The Queen’s Speech is used to mark the beginning of a new session of parliament.

During the speech, the Queen sets out the legislation that the Government will be bringing forward. This helps us understand the Government’s key priorities.

Banning conversion therapy.

We’re pleased to see that the Government is bringing forward measures to ban conversion therapy in the UK.

Our latest research report found that one in six LGBTQ+ young people had been forced to commit sexual acts against their will by family members before becoming homeless. Some of these young people will have experienced conversion therapy. We must see measures that explicitly ban all forms of conversion therapy with no exemptions, including therapy or faith.

Mental health reform.

We also welcome plans to bring forward measures to improve mental health. We know that those facing homelessness, including LGBTQ+ young people, are disproportionately impacted by poor mental health, which has worsened during the pandemic. 

Renters’ rights.

Measures to strengthen renters' rights are also vital, including protecting private renters from eviction during the pandemic. We know that young people often encounter discrimination and barriers when trying to rent privately, from dealing with homophobic and transphobic landlords to young Black men facing racial discrimination. No renter should be discriminated against due to their sexual orientation, gender identity, race, or anything else.

Acknowledgement of racial and ethnic disparities.

Concerning this, we’re pleased to see the Government has acknowledged the existence of racial and ethnic disparities that the pandemic has further highlighted.

The need to address these disparities is a clear and overarching recommendation in our  latest research report, particularly after we found that Black young people and LGBTQ+ young people of colour (alongside disabled and trans LGBTQ+ young people) disproportionately faced abuse and discrimination when accessing support services.

Proposed rules for Voter ID.

However, we are concerned about the prospect of voters being required to show photo ID before voting.

Given the vulnerability of so many of the LGBTQ+ young people we support, particularly those who are homeless or living in hostile environments, implementing the need for voter ID could disenfranchise or present barriers to them voting.

Therefore, we urge the Government to reconsider this proposal and acknowledge the people who risk being excluded from exercising their right to vote if it is implemented.

For those who need support:

If you're an LGBTQ+ young person who needs support with housing or homelessness, you're not alone. Please get in touch with us

Further information for young people:

By making a referral, akt can provide you with specialised support.

If you need quick and useful information, please refer to the  Citizens Advice Bureau webpage  and Shelter webpage which have up to date information on evictions and your housing rights during the pandemic.

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