Scottish Government Response to Challenging Prejudice: Changing Attitudes Towards Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People In Scotland

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Ministerial Foreword

I am delighted to introduce the Scottish Government's response to the report of the LGBT Hearts and Minds Agenda Group Challenging Prejudice: Changing Attitudes Towards Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People in Scotland which identifies practical ways of changing attitudes towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender ( LGBT) people in Scotland. We welcome the report and have responded positively and with firm commitments to the vast majority of its recommendations. I am proud of the commitments we have been able to make and I want to share these with colleagues across the public sector, and encourage other public bodies to take actions themselves which can help contribute to changing attitudes towards LGBT people.

Changing attitudes will be good not only for LGBT people but for all the people of Scotland. Discrimination is destructive and damaging - not only to individuals but to our communities, and to our country as a whole. It is also costly, because it prevents individuals from maximising their potential. I am determined to work to remove the barriers which deny opportunities to LGBT people, so that they can make a full contribution to the rich cultural diversity, and to the success and productivity of our country.

This Government is committed to tackling inequality and creating strong communities. These principles are central to the National Performance Framework we have agreed with local authorities. We recognise the prejudice and discrimination LGBT people have faced historically. And while there have been significant strides in law and policy over the last 30 years, we know discrimination still exists and LGBT people in Scotland today can still encounter negative attitudes. This can have a profound impact on individuals and communities.

I want the Scottish Government's response to the report of the Hearts and Minds Agenda Group Challenging Prejudice: Changing Attitudes Towards Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People in Scotland - to be seen as a strong statement of our commitment to achieving true equality for our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens. Our commitment is also reflected in our new funding package to support strategic LGBT equality work over the next three years, an investment of £1.7 million which represents a significant increase on previous years. This clearly demonstrates the importance we place on this work.

I want to thank all those who were involved in producing the report. I am grateful for their role in helping us to create a Scotland in which people can live alongside one another, respecting difference and celebrating diversity. I look forward to working together over the coming months and years to implement the recommendations set out in this report. I have no doubt that it will be instrumental in taking us forward in our work to challenge prejudice and change attitudes towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Scotland.

Stewart Maxwell signature

Stewart Maxwell
Minister for Communities and Sport