On 3rd December 2012 we invited Human Rights Campaigner Peter Tatchell to deliver a keynote speech at an event we were staging in Manchester.
The theme of the conference was about how to take equalities work forwards in the newly restructured NHS after March 2013.
Peter went straight to the heart of the issue, identifying equal access to health … and the equality of outcomes in healthcare … as fundamentals. This is what we've been preaching for years … and the concern is about progress on these issues stalling or rolling backwards with a completely new management of priorities.
Having talked about that as an issue affecting all protected groups, Peter went on to focus on health inequalities for LGBT people.
Negotiating safer sex
Perhaps the most challenging part of his speech concerned how we teach young people about sex and, in particular, how to negotiate safe sex with prospective partners … an issue affecting everyone and not just LGBT people.
A few days ago I was beginning to recount Peter's words on a radio show and was almost immediately stopped by the presenter. Apparently, talking about how to ensure youngsters avoid sexually transmitted diseases is considered a fit subject for broadcast at the sort of times when young people might be listening. This somewhat underlines where this debate stands.
The full speech
There are no such restrictions on this blog, however. Below you can hear the whole of what Peter had to say. The introduction is by me.