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Meg Munn MP - Sheffield Heeley's voice in Parliament | Welcome
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Only Party in the Village

Monday, September 22, 2008

Meg was invited to make some short remarks at a Labour Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) reception however the organisers forgot to provide a loudspeaker to overcome the dance music from the neighbouring nightclub! The remarks she would have made are below.

 

I’m pleased to be here to celebrate Labour’s achievements for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender rights otherwise known as the snappy LGBT!

 

December 2005 brought home to me the importance of what Labour has done. As Minister for Women & Equality I attended some of the first Civil Partnerships in the country. It was moving being with people who had been in committed relationships for maybe 20, 30 and 40 years, at last being able to publicly affirm their love for each other. It’s now just over 21/2 years since they were introduced and they are now so much part of the scene that Tory front bench politicians like Alan Duncan can be ‘partnered’ and good for him!

 

I’m now a Minister in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, and things are changing for the better. To start as an employer:

  • The Stonewall 2008 Workplace Equality Index had the Foreign Office moving up to equal 26th, up from 92nd in 2007. We recorded the 3rd highest score of the 20 central government departments who entered.
  • We actively support the Foreign Office Lesbian and Gay Group financially and with senior management support.
  • We lobby for the rights of same-sex partners working for the Foreign Office in our missions abroad.
  • One of our current priorities is to increase the number of overseas postings available for LGBT staff, and improve same sex partner rights.
  • The Foreign Office takes this action because it knows it needs a working environment likely to attract the most talented individuals to come and work for it, irrespective of personal circumstances or background. 

Foreign Office working internationally:

  • We offer travel advice and guidance tailored to British LGBT travellers.
  • We have a strict policy of treating all foreign applicants applying for visas to enter the UK equally in accordance with current UK Immigration Rules, regardless of their sexual orientation.
  • We were active in lobbying a number of countries to ensure that a non-British LGBT Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) was accredited by the United Nations NGO Committee.
  • We were active at the 2008 United Nations General Assembly in supporting the Presidency’s initiative for a draft statement on sexual orientation. 
  • Our LGBT ’toolkit’ was launched in May and was designed to give our overseas Embassies and Consulates the practical measures to make progress on LGBT rights internationally. 

Some of these steps are small; others affect large numbers of people. The progress we make is important in changing people’s lives for the better, in changing society for the better.

 

Thank you for listening, and enjoy yourselves.

 

For details of LGBT Labour visit: http://www.lgbtlabour.org.uk/index.php?page=1 


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