This government is committed to making the UK a country that works
for everyone. We want to strip away the barriers that hold people back so that everyone can go as far as their hard work and talent can take them.
The UK today is a diverse and tolerant society. We have made great strides in recent decades in our acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, who make a vital contribution to our culture and to our economy.
This government has a proud record in advancing equality for LGBT people. From changing the law to allow same-sex couples to marry to introducing Turing Pardons, we have been at the forefront of change. The UK has consistently been recognised as one of the best countries for LGBT rights in Europe.
Despite this progress, we cannot get complacent. We know that LGBT people continue to face significant barriers to full participation in public life. Your sexuality or your gender identity should not be a barrier to success.
In July 2017, we launched a survey to gather more information about the experiences of LGBT people in the UK. The survey response was unprecedented. Over 108,000 people participated, making it the largest national survey of LGBT people in the world to date.
Today we are publishing a detailed report on the headline findings. These focus on the experiences of LGBT people in the areas of safety, health, education and employment.
Although respondents were generally positive about the UK’s record on LGBT rights, some of the findings make for difficult reading:
• LGBT respondents are less satisfied with their life than the general UK population (rating satisfaction 6.5 on average out of 10 compared with 7.7). Trans respondents had particularly low scores (around 5.4 out of 10).
• More than two thirds of LGBT respondents said they avoid holding hands with a same-sex partner for fear of a negative reaction
• At least two in five respondents had experienced an incident because they were LGBT, such as verbal harassment or physical violence,
in the 12 months preceding the survey. However, more than nine in ten of the most serious incidents went unreported, often because respondents thought ‘it happens all the time’.
• 2% of respondents had undergone conversion or reparative therapy in an attempt to ‘cure’ them of being LGBT, and a further 5% had been offered it.
• 24% of respondents had accessed mental health services in the 12 months preceding the survey.
None of this is acceptable. Clearly, we have more to do. We have therefore published a comprehensive LGBT Action Plan that sets out what steps the government will take in response to the survey findings. This looks across the board at government services. We will also publish as much of the survey data as possible, so that stakeholders and researchers can make use of the findings.
Despite the progress we have made as a country, we should not be blind to the fact that LGBT people continue to face barriers to full participation in public life. We want to build a country that works for everyone, and that means tackling these burning injustices.
(Rt. Hon. Penny Mordaunt, Minister for Women and Equalities)
National LGBT Summary Report July 2018.
SAME SEX RELATIONSHIPS & DOMESTIC ABUSE