Britain vows to improve lives of LGBT

Theresa May and same sex people holding hands

Theresa May and same sex people holding hands

It has led to a new Government LGBT action plan, in which controversial gay conversion therapy will be banned.

More than two thirds, 68 percent, of respondents said they had avoided holding hands in public with a same-sex partner for fear of a negative reaction from others and 70 percent said they had avoided being open about their sexuality, for the same reason.

"I would call on Prime Minister Theresa May to extend any ban to Northern Ireland as we do not have a sitting Assembly".

Those identifying as gay or lesbian made up 61% of respondents.

It also pledges to appoint a national LGBT health adviser, noting: "One in five trans respondents said that their specific needs had been ignored or not taken into account".

"We can be proud that the United Kingdom is a world leader in advancing LGBT rights, but the overwhelming response to our survey has shone a light on the many areas where we can improve the lives of LGBT people", May said in a statement.

The action plan - announced today in response to the survey results - will include a £4.5m fund to address inequality and support the delivery of actions in the plan in areas including health, education, personal safety and the workplace.

Over £4 million will be spent on a new initiative to make the United Kingdom more inclusive for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people after a survey found many people suffer daily attacks due to their sexuality.

The Government is also today publishing its long-awaited consultation on how to reform the law on people changing their legal gender from the one they were assigned at birth, which now requires a doctor's approval.

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Gay people experience prejudice every day, with more than two in three feeling unable to hold hands in public with a same-sex partner, the poll revealed.

"It will mark a culture change to allow LGBT people to feel respected at every level of society".

Equalities minister Penny Mordaunt told BBC Breakfast: "There's still much more that we need to do to enable people to thrive, to access healthcare services and to ensure that they can go about their daily business without fear or feeling intimidated".

Meanwhile, gay and lesbian support group, the Rainbow Project has said while it welcomes the government's plan, it does not know which parts will apply to Northern Ireland.

Laura Russell, of the LGBT campaign group Stonewall, said it was "heartbreaking" so many people had been offered conversion therapies, stating: "Our 2015 Unhealthy Attitudes report revealed that one in 10 health and social care staff across Britain witnessed colleagues express the risky belief that someone can be "cured" of being lesbian, gay or bi".

"Another big omission is the absence of any commitment to compensate gay and bisexual men who were convicted under past anti-gay laws".

"You can not force people to be gay just because they have the feelings".

Conversion therapy has not been banned in the United States federally, but a total of 12 states have outlawed the practice on minors.

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