Ahead of the UK General Election we are hosting an LGBTQ Election hustings on November 27th. The G-Scene News Team has written to all candidates, in all three Brighton & Hove constituencies, asking them all the same question.
We shall share their answers with you as we get them over the coming days:
Today we hear from Ben Thomas, Liberal Democratic Party, standing in Brighton Kemptown
”What do you see as the challenges faced by our LGBTQ+ communities in Brighton&Hove, and how would you address them in Parliament if we elect you to represent us?”
I think there are two top issues impacting our community at the moment and they both need to be urgently addressed. I know from my own experience that LGBTQ+ persons can be adversely affected by mental health issues, which is why we as a party are putting mental health at the heart of our NHS strategy. Too many people are experiencing lengthy waits for access to mental health support which can be critical, especially for youngsters going through what can be quite a confusing and anxiety ridden time. Self-harm is disproportionately reported amongst the LGBTQ+ community so it will be one of my absolute priorities to ensure we build an NHS that has inclusive and supportive mental health services, accessible to all in consultation with the advice and guidance of community organisations.
The Liberal Democrats have always been at the forefront of championing civil liberties, from Ed Davey repealing section 28 when in opposition, to Lynne Featherstone introducing equal marriage in government. And now we’re ready to take the country on the next step of changing the Gender Recognition Act. Reforming the Act, will make the process simpler and fairer by scrapping the fees, removing the need for medical reports and will help to recognise non-binary gender identities. It’s time to stop treating our trans community as second-class citizens and take these concerns seriously and address them.
The GScene LGBTQ+ Election Hustings. Wednesday 27th November 7 – 9pm. Dorset Gardens Methodist Church. All Welcome.