Southwark Council votes to stand with the trans community after Lib Dem campaign

23 Nov 2023
Transgender Pride Flag

The motion, put forward by the Liberal Democrat group, called on the council to make a statement in support of the trans community in the face of increasing transphobia and anti-LGBTQ+ hate crimes.

The motion also committed the council to creating an LGBTQ+ action plan to address issues and inequalities experienced by the large LGBTQ+ community in Southwark – the 4th biggest in the UK.

Cllr Victor Chamberlain, who proposed the motion, called on Southwark to implement a nation-first LGBTQ+ strategy back in April this year.

The motion commits the council to “Stand united with trans, non-binary and gender diverse people, assert that trans rights are human rights, and reject attempts to create division in our society for political gain”.

Hate crimes against the LGBTQ+ have increased in recent years, including a 186% increase in hate crimes against trans people in the past five years.

The original motion had called on the council to support non-medical self-identification for trans people. However, Labour amended the motion to remove this.

In July this year, Labour leadership u-turned on their support for self-id, Cllr Chamberlain wrote to the leader of the council asking him express his support for self-id and the trans community, but received no response.

Commenting, Southwark Liberal Democrat Cllr Victor Chamberlain said:

“Passing this Liberal Democrat led motion is a bold, progressive statement against hate and transphobia. Southwark Council is showing solidarity with our vibrant LGBTQ+ communities.

I’m also delighted we agreed to an action plan to address inequalities experienced by LGBTQ+ people – something I’ve been calling for since April.

I am proud to sit on a council that has stated, unequivocally, that trans rights are human rights. Hopefully this will send a strong message to those trying to spread division at the expense of a marginalised community, and inspire other councils to stand up and do the same.”

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