LGBT issues should always be on the equality agenda, the incoming chair of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR) said this week.

Trevor Phillips outlined a commitment to LGBT rights in a statement read out by lesbian activist Sue Sanders for the launch of LGBT History Month.

The statement said: “Inequality and discrimination still persists, developing projects which become well known events enable causes such as LGBT issues to remain high on the agenda, that is why I am proud to support LGBT history month.

“This event is about setting the tone for the future and being equipped to tackle discrimination.”

Ms Sanders added that the community should continuously remind Mr Phillips of this and called on people to contribute to the consultation for the Discrimination Law Review which will form the manifesto for the CEHR.

The event, held at the Trades Union Congress, featured speeches by TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber, novelist Stella Duffy, trans campaigner Professor Stephen Whittle, and gay actor and Stonewall founder Sir Ian McKellen.

Sir Ian said: “We are in a time of change, there is a surge forward here and abroad.”

He said the gay community should take the lead on issues instead of reacting to them.

LGBT History Month takes place in February 2007 in the UK.

The speeches can be viewed on the LGBT History Month website by clicking here