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Championing LGBTI staff in the Civil Service

This year England and Wales marks the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality.

Although there were barriers still in place, the change meant that England and Wales were taking steps to accept same-sex relationships for men for the first time in over 450 years. This was a first firm step in obtaining rights for LGBT people and one that the Civil Service is rightly celebrating. The photo below was taken on 27 July, the exact anniversary!

Celebrations to mark 50 years since the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality

In this important year I am proud as a straight ally to help raise awareness of LGBT issues in the Civil Service.

The Civil Service has an ambition set out in the Workforce Plan to be the UK’s most inclusive employer by 2020.  Our staff networks are important to us in promoting this ambition and listening to the needs of LGBTI staff.  As LGBTI Champion, I am particularly proud to have been part of the Civil Service presence at Pride 2017 in London led by the Civil Service Rainbow Alliance, the cross-government LGBT network.  There was a great sense of unity on the day and I enjoyed raising awareness for a growing community. Spot the three Permanent Secretaries in the pictures below!

Sue Owen attends Pride 2017 in London with the Civil Service Rainbow Alliance, the cross-government LGBT network

I hope that the Civil Service will continue to develop its understanding of LGBTI issues through the future Diversity and Inclusion Strategy. I  look forward to continuing work with colleagues to champion LGBTI inclusion.

The National Archives have produced blogs and podcasts to showcase the projects and records celebrating the 50th anniversary. You can follow this link to find out more.

To find out more about what the Civil Service is doing for LGBTI inclusion, please get in touch with the Civil Service Rainbow Alliance by visiting their website or emailing them on

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  1. Comment by Darren irvine posted on

    It's great to see senior leaders talking about the role of LGBT* allies Sue and I very much hope it's a theme which will be progressed as part of several sections of society.

  2. Comment by Gavin Thomas posted on

    Thank you Sue for a great blog. As well as an advocate for Diversity and Inclusion, I too am a LGBT Straight Ally and seek to support my LGBT colleagues.

    I have to say that I have seen a significant change over the past 26 years in the attitude within the organisation with respect to LGBT+ staff and in particular they are now able to feel authentic in the workplace. Certainly the FCO Staff Association FLAGG should be commended for the great work that they have done to ensure that colleagues are treated with respect and fairness.

    However, despite the fantastic achievements that have been made in the UK, I feel that we should acknowledge that there are still places throughout the Global Network, where the LGBT+ community are not able to be authentic and live in risk of their personal safety.