I am exceptionally proud of the commitment to equality. We must continue to work hard to build a society that celebrates and benefits from the talents of everyone. Everyone should feel safe and happy to be who they are without judgement or fear.
The UK is a world leader for transgender rights, and I welcome the progress we have already made. Guidance has been issued to employers and service providers, a £3 million programme is tackling transphobic bullying head on and the first ever action plan for improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people has been published.
However, more must be done to help transgender people with the unique and often difficult challenges that they face. I am encouraged that new measures have been announced to deliver greater equality to the LGBT community. A national LGBT survey on experiences using public services in the UK has received over 108,000 responses, making it the largest national survey of its kind anywhere in the world.
The action plan, announced in response to the survey, includes proposals to eradicate conversion therapy, take further action on LGBT hate crime, and improve diversity and tolerance in schools. Good progress has been made in the first year, including the appointment of the new LGBT Advisory Panel and the first ever Health Advisor on LGBT issues.
As a country, we have come a long way in terms of lesbian, gay and bisexual equality. I now want to see the same national determination for transgender people. I hope the close work with transgender people will continue to ensure we create a society where everyone is free to be themselves.