I can assure you that I am fully committed to the rights of the LGBT+ community, both in my constituency and more widely in the United Kingdom. It is my sincerest belief that no-one should experience discrimination, harassment or abuse on the basis of their gender identity, sex at birth, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religious faith or non-religious belief, age or disability. These tenets have been laid down by Her Majesty’s Government in The Equality Act of 2010. I would even go further and venture that the Act is one of the most significant and positive steps our democracy has ever taken.
I believe that no-one should suffer prejudice based on their sex or gender, whether that be in the workplace, or in every-day life, and have vocally argued for fundamental human rights. I believe this goes to every individual should be protected from discrimination in this manner, and not grant any grouping special status above another. In the eyes of the law, I believe the Government is right to ensure that medical evidence is required in regards to gender identification. This Government has listened closely to the advice of the scientific community, and on this topic, should continue to do so. If we allow everyone to recognise their gender, some people may be left exposed to exploitative individuals who may seek to take advantage of this situation. It is the Government’s duty to protect individual citizens, no matter their characteristics, from those that may seek to do harm to them.
I also deeply believe in the rights of children. The decision to undergo full gender reassignment - whether this be through invasive surgery, the use of powerful endocrine-disrupting hormone treatments, or both in tandem - is an incredibly profound one, and one which can have long-lasting or even irreversible lifelong consequences and implications. Any individual who wishes to undergo such a potentially transformative procedure would, I feel, be best-placed to do so from a position of emotional certainty and maturity. As you doubtless know, there is now a considerable amount of scientific evidence to suggest that the adolescent brain is still very much in a liminal state. My instinct is that every effort should be made to protect the rights of children until they have reached such an age that they may then proceed to act on any personal, well-considered decision as they see fit and proper. I have confidence that my concerns are shared by many others; not least by several prominent voices calling from within the LGBT+ community itself.
I feel proud to be a member of the party that oversaw passage of the 2013 Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act, and I believe that the Conservative Party is the party of equality and opportunity for all. I will continue to champion for equal rights and liberties for every person, no matter what their sexuality, gender, age, colour or creed.