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Government says it will work to make companies ‘more gay-friendly’

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  1. Christina 3 Dec 2010, 2:04pm

    Lynne Featherstone is a sincere and tireless campaigner for equality – i hope she has the full cooperation of her colleagues in Government and the business community.

  2. Jock S. Trap 3 Dec 2010, 2:17pm

    Coming from the Tories these are great, positive words. Though I look more forward to seeing the actions.

  3. The “actions” will be obvious. More offices will have a “gay-friendly” atmosphere. Lots of glitter, colourful feathers will decorate “gay-friendly” desks, and lots more glamour.
    Gay tories —> Duhhhh

  4. “The pledge is in the new equality strategy, unveiled yesterday by equalities minister Lynne Featherstone.”

    So another LibDem pledge then.

  5. de Villiers 3 Dec 2010, 3:53pm

    Again, I cannot see how this can be anything other than a good thing.

  6. The Tories, or at least their leadership, seem to have had a personality transplant. But let’s watch what they do, not what they say.

  7. Actions speak loader then words and the scrapping of the Equality Duty was a very homophobic Action!

  8. As I’ve mentioned before, saying ‘equalities minister Lynne Featherstone’ is misleading. The Minister for Women and Equality is the foul wraith that is Theresa May. Lynne Featherstone is the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, only a junior minister. Theresa May has proven herself homophobic through previous comments and actions, and I believe not for a second that any genuine progress will be made with regards to non-LGBT-friendly companies during this government’s tenure.

  9. de Villiers 3 Dec 2010, 6:40pm

    > Actions speak loader then words and the scrapping of the Equality Duty was a very homophobic Action!

    The equality duty was entirely unrelated to gay rights and/or homophobia.

  10. de Villiers 3 Dec 2010, 6:58pm

    > Lynne Featherstone is a sincere and tireless campaigner for equality

    I understand that she is going to resign – over tuition fees.

  11. Offices are only as gay friendly as the people within them.

    My ideal office is one where people whether gay, straight, religious or whatever can respect each other and do good for their company.

  12. Lynne Featherstone is a sincere and tireless campaigner for the tories..the lib dem party policy is gay marriage , where is this?

  13. Lynne Featherstone is a sincere and tireless campainger for promoting Stonewall’s gravy train!

    ….. encouraging more lesbian, gay,bisexual and trans people to become involved in local and national politics

    …commission research into why workplaces are not more LGBT-friendly and work with firms to “improve equality”.

    I just wonder how much involvement and cash Stonewall are going to get from these – these simply are not what I regard as prioritiy LGBT issues – the number of gay politicians are far above the 1% LGBT population we are told there is anyway! What is the annual sub for each company to Stonewall when it enrols in its diversity prog etc

  14. Lynne Featherstone “…. gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender members of our community still feel defined by their sexual orientation rather than their personality or skills” – what exactly is the CP , a definition of a partnerships solely based on sexual orientation ….you’re the one who is continuing to keep these definitions!!!!

    Lynne Featherstone “Homosexuality is still illegal in over 70 countries. It is why we will use Britain’s influence to push for a unified EU stance on LGBT rights….” Look the EU are trying to do this, your party is instrumental to it in Europe but the Tories ARE NOT!.

    “work bilaterally with other European countries to overcome the legislative or policy barriers which prevent them recognising UK civil partnerships.”
    Look the EU are already looking into get all civil documents recognised but the Tories opposed it – the proposed change does’t affect how other countries treat their own citizens just foreign ones ie British CPs (why aren’t you standing up against the Tories on this issue for British nationals?) and pray do tell us how on earth you will get a bilateral agreement with Poland and the likes on this one!

    What is more important to the lib dems now, a well paid job in govt or standing up for their own policies…aren’t the lib dems getting a bit lost in the Tory spin…

  15. The Coalition’s document ‘The Equality Strategy – Building a Fairer Britain’ includes the following:-

    “We are talking to those with a key interest in this issue [civil partnership,] including representatives of faith and lesbian, gay and bisexual groups, about what the next stage should be for civil partnerships, and including how some religious organisations can allow same-sex couples the opportunity to register their relationship in a religious setting if they wish to do so.”

  16. I’ll believe it when I see it…

  17. Just one more thing , Lynne, trying to get bilateral agreements with other EU countries to recognise the British CP will NOT solve the recognition of gay British couples in the EU… British gay nationals, like straight people, can move around the EU, they can do gay marriages abroad and they can do other forms of CPs, they’re not restricted to the British CP!… YOU MUST get recognition of all forms of CPs and gay marriages at an EU level and this includes countries which have nothing for us,otherwise your policy will exclude British nationals living abroad who are not in a British CP…I just hope that none of your constituents are gay and have performed a foreign gay partnership and are living and working abroad otherwise it seems you would do nothing for them!!!. You’re still supposed to represent them for 10yrs or so aren’t you!!!

    It also seems to go against what you are also saying that you want to promote LGBT rightsfor all people around the world….

    Come on admit it this is a tory policy and so is the furthering of the CP agenda only at the expense of the lib dem party policy of gay marriage!

  18. John:
    > ….. encouraging more lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people to
    > become involved in local and national politics

    I understand that a particularly embarrassing trans woman is lobbying very hard to become a peer. Last month the EHRC, strangely, said there was a lack of trans people in the House of Lords (ignoring the Commons). I sincerely hope that isn’t what that line refers to. My golden rule is that if someone really wants a position they probably aren’t suitable.

    > …commission research into why workplaces are not more
    > LGBT-friendly and work with firms to “improve equality”.

    It had better not be commissioned from transphobic Stonewall then.

