Britain dropped in an annual ranking of European countries’ LGBTQ+ rights on Thursday, with activists citing the exclusion of transgender people from an upcoming ban on so-called ‘conversion therapy’.
Britain fell from 10th to 14th place in the “Rainbow Europe” index by advocacy group ILGA-Europe, continuing its slide from the number one spot seven years ago.
The government’s policy on ‘conversion therapy’, which aims to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, its stance on gender recognition, and barriers to asylum for LGBTQ+ people were all cited as factors. “The UK is moving backwards,” Evelyne Paradis, ILGA-Europe’s executive director told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “(LGBTQ+) groups are in a defensive moment, trying to protect and prevent further backsliding – which is quite shocking coming from a country like the UK.” Britain topped the Rainbow Europe Map in 2015.
But since then, activists said the government had failed to deliver on several pieces of long-awaited LGBTQ+ legislation. Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced criticism in April for dropping a blanket ban on ‘conversion therapy’.