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Jo Swinson marks government commitment to advancing LGB&T equality

May 17, 2013 3:00 PM

To mark the 9th International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, the UK is celebrating its status as a world leader in advancing LGB&T equality.

Lib Dem Minister for Women and Equalities, Jo Swinson, said: "International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia is an opportunity to champion the progress made towards equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGB&T) people, as well as reflect on the challenges that remain.

"We're absolutely committed to advancing LGB&T equality and we've a lot to be proud of. I'm delighted that, once again, we have been recognised by the International Lesbian and Gay Association as the number one in Europe on LGB&T rights, and we are determined to maintain and build on this.

"But there is still more we can all do to eliminate prejudice and discrimination which is why we will continue to drive forward change across government as well as push for more action from partners overseas."

Here are just some of the things we've done to knock down barriers and improve the lives of the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the UK:

  • We have introduced legislation to Parliament that will enable same-sex couples to get married
  • In December 2011, we changed the law to allow same-sex couples to register their civil partnership on religious premises on a permissive basis. A step forward for both LGB equality and religious freedom
  • We have brought forward legislation to disregard consensual gay sex convictions, and those affected can now submit applications
  • In December 2011, we published the world's first transgender equality action plan, which lays out real actions to address the specific challenges that trans people can face in their daily lives
  • Our Sports Charter, which aims to rid sport of homophobia and transphobia, goes from strength to strength with well over 40 of sport's National Governing Bodies, all professional football league teams and 3,700 individual sports fans signed up.
  • We have stopped the deportation 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.