Downing Street Pride reception marks progress on LGBT Action Plan

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To mark the first anniversary of the UK’s landmark LGBT Action Plan, the government will publish a progress report later this week showing a third of the four year plan has already been delivered.

The strategy was launched after the world’s largest survey of its kind revealed a number of concerning findings. Many respondents said that they feared being their open, honest and authentic selves – with more than two in three of those who participated in the survey saying they avoided holding hands with a same-sex partner in public for fear of a negative reaction, and 23 per cent saying people at work had reacted negatively to them being LGBT. Over half of those who accessed or tried to access mental health services said they had to wait too long.

Achievements within year one include:

  • appointing Dr Michael Brady as the first National Adviser for LGBT Health, and awarding £1 million in funding to trial new ways to tackle LGBT health issues
  • delivering an anti-homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying programme in more than 1,800 schools and reformed relationships and sex education
  • updating the Hate Crime Action Plan and announcing a Law Commission review into hate crime to explore the effectiveness of existing legislation
  • establishing a panel of independent experts to advise government on issues and policies concerning lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people
  • committing to hosting an international conference on LGBT equality in London next year

The report also sets out a list of ambitious commitments from the Action Plan for the government to focus on over the next year.

Prime Minister Theresa May said:

I am proud to be the Prime Minister of a country which is consistently ranked among the most LGBT-friendly in the world, but last year’s National LGBT survey showed that there is still lots more to do.

Our LGBT action plan contained more than 75 commitments, spanning the whole of government and the entirety of an LGBT person’s life. It demonstrated that we took the results of that survey extremely seriously and I am pleased with how much we have delivered already while knowing there is a lot more to do.

Minister for Women and Equalities, Penny Mordaunt, said:

Everyone in the UK deserves the freedom to love whoever they love and to be themselves.

I would like to thank all of those people who have worked to deliver points in the action plan so far, but the recent protests in Birmingham, and violent attacks on LGBT people show we still need to keep pushing forward with decisive action.

The LGBT Action Plan is vital in our efforts to tackle prejudice and promote a diverse, tolerant society, and government will continue to treat it as an upmost priority.

Ruth Hunt, Chief Executive of Stonewall, said:

This year we’re celebrating 30 years since Stonewall was formed, and reflecting how far we’ve come. We’ve made great progress for LGBT people but there’s still much to do. It’s vital the Government keeps LGBT equality high on their agenda because the UK should be leading the push for equality, for all LGBT people. The next crucial step is streamlining and de-medicalising the Gender Recognition Act, which will make a huge difference to the lives of trans people, both practically and by changing attitudes – and we hope there will be an announcement soon.

We’re also pleased that the Government is prioritising equality in healthcare with the appointment of Michael Brady as the first National Adviser for LGBT Health. Health is still an area of discrimination for LGBT people, and we look forward to working with him to address this.

Later today, a Pride reception will take place in Downing Street to celebrate diversity and to recognise the contribution that lesbian, gay, bi and trans people make to the UK.

The reception will bring together members from across the LGBT community and will be attended by Stonewall’s Ruth Hunt, English women’s hockey players Helen and Kate Richardson-Walsh and Made in Chelsea’s Ollie Locke.

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