Promoting equality


What we do

The promotion of equality has always been implicit in the work of the LGF. In recent years the charity has developed a greater role in promoting awareness of the needs and experiences of LGB people and in campaigning for equality.

We are increasingly invited to provide consultancy, advice and assistance to public sector bodies on the needs and views of LGB communities.

Our core activities supporting this goal are:

External Engagement which involves working with local, regional and national government to ensure LGB input and presence within democratic structures; working with the NHS, public bodies and other voluntary organisations and groups to promote the needs of LGB people; and to ensure that services are as accessible to LGB people as possible.

Consultancy and Training there is a keen appetite on the part of many organisations, especially those in the public sector, to meet the needs of LGB staff and service users. We provide a range of training and consultancy products to enable employers and service providers better meet the needs of LGB people.

Exceeding Expectations which involves working with partners to deliver an innovative and successful multi-media, anti-homophobic bullying project in schools.  The initiative includes a powerful ‘Theatre-In-Education’ play, workshops, newsletters and a supporting website.

Securing funding for engagement and consultation the LGF and other organisations which work with LGB communities are increasingly being invited to participate in consultation and engagement activities. Whilst this is a welcome development, this work is often unfunded. We will seek income sources to support the work we already do in this area, and significantly expand this aspect of our work.

Blocked email campaign LGB people and groups are excluded from communicating with some large organisations and some staff are excluded from viewing websites which could significantly help them support LGB people in the course of their work. The LGF will work with partners to raise awareness of this grave problem and will work constructively with organisations to overcome it.

A range of campaigns to increase equality for LGB people

Enough is Enough Focusing on people’s experiences of LGB hate crimes and incidences in order to raise the profile of discrimination and homophobia; encourage an increase in reporting; and ensure appropriate services and support is provided.
Stand Up and Be Counted ‘Breaking the Cycle’ has the development of an evidence base of LGB need, and indeed, existence as the first point of intervention.  We will encourage LGB people to disclose  their sexual orientation when sexual orientation monitoring is undertaken.
All Aboard Encouraging and supporting LGB people to become involved in their local communities, particularly through applying for public or community Board positions.

Cross-Equality Strand Events and Sexual Orientation Roadshow working in partnership with a wide range of other organisations and people to develop deeper mutual understanding of our respective communities, and through the provision of resources and advice, helping to raise awareness and visibility.

Research Programme linked across all of our objectives, is the collation and further development of a credible LGB evidence base, that can be effectively used to inform and influence policy and decision makers, ensuring that services and resources are appropriately allocated in order to meet the needs and inequalities of LGB people.

The need

Θ LGB people and communities are nearly always invisible and frequently excluded from policy and strategy documents, beyond the acknowledgement of sexual orientation as an equality strand.  Sexual orientation needs to be brought into the public domain much more than it is at present.

Θ LGB people do not feel empowered or visible in society when it comes to participating in public matters, particularly when relating to their sexual orientation.  This is compounded by the lack of consistent monitoring of sexual orientation across all sectors.

Θ There have been significant changes in legislation positively impacting on LGB people, providing legal protections for the first time within: the workplace, the provision of goods and services, the provision of public services, the right to register a civil partnership and the right to adopt children.

Θ However, levels of awareness of these rights and legal protections, and the knowledge of how to effectively use them, remain notoriously low amongst LGB people.

Θ LGB people experience high levels of discrimination and harassment at work, and fears about the consequences of revealing their sexual orientation affect both their career choices and their personal strategies within the workplace; 2 in 5 gay men, 1 in 3 lesbians and 1 in 10 bisexual people do not consider some jobs open to them because of their sexual orientation.

Θ Similarly there are issues of homophobia and homophobic treatment and attitudes within schools and other educational establishments, across the whole public sector and within public service delivery, throughout the private and also the charity sectors, and in most parts of modern Britain today.

Θ LGB people’s experiences of hate crime and the police’s response to it, and society’s opinion of LGB people’s lifestyles can often negatively impact on how LGB people live their lives and lead many to edit their personal behaviour.  This can leave a long and lasting impact on LGB people’s lives.  Many respond by not being open about their sexual orientation.

