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Equality North East

Theresa May: Government committed to LGB and T rights

An ambitious cross-government programme of work to tackle prejudice against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGB and T) people was set out by Minister for Women and Equalities Theresa May today.

The plan, which is the first of its kind to be produced by the UK Government, covers all aspects of life, including education, sport, the workplace, the criminal justice system and international rights.

The plans include:

* a commitment to remove historical convictions for consensual gay sex from criminal records;
* new work to end the blight of homophobic bullying in schools;
* work to allow same-sex couples to register their relationships in a religious setting;
* lobbying other countries to repeal homophobic legislation and recognise UK civil partnerships;
* and an end to the removal of asylum seekers who have had to leave particular countries because their sexual orientation or gender identification puts them at proven risk of imprisonment, torture or execution.

Minister for Women and Equalities Theresa May said:

ďIím proud of the fact that Britain is a world leader for LGB and T equality but we must not be complacent. In this country and around the world, too many LGB and T people still face discrimination based on outdated prejudices, and that has to stop.

ďAs a Government we have made clear our determination to take concerted action to tear down barriers to equal opportunities and to build a fairer society. Itís not fair that a man can be branded a criminal because 30 years ago he had consensual sex with another man. Itís not fair that hate crimes against transgender people go unreported because too few people understand how to handle such cases. And itís not fair that too many children still suffer at the hands of homophobic bullies because schools lack the support they need to tackle it.

ďWeíre working to make Britain a place where everyone is treated fairly and everyone has an equal chance in life, whatever their sexual orientation or gender identity. This ambitious programme of work is the first step on that journey.Ē

A more detailed action plan, setting out exactly how all the changes will be delivered, will be published later this year.

Later today the Minister for Women and Equality will join the Prime Minister and figures from across the LGB and T community for a reception at 10 Downing Street to mark the beginning of Pride London fortnight.

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June 21, 2010

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