Stonewall Cymru today is celebrating the Governments decision to introduce protection for lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people against discrimination in the supply of everything from NHS care, to holidays and life insurance. Ministers announced today in the House of Lords that they would accept the substance of Stonewall amendments to the new Equality Bill, tabled by Waheed Alli and Chris Smith.
The decision comes after months of lobbying by Stonewall and Stonewall Cymru through a 'Give us the Goods' campaign. The change to the Equalities Bill has been supported throughout by the Minister for Business and Equality, and the National Assembly of Wales Equality of Opportunity Committee. The Bill passed its final stage, in the House of Lords on Wednesday afternoon with the new amendments added. It is expected to be introduced in the House of Commons in the next fortnight.
'This decision will have a significant impact on the everyday lives of lesbian, gay and bisexual people in Wales,' said Dr Alison Parken, Director of Stonewall Cymru. 'Over the last few months we have heard of a gay couple who were asked by a high street bank for proof of HIV status before they would be considered for life assurance to go alongside their mortgage application, and from a lesbian refused a smear test because of her sexuality. It will be possible to challenge this is kind of ignorance as discrimination when the new regulations are enacted.'
For further information contact Dr Alison Parken on 07903263228 or visit www.stonewallcymru.org.uk
Stonewall Cymru is the Wales equality group for lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people in Wales. www.stonewallcymru.org.uk