    > Lynne Featherstone “…. gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender
    > members of our community still feel defined by their sexual
    > orientation rather than their personality or skills”

    That’s a definition of transgender I haven’t heard before. Has it changed again or has Ms Featherstone really clueless scriptwriters and no time to read her scripts before delivering them?

    Transgender is an identity, not an orientation, and the umbrella term she might have been reaching for is now now “Trans”.

    > What is more important to the lib dems now, a well paid job in
    > govt or standing up for their own policies…aren’t the lib dems
    > getting a bit lost in the Tory spin…

    They are all a bit out of their depth in the torrent of government and coalition politics, hoping we don’t see the doggy paddle under the surface.

    Pinknews should also have picked up that Featherstone announced that her department, the Government Equality Office, which was shared between the Justice Ministry and Communities and Local Government, but is moved under the Home Office upon the change of government, is to lose its independence and be subsumed into the Home Office.

    Now it is currently still in the Victoria office block of Communities and Local Government, so there will be no little disruption caused by this. Also, the Home Office notoriously has a punitive and controlling mindset, with its responsibility for the police, and the Border Agency, colouring everything, and tending to drain any money available; but the GEO was responsible for the massively flawed and delayed Equality Bill, so isn’t really much cop. However, it is responsible for the Equalities and Human Rights Commission. Placing the EHRC directly under the Home Office could be a problem. In this country, police and Border Agency, and human rights, are pretty much opposites, still.

  19. If Featherstone is this so called “tireless campaigner for equality”, then why isn’t she fighting for full marriage equality and why has Nick Clegg not for that matter? As others say on here, action speaks louder than words and that’s all we’ve heard from all of them, StonewallUK notwithstanding. The silence is deafening and obvious.

  20. Coalition: “We are talking to those with a key interest in this issue [civil partnership,] including representatives of faith and lesbian, gay and bisexual groups, …”

    Notice that representatives of faith groups are put first, followed by lesbian, gay and bisexual groups.

    I wonder whether the Government will speak to Peter Tatchell or anyone from the Equal Love Campaign:-

    http://equallove.org.uk/

  21. Dave Page 4 Dec 2010, 3:21pm

    Those of us within the Lib Dems are working with Lynne on how to best move equal marriage from Lib Dem policy to UK law, and she is very supportive and engaged with us on this.

  22. @ Dave Page

    Thanks for your comment as a Lib Dem insider. I did ask Lynne directly if she could clarify the point about marriage, because obviously it’s concerning that the issue wasn’t mentioned in the latest Government statements on equality.

    I hope Lynne will feel able to respond positively.

  23. It would be good if a green, labour or lib dem mp first started with a parliamentary question specifically broaching the issue of marriage equality …

    She has already responded to a question on where CP are going back in the summer but not when or if this coalition govt is going to bring in marriage equality…

    Is there really no MP or House of lords member brave enough to raise this issue in parliament!!!!

    Her response to the parliamentary question on CP was “in response to this amendment (the one in the house of lords Waheed’s), the Government committed to talking to those with a key interest in the issue of civil partnerships on what the next stage should be for civil partnerships.

    “This will include consideration of whether civil partnerships should be allowed to include religious readings, music and symbols.

    “This commitment was made through the document, Working for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equality, published on 16 June 2010.”

    But as she admits this would be different to straight civil marriages “there are currently no plans to allow religious readings, music and symbols during the registration of civil marriages”

    Are we really moving forward, at least we could add this to one of the difference between CPs and marriages when it gets thrown at us…

    More seperation and distinction and definition between what is ok for straights and what is ok for LGBT people… is this really the way forward for us?

  24. But as she admits this would be different to straight civil marriages “there are currently no plans to allow religious readings, music and symbols during the registration of civil marriages”

    John, exactly. Extending more rights or privileges for CPs but excluding them for straight civil marriages proves that inequality for all is increasing. This is a bad move. Featherstone should be arguing for full civil marriage equality instead of wasting time on religious ceremonies, symbols for CPs. I don’t see many religious denominations officiating at CPs, do you? Certainly NOT the established cult, the C of E or the roman cult, among others. Quite frankly, I don’t think many straight couples having a civil ceremony are in the least bit interested in having a religious component so why does Featherstone think its important for gay couples? Makes no sense. Its nothing more than an exercise in futility and making CPs even more separate from civil marriage. Utter madness!

  25. John, getting EU recognition of CPs across the board is deeply flawed. Take the French version, PACs. Those unions offer far less rights than marriage and far less than those in the British model. So a British CP’d couple who for business reasons had to reside in France would not enjoy identical rights had they stayed in the UK. There is only one way to resolve the huge disparities in the varying forms of legal same-sex unions and that is to open civil marriage to gay couples across the EU. The UK should be the first to embark on making that happen but first needs to get it done at home first, then work on the rest of the EU states. Now where is Ben Summerskill in all this? Why isn’t he proactive and why has StonewallUK’s website not mentioned marriage equality?

    Dave Page….if Lynne is so supportive of civil marriage equality, why isn’t she speaking up in Parliament? Surely she can multi-task.

  26. If we ever get to the stage of allowing hymns to be sung, holding candles and the such and getting our CP to be relgious unions as well then I think we are at the stage that we should be looking at marriage for us (and all types of marriage , civil and religious!!)

    Making CP ceremonies to mirror relgious marriage ceremonies is either going to be hard or if we are saying this is now possible then we should have full marriage since religion is the only argument against it, all other arguments are just nonsense!

    I think the EU does have to give people a set of rights if they are in CPs etc, it’s only fair – in that way they must be made to recognise civil statuses. The only problem is that the British CP is uniquely British, marriages are not!. We will have more rights under marriages since marriages are easily interpretated , they have a standard set of rights in most countries, CPs don’t! The British CP is NOT a marriage.

  27. Exactly what the Economy needs, more intervention

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