Queen Elizabeth II pledged that her government will tackle discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Michaela Morgan

26 Jun 2017 - 10:17 AM  UPDATED 26 Jun 2017 - 10:17 AM

In her address to Parliament this week, Queen Elizabeth pledged her support in protecting the LGBT+ community from discrimination.

“My government will make further progress to tackle the gender pay gap and discrimination against people on the basis of their race, faith, gender, disability or sexual orientation,” she said.

Pink News reports that it’s the first time the Queen’s Speech has mentioned LGBT+ rights since 2003 when she vowed to work for “increased equality and social justice by bringing forward legislation on the registration of civil partnerships between same-sex couples”.

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While the Queen is expected to remain impartial on political issues—when she signed the Royal Assent for the equal marriage act she reportedly remarked: “Well, who’d have thought 62 years ago when I came to the throne, I’d be signing something like this? Isn’t it wonderful?”

LGBT+ rights group Stonewall praised the Queen’s speech in a statement but added that more needed to be done to tackle discrimination based on gender identity.

“While today’s Queen’s Speech understandably focused heavily on Britain’s exit from the European Union, we were pleased to hear a clear acknowledgement that more must be done to tackle discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in the next two years, alongside other forms of discrimination.

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“But we are very concerned no mention was made of tackling discrimination based on gender identity.

“The last Conservative government were open in acknowledging that trans people in our society face endemic levels of discrimination and abuse.

“They also pledged to review the Gender Recognition Act to de-medicalise the process and remove the intrusive and humiliating barriers that trans people must currently face to have their identity recognised in law.

“We will be seeking urgent clarification from ministers that this remains the intention of this new government, and that they will make progress on the other priorities we set out in our manifesto for the general election,” the group added.