Nominees for the PinkNews Award for business equality were tonight (June 28) announced at the PinkNews summer reception in Belfast, supported by Citi.
The business equality award recognises the strides companies have taken to improve LGBT+ equality both within and outside of their organisations.
The list of nominees were announced at Stormont, Belfast, where attendees heard from Naomi Long, Michelle O’Neill, Robin Swann, Colum Eastwood and Arlene Foster.
The Belfast event marked the third in a succession of receptions held by PinkNews in each UK parliament.
A panel of judges will be drafted in to decide the winner, which will be announced at the PinkNews Awards on October 17, 2018.
The nominees are:
Last week a host of politicians from across the political spectrum gathered alongside LGBT+ activists in Edinburgh, as Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson and Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard, as well as minister for equalities Angela Constance, Scottish Liberal Democrat Alex Cole-Hamilton and Patrick Harvie of the Scottish Green Party.
Ruth Davidson celebrated the progress which has allowed her to be both a political party leader and an expectant mother, saying: “In my lifetime, people could be prosecuted for being in a loving same-sex relationship… we’ve seen these same couples who could have been prosecuted now able to marry their life partner.”
Prompting applause from the audience, she continued: “If we look at societal change, it’s even greater than that – I’m standing here leader of a political part, a pregnant lesbians, my office is full of bibs and babygros and baby products.
“I still get hate mail, everyone does… But it’s vastly outweighed by the kindness and support that we see all around the country.”
Earlier this month, activists and campaigners met at the Welsh Assembly for the PinkNews summer reception in Cardiff, where First Minister Carwyn Jones championed inclusive sex and relationship education (SRE) in Wales.
“The world has moved on,” he said ahead of taking to the stage at the event. “Too often we just assume the LGBT community know politicians are on their side,” he told the audience. “We’re going in the right direction but we are committed to going further. We want an education system based on equality.”
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the introduction of Section 28, a policy which stated that schools, “shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality” or “promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship.”
While SRE is already present on the basic Welsh Curriculum, schools have the individual choice on whether to educate their students on the matter.
This will now become a statutory subject in all schools – including religious schools – requiring the education on relationships and sexuality, inclusive of LGBT+ issues. The change in curriculum will be rolled out in 2022.
The PinkNews Awards is supported by Lloyds Banking Group.