Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosted a reception in the garden of 10 Downing Street yesterday to mark Pride Month 2021 and celebrate the contribution of LGBT people from across the UK.
The reception reflected on the government’s work so far to tackle LGBT injustice and looked ahead to June 2022 when the UK will host ‘Safe To be Me: A Global Equality Conference.’
Guests entering the reception would have noticed the door to No10 has been decorated with a rainbow installation ‘Pride X 10’ designed by the artists Louisa Loizeau and Hattie Newman. The installation, built in honour of Pride Month, is made from biodegradable jute and was developed in partnership with the GREAT campaign.
The PM said the UK’s first ever global LGBT conference will be about ‘kindness, tolerance and openness’ and will look at what more can be done to promote LGBT equality around the world.
Speaking at the Downing Street Pride reception, planned in partnership with the GREAT campaign, the PM said he was proud to live in one of the most open and tolerant countries in the world and that LGBT equality was a key economic asset of the UK. He said that “whomever you love, however you identify, whether you are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or trans – I want this government to have your back”.
The event in the garden of Downing Street was attended by LGBT people whose lives have been positively impacted by the work of the UK Government, as well as those representing key organisations working on LGBT issues in the UK and internationally.
This included Chris McNaghten and Jon Swan – one of the first same-sex couples to get married in Northern Ireland after legislation came into effect making it legal last year.
The PM congratulated them both and said he was proud same-sex marriage was now legal in all parts of the UK.
The PM also met with Caroline Paige, the first openly transgender Officer in the British Armed Forces. They discussed the work being done to make the British Armed Forces more inclusive and praised the Ministry of Defence announcement earlier this year which allowed former Armed Forces personnel who were dismissed from service on the basis of their sexuality to apply to have their medals restored.
The PM said he was ‘hugely proud of our country’s record on LGBT issues’ but warned that ‘we must not rest on our laurels’. He recognised that discrimination still exists and that sadly LGBT people are still victims of disgraceful hate crimes. He met with Joshua Ormrod who was attacked as he left a Liverpool nightclub with friends earlier this month. The PM condemned the shocking attack and commended Joshua’s bravery. He told the reception the government was committed to doing all it could to make our country a safe place for everyone.
As well as changes to the laws on same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland and the rightful return of medals to those dismissed from service due to their sexuality, some of the government’s wider work on LGBT rights includes a commitment to bringing forward a ban on conversion therapy, changing blood donation rules to allow men who have sex with men the ability to donate blood if they are in a long-term relationship, and making the preventative HIV treatment PrEP routinely available across England as part of the government’s aim to end HIV transmission by 2030.
The event was also attended by the Minister for Equalities Kemi Badenoch and the PM’s Special Envoy on LGBT Rights Nick Herbert.
Some of the government’s recent work
Source: UK Gov
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