Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender

We are responsible for policy and legislation which relate to sexual orientation and transgender equality. This includes the Civil Partnership Act 2004, Equality Act 2010 and equality policy for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Latest on this topic

  • Landmark conference on LGB&T equality
    UK Government hosts historic conference on combating discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France.
    Published 27 March 2012

Moving forward

Working for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equality, published in July, was the first ever cross government work plan on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGB&T) rights.

Our action plan Working for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equality: Moving Forward, launched in March 2011, builds on this work and sets out the specific actions we will take to deliver this commitment across government.

'Advancing Transgender Equality: a plan for action' was published in December 2011 and is the first ever transgender equality action plan. It includes a range of commitments to improve the lives of transgender people.

Equal Civil Marriage

The government ran an equal civil marriage consultation between 15 March and 14 June 2012 on proposals to enable same-sex couples to have a civil marriage ceremony.

We are grateful to everyone who submitted a response. We are now considering these and will publish the government's response by the end of the year.

The key proposals in the consultation were:

  • to enable same-sex couples to have a civil marriage i.e. only civil ceremonies in a register office or other approved premises (like a hotel)
  • no religious organisation would be forced to host marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples
  • retain civil partnerships for same-sex couples and allow couples already in a civil partnership to convert this into a marriage
  • civil partnership registrations on religious premises will continue as is currently possible. i.e. on a voluntary basis for faith groups and with no religious content
  • individuals will, for the first time, be able to legally change their gender without having to end their marriage.

Current legislation allows same-sex couples to enter into a civil partnership but not civil marriage.

Tackling homophobia and transphobia in sport: a Charter for Action

One of our key commitments is the action government will take to tackle homophobia and transphobia in sport. We’ve launched a new Charter for Action (or Sports Charter), supported by British sport's five main national governing bodies, which calls for action at every level to tackle this issue.

Sports stars join the campaign

Stars support campaign to tackle homophobia and transphobia - celebrities committed to tackling homophobia and transphobia in sport at a Downing Street reception.

Civil partnerships on religious premises

On 5 December 2011 the government removed the ban on civil partnership registrations taking place on religious premises, on a voluntary basis.  This was done by implementing Section 202 of The Equality Act 2010.

This means that religious organisations can voluntarily apply to have their religious premises approved to host civil partnership registrations. No religious organisation can be forced to do this, and the civil partnership registration itself has to remain entirely secular.

More details can be found in the government's response to the consultation

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