Stonewall Cymru celebrates House of Lords vote for gay equality

Stonewall Cymru is delighted at the House of Lords vote late last night to introduce new protections against discrimination for gay people.

Peers voted by 168 votes to 122 in support of regulations, part of the new Equality Act, which will now be introduced on 30 April. They will make it unlawful to discriminate against lesbian and gay people in the provision of services ranging from healthcare to hotel rooms.

Matthew Batten, Stonewall Cymru's Policy and Public Affairs Officer said: "We're absolutely delighted that peers have supported equality for lesbian and gay people so decisively. The offensive and well-funded campaign to oppose these much-needed protections reached appalling depths of unpleasantness, as seen in Parliament Square yesterday when small children of six, seven and eight were coerced into waving anti-gay placards. It has been a stark reminder of how much prejudice still exists in Britain and further evidence of the need for these new protections."

"We look forward to the implementation of the regulations. They will make a real difference to the lives of lesbian and gay people in Wales."

The Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007 make it unlawful to discriminate in the provision of goods, facilities and services on grounds of sexual orientation. Adoption agencies are exempt from the regulations until December 2008. Stonewall first presented ministers with draft amendments effecting these changes in March 2005.

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