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LGBT History Month: new government support for LGBT groups

Twelve organisations helping to improve the lives of LGBT people have won government funding

Twelve organisations working to improve the lives of LGBT people in the UK have been awarded government funding, as new research published today (1 February) shows how much public attitudes to same sex relationships have changed in 30 years.

To mark the start of LGBT History month, organisations supporting LGBT people in education, healthcare and the community, will receive a share of £2.6million as part of the government’s LGBT Action Plan.

Today’s announcement comes as new research shows that in 2017 68% of people said same-sex relations were ‘not at all wrong’, up from 47% in 2012, 39% in 2007 and just 11% in 1987. The report also showed 80% of people age 18-24 thought there was nothing wrong with same sex-relations.

‘Attitudes to Equalities: the British Social Attitudes Survey 2017’, funded by the Government Equalities Office, also found that the proportion of people viewing same-sex relations as ‘always’ or ‘mostly’ wrong, has also declined over time, from 74% in 1987, to 36% in 2007, 28% in 2012, and 17% in 2017.

Minister for Equalities, Baroness Susan Williams, said:

“Everyone should be able to love who they wish to and live their life free from fear and discrimination, and I am encouraged to see how people’s attitudes are changing to be more accepting and more tolerant.

“However, we still have work to do to make sure our society is truly fair. That’s why we are working with charities, schools, GPs, and across government to make sure our Action Plan can bring about real, lasting change for LGBT people in the UK.”

Today’s grant funding from the GEO has been awarded to:

  • Barnardo’s, Diversity Role Models, Equaliteach, National Children’s Bureau, Stonewall and The Diana Award will split £1million of the funding to extend work that protects children from homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying. Currently the initiative, delivered by Barnardo’s and Stonewall, has supported 1200 schools in England, with the grant funding set to help that continue until March 2020
  • Advonet, LGBT Foundation, London Friend, Mind in the City, Hackney and Waltham Forest, and the Royal College of General Practitioners which have been awarded a share of £1million to improve LGBT people’s health and social care
  • The Consortium has been allocated £200,000 to deliver training and development to LGBT sector organisations to help them grow, mature and become more sustainable over time. The Consortium will also distribute up to £400,000 of grant funding to voluntary and community groups to support LGBT community initiatives across England including annual Pride events

As part of the Action Plan the GEO will also be commissioning research on:

  • Homeless LGBT people – in partnership with the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government, GEO has commissioned research with homeless LGBT people and housing and support providers. This research will be used in the annual refresh of the Rough Sleeping Strategy, due in autumn 2019
  • Conversion therapy – this research will involve speaking to people who have experience of conversion therapy in the UK, following government’s promise to end the abhorrent practice of conversion therapy

The LGBT Action Plan, published in July last year, made more than 75 commitments to tackle discrimination and improve the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the UK. These included commitments to end the practice of conversion therapy, continue to tackle homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in schools, and establish an LGBT Advisory Panel to guide the government on decisions affecting LGBT people.

The plan was published alongside the results of the largest national survey of LGBT people ever undertaken. The survey, which had over 108,000 respondents, shows LGBT people are experiencing prejudice daily. A new tool, which will allow academics, journalists and the public to access anonymous data from the survey for their own analysis will be launched 7 February.

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