The LGBT+ community is a massive part of Scotland's vibrant and inclusive culture, which is why we're proud to be a world-leading country when it comes to protecting LGBT+ rights.
Today across Scotland, members of the LGBT+ community hold prominent roles across the country, from senior positions and leadership of major political parties, to running large businesses and occupying high-profile positions covering many aspects of public life. The LGBT+ community in Scotland is thriving - and this is something the entire country is benefiting from. This vibrant and diverse community is hugely important to Scotland and is a valued part of our culture.
While you’re guaranteed Scotland’s world-famous warm and open welcome wherever you go, there are also a huge range of events and locations that cater specifically to the LGBT+ community. In fact, Scotland has a broad-reaching LGBT+ scene right across the country.
Locations around the country all warmly embrace the LGBT+ community. Each year, LGBT+ pride events take place everywhere from Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow, to the far remote towns such as Stornoway in the Outer Hebrides and the Isle of Bute.
Promoting LGBT+ culture
As part of Scotland’s continued commitment to the LGBT+ community, we are always looking for ways we can support and promote LGBT+ culture. One of our main annual events is LGBT+ History Month, which is celebrated every February. LGBT+ History Month engages with an eclectic range of arts, cultural and education events, partnering with community groups, schools, universities and local authorities to celebrate the LGBT+ community and the contributions they have made to Scotland throughout history. It is also an opportunity for Scotland to communicate with the LGBT+ community to identify issues where work can still be done. The event is funded by the Scottish Government and coordinated by LGBT Youth Scotland, a voluntary organisation dedicated to helping young LGBT+ people in Scotland.
In the Summer of 2014, when Glasgow hosted the Commonwealth Games and welcomed athletes, coaches and spectators from more than 70 different nations and territories, we created Pride House. Pride House was a hub dedicated to human rights and equality in sport. It create a safe space where anyone who visited would be supported and included, where they could view the sporting competitions. The creation of this hub was so popular that, when Glasgow once again welcomed some of the world’s top athletes at the 2018 European Championships, Pride House made a triumphant return to the city.
In 2021, Scotland became the first nation to embed LGBT+ inclusive education across the curriculum. Many countries have introduced education about LGBT+ relationships and families as part of a relationships and sex education programme, now Scotland is advancing on this positive work to increase inclusion and knowledge of LGBT people and themes through all subjects. This initiative also encourages schools to recognise and seek to address ongoing issues around lack of LGBT representation in the Scottish curriculum and the need for more support for LGBT learners.
LGBT+ rights in Scotland have evolved extensively and we’re incredibly proud to be recognised as one of the most progressive countries in the world. In the UK, Scotland was the first nation to consult on a draft bill to legalise same sex marriage. The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014 was passed by the Scottish Parliament on 4th March 2014 and on 31st December 2014 at 00:01, the first same sex marriage ceremonies took place across Scotland. These joyous occasions were cheered on in the media and by communities throughout the country.
Same sex couples were actually able to enter into civil partnerships in Scotland since 2005. The 2014 legislation meant that these couples were able to have their partnerships recognised as marriages if they wished. Since 2009, same sex couples have also been granted joint and step adoption status, allowing them the opportunity to provide a loving family environment for children.
In 2018, the Historical Sexual Offences (Pardons and Disregards) (Scotland) act was introduced in Scotland/ The key piece of legislation allowed a formal pardon to be granted to people who were convicted of offences related to same-sex sexual activity that were once considered illegal.
Although we have made great strides in this area, we know that there is still a lot of work to be done. Scotland is committed to bringing our legislation on gender reassignment in line with international best practice and though this work has been temporarily halted by the coronavirus pandemic, we are ready to continue this work as soon as possible.
In 2007, the Scottish Government began funding the Scottish Trans Alliance. This was the first time a transgender rights project had been funded by a national government in Europe. 2014 also saw Scotland become the first country to host a Transgender and Intersex Conference. The conference was designed to bring people together from across the UK to work on and improve transgender and intersex equality.
The Scottish Government has recently consulted on reforming gender recognition and will shortly be consulting on equality for intersex people. Making progress for trans and intersex people will hopefully see Scotland remain one of the top countries for many years to come.
As for the future, Scotland is committed to finding ways to further support LGBT+ communities where possible, helping to lead the way in ensuring a diverse and accepting culture for everyone.
We're very proud to be Scotland's first LGBT Football team; but, we're much more than that. We are a community club who welcome anyone with an interest in football - regardless of their gender, sexuality or nationality. We pride ourselves on being able to achieve this aim whilst still remaining competitive on the football pitch.