Key goals target hate crime, healthcare and homophobic bullying
In July 2017, the government carried out a survey to gather more information about the everyday experiences of LGBT people in the UK. It was the largest national survey of LGBT people in the world to date with over 108,000 participants. Today a detailed report on the results of the survey has been published and alongside this, the government have published a 75-point LGBT Action Plan outlining their response to the survey and the work they will do to improve the lives of LGBT people.
Many of the survey responses were positive, but some of the findings are also very disheartening. For example, it revealed that LGBT respondents are less satisfied with their life than the general UK population, they feel their particular healthcare needs go unaddressed, at least two in five respondents had experienced an incident because they were LGBT and two thirds of LGBT respondents said they had avoided holding hands with a same-sex partner for fear of a negative reaction from others.
Theresa May commented, “I was struck by just how many respondents said they cannot be open about their sexual orientation or avoid holding hands with their partner in public for fear of a negative reaction. No one should ever have to hide who they are or who they love.”
Despite recent legislative achievements, this report highlighted that the UK still has a long way to go to improve the lives of members of the LGBT community and to create a society where people feel comfortable being their true selves and don’t face barriers because of their gender or sexual orientation.
Some of the government’s key goals include: taking more action on LGBT hate crime, appointing a national LGBT health adviser, bringing forward proposals to end the practice of conversion therapy in the UK and expanding the anti-homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying programme in schools.
Stonewall’s chief executive Ruth Hunt said, “We’re really pleased that the Government is listening to the thousands upon thousands of LGBT people who responded to this survey and are investing funds in areas where LGBT people face some of the harsher inequalities, such as health care.”
The Minister for Women and Equalities, Rt. Hon. Penny Mordaunt, seems determined to deliver the commitments promised by the government in order to tackle the deep-seated prejudices in our society and to make the UK a country that works for LGBT communities where they can feel safe in their homes and wider communities.
She declared, “Everyone in this country should feel safe and happy to be who they are, and to love who they love, without judgement or fear.”
The report also the Government’s plans to outlaw controversial gay ‘cure’ therapies, as detailed yesterday in OutNews Global.