Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equality
In recent years there has been a significant shift in respect of the agenda around issues of sexual orientation and this shift is evident in legislation, in national policy, in attitudes across society, in media and service responses, in the expression of the needs and rights of lesbian, gay and bisexual people.One person rarely belongs to only one group. Understanding this is important for connecting to and communicating effectively with lesbian, gay and bisexual people and their layers of identity. Lesbian, gay and bisexual people are represented in all social groups, they come from white heritage, BME heritage, different socio-economic groups, are disabled, are not disabled, younger, older, have religious beliefs and none, are women and men, live in the city or rurally, visit the scene or participate in mainstream social and cultural activity.
Being gay is part of a person's identity. Lesbian, gay and bisexual people are not only defined by their relationship with another person.
It is important that we acknowledge the contribution of our own community and voluntary sector to clarifying the agenda for change and progress. Much work has been taken forward in this sector in supporting lesbian, gay and bisexual people, and much has been done to assess the needs of lesbian, gay and bisexual people in employment and accessing public services.
We are particularly grateful to Birmingham LGBT for the support they have given to the City Council to access other groups and organisations. The annual Birmingham Pride Festival is supported by the council and each year sees more visitors experience Birmingham's growing LGBT culture.
1. Addressing prejudice
2. Addressing homophobic abuse
3. Access to information, support and services
4. An employer of choice
5. Community Cohesion
6. Clarifying and implementing an approach to monitoring
The manner in which the Council responds to these challenges are contained within the Stonewall Index Action Plan.
Stonewall Workplace Equality Index
Birmingham City Council uses the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index as a framework for measuring its progress on LGBT issues.
The measure of progress is based on a 25 question index survey which covers eight areas of policy and practice including staff engagement, staff development and support, monitoring, supplier policies and community engagement. Alongside the questionnaire there is also an opportunity for LGB staff to contribute directly to the submission by completing a confidential questionnaire on the stonewall website.
As a Stonewall Diversity Champion, Birmingham City Council has made submissions to the Index since 2006.
Birmingham City Council has achieved a ranking of 39 within the 2012 Index. Naturally the council is delighted that its efforts in this regard have been recognised by Stonewall and we will continue to work towards making continuous improvements in this area.
The Equality and Diversity service continues to collate evidence from service departments which demonstrates how they have been working to engage, support and develop Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual staff against key areas such as policies and practices, training, events and monitoring information.
A copy of this year’s booklet 2012 - Top 100 Employers can be downloaded from Stonewall’s web page.
Update: Related News
Birmingham LGBT has published a mapping report into LGBT lives in Birmingham. The report titled 'Out and About' was commissioned by Birmingham City Council and covers areas such as health, diversity, homophobic bullying and hate crime.
Equality Act - (Birmingham City Council)
Copyright: 2011 Birmingham City Council
Birmingham LGBT Community Trust
Birmingham Pride Festival
Stonewall - The Lesbian, Gay & Bisexual Charity