Welsh Government launches plan to become most LGBTQ+ friendly nation in Europe
The Welsh Government has set out its vision of a nation ‘free of fear, discrimination and hate’ in a new LGBTQ+ Action Plan.
Deputy Minister for Social Partnership, Hannah Blythyn and Leader of Plaid Cymru, Adam Price launched the plan on Tuesday underlining Wales’ intention to advance LGBTQ+ equality and inclusion.
The Deputy Minister said it was the first-time existing commitments had been brought together to set bold but realistic goals towards a society where “inclusion and celebration of LGBTQ+ people is rooted at its centre”.
The Deputy Minister said: “We have come a long way in the past few decades, but we cannot be complacent. Progress can and never should be taken for granted.
“LGBTQ+ communities remain under attack, with our hard-fought-for rights at risk of being rolled back around the world, including here in the UK.
“I’m proud that here in Wales LGBTQ+ rights are embedded in the Welsh Government’s Programme for Government commitments and the LGBTQ+ Action Plan is a commitment in the Co-operation Agreement with Plaid Cymru.
“The plan is ambitious but with hope at its heart. We are absolutely committed to meaningful change for LGBTQ+ communities, creating a society and country where LGBTQ+ people are safe to live and love authentically, openly and freely as ourselves.”
The Action Plan includes a wide range of policy-specific actions from improving safety, education, housing, health and social care, to promoting community cohesion and and it also shows a commitment to defending and promoting the rights and dignity of trans and non-binary people.
Leader of Plaid Cymru Adam Price MS said: “This plan shows how we are working together to make a more just, fairer, tolerant Wales. Politics is about making a difference and improving the lives of the people you serve.
“The fact that this plan has been jointly developed by parties whose members make up two thirds of our national parliament provides a strong basis on which to bring the plan’s commitments to life as practical actions on the ground in our communities.
“Tackling all forms of injustice is essential and together we can create a fairer society, promoting the rights of everyone in the LGBTQ+ community.”
To mark the publication of the plan, the two politicians – who are open members of the LGBTQ+ community themselves – visited the Pride & Protest exhibition at St Fagan’s National Museum of History, which includes protest banners and LGBTQ+ campaign badges from Amgueddfa Cymru’s collection of objects from Pride events across Wales.
The Deputy Minister added: “Welsh LGBTQ+ culture and heritage in Wales has contributed to our legacy and experiences as a nation – for too long our history has been hidden and these stories need to be told.
“The showcasing of LGBTQ+ stories in history and heritage is getting better. This exhibition is an excellent example, and the plan aims to build on this.
The Welsh Government has worked with a wide range of LGBTQ+ communities and organisations to help develop the LGBTQ+ Action Plan, and it will act as the basis for developing future policy along with partners.
Lisa Power is a lifelong LGBTQ+ activist who co-founded Stonewall and contributed to the development of the LGBTQ+ Action Plan.
Lisa said: “In my view, Wales is a shining beacon in this area. When many people look at LGBTQ+ issues, they only see the LGBTQ-ness of the people and they don’t recognise that we are citizens alongside everyone else.
“This Action Plan is clear on what it is going to do and how. It recognises that being LGBTQ+ is part of a more complex and often intersectional identity and that all kinds of matters affect us across our life.
“Through the work I do internationally, I increasingly get comments from people who recognise Wales as a country trying to protect all of its citizens – and that absolutely includes LGBTQ+ citizens.”
Davinia Green, Director of Stonewall Cymru said: “I welcome the LGBTQ+ Action Plan for Wales. It is a clear and positive commitment, particularly important when hard-won LGBTQ+ rights are being challenged. This is an important part of the journey to creating LGBTQ+ inclusive society here in Wales, but not the end conclusion. We should not become complacent.
“If Wales is to become the leading nation in Europe on LGBTQ+ rights, tackling increasing hate crime, supporting inclusive RSE curriculum and removing healthcare barriers will be particularly important.”
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It would have been helpful, to say the least, if there were a link to the Plan – I can’t find it on the Welsh Government website either, so the “launch” seems to have been an entirely virtual one. Or perhaps the press release was published prematurely? It all seems rather amateurish.
I do hope the Welsh Govt will learn from the Scottish debacle; Nicola Sturgeon’s government has made a right mess of things, with a consequent and well-deserved slump in popularity.
