Ruth Hunt praises main UK political parties on LGBT inclusion
Ruth Hunt, the chief executive of Stonewall, which is Europe’s largest Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) advocacy group, has said she is “very impressed” with the manifestos of the UK’s main political parties and how they plan on tackling issues facing the LGBT community.
With the 7 May 2015 UK General Election drawing ever closer, all signs point to a rather close race; and so the LGBT vote could be an important deciding factor to which party ends up in 10 Downing Street.
Speaking with the Independent, Ruth Hunt said: “We’ve been very impressed by how all of them, [the main political parties] bar UKIP, have made explicit reference to LGB issues in their manifestos. That’s not what happened in 2010, you didn’t have these separate sections talking to the LGBT community, so that’s incredibly impressive.”
Ruth Hunt also discussed Stonewall’s #NoBystanders campaign, which was launched back in March 2014, as a means to tackle all forms of hate crime and bullying. During the 2014 Equality Dinner the charity raised almost £400,000, and also unveiled their No Bystanders film which was voiced by Sir Ian McKellen.
“The challenge is how do we get people around who are watching that hate crime to step in and say ‘no that’s not acceptable’. And not just in relation to sexual orientation, but gender, race, and disabilities,” Hunt said.
She added: “That is why No Bystanders deliberately covers all forms of identity, because gay people are equally capable of being racist. It’s an attempt to create a movement where we take responsibility for what’s going on around us.”
“I’m not convinced that every LGBT person in this country feels open about being LGBT. Until we reach a stage where people feel safe, then our work isn’t done,” she said.
– the stonewall #NoBystanders campaign