The theme for this year’s History Month is Citizenship, PSHE and Law, which is fitting since 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act 1967, which decriminalised homosexuality in the UK.
The architect of this Private Members Bill was Welsh MP Leo Abse. We have come a long way since then in ensuring equality for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. However there is much more the Welsh Government would like to do to tackle intolerance and bullying and to ensure equal rights and opportunities.
The Welsh Government has a strong record of supporting LGBT rights and works closely with LGBT organisations in Wales. We provide Equality and Inclusion grant funding for Stonewall Cymru which helps with their work in schools, workplaces, communities and with public services.
We have also funded the Trans*Form Cymru project which works with young people who identify as trans and next year, our grant funding to Stonewall Cymru will specifically include funding for a post to lead on their trans work. As part of our Action Plan to advance equality for transgender people, the current NHS pathway for trans patients is being reviewed and revised.
Later this year, Wales will welcome Pride organisers from around the UK as Cardiff hosts the 2017 UK Pride Organisers Network conference. I hope this will be an opportunity to highlight the good work that is going on to ensure Wales continues to be a welcoming and inclusive country.
I look forward to celebrating LGBT History Month this year and I hope all our school pupils in Wales take time out to learn more about this important part of our history.