The Law & LGBTQIA+

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At Scott Richards, we’re beyond excited that Pride has finally found its way to Teignmouth and jumped at the chance to show our full support; to be part of the movement that takes the LGBTQIA+ community from a shushed topic at the table, to being a celebration of who you are.

Historically, the law has not been either kind or accepting towards members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and in the UK, the start of the battle for equality can be traced right back to 1533 with the dreadful passing of an Act during Henry VIII’s reign. Very little changed for the community until the 1950s and 60s when both the Wolfenden Report in the UK and Stonewall in the US finally started to stoke the winds of change, sending waves around the world.

Substantial change in the law finally came in 1998 with the Human Rights Act and was the first huge step to breaking down barriers for the community. This included basic human rights such as the right to private and family life, freedom of thought, the freedom of expression, and most importantly the prohibition of discrimination. As the barriers started coming down, people from the LGBTQIA+ community were able to live without fear that the law could change and criminalise them. The Equality Act 2010 added further securities for the community by adding sexual orientation and sex as a protected characteristic.

In 2004, Civil Partnerships were created for those within the community to allow them to hold a status like marriage, before finally in 2013, after years of campaigning, the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act came into force, providing true equality for same-sex married couples compared with their straight counterparts. It is now also the case that straight couples can have a Civil Partnership, which used to be reserved only for the same-sex couples. In more recent times, we’ve seen embracement of the community in other areas as well, with same sex couples now able to foster and adopt children, and being provided with access to fertility options to start families.

Whilst huge advances have been made in the last century, we know there is more to be done to help the LGBTQIA+ community. At Scott Richards we look forward to continuing working with the community in the future and seeing the progression that Pride and your voices can make both to our small community, and the world.

Thomas Glover – Scott Richards

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