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NEW SURVEY WILL HELP MAKE WALES 'A FAIRER PLACE', SAYS MINISTER

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The findings of Stonewall Plaid Cymru's survey of lesbian, gay and bisexual people in Wales will be invaluable in h...
The findings of Stonewall Plaid Cymru's survey of lesbian, gay and bisexual people in Wales will be invaluable in helping the assembly tackle discrimination on all levels, the minister for social justice Edwina Hart, said.

The survey, carried out by Cardiff University with government funding, is the first to look at LGB issues on a specifically Welsh basis.

Ms Hart said that the report identified three issues of particular concern to her: the prevalence of workplace discrimination, the incidence of school bullying and the general victimisation experienced by the LGB community.

'Discrimination of any form is wrong and is an obstacle to building the fair and equitable society we want in Wales.

'It is shocking that 25% of respondents reported having been dismissed from their jobs because of their sexuality, while many more face daily harassment.'

The survey also highlighted the problem of the bullying young LGB people face in schools, something the minister said was being addressed in the assembly's anti-bullying guidance, which makes explicit recommendations on dealing with homophobic bullying.

Ms Hart added that the assembly guidance sex and relationships education in school makes it clear that teachers should be able to deal with issues of sexuality sensitively and in a non-discriminatory way.

'I know that many schools have felt concerned and constrained by Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988, which prohibits the 'promotion' of homosexuality.

'The assembly has encouraged and supported the repeal of this unnecessary and discriminatory law, so I am very pleased to tell you that the Local Government Act 2003, which received Royal Assent on 18 September, has successfully repealed Section 28.'

She concluded: 'This survey will go a long way to helping us tackle issues of concern to the lesbian, gay and bisexual community in Wales and make Wales a fairer country where all are equally respected, valued and supported to contribute as full y as possible.'

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