LGBTQ Labour members in Wales have called for a Cardiff councillor to be suspended over her comments on trans people.

Sue Lent, who was re-elected last week to her Plasnewydd seat, previously made social media posts claiming that trans people are "brainwashed", and that "gender ideology" had "infected everything", as reported by The National. 

The councillor also openly opposes the Welsh Labour Government's LGBTQ+ Action Plan, and spoke at a protest against the policy outside the Senedd last year.

In a statement on Thursday, Cardiff's Young Labour and Labour Students groups called Ms Lent's comments "not only inaccurate, but dangerous."

 

 

Condemning the councillor's remarks to WalesOnline, in which she claimed that "children [are] being influenced" into being transgender, the groups added: "We are a party that must be wholly committed to equality and the rights of trans people.

"We stand unreservedly with our trans siblings against the bigotry they face every day.

"In light of these views, we: 

"1. Call for Sue Lent's suspension from the party and removal of the whip.

"2. See no place for her views and call for an immediate apology.

"3. Urge everybody in the party to support the full implementation of the Welsh Government's LGBTQ+ Action Plan, and a ban on conversion therapy in Wales.

"Trans rights are human rights."

LGBT+ Labour Wales, the party's official LGBTQ wing in Wales, has since endorsed this statement, calling for Labour to "stick to their commitments and their principles of social justice".

Youth and student Labour groups in Swansea and the Vale of Glamorgan have supported the statement, along with Rhys Goode, a newly elected Labour councillor in Bridgend, and Ogmore Labour's LGBT officer.

In comments to The National, LGBT+ Labour Wales secretary Josh Green added: "The T [in LGBT] needs defending the most right now, due to hysteria at best and targeting at its worst.

"We stand with the trans community, and more work and communication needs to occur.

"That burden should be on us - a party of social justice needs to work for every vote from every marginalised community."

Asked for comment on calls for her suspension, Sue Lent told The National: "I have served as a Councillor for 25 years and in that time I have seen a big increase in women's participation.

"In the Cardiff Labour Group we have 27 women and 28 men, a far cry from when I was first elected, when we had 7 women and 33 men.

"As a local Councillor I feel it is vitally important that I speak out in support of the Labour party's Manifesto commitment to 'ensure that the single sex based exemptions in the Equality Act 2010 are understood and fully enforced in service provision'.

"Attacks on my right to speak about this contribute to a chilling effect, deterring other women from speaking out and from participating in public life."

The 2019 Labour election manifesto did include the "single-sex exemption" policy, alongside pledges to "ensure public services are LGBT+ inclusive", and to "take steps to safeguard LGBT+ rights".

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The Welsh Government recently announced that it is exploring options to "unilaterally" ban trans conversion therapy in Wales, and reaffirmed its pledge to protect the LGBTQ+ community, after the UK Government said it would no longer include trans conversion therapy in its own ban on the practice.

As part of its LGBTQ+ Action Plan, the Welsh Government aims to seek devolved powers over the Gender Recognition Act, which would allow it to streamline the process for trans people to have their gender recognised in law - required if they wish to get married as their correct gender.

The UK Labour Party, which is largely responsible for member complaints and discipline, did not respond to a request for comment.

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