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Stonewall publishes guide to gay-friendly universities

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  1. Galadriel1010 6 Jul 2010, 12:09pm

    So that’s what he’s up to these days.
    I wish this guide had come out three years ago, when I was applying. It might have persuaded me not to go to the university I’m at now, looking at what it scored, and I might be happier for it. Who can tell, though?

    Hopefully it will help next year’s applicants, although I do worry that it will just enforce the difference between the universities that do well and the universities that don’t, and students who are forced to take places at the universities that do less well will suffer for it.

  2. This information may be useful to students. so long as it is impartial.

    Last year however, it was amusing to see how many of Stonewall’s corporate financial sponsors were included on their ‘Top 100 Employers’ list.

    Virtually all their corporate sponsors made the Top 100 employers.

    Does anyone know how many of the universities on this list are making financial donations to Stonewall.

    I want to look at this list as a positive thing.

    And it is a positive thing. However it is tainted by its association with Stonewall – a group which actively campaigtning against the right of same couples to enter the legal contract of civil marriage solely because they are gay.

    I’m not sure I trust the findings of a group like Stonewall which believes my homosexuality makes me a 2nd class citizen.

  3. Well I guess if you get monies from various orgs then you’re got to be slightly biased …..

    I’m glad Cardiff scored well (perhaps that big donation from the Welsh office last year helped?) , it’s a great place to go to uni (not only for uni LGBT orgs!!), I’m not sure I went to any of them, the city has so much to offer anyway!

  4. Stuart Neyton 6 Jul 2010, 1:55pm

    Hmm this is interesting, but i have quite a few issues with it.

    Firstly it doesn’t cover provision for trans students (eg does this university have someone responsible for trans welfare?), which i think is very important for those students, who, despite there being much fewer than LGB students, are more prone to bullying.

    Secondly it doesn’t rate how well students’ needs are taken care of or how intimidated they felt. I think a survey of LGB university students would have helped. I mention this because i started uni in Nottingham last year and was really uncomfortable with some of the homophobic things we were encouraged to chant by the week 1 reps and karni reps during freshers’ week. Things like “Rutland takes it up the arse!” (That being the neighbouring hall of residence and last male single-sex hall before all became mixed). A council motion was past a few months ago banning these chants but some universities will not have this and the discomfort felt by LGB students because of their sexual orientation would probably have been the main thing i would have taken into consideration before choosing.

    I also wonder how they have decided whether provisions are in place. For example, Nottingham University has a cross next to “Explicit welfare support for LGB students”. I looked at what this meant in the “About” section and would contest their claim that there isn’t adequate welfare provision, as i’m sure the two LGBT welfare officers would (I know them both well).

    I would also contest the accusation that Nottingham doesn’t provide “Info for students on lesbian, gay and bisexual issues”. I (like every other student) received a handbook on the LGBT network before I even joined the uni. I’m living with the publicity officer next year so maybe we could do more though.

    As campaigns officer it’s certainly given me something to do :).

  5. No doubt Stonewall will listen to that constructive criticism Stuart

  6. StephenC, Stonewall’s Top 100 list is derived from a comprehensive 25 point questionaire, submitted with supporting evidence, in which none of the criteria are dependent upon sponsorship or donations.

    Is there any evidence that Stonewall have ever actively campaigned against marriage equality?

  7. “Stonewall’s Top 100 list is derived from a comprehensive 25 point questionaire, submitted with supporting evidence, in which none of the criteria are dependent upon sponsorship or donations.”

    I know all this.

    But strangely enough if you look at their ‘Principle Sponsors’ section on their website it is pretty much a list of their Top 100 gay employers.

    Perhaps it is just coincidence. Or perhaps they sponsors expect a return on their investment by being included on Stonewall’s list of Top 100 Employers. Who knows?

    There is no evidence that Stonewall has actively campaigned againat marriage equality.

    However there is no evidence that Stonewall has actively campaigned in favour of marriage equality.

    But it needs to be remembered that Stonewall UK does not support even the PRINCIPLE of marriage equality.

    Their official position is that civil partnership apartheid should be all that gay couples should expect or deserve under the law.

    I regard their refusal to even support the principle of legal equality for LGBT people as SERIOUSLY damaging to their credibility and legitimacy.

    They may not feel it worthwhile to support legal equality for LGBT people but in that case they need to acknowledge that they are merely a special interest lobby group working solely on behalf of its 20,000 members.

    Marriage equality is something worth fighting for, for many LGBT people.

    Stonewall does not support legal equality for LGBT people.

    In my view that makes them a borderline homophobic organisation. And I’m not sure I trust the recommendations of a group which thinks that my sexual orientation means I do not deserve legal equality.

  8. I think it goes without saying that any organisation who gives Stonewall money in sponsorship and donations is likely to be more gay-friendly and thus do better in the equality index, no?

    Do you have a quote on their official position on marriage? I think any reasonable observer understands that civil partnerships are a stepping stone towards marriage equality and when the political environment allows, Stonewall will also campaign for marriage equality. I can’t find anything that says that – as you put it – ‘their official position is that civil partnerships are all gay people deserve’.

    On the topic in hand, I wish this guide had been around when I went to university, I might have made a better choice (which in hindsight I already recognise).

  9. I graduated from Cambridge recently and my impression is that it is bloody gay! In fact, coming from a musical background full of gays, I found Cambridge almost as gay!

    Of course, that is not the same as being extremely gay friendly, but I can vouch for that, too.

    It also (probably) has the best gay history (the communist spies, Keynes, the Apostles, Wittgenstein, Forster).

  10. equalityChameleon 7 Jul 2010, 12:46pm

    Rookie – quite. Any orgainsiation that sponsors stonewall is likely to be interested in LGB workplace issues, and will have made issues to address them. This will enable it to score well in the WEI. StephenC, aka MartinM, but actually Simon, is merely parading his usual obsessions with plots and conspiracies, and his tedious obsession with Stonewall. He practically chokes in the effort to acknowledge that the list is useful.

    Simon, why do you keep on changing your name? Is it a (futile) attempt to prevent us noticing how boring you are?

  11. Do you work for Stonewall, EqualityChameleon – I only ever notice you posting on here when people are criticising Stonewall.

    incidentally I keep changing my name as I keep getting blocked out of this site at work and name-change allows me to deal with that.

    You may find my disgust at Stonewall ‘boring’ but it does not alter the FACT that Stonewall believes that same sex couples should be denied access to the legal contract of civil marriage because they are gay.

    Check out this shocking interview that Ben Summerskill gave to Pink News last year.

    He trots out the most pathetic reasoning that Stonewall is opposed to legal equality for LGBT people because ‘lots’ of gays and lesbians don’t want equality.

    I think Pink News should give Stonewall a call and do a 1 question interview with Summerskill.

    The 1 question to be asked of Stonewall should be:

    “Does Stonewall support, in principle, the right of same sex couples to enter the legal contract of civil marriage, on the exact same basis as heterosexual couples?”

    If the answer is ‘No’ then it is clear that Stonewall is a homophobic organisation.

    If the answer is ‘yes’ then the expectation will be that Stonewall start doing their job and start supporting legal equality for LGBT people instead of simply being a group which rubberstamps governmentm policy.

    Come on Pink News – do that 1 question interview with Stonewall.

    Your readers deserve to know.

  12. Stephen – Perhaps there’s a reason you keep getting blocked?

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