The Scottish LGBT Equality Report

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2015 National LGBT Conference
21 July 2015

On the 21st July 2015 the Equality Network launched The Scottish LGBT Equality Report, a major new state-of-the-nation report on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people’s experiences of inequality in Scotland.

The report is the most comprehensive study of LGBT inequality in Scotland to date, based on a survey of 1052 respondents and informed by a series of 16 consultation events that were held across the country.

The report reveals that, despite recent advances in the law and social attitudes, LGBT people still face widespread inequality in Scotland, and an overwhelming majority of LGBT people (94%) say that more needs to be done to tackle the problem.

The report finds that almost all LGBT people in Scotland (97%) have personally faced prejudice or discrimination in some form. Incidents reported ranged from homophobic, biphobic and transphobic comments and attitudes (82%), to acts of verbal abuse (68%), physical attack (16%), sexual assault (7%), crimes against property (12%), and discriminatory treatment when accessing services (25%) and in employment (24%).

As a result, a majority of LGBT people in Scotland still ‘never’ or only ‘sometimes’ feel able to be open about their sexual orientation or gender identity with their own family (52%), at work (60%) or when accessing services (71%), for fear of the prejudice they might face. 43% of LGBT people in Scotland have moved, or considered moving, to live in a different area – or out of the country altogether – because of the discrimination that they have faced and in order to live somewhere more accepting of LGBT people.

While we have made welcome progress on LGBT equality in recent years, not least the passage of our progressive equal marriage legislation, we know that there are still remaining inequalities in the law – particularly for transgender people – and that legal equality does not in itself guarantee LGBT people will experience real equality in our day-to-day lives.

Conference calls on the national LGBT committee to:

1. Work with branches and regional self organised groups to urge all employers and educational establishments to provide a welcoming and supportive environment for LGBT people, to understand their obligations under the law, to have clear and effectively communicated policies that ensure staff or students are not disadvantaged or discriminated against as a result of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and to deal with all complaints of bullying and harassment;

2. Work with the Scottish regional LGBT committee to campaign for the Scottish Government to publish an LGBT equality and human rights strategy and action plan against which progress can be measured;

3. Work with the Scottish regional LGBT committee to campaign for all political parties to make a pledge to reform gender recognition law in Scotland to enable all trans and non-binary people to get legal recognition of their gender and to set out clear policies and firm manifesto commitments that address how they will tackle inequality and make Scotland a fairer and more equal place for LGBT people to live.