Gay MPs Justine Greening and Nick Gibb appointed as Ministers for Equality
Nick Gibb, an out gay MP, has become the Junior Minister for Equalities.
The Conservative politician came out in 2015, revealing plans to marry his same-sex partner after a secret 29-year relationship.
This means that the Minister and Junior Minister for Equalities are both out as gay.
Gibb, a former Minister for Education, has been Bognor Regis and Littlehampton’s representative since 1997.
He will be charged with the day-to-day running of the equalities portfolio.
This will involve being responsible for students’ personal, social and health education, as well as their relationship and sex education.
In May, the Queen gave royal assent to a law which made sex and relationship education statutory in all schools.
The law committed to developing guidance to make SRE mandatory in all schools, after pressure on the issue from sexual health and children’s campaign groups.
This was especially visible when students flooded their MPs with Valentine’s Day cards calling for compulsory SRE.
Gibb has previously spoken out about the “unforgivable” lack of HIV education, saying: “When we have a survey which shows that one in four children are not being told, or taught, about HIV, which is a deadly disease that can be simply avoided and simply caught, a lack of knowledge in this area is unforgivable in our school system.”
The minister will also be charged with improving children and young people’s mental health services, and preventing bullying in schools.
A study released by Stonewall last week found that nearly half of trans schoolchildren have attempted suicide.
More than four in every five trans kids have self-harmed, according to the report.
Justine Greening, who last year became the first female UK cabinet minister to come out as being in a same-sex relationship, will continue to have overall responsibility for the Government Equalities Office.
Gibb will also continue as Minister of State for School Standards.
The reshuffle has also resulted in Anne Milton and Robert Goodwill – who both voted against same-sex marriage – being given prominent portfolios.
Milton will be Minister for Women, while Goodwill has been given the Children and Families portfolio.
Because of her anti-LGBT voting record, Milton cannot assume the equalities porfolio.