Sexual Orientation Strategy

Following Executive approval on 24 September, work began on the development of the Social Inclusion Strategies; Anti-Poverty, Disability, Gender Equality and Sexual Orientation. The Sexual Orientation Strategy aims to address barriers and inequalities in society faced by the LGBTQI+ communities and to fulfil the commitments in New Decade, New Approach and the Executive’s Programme for Government. The Strategy will be published by the end of 2021, subject to Executive agreement.

Expert Panel

An Expert Panel has been established with the knowledge and expertise of the Panels will allow them to make effective recommendations on the themes and key actions the Strategy should address.

The Panel have been drawn from the academic and voluntary and community sectors. They are:

  • Dr Fidelma Ashe of the Ulster University
  • Cara McCann, Director, HERe NI
  • Ellen Murray, Executive Director, TransgenderNI
  • John O’Doherty, Director, The Rainbow Project

The terms of reference of the Expert Panel are published on the DfC website.

The Expert Panel have provided their recommendations to the Minister and their report is available.

The Report includes the recommendation for renaming the Strategy as the LGBTQI+ Strategy – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (or Questioning), Intersex+ – to encompass the diversity of the LGBTQI+ community beyond the issue of sexual orientation.

Co-design Group

The Co-design Group will support and advise the Departmental LGBT Policy team on the development and content of the Strategy and action plan and the wider stakeholder engagement that is conducted as the Strategy is developed, ensuring that the lived experiences of people are appropriately reflected in the Strategy.

The Group is made up of key stakeholders who can represent the views of the sector and help DfC to understand the experience of, and issues faced by, people in the LGBTQI+ communities.

Membership of the Sexual Orientation Strategy Co-Design Group is as follows (in no particular order):

  • Cara-Friend
  • Changing Attitude Ireland
  • Equality Commission NI
  • GenderJam NI
  • HERe NI
  • NI Human Rights Commission
  • NIPSA LGB&T Group
  • Queerspace
  • Rural Community Network
  • SAIL NI
  • The Rainbow Project
  • UNISON NI LGBT Group

The terms of reference of the Co-design Group are published on the DfC website.

Cross-departmental Working Group

The Sexual Orientation Strategy Cross-departmental Working Group will support DfC in the development and drafting of the new Sexual Orientation Strategy and action plan that is evidence-based and targeted to address objective need. This work will be based on the recommendations of the Sexual Orientation Strategy Expert Advisory Panel and the views expressed by the Sexual Orientation Strategy Co-Design Group and through wider stakeholder engagement

Membership of the Sexual Orientation Strategy Cross-departmental Working Group is as follows (in no particular order):

  • Department for the Economy
  • Department for Infrastructure
  • Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs
  • Department of Education
  • Department of Finance
  • Department of Health
  • Department of Justice
  • The Executive Office

The terms of reference of the Cross-departmental Working Group are published on the DfC website.

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