News story

Tearing down the barriers to equal rights

Theresa May today announced the start of an ambitious cross-government programme to tackle prejudice against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGB and T) people.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The plan covers all aspects of life, including education, sport, the workplace, the criminal justice system and international rights.

See the full press release on the Government Equalities Office website.

Ending ‘outdated prejudices’

Minister for Women and Equality Theresa May said, ‘I’m 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‘In this country and around the world, too many LGB and T people still face discrimination based on outdated prejudices, and that has to stop.’

Ambitious plans

The LGB and T workplan will 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
  • ending 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

The first step of a journey

Theresa May said: ‘As 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.

‘It’s not fair that a man can be branded a criminal because 30 years ago he had consensual sex with another man. It’s not fair that hate crimes against transgender people go unreported because too few people understand how to handle such cases.

‘And it’s not fair that too many children still suffer at the hands of homophobic bullies because schools lack the support they need to tackle it.

‘We’re 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.’

Find out more

You can see a factsheet about the plan on the Government Equalities Office website. A more detailed action plan, setting out exactly how all the changes will be delivered, will be published later this year.

Published 16 June 2010