to health care for trans minors with parental or guardian consent.”
“Introduce an informed consent model of trans healthcare, and in the meantime continue to push for access to Gender Identity Clinics within 18 weeks, in line with NHS standards for other services.”
“Ban so-called ‘conversion therapy’, which refers to unethical and unnecessary interventions that seek to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of LGBT+ people or alter a person’s sex characteristics without their consent.”
“Ensure LGBT+ inclusion in Scottish Government international development policies, and enshrining the Yogyakarta human rights principles into Scots law.”
Yogyakarta human rights principles: To avoid gender discrimination, in whatever area, full provision must be made for all those people who experience discrimination because of their gender role, gender identity or gender expression. In particular, provision must be made for those with an absence of intimate conviction as to being a man or a woman.
The Yogyakarta Principles: Women’s Rights Were Not Considered
Professor Robert Wintemute, Professor of Human Rights Law at Kings College London, is an expert on anti-discrimination law and sexual orientation law, and was one of the co-authors of the influential “Yogyakarta Principles”.
He now says the international human rights community got it wrong in merging lesbian and gay rights with the idea of a right to have “gender identity” replace sex.
The Yogyakarta principles, developed in 2006 built on the UK’s Gender Recognition Act, presenting it as international best practice. Principle 3 argues for a right to have gender identity replace sex on all identity documents and in all situations
The Lib/Dem Party manifesto states:
On Inclusive Education: Fully implement the recommendations of the LGBTI Inclusive Education Working Group, underpinned by new statutory guidance on the conduct of relationships, sexual health and parenthood education for schools.
On healthcare: Ensure that all NHS healthcare professionals can meet the needs of their LGBTI patients by incorporating training that addresses barriers faced due to both sexual orientation and gender identity.
On mental health: Commit to funding mandatory training for mental health professionals, including front line CAMHS staff, on supporting LGBTI people, and ensure mental health and suicide prevention training delivered to NHS staff is inclusive.
On social care: Ensure that LGBTI people can access welcoming and inclusive social care services, by providing targeted training for staff with a focus on those working in residential care settings.
On reproductive health & fertility services: Ensure that NHS reproductive health and fertility services recognise, and address, barriers and health inequalities faced by LGBTI people, particularly by lesbian and bisexual women.
On Conversion Therapy: End the harmful practice of sexual orientation and gender identity conversion therapy in the next parliamentary session, working with the UK Government where necessary.
On the Gender Recognition Act: Improve laws on gender recognition in line with international best practice to allow trans people to change the legal gender on their birth certificate with a simple process based on the principle of self-determination.