Delivering LGB equality
The Commission has set out the range of strategic issues, including priority areas for strategic action, which it recommends that the Executive, Departments and other key stakeholders address, including via the proposed Sexual Orientation Strategy.
However, we consider that there are a number of critical steps that need to be taken in order to ensure both the successful implementation of those actions, and that those actions result in meaningful and tangible outcomes for the LGB community in Northern Ireland.
In summary, these steps include the following:
- visible political, civic and community leadership in order to achieve the vision and promote and sustain change;
- a focus on the robust monitoring and evaluation of actions together with a focus on improving outcomes for LGB individuals;
- a co-ordinated approach across the public, private and voluntary community sector in order to address barriers and to promote and share good practice;
- a commitment to partnership working with the LGB sector and the need to empower and build the capacity of LGB individuals and representative groups.
There must be clear ownership of actions taken to promote LGB equality with robust accountability and publicly demonstrated leadership. Successful delivery of the actions should be reflected in the business and development plans, as well as a demonstrable commitment through the deployment of sufficient resources to deliver the agreed outcomes.
In addition, Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 places a duty on public authorities to have due regard to the need to promote equality of opportunity between persons of different sexual orientation. Government Departments and other public authorities should therefore lead by example as employers, policy makers and service providers in the promoting equality of opportunity for LGB people.