Exclusive: Theresa May announces LGBT Action Plan to improve lives and address injustices

© Crown Copyright / Jay Allen

British Prime Minister Theresa May has announced the rollout of a new LGBT Action Plan this summer.

In a letter penned to the LGBTQ community for the new issue of Gay Times, the Conservative leader pledged her government’s support to “help make us a country where no one feels the need to hide who they are or who they love.”

Last summer, May announced a survey of LGBTQ people in Britain, with over 100,000 responding. It was the largest survey of LGBTQ people anywhere in the world.

We will soon find out the results of that survey, along with the publication of an LGBT Action Plan this summer.

“It will set out concrete steps the Government will take to improve lives for LGBT people in this country and address some of the injustices the community has faced,” the PM wrote for Gay Times.

“We’ve also engaged with experts to understand better the limitations of the current system of gender recognition and will soon publish a public consultation on how we best reform the process.

© Crown Copyright / Jay Allen

“Trans people still face indignities and prejudice when they deserve understanding and respect. There’s lots to do – but the UK can be proud that we are a world leader in advancing LGBT rights.”

What this LGBT Action Plan will include has yet to be formally revealed, but it is expected to touch upon LGBTQ issues and improvements within healthcare, education and personal safety, amongst more.

This comes weeks after May expressed deep regret for Britain’s archaic discriminatory laws criminalising same-sex relationships in Commonwealth countries during a speech at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting last month.

In 37 countries in the Commonwealth, being LGBTQ is still punishable by jail time, with many of the country’s leaders using laws imposed by Britain to persecute minorities.

“Those laws were wrong then, and they are wrong now,” May says in her Gay Times piece. “And as the UK’s Prime Minister, I expressed my deep regret for both the fact that such laws were ever introduced, and the legacy of discrimination, violence and even death that persists today.

“It’s important to put this right. Nobody should face persecution or discrimination because of who they are or who they love.

“So I have committed the UK to support any Commonwealth member wanting to reform outdated legislation that makes such discrimination possible.”

You can read Theresa May’s full letter to the LGBTQ community in the new issue of Gay Times, available for pre-order here.

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