LGBT Gains and Inequalities

At this years RMT Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender conference, Executive member for London Transport Region Janine Booth brought to members attentions the realities of LGBT rights internationally and the equalities that British LGBT workers and people still lack.

Internationally full legal equality for homosexuals only exists in 8 countries in the world. That is that they have equal rights including an equal marriage something that still eludes us in the UK. In 80 countries homosexuality is still illegal. Of these seven countries still have the death penalty. Only recently Uganda was attempting to criminalize all homosexual acts - punishment being a death sentence.

To put this into perspective, LGBT people in the UK have far greater equality than many others across the world, but because we have relationships with people of the same sex we still have different rights to those who are heterosexual.

This is a time-line of some of the LGBT gains - all under a Labour government - in the UK.

2000 The Labour government scraps the policy of barring homosexuals from the armed forces.

2001 The age of consent is reduced to 16 inline with the age of consent for heterosexuals

2002 Same-sex couples are granted equal rights to adopt.

2003 Section 28, which banned councils and schools from intentionally promoting homosexuality, is repealed in England and Wales

2004 The Civil Partnership Act 2004 is passed by the Labour Government, giving same-sex couples the same rights and responsibilities as married heterosexual couples.

2009 The Labour Government Prime Minister Gordon Brown makes an official public apology on behalf of the British government for the way in which Alan Turing was treated after the war. Opposition leader David Cameron apologizes on behalf of the Conservative Party, for introducing Section 28 during Margaret Thatcher's third government.

2010 The Equality Act 2010 makes discrimination against lesbians and gay men in the provision of goods and services illegal.

In comparison, in The Netherlands the marriage act was amended to say “A marriage can be contracted by two people of different or the same sex)” in 2001. And in Portugal same sex marriage was formally recognized in 2010. In Spain it was permitted in 2005 and in Iceland in 2010.