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Labour pledges to trial PrEP, strengthen legal protections for trans people

By Ross Semple

A future Labour government would trial the HIV prevention drug PrEP on the NHS and strengthen legal protections for trans people, according to a leaked manifesto document.

The document, which was leaked to the press earlier this week, outlines some of the party’s most high-profile policies going into the 2017 general election.

One of Labour’s policy ideas involves updating the Equality Act to be more inclusive of LGBT+ people, especially those who are trans. As reported in The Independent, this includes an update on hate crime laws which would bring anti-LGBT+ attacks in line with those in which people were targeted because of their race or religion.

The party also pledges to remove the term ‘transsexual’ from legal terminology, as the outdated word is still used by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

Further to these, the manifesto outlines “ongoing training to understand and meet the needs of LGBT patients and service users” for teachers and health professionals.

The manifesto reads: “Labour has a proud record championing the fight for GBLT equality. We abolished Section 28, equalised the age of consent, created civil partnerships, and it was only through Labour votes that equal marriage became law. However, there is still a long way to go issues such as education, equal access to public services, levels of LGBT hate crime, and mental and physical wellbeing.

“A Labour government will reform the Equality Act 2010 to ensure it protects trans people by changing the protected characteristic of ‘gender assignment’ to ‘gender identity’ and remove other outdated language such as ‘transexual’.

“Labour will bring the law on LGBT hate crimes into line with hate crimes based on race and faith, by making them aggravated offences.

“To tackle bullying of LGBT young people, Labour will ensure that all teachers receive initial and ongoing training on the issues.students face and how to address them. And we will ensure that the new guidance for relationships and sex education is LGBT inclusive.

“Likewise, we will ensure all frontline health and social care professionals receive ongoing training to understand and meet the needs of LGBT patients and service users.

“Labour will ensure that NHS England completes the trial programme to provide PrEP as quickly as possible, and fully roll out the treatment to high risk groups to help reduce HIV infection.”

The party recently announced a candidate who could become the first transgender MP in parliament.

Sophie Cook is standing for Labour in the East Worthing & Shoreham constituency. The seat is currently occupied by Conservative Tim Loughton, who has a majority of almost 15,000.

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