HUNDREDS of projects aimed at tackling inequality and discrimination are to benefit from more than £20 million in funding.
Equalities Secretary Angela Constance said the money will be distributed between 224 projects across Scotland.
More than £3 million will go towards large organisations such as the Equality Network, BEMIS, CEMVO, Inclusion Scotland and the Scottish Refugee Council.
Among the 80 projects that will benefit from a pot of £6.5 million are the LGBTI Helpline, Equate Scotland and the Muslim Women’s Resource Centre.
Referring to the recent homophobic terror attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, in which 49 people died, Ms Constance said: “This week we saw the worst targeted attack on LGBTI people that we have seen in the western world in recent times.
“Scotland has made some great progress on LGBTI rights and we are considered one of the most progressive countries in Europe in terms of LGBTI equality.
“But we are not complacent - we recognise there is still work to do to eradicate prejudice and discrimination against LGBTI people.
“We are allocating over £850,000 from this budget to organisations and projects that are working towards this aim.”
The Scottish Government has also committed to funding of £11.8 million to address violence against women and girls, with £3.5 million of this to go to projects providing frontline services to victims.
Ms Constance added: “Equality is part of the aspiration and ambition we have for Scotland.
“No-one should be treated unfairly, suffer injustice or be denied opportunities because of their age, disability, gender, gender identity, race, religion or sexual orientation.
“Amongst the 224 projects receiving funding support this year are front-line services which are working directly with communities to address local issues.”