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Promoting and protecting the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people

Real progress has been made towards LGB&T equality in recent years.

But from homophobic bullying in our schools to tragic incidents of hate crime, too many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people face outdated prejudice because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, at every stage in their lives.

We work to remove barriers that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people can face and to advance their opportunities in all areas of life, including family, work and schools.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equality Action Plan

The first ever cross government Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equality Action Plan, published in March 2011, reinforced our commitment to LGB&T equality and outlined an ambitious range of actions we will take from tackling homophobic bullying in schools, and improving our response rate to hate crime, to promoting LGB&T rights abroad.

Actions from our LGBT Equality Action Plan that we have taken include:

  • introducing legislation to enable same-sex couples to get married

  • amending Schedule 20 to the Civil Partnership Act 2004 so that we now recognise 75 overseas same-sex partnerships as equivalent to UK civil partnerships, 50 more than when the Act was originally enacted

  • changing the law to allow same-sex couples to register their civil partnership on religious premises on a permissive basis

  • introducing legislation to disregard consensual gay sex convictions, under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012

  • launching the Sports Charter which calls for anyone with a sporting interest to come together against homophobic and transphobic discrimination in sport. To date we have over 3,300 signatories committed to taking action

  • helping schools to address homophobic and transphobic bullying, with revised advice for headteachers and school governing bodies

Transgender Equality Action Plan

We recognise that the transgender community can face distinct challenges that sometimes need to be addressed separately. That is why we published the world’s first transgender equality action plan in December 2011, which lays out real actions to address the specific challenges that transgender people can face in their daily lives

Actions from our Transgender Equality Action Plan that we have taken include:

  • increasing the length of sentences for those convicted of hate crime directed at transgender people

  • publishing the “Challenge it, Report it, Stop it” action plan to tackle all forms of hate crime, including homophobic and transphobic hate crime

  • promoting the rights of transgender people by supporting businesses and public bodies such as schools and health services so they have the right information to support transgender people

Have your say

We have made good progress against action plan commitments and have also legislated for equal marriage. But it is still important that we know what issues LGB&T people continue to face and which act as barriers to equality, so we can consider where to focus our efforts.

You can get in touch with us via email at:

You can sign up to our online LGB&T mailing list.

Further information