The plan of action was adopted in 2008, the same year that Norway voted for a gender-neutral marriage act. Some of the points of action have been followed up, other remain, and some points are, according to some, missing from the plan. Nevertheless, it is a good tool for Norwegian organizations to not only hold the government accountable, but also to generate projects of our own.
Download the plan of action here:
The then minister of equality, Anniken Huitfeldt, wrote the following foreword to the plan:
The government has taken a number of steps to safeguard social diversity and to strengt- hen efforts to combat discrimination.
The goal is a society characterised by openness, tolerance and inclusion. This must also apply to sexual orientation and to
the various forms of sexual expression. The Storting has recently adopted a common Marriage Act for gay and heterosexual couples.
A Government Commission on Anti-discrimination Legislation is due to submit a proposal for more uniform legislation against
discrimina- tion by 1 July 2009.
Many lesbians, gays, bisexuals and trans persons (LGBT) have a good life today. The LGBT organisations have visible spokespersons in the public debate and in politics. However, in surveys of living conditions, a higher proportion of the LGBT population characterise their own quality of life as poor. LGBT people are more subject to violence and harassment than the rest of the population. Research, both in Norway and abroad, shows LGBT people to be heavily overrepresented in some groups of persons with substance abuse and mental disorders. Many attempt suicide.
There is unfortunately a correlation between the lack of acceptance for different sexual orientations and forms of sexual expression and the prevalence of mental disorders and substance abuse. Young LGBT persons are particularly exposed. This requires work on attitudes at all levels, and knowledge development is taking place in the various services. In order to achieve these ambitions, research, sound methodology and practical experience in the LGBT area must be documented, systematised and made available.
By means of this action plan the Government wishes to place the LGBT perspective in all policy areas and in the ministries involved. We wish to integrate knowledge concerning the needs and challenges of the LGBT group in the various public services. Lesbians, gays, bisexuals and trans persons are entitled to a school without the risk of bullying and violence. Threats of forced marriage must be met with offers of support and counselling. In working life, safety representatives and employers must acquire the necessary knowledge to deal with exclusion and bullying.
Efforts to achieve openness and tolerance in all areas of society must continue. School, working life, friends and family and the sport and recreation sector must all play a role. The health sector must meet LGBT persons in all phases of life with knowledge, respect and consideration. There are exciting and challenging tasks here for us all, and I hope that many people will contribute.