Debate: LGBTQ rights in public services-a battle won?



Matthews P (2020) Debate: LGBTQ rights in public services-a battle won?. Public Money and Management, 40 (6), pp. 423-425.

First paragraph: In 2017, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer community in the UK celebrated the 50th anniversary of the passing of the Sexual Offences Act, which decriminalized sex between two men over 21 in private (the law in Scotland and Northern Ireland did not catch up until 1980 and 1982 respectively). In 2000, in Scotland, and in 2003 in the rest of the UK, clause 2A/section 28 of the Local Government Act, that prohibited the ‘promotion’ of homosexuality by local authorities, was repealed. No prosecutions were ever carried out under the legislation but the threat was sufficient to prevent positive action by local authorities, particularly in schools, for nearly two decades. The Equality Act 2010 included sexual orientation and gender reassignment (to use the dated terminology of the legislation) as two of the nine ‘protected characteristics’ that service providers must have due regard to when designing and delivering services. This legislative progress, and the public celebration of the LGBTQ community through companies going rainbow for pride, may make heterosexuals believe that the LGBTQ community has achieved equality and inclusion. It should be noted that the last piece of legislation that explicitly criminalized sex between two men was only removed from the statute book in 2013 in Scotland.

Public Money and Management: Volume 40, Issue 6

Publication date31/12/2020
Publication date online15/10/2019
Date accepted by journal15/10/2019

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Professor Peter Matthews

Professor Peter Matthews

Professor, Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology