Last week, Stonewall Cymru worked with a wide range of partners to host Senedd hustings with representatives from Welsh Labour, Welsh Conservatives, Plaid Cymru, Welsh Liberal Democrats and Wales Green Party.
As 6 May approaches, take a look at the views of different parties on issues of equality for the most marginalised in society. You might even want to look up your candidate, see what they said and hold them to it or challenge them to do better! The power is in your hands.
Here are just some of the commitments and highlights made at the hustings thanks to questions submitted by LGBT+ people in Wales.
1. Banning conversion therapy
We know that this cruel practice that sets out to change a person’s sexual orientation or to suppress a person’s gender identity impacts LGBT+ people in psychotherapy, faith settings and beyond. And as illustrated in a recent Gal-Dem article by Prishita Maheshwari-Aplin, LGBTQIA+ people of colour are twice as likely to undergo conversion therapy.
Promisingly, all candidates at the LGBT+ Hustings – Jeremy Miles for Welsh Labour, Calum Davies for the Welsh Conservatives, Fflur Elin for Plaid Cymru, Rhys Taylor for the Welsh Liberal Democrats and Megan Poppy Lloyd for the Wales Green Party – said they intend to ban conversion therapy if elected.
2. Trans rights
At the same hustings Welsh Labour, Plaid Cymru, the Welsh Liberal Democrats and the Wales Green Party all stated their commitments to uphold and further the rights of trans and non-binary people.
Candidates for these parties indicated that they would explore how to devolve the Gender Recognition Act (GRA), a legal process intended to enable trans people to change the gender marker on their birth certificate. And committed to de-medicalising this process, which is currently bureaucratic and intrusive, in a way that aligns with the internationally recognised principle of self-identification.
3. Inclusive education
All candidates discussed how they were happy that the new curriculum for Wales will be LGBT+ inclusive and feature relationships and sexuality education as a mandatory element. Promisingly, all candidates shared a commitment to training for teachers to effectively deliver this content.
4. Make Welsh politics more representative of Wales today
All candidates indicated that urgent work was needed to make the Senedd more representative of Wales today, with greater representation for BAME people, women, and disabled people. Each highlighted how more needs to be done by their party to achieve a better balance of candidates. The Welsh Liberal Democrats and the Welsh Green Party indicated that for this to take place, reform of the electoral system is required.
All parties stated their ambition to speak on LGBT+ issues if they were elected to the Senedd, with the Welsh Conservative candidate highlighting the need to work on a cross-party basis to improve the lives of LGBT+ people in Wales.
5. Race Equity Action Plan
All candidates committed to tackling racism in Wales, with the Welsh Labour candidate highlighting the intention to implement the Race Equality Action Plan. Welsh Conservative candidates made a similar commitment, echoing the need for a Race Equality Plan, and Plaid Cymru argued that more inclusive education is a vital tool for tackling racism in Wales.
A huge thank you and well done to all the partners we worked with. Please follow the links to explore and support their work.
If you need support at this time or have been affected by any of the issues discussed, get in touch with Stonewall Cymru’s Information Service – firstname.lastname@example.org or 08000 50 20 20.