Queen’s Speech is undoubtedly one of the central events in British political life. Written by the ministers it defines the major issues to be addressed in the upcoming year. There is not a single word about GRA reform about it this year.
The Queen’s was delivered yesterday and appeared to be quite disappointing for the British LGBTQ community. The reason is simple: Gender Recognition Act reform is out of the government interest this year and will not be discussed at all. Adopted in 2004, it provides access to a new birth certificate for those who need it. However, the world has dramatically changed for the last 15 years and many caused by the act being outdated affect everyday life of LGBTQ Brits. An urgent reform need is obvious but not for PM and his ministers. They have something else to care about with other 26 bills proposed for debates. The lack of legislation, however, does affect electoral process itself. “This is a programme that will set our country on a new, upwards trajectory. At its heart is a new vision for Britain,” commented PM Boris Johnson on the program proposed. Is there any room for LGBTQ community in a new Britain?
Not everyone support such an agenda. “Having a Queen’s Speech and a State Opening of Parliament is ludicrous. What we have got in effect is a party political broadcast from the steps of the throne,” said Jeremy Corbyn, opposition leader. There is no doubt that Brexit, NHS, and crime issues are of utmost importance for the British society. All of them, however, are not new and require step-by-step approach to be solved. Why not to make another step towards diversity and inclusivity as well? The Queen’s speech will be debated in Parliament for 5 days. The only hope is the questions neglected will be raised by concerned MPs. Otherwise, the program will not serve the interests of ALL Brits. The current version presents “an election manifesto for the Conservative Party, which will almost certainly be rejected in Scotland, ” as Joanna Cherry from SNP puts it. Isn’t it a right time for the PM to intervene to avoid further complications?