Twelve UK LGBT organisations have been awarded a total of £2.6 million (~€2.9 million) in government funding as the UKs LGBT History month kicks off.
February marks the beginning of the UKs LGBT History month and to celebrate, new research was published on the first day of the month, showing how public attitudes to same sex relationships have changed in the past 30 years. The announcement that twelve LGBT organisations working to improve the lives of LGBT people in the UK have been awarded government funding, comes as the new research outlines a positive shift in UK attitudes.
A positive change in UK public attitudes
The new research shows that in 2017 68% of people said same-sex relations are ‘not at all wrong’, up from 47% in 2012, 39% in 2007 and just 11% in 1987. The report also showed 80% of people aged 18-24 find same-sex relations an acceptable norm.
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’ unacceptable, has also declined over time, from 74% in 1987, to 36% in 2007, 28% in 2012, and 17% in 2017.
The LGBT Action Plan
The new statistics on public attitudes are positive, however there is still more that can be done under the LGBT Action Plan to eliminate discrimination. The UK Government has awarded the funding under the Action Plan, the LGBT organisations receiving the funding include:
- Barnardo’s, Diversity Role Models, Equaliteach, National Children’s Bureau, Stonewall and The Diana Award, who will split £1million of the funding to extend work that protects children from homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying
- Advonet, LGBT Foundation, London Friend, Mind in the City, Hackney and Waltham Forest, and the Royal College of General Practitioners, are receiving a share of £1million to improve LGBT people’s health and social care
- Consortium has been allocated £200,000 to deliver training and development to LGBT organisations to help them grow, mature and become more sustainable over time
- 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
The LGBT Action Plan, published in July last year has already made more than 75 commitments to tackle discrimination and improve the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the UK. Some of these commitments include; ending the practice of conversion therapy; tackling homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in schools; and establishing an LGBT Advisory Panel to guide the government on decisions affecting LGBT people.
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.”
Despite the positive steps being taken in the UK, as of January 2019, The EU fundamental rights assessment found there had been no tangible improvement in the treatment or rights accorded to Roma people in 2017; and that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people were still subject to “persistent discrimination and stigmatisation”