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Children say Welsh schools are not safe for out gay people

PinkNews Staff Writer February 6, 2009

A new LGBT rights charity will be launched today at the Welsh Senedd.

The LGBT Excellence Centre Wales is a social enterprise and a charity building on an existing community group that was running the LGBT Cymru Helpline supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

The new charity released the results of a survey conducted with 600 pupils during a workshop on homophobic bullying.

79% thought their school was not safe for LGBT people to be open about their sexuality.

66% of pupils believed their school is not safe for heterosexual students to support their LGBT friends.

56% felt it was not safe for teachers and staff to be openly gay.

The Excellence Centre’s Safe Space programme tackling homophobic bullying in schools was piloted with Cardiff County Council.

The organisation is the youngest in the UK to receive funding from the Equality and Human Rights Commission to provide legal advice and representation to LGBT people around sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination.

Managing Director Federico Podeschi said: “Although a lot of legislation has been introduced in the UK in the last decade, we are finding that people across Wales and the UK are still being bullied at school, discriminated in the workplace and are victims of hate crime because of their gender identity or sexual orientation.

“Despite this being the 21st century, a lot of gay and transgender people are scared and intimidated into hiding their feelings at work, a school and even at home.

“We hope our organisation will help make life better for all LGBT people.”

More: Wales

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