Gordon Brown invites Stonewall to Downing St
The Prime Minister has asked gay equality organisation Stonewall to meet with him at Downing St tomorrow to mark Pride.
They will discuss the Education for All campaign, which aims to eliminate homophobic bullying in schools.
The meeting will take place before tomorrow’s Pride London celebrations, where Stonewall will be marching.
“We are delighted,” said Ben Summerskill, chief executive of Stonewall.
“It its a good opportunity to talk about some of the things the government can be doing to promote equality and one of those issues is homophobic bullying.
“We were delighted he voted for lesbian access to IVF recently and since he has been Prime Minister the government has introduced an offence of incitement to homophobic hatred”
Stonewall representatives will be wearing their new ‘Some People Are Gay Get Over It’ t-shirts, which people can buy on their website.
Stonewall research published last year showed the high levels of homophobic abuse in British schools.
Entitled The School Report, it found that nearly two thirds of LGB students reported instances of homophobic harassment.
That figure jumps to 75% of young gay people attending faith schools.
The survey of more than 1,100 young people found that only 23% of all UK schools explicitly condemn homophobic bullying.
92% of gay, lesbian and bisexual pupils have experienced verbal abuse, 41% physical bullying and 17% have been subject to death threats.
30% of pupils reported that adults have been responsible for incidents of homophobic bullying in their schools.
Nearly every interviewed student had heard phrases like, ‘You’re so gay’, and remarks like ‘poof’ and ‘dyke’ in British schools.
The government has previously said it is committed to stamping out homophobia in schools.
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Speaking in January at the launch of the first ever national guidance from the government to help schools tackle homophobic bullying, Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families Ed Balls said:
“I’d like to thank Stonewall for the huge contribution and leadership they’ve shown in addressing homophobia in education.
“I think this guidance is a really important step forward.
“It’s right we should be talking and acting publicly to address this issue.
“It’s an important contribution to tackling one of the problems that hold young people back.
“Every child matters, including every child regardless of their sexual orientation.”