Right now my eyes are tired and my heart is heavy. I stayed up all night Thursday, watching until the early hours as the results rolled in. The exit poll told us we’d get a hung Parliament but I was willing it not to be true. The votes rolled in and it all became clear; Theresa May had failed but so had Jeremy Corbyn. Let’s get this absolutely straight; Corbyn has revolutionised the Labour Party and has mobilised a generation, but he should not be taking this a win. Labour lost. Conservatives lost. Now Britain has lost.
It’s probably easy for me to be accused of being dramatic but I had outlined clearly my views on why Labour were the right choice. But it needs to be unequivocally clear; what we’ve ended up with now is dangerous and terrifying for LGBT people. Theresa May has decided to get into bed with the DUP. This is not so much a Coalition of Chaos but a Partnership of Peril.
But why? Let’s look at the anti-LGBT viewpoint of the DUP. In 2005, during a Hustings event, one of their candidates said “You don’t bring a child up in a homosexual relationship. That the child is far more likely to be abused and neglected.” The DUP at the time said that Jim Well’s views were not their policy but just look at First Minister and DUP leader Arlene Foster. The Irish Government were poised to lift, by a minority, the ban on Gay Marriage. Arlene Foster introduced a Petition of Concern. This is a controversial mechanism in the Irish Assembly which means that, if submitted, proposed legislation must receive at least 60% of the vote and 40% of Nationalists and Unionists must also be present to vote. Arlene Foster knew this would kill the Pro-Same Sex Marriage legislation out of the gate.
That’s just their leader in Northern Ireland. Their representative in Westminster proposed an introduction of a “conscience clause” in the Equality Act 2010 to allow businesses to turn away LGBT people on religious grounds. This man is a Party hero.
And what about Equality elsewhere? The DUP played a vital role in continuing to restrict Abortion Rights in Northern Ireland. The DUP are anti-abortion even if the woman has been raped, a victim of incest and even if the foetus won’t survive the birth. This is despite a Court ruling which said the ban was against Human Rights.
So here we are now with Theresa May who has publicly declared she would “rip up” the Human Rights Act and increase surveillance on the Internet. Sure, I am all for doing our best to battle against Islamic Extremism and Radicalisation online but you know exactly what’s going to happen. They’ll start asking Internet Service Providers to keep a database of our search and browsing history. These databases will inevitably be the target for hackers resulting in millions of people’s private searches being released. What about those in the closet? And hell, what about those people that are into the kinky side of sex? I can see it now; teachers and doctors, Police and Fire Officers being struck off after their private and intimate lives are leaked online. LGBT people hiding in fear of being exposed. You only have to look at the recent TalkTalk hack to know how lax ISP security can be.
This is why we need to get over our heartbreak and sadness about this election and actually do something. We need to mobilise even more. I do not want to hear nonsense about Jeremy Corbyn and his leadership dominating the Labour Party for the next ‘x’ amount of months. The Labour Party must now focus on strong opposition. And we must join them. I will be re-joining The Labour Party and their efforts to oppose our Government. I will sign every petition and participate in every march because now is not the time for complacency. As we head into the Pride months as we celebrate by waving our flags, kissing our partners and living our free lives we must remember the activists of our past. They did not lay down their lives for us to stay behind our keyboards and allow our Government to steamroll over years of progress. And it isn’t enough for us to only turn up to LGBT events. Our country’s women will need us too.
So I beg of you. Take this weekend to grieve the loss. Cry to your friends, ponder the future and hashtag your anger. But when it comes to Monday, it is time to clock back in. Your country needs you, your Community needs you, this world NEEDS you. We. Will. Rise.
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Opinions expressed in this article may not reflect those of THEGAYUK, its management or editorial teams. If you'd like to comment or write a comment, opinion or blog piece, please click here.