Workplace Guides: Religion and Sexual Orientation

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Religion and Sexual Orientation: how to manage relations in the workplace

Since 2003, legislation has been in place to protect lesbian, gay and bisexual people from discrimination in the workplace. Similar legislation exists to protect people of faith. The fact that these were introduced at the same time led some to believe that trying to uphold both would lead to conflict.

The 500 employers who are members of Stonewall's Diversity Champions programme tell us that conflicts are very rare.

This guide is split into four sections:


Forward:

Since 2003, legislation has been in place to protect lesbian, gay and bisexual people from discrimination in the workplace. Similar legislation exists to protect people of faith. The fact that these were introduced at the same time led some to believe that trying to uphold both would lead to conflict.

The 500 employers who are members of Stonewall's Diversity Champions Programme tell us that conflicts are very rare. However, employers tell us that they are less confident about preventing and responding to these incidents than they are other forms of discrimination.


Stonewall has therefore produced this guidance to help employers and service delivery organisations manage potential conflicts with confidence. The aim of the report is to help prepare for the worst; it does not necessarily mean managers should expect the worst. Stonewall's report, Living Together, a survey with over 2,000 nationally representative people in the UK, found that people of faith are no more likely to be prejudiced against lesbian and gay people than anyone else. Ordinary people of faith, who contributed to focus groups for this guidance, are very clear that lesbian, gay and bisexual people should always be treated with respect. It is worth remembering that many, many people of faith do not have any problem working, living, socialising or praying with lesbian, gay and bisexual people. This guidance will help with the small minority who do.

 

BEN SUMMERSKILL 
Chief Executive, Stonewall



To download a PDF version of this guide, please click here.


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