The Upper Bann MLA was joined at the launch of the new APG by other MLAs and senior representatives from LGBTQIA+ sector organisations and the Equality Commission.
The APG will consider key issues including healthcare inequalities; homophobic, transphobic and biphobic bullying in schools; hate crime; delivery and implementation of the long-overdue LGBTQI+ strategy and the campaign to ban so-called conversion therapy.
Speaking after the launch Mr Tennyson said, “Northern Ireland has made significant strides to support LGBTQIA+ people in recent years, from the introduction of marriage equality to ending the ban on gay and bisexual men donating blood.
“Yet despite these advances, we know that LGBTQIA+ people continue to face significant barriers to full participation in public life. The UK Government’s LGBT Survey revealed that two-thirds of LGBT people fear holding their partner’s hand in public, while more than 5% have been offered so-called conversion therapy.
“That’s why I’m delighted to be launching this APG today alongside cross-party MLAs, sector organisations and key stakeholders. Through this forum, we will work to ensure LGBTQIA+ equality is a priority in this Assembly mandate.
“There remains much work to do to progress and protect LGBTQIA+ rights. The new APG will push focus on a variety of areas; from eliminating healthcare inequalities, to tackling hate crime; and ensuring ensure all LGBTQIA+ young people feel valued, safe, and included at school.”