A couple visiting St Andrews University.
Article published 24/02/2021
February marks LGBT+ History Month UK, which shines a light on the history of the gay rights movement and celebrates the LGBT+ community.
Scotland is internationally recognised as a welcoming and inclusive nation and in 2015 was ranked as the most inclusive for LGBT+ equality and human rights legislation in the European Region of ILGA's Rainbow Map.
Equality for all
The first LGBT+ History Month UK took place in February 2005 and was organised by LGBT+ education charity Schools Out UK. The group, originally known as The Gay Teachers' Group, was set up as a social support network in 1974 following the sacking of a London teacher who had been 'outed' to his colleagues by a student.
The Scottish Government is fully supportive of the LGBT+ community and Scotland was the first UK country to consult on same-sex marriage which became law on the 16 December 2014 through the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014.
In 2018, the Scottish Government formed its LGBT Inclusive Education Implementation Group, which was created to implement the recommendations of the LGBTI Inclusive Education Working Group. The group, which includes members from across government, charities and educational boards, aims to deliver all recommendations made by the working group by the end of March 2021.
Stonewall, the UK LGBT+ charity, was founded in 1989 by a group of people who been active in the struggle against Section 28 of the Local Government Act, which prevented the so-called 'promotion' of homosexuality in schools as well as stigmatising LGBT+ people.
The charity is renowned for its campaigning and lobbying for equality for the LGBT+ community. Stonewall has four main priorities, to empower individuals; to transform institutions; to change hearts and minds and to change laws.
To date Stonewall has succeeded in helping to change legislation including to equalise the age of consent, lifting the ban on LGBT+ people serving in the military, securing legislation which allowed same-sex couples to adopt and the repeal of Section 28. Stonewall also helped to secure civil partnerships and same-sex marriage and ensured that the recent Equality Act protected LGBT+ people in terms of goods and services.
Caroline Gillwood, Head of Programmes, Stonewall Scotland said: "Since 2001 Stonewall Scotland has been campaigning for and working with our communities and business across our Nation to ensure that Scotland is a truly inclusive place for all LGBT+ people. During this year's LGBT+ History Month we reflect that it has been 21 years since we abolished Section 28 and 11 years since we secured the Equality Act here in Scotland. It is important to remember these vital parts of our history as a movement, and we cannot be complacent to assume that these rights will remain protected."
"We have come a long way, but there is much still to do. That's why we are proud of our continuing work within our communities, supported by Scottish Government and many Scottish Organisations who are members of our Diversity Champions Programme who like us believe in the power of a society that's truly inclusive with workplaces and communities where all LGBT people are accepted without exception."
Scotland continues to support the global LGBT+ community through many channels including business events. As an LGBT+ friendly destination our venues and partners are happy to discuss how to make events inclusive for all delegates.
There are a variety of simple changes you can make to ensure everyone feels comfortable before, during and after your event. This could include updating registrations forms to include alternative gender options, removing gendered greetings in mail outs and at the event and including pronouns on name badges.
Get in touch with a member of the team to find out more on how we can support your next event.