UK Equality Minister says NO to meeting LGBT+ groups

Kemi Badenoch rejects dialogue, falsely claiming to have met them


London – 28 February 2024

The UK Equalities Minister, Kemi Badenoch, has told the veteran LGBT+ rights campaigner Peter Tatchell that she will not meet mainstream LGBT+ organisations.

Mr Tatchell had offered to facilitate a round table discussion with groups such as Stonewall, Mermaids, Terrence Higgins Trust, the Ban Conversion Therapy Coalition and others, after it emerged that the Minister had met trans-critical groups but ignored the UK’s leading mainstream LGBT+ organisations.

Ms Badenoch asserted in the House of Commons on Wednesday 6 December that she had engaged “extensively” with the LGBT+ organisations. However, since assuming her role, hardly any have been given an opportunity to meet her.

She made her misleading claim made while outlining proposals to block official recognition of trans people who have obtained a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) in nations where self-identification, via a legal declaration, is permitted.

Ms Badenoch wrote to Mr Tatchell:

We have ample opportunity to engage with and hear from a wide range of organisations interested in LGBT rights. On that basis and given the considerable pressures on my diary, I will not be taking up your offer to facilitate a roundtable meeting.”


Mr Tatchell said:

“The government has had ample opportunity to engage with the main LGBT+ groups but it has not done so. The Peter Tatchell Foundation offered to facilitate a dialogue. I am saddened that our genuine offer of constructive engagement was refused.”

“Justifying her refusal to meet, Badenoch’s letter cites ‘organisations that offer constructive and collaborative approaches to working with Government, and with which we continue to maintain a good working relationship.’ This is presumably a reference to the trans critical organisations that she has met and gets on well with. But they are not representative of the wider LGBT+ community.

“Badenoch has reportedly never met the trans charity Mermaids but has met one-sidedly with trans-critical lobbyists. There has been a two-year hiatus in meetings with Britain’s leading LGBT+ group, Stonewall. The Minister should at least listen to a full range of viewpoints. Meeting and addressing the concerns of the LGBT+ community should be the Minister’s goal.

“There is a majority consensus among LGBT+ people that the Government needs to do more to support trans people, tackle homophobic hate crimes and ban LGBT+ conversion practices.

“Regrettably, reported instances of homophobic and transphobic hate crime are on the rise, propelled by often inflammatory, divisive and intolerant rhetoric, some of it coming from present and past Government ministers and Conservative MPs,” he said.

Ms Badenoch’s letter once again pledged that draft legislation to ban conversion therapy is coming.

Mr Tatchell added:

“I won’t hold my breath, as we were promised legislation in July 2018 and we have still seen nothing almost six years later. Even if the Minister published her draft bill this week, there is not enough parliamentary time to debate and pass it before a general election. This makes Badenoch’s promise meaningless.

“Under successive Conservative governments, the UK’s ranking in the European LGBT+ rights league table has fallen from first to 17th place. This is very disturbing and merits urgent rectification. A similar decline in health or education would rightfully be deemed a national disgrace.”

He concluded:

“This is a lost opportunity. A joint discussion with Badenoch could have helped inform policy making and given useful input to the Conservative manifesto for the upcoming general election.”