Force public bodies to promote ‘gay rights’

Public bodies like schools, the police, and local councils should be forced by law to promote ‘gay rights’, says Britain’s leading homosexual lobby group.

Homosexual-only shortlists for Parliamentary candidates should also be permitted, Stonewall says.

The comments come in anticipation of the Government’s proposals for a vast, over-arching Equality Bill.

The Christian Institute has raised concerns about how the Bill may impact religious liberty.

Announcing a White Paper on the Bill, Women and Equality Minister Harriet Harman hinted that state contracts may only be given to organisations which fall in line with its equality agenda.

Earlier this month Stonewall said: “The legal protection is almost complete. The next step is actively promoting equality.”

The law currently requires public authorities to promote equality on grounds of disability, gender and race. Stonewall says it has been lobbying for a new ‘Equality Duty’ to apply on grounds of sexual orientation.

Ben Summerskill, Stonewall’s Chief Executive, said: “We have been pressing the government for two and half years to extend the duty to promote equality so that all public bodies are required to promote equal treatment among service users in the way they do already for race and gender.

“In terms of the impact it potentially has on millions of lesbian and gay people, it is very significant, because it does apply to every single service from policing to education to health.”

Mr Summerskill also suggested that he would like to see shortlists for Parliamentary candidates which were made up entirely of gay people, in the way women-only shortlists could be used to promote ‘gender equality’ in Parliament.

He told “We would want some indication that some of the other features of the Equality Bill will apply to sexual orientation as much as they apply to anything else.

“We still have one openly lesbian parliamentarian out of 1,300 in the House of Commons and House of Lords. That is ridiculous.”

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