Trade Union Congress General Secretary Frances O’Grady says the government is undermining its good work on equal marriage by axing vital workplace protections for LGBT people.
Addressing the TUC’s annual LGBT conference in London, Ms Frances said: “This government is happy to be seen as a champion of equal marriage and we applaud that even if some Tory backbenchers won’t. However, it is axing vital legal protections for gay and lesbian employees because they are a ‘burden’ on business.
“Employers no longer have to take action if a gay or lesbian worker suffers homophobic abuse from a member of the public. And employers may soon not have to promote tolerance in the workplace as a result of the public sector equality duty being placed under review.
“Ministers are giving with one hand and taking away with another. This administration, which likes to badge itself as gay friendly, is slashing the budget of the Equality and Human Rights Commission by nearly two-thirds, which reduces its ability to challenge discrimination at work.”
Ms Frances said: “This is not the way to build an inclusive society and challenge out-of-date attitudes.”
“The government’s austerity measures are having a severe impact on Britain’s LGBT communities.
“Real-term cuts to the NHS are undermining a range of services, including the care provided to transsexual people.
“Massive cuts to the police service mean that fewer resources are being given to fighting hate crime when and where it occurs.”
She added: “And funding is also being cut for grass-roots organisations that do such a sterling job supporting vulnerable people and going into schools to promote understanding.”