Stonewall discuss homophobic bullying with Gordon Brown

Tony Grew July 7, 2008
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The Prime Minister met with members of gay equality organisation Stonewall on Saturday morning at Downing St.

The meeting, which marked Pride, was attended by Stonewall co-founder Sir Ian McKellen.

Gordon Brown discussed a range of issues with them, including the new EU discrimination directive, the new Equality Bill and the work that Stonewall does through its Education for All programme tackling homophobic bullying in Britain’s schools.

“We were delighted to have the opportunity to talk through forthcoming legislative proposals,” said Ben Summerskill, Stonewall’s chief executive.

“The Prime Minister also offered his full support to the work we’ve been doing in tackling homophobic bullying in Britain’s schools.

“He promised that the government wanted to do more in this area. He clearly had a really good understanding of the damage that bullying can do to young people and their life chances.”

Stonewall representatives wore 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.

Stonewall discuss homophobic bullying with Gordon Brown

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