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Liverpool - Sir Ian rates equality film

An anti-hate documentary by a group of gay and lesbian Merseyside teenagers has won support from Hollywood star Sir Ian McKellen.

The film was made by the group Homotopia, Liverpool's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) arts and cultural organisation and is expected to be shown in schools across the city.

The documentary, which follows a group of ten LGBT teenagers from Liverpool and Knowsley who travelled to Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps to see the effects of hate crimes, has been turned into a teaching resource for key stage 3 pupils.

Speaking about the project, Sir Ian said: "I fully support Homotopia's determination to tackle the violence which defaces the reputation of Liverpool as a friendly, inclusive community.

"Homophobia, in all its manifestations, should always be challenged. We are all different, thank goodness: we all deserve to be treated equally with respect."

The trip was financed by the Government's Youth Opportunity Fund, and the film is expected to be shown to more than 20,000 young people in the area. It has also been endorsed by the regional branch of teaching union the NUT.

Marilyn Fielding, executive member for safer stronger communities at Liverpool Council, said: "This is an extremely powerful scheme which is tackling homophobia head-on and challenging the views of the narrow minded minority who discriminate against the gay, lesbian and transgender community." RV.

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