SNP’s plans regarding the T in LGBTQ+ are largely good and the backlash has been largely manufactured which has lead to drop in ratings. I don’t think either plans or backlash are wholly one or other though so agree Cymru/Wales can learn from the experience. As long as we can have grown up discussion (anyone starting with “does a woman have a ….” is immediately ruled out) with focus on understanding and progress, we should be okay. As far as I can tell, trans people don’t want to be heart of culture war and just want to live their lives… Read more »
I agree with your last paragraph. Not only is what we both want “doable” it was also largely done until trans rights activists (most of whom are not themselves trans, as far as I can tell) started to agitate for provisions that would take biological males into female spaces with minimal safeguards or none. The more people learn about this, the less they like it, it would seem. It is this ostensible attempt to broaden trans (= male in this case) rights through bad legislation that is leading to a backlash against both trans and LGB people, with whom they… Read more »
It’s an invalid question because it starts the conversation off in a childish, dehumanising way which demonstrates person asking the question lacks empathy. There are some people with very real concerns on both sides of the ‘debate’ and discussing it in this way does neither justice. Much of the described concerns seems to come down to “how to we stop people with bad intentions exploiting bills which are meant to support trans people live their lives?” but it’s getting more and more heated and leading to people wanting to remove existing rights as part of their opposition to expansion. I’m… Read more »
I agree with much of what you say. But I haven’t seen anyone argue that trans people should lose their existing rights, and nor have I seen anyone explain how trans people’s rights need to be expanded. As things stand, trans people have just the same rights as everyone else, which is just as it should be. What rights do trans people lack, exactly?
Well in my experience there is another group which needs protecting? Are the government going to protect the more vulnerable members of public from abuse by predatory gays playing the ‘protected characteristics’ card? I can only speak for myself. I am a straight, Asperger’s female – and I have several times been blackmailed to give Lesbian sex to get my course certificate or probation confirmed in a job. When I took legal action, after being sacked because I wouldn’t comply with the blackmail, my boss played the Gay card and claimed I was victimising her. Everybody knows that if you… Read more »
‘Loop-holes’ are put there on purpose and not accidental as they would like us to think…
Yes well as some of the laws are made in the first place to protect those with power, influence and money, then it would follow logically that they would leave anything out which doesn’t protect them!
Has the Welsh Gov given up communicating with the public via the main stream media and just rely on Twitter and Facebook now?
Oh dear! This will no longer be a nation many will choose to live in. Why? Not because they dislike These people but It seems they are put on a pedestal and are getting treatment beyond equality at this point. When you put something into law for any group of people, what else would you call that? It certainly isn’t equality! Aren’t the Welsh in General a minority group within the UK! Where are the Welsh protections? Because unlike Gay or Lesbians, we do actually have a group of people who want to see us gone. Btw, if this does… Read more »
Wales where the men are men – and now they want women to be men!
Not what we need. We need instead to make people realise that wanting to change your gender is not at all healthy. Embracing it will ruin humanity.
To borrow the following off a twitter page:
“If your Independent Wales doesn’t include making it as morally beautiful as it is geographically for folk of all genders, races, faiths & economic backgrounds then there’s no point.
It’ll just be a muddy Westminster Jr.
Free Wales must be for all.”
I got confused for a moment. I started reading the comments and though I was reading a Wales Online article. Good grief. There is no “trans debate” just like there is no “straight person debate”. Transgender people exist. That’s it. There’s no debate here. No amount of pearl-clutching or what-about-ism is going to change that, and the louder you try to shout against it the more bigoted you make yourself look. I swear, there is absolutely no room for empathy, or debate, or compromise any more. You’re either for something or you’re against it, and ne’er the twain shall meet.… Read more »
An empathetic person would help these people with their problems, not entertain them.
Wow there’s that really weird feeling again. My browser says I’m on nation.cymru, but the commenters look like Wales Online commenters… It’s really strange…
They should start by dropping the ‘Q’ word. It’s derogatory.
[Please note: Your helpful phrase informing contributors to this Forum that their comment requires vetting, to ensure it is acceptable, ought to be either ‘Awaiting approval’ or ‘Waiting for approval’. Your editorial department has carelessly conflated the two.] According to Gov.Wales ‘In 2019, 94.4% of people in Wales aged 16 and over identified as heterosexual/straight’. Gov.Wales also identifies fewer than 3% as homosexual, a tendency now well accepted and one that surely no sensible person would consider particularly victimised any more. Almost 2% were not bothered to respond. This leaves only a tiny eccentric minority of barely 1% – like ‘trans’ delusives… Read more »