WELSH Government has pledged Wales will be the most LGBTQ+ friendly nation in Europe and launched an action plan to achieve this ambition.
Deputy Minister for Social Partnership Hannah Blythyn this week launched the LGBTQ+ Action Plan consultation, which will outline the Welsh Government’s determination to achieve this historic ambition.
The publication of the Action Plan begins the consultation process for everyone across Wales to play a part in the process and help make sure equality is for everyone and no-one is left behind in Wales.
Adam Smith, a South Wales LGBT+ community campaigner from Newport, said he welcomes the task the Welsh Government has set itself in being Europe’s leading country on LGBT+ rights.
“I feel we still have a long way to go in order to achieve this and I look forward to what more work the Welsh Government plans on doing moving forward.
“This action plan is definitely a good start to ensure peoples lives will be better within Wales, though we must make sure that we do not leave people behind, especially within the bi and trans community and marginalised groups, which sadly is often the case.
“There also needs to be measures in place for businesses, organisations and local authorities that refuse to adhere to the rules set out by Welsh Government.
“We are a long way away from being a leading country, but I do welcome these steps.
“I want to thank Welsh Government, organisations and community campaigners that took the time to create this action plan.
“Clearly a lot of time and effort was given by these to ensure Wales is on the right path to becoming a fully inclusive country.”
Deputy Minister for social partnership Hannah Blythyn said the government want to make sure that equality is for everyone and no-one is left behind here in Wales.
“The plan sets out a wide range of policy-specific actions relating to human rights and recognition; safety; home and communities; health and social care; education; and the workplace, by adopting a cross-government approach, covering all areas of policy will we truly be able to achieve equality for all in Wales.
“At the end of Pride Month, I set out the key steps on the journey towards achieving greater LGBTQ+ equality in Wales. Today, I want to reaffirm our key commitments; seeking the devolution of powers relating to the Gender Recognition Act, to use all available powers to ban all aspects of LGBTQ+ conversion therapy and to support Prides across Wales by sponsoring Pride Cymru, establishing a Wales-wide Pride Fund and appointing a Wales-wide Coordinator.
“Our ambition is to tackle the long-term structural inequalities that still exist, to challenge discrimination and to create a country without prejudice.”
Outlining the expert report’s recommendations, the Deputy Minister highlighted the importance of engaging with the process.
She said the government knows the fight for equality isn’t over, there is always more to do, launching the action plan will allow everyone, right across Wales to help us achieve our goal to become the most LGBTQ+ friendly nation in Europe.
Chair of the LGBTQ+ Independent Expert Group, Lu Thomas, said: “Ministers have continually used the phrase: ‘Progress is never inevitable’ and with the release of the consultation today, it clearly shows the Welsh Government is committed to achieving real progress in our society.
“Our report deliberately gives a focus to intersectionality, ensuring that all areas of Government pull together, with stakeholders, community groups and individuals from across our society to engage and contribute to the plan.
“Its only by uniting as a nation can we achieve real progress and deliver a fairer and more equal society in Wales.”