He imposed the Sexual Orientation Regulations on Northern Ireland despite strong opposition.
He is responsible for ensuring that the Civil Partnerships Bill made it onto the legislative agenda.
When he negotiated the European Constitution as the government representative he argued for much more extensive protections for people on grounds of sexuality.
He is keen to point out that when the issue of exemptions for Roman Catholic-run adoption agencies came before Cabinet, he was having none of it.
He supports specific legislation similar to incitement to racial hatred and against incitement to religious hatred to cover sexual orientation. He believes that that we have to make sure there are no hate crimes against any groups in Britain, whether that is on grounds of faith or sexuality, race or any other grounds.
In respect of homophobic bullying he believes that we have got to go beyond equality legislation – we have got to involve teachers and parents and school governors in a proper process of dialogue about this problem.
In Europe, he believes that countries, in joining the EU, have signed up to the European Convention on Human Rights, which bans discrimination of any kind, including homophobia. It is important that the EU takes on the agenda in ensuring that homophobia is tackled just as it has been tackling racism or discrimination on the grounds of gender.
For the full interview with Peter Hain laying out his stall for LGBT rights in Pink News