Coming out at work: how easy is it?

The Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 meant that LGBT workers had the right to be openly gay at work without being fired.
This law, along with the increasing number of rights that LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) people have been given in our everyday lives, should have made us feel freer to participate fully in the business and social side of our jobs. But is this actually the case on the ground?
YouGov polling shows that in the last five years 2.4m people of working age have witnessed verbal homophobic bullying at work. A further 800,000 people of working age have witnessed physical homophobic bullying at work. Further polling shows that over a quarter of lesbian, gay and bisexual people are not at all open to colleagues about their sexual orientation.
This is why we need to keep on challenging injustices and outdated thinking – everyone has the right to believe and think what they want, but not at the costs of someone else’s well-being and civil liberties – and I challenge the politiicans, clergy and employers to lead from the front in terms of tackling homophobia.

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