Θ There is real and growing conflict between equality and legal protections for LGB people with those of the legal exemptions granted to religion and belief based organisations, and the actions of individuals when operating within their religious belief based systems.

The approach

Θ To achieve more visibility of LGB people’s needs on and within the equality and diversity agenda.

Θ To ensure that public services better meet LGB people’s needs, particularly within areas of low visibility.

Θ To increase LGF’s organisational confidence to speak out when stating our position, and increase our profile in order to expand our influence.

Θ To lobby the public sector to ensure fairness in the allocation of resources, provide support to under-represented groups, formulate future policy and strategic direction and plan and deliver effective and inclusive services.

Θ To end homophobia in different environments, by working with the private sector, trade unions, the public sector, the police, schools, the crown prosecution service, clubs, workplaces, student bodies, and social enterprises.

Θ To extend and further develop the internal diversity of the LGF’s own staff and volunteers, and in the provision of services to our beneficiaries.

Θ To develop strong and positive partnerships with and between the Equality & Human Rights Commission, the Government’s Equality Office, regional agencies, national partners, networks and consortiums.

Θ To lobby and influence politicians and other key policy and decision makers to increase their knowledge and their engagement with the issues to advocate and bring about policy change.

Θ To ensure that public authorities do not bypass the LGF or other LGB groups when engaging with LGB communities and individuals.

Θ To improve society’s perception of LGB people and to win over the public’s hearts and minds.

The ambition

Over the course of the next five years we will seek investment to:

Θ Consolidate Exceeding Expectations, our schools based project, and roll-out the model to encompass all schools, especially faith schools, by improving life chances and tackling homophobic bullying.

Θ Launch and continuously develop our ‘Enough is Enough – Action Against Homophobia’ campaign.

Θ Work towards the eradication of homophobic hate crime by raising awareness and promoting the reporting of incidents, building particularly upon our working relationships with the police.

Θ Work with a wide range of organisations outside the LGB community to promote awareness and understanding of the needs of LGB people.

Θ Expand the reach and scope of LGF’s front line communications and outreach work to increase LGB people’s knowledge and awareness of their legal and civil rights.

Θ Conduct an innovative programme of research to identify the needs of LGB people. We will consolidate our findings together with the results of research conducted by others into a widely available Evidence Exchange. We will share the results of this research to the widest range of audiences.

Θ Further develop our training and consultancy offering which specialises in sexual orientation and broader equality and diversity work to improve workplaces and customer experiences for LGB people.

Θ Launch a sexual orientation monitoring campaign, ‘Stand Up and Be Counted’, and a campaign to promote the involvement of LGB people in public life, ‘All Aboard’.

Θ Further develop the LGF’s online national drug and alcohol database; conducting surveys across England and disseminating findings to LGB organisations and key stakeholders.

Θ Spread awareness of and challenge the insidious nature of “tolerated homophobia” such as the blocking of emails and websites which contain the words “gay” and “lesbian”.  We will work with organisations to make currently tolerated homophobia, intolerable.

Θ Promote awareness of the needs of LGB people amongst Councillors and Members of Parliament of all political parties.

Θ Work in partnership with other organisations to ensure a LGB presence at a wide range of events to promote the visibility of LGB people, organisations and issues.

Θ Work closely with organisations and individuals from other protected equality strands to promote mutual understanding and respect, creating partnerships to work towards common goals.

Θ Create a publicly accessible Knowledge Centre, including listings and the collation of information of interest to LGB people, an archive of material in a range of formats relating to LGB people and communities and promote and encourage its use amongst and beyond LGB communities.

Θ Enable LGB individuals and communities to be empowered to participate in all aspects of policy formation and implementation, and to be confident enough to take opportunities that are presented to them.

Θ Provide opportunities for LGB people to tell their stories. We will seek appropriate opportunities alone and with partners to share these stories and increase awareness of both the diversity and common themes in the lives and histories of LGB people, using the widest range of media.

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