Wales announced its plan to become the most LGBTQ+ friendly nation in Europe – and that includes making it easier for trans people to legally change their gender.
The Welsh Government launched its LGBTQ+ Action Plan at St Fagan’s Museum in Cardiff on Monday (6 February).
Following Scotland’s example, the plan includes a request from the UK Government for Wales to take control of gender recognition laws for trans and non-binary people in Wales.
First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford said this earlier it supports the Scottish gender identity system, which was British government blocked royal ascension and would welcome a similar system in Wales.
Drakeford’s comments were recent with the support of the Finance Minister for Wales, Vaughan Getting.
The action plan, which was first presented back in 2021 in draft form, was a plan with “hope at its heart” to make Wales the most LGBTQ+ friendly nation in Europe.
It comes just weeks after a Cardiff drag queen was found dead in the center of the Welsh capital. The man was arrested on charges of involuntary manslaughter.
Action plan includes a wide range of concrete policy actions from improving security, education, housing, health and social services to promoting social cohesion, etc.
It also shows a clear commitment to protecting and promoting the rights and dignity of trans and non-binary people.
“LGBTQ+ communities remain under attack”
Welsh Deputy Minister for Social Partnership Hannah Blytin, who was joined by Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price, said it was the first time existing commitments had been brought together to set bold and realistic targets for an inclusive society.
“We have come a long way in the last few decades, but we cannot rest. Progress can and should never be taken for granted. LGBTQ+ communities remain under attack and our hard-fought rights are at risk of being rolled back around the world, including here in the UK,” said Blightin.
“The plan is ambitious, but with hope at its heart. We are absolutely committed to meaningful change for LGBTQ+ communities, creating a society and a country where LGBTQ+ people are safe to live and love authentically, openly and freely as themselves.”
To mark the publication of the Plan, the politicians, who are themselves openly members of the LGBTQ+ community, visited the Pride & Protest exhibition at St Fagans National History Museum, which includes protest banners and LGBTQ+ campaign badges from Amgedfa Kimru’s collection of items from Pride across Wales .
Adam Price, the only one in Britain an outspoken LGBTQ+ political leadersaid the plan was a great example of how political parties in Wales are working together to improve the lives of LGBTQ+ people.
“The fact that the Plan was co-developed by parties whose members make up two-thirds of our national parliament provides a strong foundation for translating the Plan’s commitments into practical action on the ground in our communities,” he said.
“Fighting all forms of injustice is very important, and together we can create a fairer society by promoting the rights of everyone in the LGBTQ+ community,” he added.
“We must not be complacent”
The Welsh Government is working with a wide range of LGBTQ+ communities and organizations to help develop the LGBTQ+ Action Plan and it will form the basis for future policy development with partners.
Davinia Green, Principal Stonewall Kymrusaid she welcomed the Action Plan but urged people “not to be complacent”.
“If Wales is to become a leading country in Europe for LGBTQ+ rights, tackling the rise in hate crime, supporting an inclusive RSE curriculum and breaking down barriers in healthcare will be particularly important,” she said.
In February 2022, two men and a teenage girl were found guilty of the assassination of Dr. Gary Jenkins in a horrific homophobic attack in a Cardiff park.
“I welcome the LGBTQ+ Action Plan for Wales. This is a clear and positive commitment, especially important when hard-won LGBTQ+ rights are challenged,” she added.
“This is an important part of the journey towards an inclusive LGBTQ+ society here in Wales, but not the final conclusion. We must not be complacent.”
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Wales to make gender recognition easier for trans people with new LGBTQ+ action plan