In the UK, LGBT History Month is marked and celebrated during the month of February to coincide with the 2003 abolition of Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988, which banned “promoting homosexuality” to minors.
Amongst those marking LGBT History Month will be the National Assembly. The National Assembly is delighted to be ranked fourth in Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index 2015 of the top LGB-friendly organisations in the UK. We are also very proud to be named as the Top Public Sector Employer in Wales for LGB people for the second year running.
The National Assembly LGBT staff network has prepared this article to highlight how LGBT rights in the UK have evolved since 1988.
Here are eight reasons that LGBT people are better off in 2015:
- Section 28 was repealed in 2003 for England and Wales and in Scotland in 2000;
- Gay people have been able to serve in the military since 2000;
- In 2001 an equal age of sexual consent was introduced in the UK;
- Since 2003 it has been against the law for an employer to sack a person for being gay;
- Since 2005 transgender people have received legal recognition as members of the sex appropriate to their gender, allowing them to acquire a new birth certificate and full recognition of this gender in regards to other laws;
- Since 2005 it has been possible for gay couples to jointly adopt children. Since 2009, a lesbian couple who have a child can have both the birth mother and her partner named on the birth certificate;
- Since 2007 it has been illegal for a shop, hotel or another business to ban you from being served because you were gay;
- Since 2014 it is possible for same-sex couples in England, Wales and Scotland to marry.
While there is still work to be done, in 1988 it would probably have been unimaginable to think that LGB people would be able to serve in the military, jointly adopt children and marry. Add to that other advancements, like the extension of the single public Equality Duty to cover LGBT people in 2010, and 2015 and beyond looks like a better place.