Happy New Year and best wishes for 2017!
There is a lot which is uncertain about the political future just now, with Brexit, Trump, and far-right parties challenging in elections this year in several European countries. But at the same time popular support for LGBTI equality is at its highest ever level in Scotland, and there is a widespread support for equality and diversity in the UK, Europe, the US and elsewhere.
Here are some of our resolutions for the year ahead …
A high priority for us this year is the equal recognition campaign to overhaul gender recognition legislation, including legal recognition for people with non-binary gender identities. The Scottish Government have promised to consult publicly on this in 2017.
The Scottish Government have also promised a bill this year to formally pardon people convicted of the old discriminatory gay sex offences that are no longer crimes, and we will work to ensure that is as effective as possible. And the Scottish Government are due to say soon whether or when they will introduce equal civil partnership, open to couples regardless of gender – something we will continue to press for.
In addition to seeking changes to the law, we will, as always, prioritise a wide range of key equality issues. These include appropriate health service provision for LGBTI people, combatting hate crime and ensuring an effective justice system, LGBTI-inclusive education and other public services, LGBTI inclusion in sport, and supporting LGBTI community groups around the country.
We’ll continue to work to support and promote positive public opinion about LGBTI people, and about equality more generally.
We’ll also support action to minimise any negative effects on equality and rights resulting from Brexit.
A priority will be to work towards all of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex communities getting greater equality, including people all around the country, and LGBTI people with intersectional identities.
As always, our approach will be to work in partnership with our fantastic colleagues in other LGBTI and equality organisations, in Scotland, the UK, Europe and elsewhere.
And of course, progress on these things would not be possible without all the LGBTI people who stand up for equality right across Scotland. All of our work is based on priorities identified through open engagement involving thousands of diverse LGBTI people, and it is your lobbying, campaigning and standing up for equality that makes change happen!