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Public bodies to be given more freedom in how they promote equality

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  1. I never thought Lynne Featherstone MP, would sell out the way she has in the last 101 days. I hope the ministerial wage and use of a ministerial car are worth the selling out of her principles.

    I used to admire her but not any-more.

    This is a licence for public bodies to discriminate.

  2. Simon Murphy 19 Aug 2010, 7:32pm

    This is suspicious.

    So public bodies (including schools – faith schools also?) will simply have to show that they are striving for equality?

    Who then decides whether a public body is succeeding or failing?

    And what consequences will those bodies who are failing, actually face for underperforming?

    And how worring is it that the gay inequality charity Stonewall welcome this development?

    That should raise red flags for all of us.

    They have proven themselves to be self-serving, opportunistic homophobes. Their endorsement of this is a cause for deep concern., thanks to their opposition to LGBT equality.

  3. PumpkinPie 19 Aug 2010, 8:29pm

    Self-regulation is a farce. But…

    She added that the changes would “[empower] the public by giving them the information they need to hold organisations to account”.

    That does sound promising. Featherstone is one of the good ones, so I’ll trust her on this and remain optimistic.

  4. Lynne Featherstone has great integrity and is very fair minded – she works hard and does not deserve bitchy sniping – if anyone thinks they can do better they should leave their comfy armchair bile-spouting behind and stand for election themselves. This coalition is working well – the British people are tired of the old political order and tend to support measures to scrap unecessary red tape – lets understand more about the government’s proposals before leaping on the yah-boo wagon of doomsayers!.

  5. A public body can now decide to to prioritise religious equality and set LGBT equality as its lowest priority.

    So now a council can discriminate against the LGBT potential adoptive parents by setting them as the lowest priority.

  6. Simon’s making some very good points
    Who’s going to hold faith schools to account if they screw LBGT people over? or any other bigoted religios people who are homophobic?

  7. we are following in the footsteps of the USA so expect Richard dawkins nemesis to rear their head anytime now.

  8. It is true that a public body can now choose to prioritise religious equality over other forms of equality, but: (1) equality with regard to sexual orientation is being added to the list for the first time, and (2) beforehand, the government itself could choose to prioritise (say) religious equality. This legislation takes the decisions out of the hands of ministers. It seems to me that to think that government ministers should decide priorities is to have a vast faith in their wisdom. In any case, there is too much of a mania for the central bureaucratic control of everything, with bodies required to produce “action plans” and the rest of the New Labour bumf.

  9. theotherone 20 Aug 2010, 2:23pm

    Let’s see how this will work in practice but I suspect this has more to do with some of the more crazy aspects of the Equality Bill which would leave Employers (Private and Public) open to claims of Discrimination against Heterosexual Employees if they allowed Queer People into the workplace.

    No this isn’t crazy Conspiracy Theory nonsense – Labour left the way open for Heterosexuals or Religious people to bring cases against their Employers.

  10. Paul, London 20 Aug 2010, 3:34pm

    @ theotherone – The Equality Act’s protected characteristic (quite rightly) is “sexual orientation”, not “being gay” – No-one should be treated unfairly because of their sexual orientation, including straight people.

  11. A very confusing idea…. Not too sure I understand the implications at this stage.

    If no targets are set, and public bodies can now “prioritise”, does that mean they can choose to neglect some groups, by simply stating that they no longer see them as a priority when it comes to Equal Rights?

    And what does “prioritise” actually mean in this context? There is no way of avoiding the fact that to prioritise means that some will rank higher than others, which seems to me to be the complete opposite of the notion of Equality.

    Confused Chrissie

  12. BobbetStillTheSame 20 Aug 2010, 4:33pm

    Another step to dismantle the little equality LGBTTI enjoy. Who is gonna enforce equality now? The Gays, huh?

  13. PinkNews why have you written this as a positive article? It’s not. It’s reducing the obligation on public sector bodies to promote equality. I’m a trade union rep in the public sector and employers will already do as little as possible to meet the requirements. They have to be obliged by government to be do this or they’ll just do nothing – especially in the current climate where they see equality promotion as an easy target for cuts, leaving women, BME people, LGBT people and other minority groups suffering more than the rest.

  14. Now I’m possibly going to make myself unpopular here, but why should any group do anything to “promote” equality beyond committing itself to treating everyone equally without discrimination? It isn’t clear to me that every institution can do more. How can my local post office “promote” gay equality in its dealings with its customers? Surely all it should do is expedite the delivery of mail (if it manages that I should be happy!). Do you not think that there can be too many directives from central government?

  15. theotherone 21 Aug 2010, 9:29pm

    paul, london: so you would support Homophobes screaming Discrimination because there are Queers in the work place?

  16. Tim Hopkins 22 Aug 2010, 11:29am

    Just to mention that although equality law is mostly “reserved” to the UK Parliament, the legislation described in this article is “devolved” to the Scottish Parliament in Scotland. So there is a possibility that Scotland may get rather different rules. The Scottish Govt is due to publish its consultation on the rules for Scotland very soon.

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