- 2018 National LGBT Conference
- 21 September 2018
Conference notes with concern that Disabled Lesbian, Gay. Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) people are being disenfranchised at the hands of the Tory Government and our human rights and independence are seriously under threat.
Disabled LGBT people are facing cuts to benefits, rises in unemployment, disability pay gap, no protection against dual discrimination, reductions in the provision of social care, the denial of the right to independent living, and increase in hate crime.
As a result of sustained Government attacks on our services, many that we rely on have been withdrawn or reduced and we face uncertainty about our futures. LGBT disabled and older people face additional issues including health and care services that do not address our needs, or respect our sexual orientation or gender identities.
Conference is perplexed that, following the creation of the Inter-Ministerial Group on Disability and Society, Sarah Newton (Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work) announced on 6 September she will drive forward co-ordinated action across Government to jointly tackle barriers to disabled people’s full participation and inclusion in society, ensuring progress is driven by the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). The actions include making available funding for social care, providing support through Access to Work, including through the new Tech Fund, and through their expenditure on benefits to support disabled people.
This pays lip service to the damning report published by the United Nations (UN) in August 2017 condemning the United Kingdom (UK) Tory Government’s failure to uphold disabled people’s rights. The report raises over 60 areas of concern: from education to employment, from housing to health and from transport to social security.
Many of these issues have specific impacts for Disabled LGBT people, for example, LGBT people are disproportionately more likely to be homeless than non-LGBT people and finding accessible accommodation can prove extremely difficult.
The Government was also criticised for poor performance by the U.N. on Mental Health. The Disabled LGBT community is disproportionately affected by mental health issues with higher rates of self-harm and suicide. Due to being a high risk group for HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) and as consequence of the HIV/AIDS (Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) crisis of the 1980’s many gay and bisexual men are living with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
Conference calls on the National LGBT Committee to:
1) Continue to campaign for the use of human rights based approaches to delivering public services throughout the UK;
2. Continue to support UNISON’s campaign for increased government investment in adult social care and health and campaign for a health and social care system that respects the rights and identities of disabled LGBT people
3. Working with Labour Link, Disabled LGBT Members Caucus and National Disabled Members Committee lobby for the implementation of the UN’s recommendations in respect of the Government’s failings under the UNCRDP.