British Prime Minister Theresa May vowed to ban gay conversion therapy as the UK government released a 75-point “Action Plan” to improve the lives of LGBTQ people.
This summer thousands of people will be celebrating Pride at more than 80 events taking place across the country – from Manchester to London, Brighton to Aberdeen. There’s lots to celebrate because we can be proud the UK is a world leader in LGBT rights.
But I know that, in 2018, many LGBT people still have to deal with discrimination, hatred and even violence and I’m determined to do something about it.
Last year we launched the first national LGBT survey which attracted more than 108,000 responses, making it the largest survey of its kind anywhere in the world.
Some of the findings make for difficult reading. I was shocked to learn that two-thirds of people avoid holding hands in public with same-sex partners for fear of a negative reaction.
That so many people fear the consequences of this simple gesture shows that a society in which we are all treated equally and fairly is still some way off.
Two in five of the people surveyed had experienced verbal harassment or physical violence simply because of their sexuality. Worse still, ninety per cent of those people felt they couldn’t report it because ‘it happens all the time.’
It’s for reasons such as these that we’re publishing our LGBT Action Plan, setting out the concrete steps to help improve lives for LGBT people and eliminate the discrimination and inequality they face.
We are going to appoint a national adviser on health inequalities, so that the specific needs of LGBT people are at the heart of the National Health Service.
We will continue our investment in programmes to tackle homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in schools, protecting LGBT students and confronting hatred in all its forms.
And we are going to bring forward proposals to end the abhorrent practice of conversion therapy, which has no place in modern Britain.
These are just some of the proposals that we’ll be committing to in our action plan. Across government, we’re setting out more than 70 ways in which we are going to be improving the lives of LGBT people here in the UK. When I say I want to make this a country that works for everyone, I really do mean everyone – regardless of who you love or how you identify. And I am proud to keep working to make that a reality.
Read the full action plan HERE.