Sexual Offences Act 1967 Debate

Full Debate: Read Full Debate
Department: Home Office

Sexual Offences Act 1967

Lord Collins of Highbury Excerpts
Tuesday 18th July 2017

(4 years, 3 months ago)

Lords Chamber

Read Full debate Read Hansard Text
Home Office
Baroness Williams of Trafford Portrait Baroness Williams of Trafford
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

My Lords, what that looks like will be the subject of our consideration in exiting the EU. However, the UK is recognised as the global leader on LGBT rights, and we are very proud of that. We will continue to build on that which we have built up—the noble Baroness can have no doubts about that.

Lord Collins of Highbury Portrait Lord Collins of Highbury (Lab)
- Hansard - -

My Lords, the progress we have made in this country is a welcome result of the 1967 Act. But a sad legacy of the criminalisation of homosexuality is of course that it is still illegal in many Commonwealth countries. Will the Minister assure the House that when we come to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, not only will the FCO and DfID work together to include everyone by supporting movements for decriminalisation, but this will be a cross-Westminster effort to ensure that we push this well up the agenda?

Baroness Williams of Trafford Portrait Baroness Williams of Trafford
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

The noble Lord is right to raise that point. First, I commend the Church for the work it is doing—I know that the most reverend Primate and other prelates are already doing work on this and will continue to do it. However, as the noble Lord will know, the former Prime Minister raised this matter at the Malta CHOGM in 2015, and we are already well on with thinking about how, when we host that in 2018, we can build on the progress made in 2015. We have called on certain Commonwealth countries, of which there are quite a few, to review any laws they have which criminalise LGBT people.