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Brexit: what can LGBTQ expect?

Brexit: what can LGBTQ expect?


The United Kingdom is determined to leave the EU on January 31, 2020. This historic event is undoubtedly among the most remarkable in a lifetime for all Brits and PM Boris Johnson in particular. Considered as PM major victory it also brings lots of uncertainty for the citizens. Unfortunately, Brexit is not only about losing access to European job market but also about numerous protections taken for granted. Among those, non-discriminative protections for LGBTQ people cause considedable concern. Thus, it is not surprising that while the majority of Brits voted to leave, 8 out 10 LGBTQ people were against the move (according to LGBTQ-affiliated resoursces pools).  So, what do we know about upcoming changes of legislation and can we only guess about it?

One thing is certain: nothing is gonna change in terms of LGBTQ rights and protections on January 31 and up to December 31 this year. For this transition period, all the UK laws will be identical to the EU. Starting next year, the situation will change dramatically. In particular, EU Charter  prohibited discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and contained a right to human dignity will no longer be applicable leaving LGBTQ community without protection that was binding from 2009. In addition to that, as it was announced in Queen's speech earlier this year the bill limiting the right to vote for transgender people is supposed to be introduced. If passed, it will destroy the reputation of the UK as the champion of LGBTQ rights.

In addition to certain changes regarding LGBTQ rights, other can only be guessed about. For instance, any from LGBTQ protective laws that are currently in effect can be amended by the Parliament without European Commission having right to intervene. For instance, there are already calls to review Human Rights Act (HRA). What could be the consequences. Let us take simple yet lively example. B&B owners having less than 3 rooms can be exempted from Equality Act and will not be punished for discrimination based on now-protected characteristics including gender identity and sexual orientation. Others may follow including employers discriminating on the grounds of sexual orientation. The bottom line is that LGBTQ should stay united in the UK and oppose any violations of its rights including communications with opposition leaders capable of bringing legislative initiatives to the floor.