A Message from the Minister for Women and Equalities
Firstly, I want to say how delighted and honoured I am to have been appointed Minister for Women and Equalities.
As a politician, I have always been clear that my main role is to protect those who are most in need and battle injustices that plague our society.
I am proud that, as a country, we have come such a long way to ensure every person is afforded the same rights and treated equally, regardless of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
LGBT History Month should rightly be used as a time to reflect on the progress.
Five years ago, I was full of pride when Parliament voted to allow same sex marriage. And, during my time in Government I have also seen Turing’s Law passed, posthumously pardoning men who had sex with men, and welcomed a growing number LGB MPs, who I hope will inspire others to look at a career in politics.
I have been shocked to hear how people in LGBT communities have been targeted by vicious hate crimes, and I have pledged to help combat this abhorrent behaviour. Our Hate Crime Action Plan is improving the response of law enforcement and criminal justice system to these horrendous attacks, including ensuring more victims have the confidence to come forward and report such incidents. We have also committed £900,000 over three years for community-led projects to tackle hate crime, and last year announced funding for a new national hub to help the police to tackle the emerging threat of online hate crime.
While LGBT History Month affords us the opportunity to look back, it is equally important that we set our sights on how to build on these achievements and continue to give the LGBT community a voice on the issues affecting them.
This is why last year the Government launched one of the largest LGBT surveys ever to ask LGBT people about their experience of public services. More than 100,000 people responded and the Government will listen to concerns raised. We will use the results to drive forward improvements for the LGBT community, including publishing a cross-government action plan.
So, while progress has been made, I am not complacent and will not stop until homophobic and transphobic bullying and discrimination is stamped out in our communities.
I want to work with the LGBT community to ensure that every person is accepted, with no exceptions, and to improve the lives of LGBT people living in the UK.
The Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP