The Scottish Government has launched a new campaign to promote LGBT equality.

The ‘Scotland believes in equality’ campaign was launched this morning, and includes the hashtag #EqualScotland and a new website. 

Charities standing up for LGBT rights, including the Equality Network, have celebrated the launch.

The campaign aims to celebrate the progress that Scotland has made towards achieving LGBT equality, from the initial decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1980 to the passage of equal marriage legislation earlier this year, whilst recognising that more needs to be done to achieve full equality for LGBTI people in the law and society.

Tom French, Policy Coordinator for the Equality Network, said: “Scotland’s devolved Government and Parliament should be proud of the progress they’ve made towards LGBTI equality since 1999. We welcome this campaign with its strong message that equality is a core value in Scotland. There is still a lot more to do of course to end discrimination, but with this kind of commitment, we would expect progress to continue.”

The opening ceremony of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games last week, as watched by a billion people, featured a kiss between actor John Barrowman engage in a gay kiss, in celebration of equality in Scotland.

The Commonwealth Games has been subject to controversy already as human rights campaigners have called on Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond to speak out against countries with anti-gay laws.

Homosexuality is currently punishable with prison sentences in 42 out of 53 Commonwealth nations.

Same-sex marriage came one step closer to becoming a reality in Scotland as its bill to legalise it received Royal Assent in March.

Marriages between gay and lesbian couples are expected to begin in Scotland in 2015.