the lesbian, gay and bisexual charity

Working together - Stonewall launches guidance for employers on managing perceived tensions between Sexual Orientation and Religion

Stonewall today publishes new guidance for employers on practical ways of managing perceived tensions between gay people and people of faith in the 21st century workplace. Based on practical solutions already developed among the 470 major employers now working with the charity, the guide provides essential advice on how to avoid conflicts which can arise at work.
‘We recognise that there are still some tensions between people of faith and the 1.7 million gay people in the British workplace,’ said Ben Summerskill, Stonewall Chief Executive. ‘By preparing for difficult situations, employers can manage potential conflicts with confidence.’

Stonewall’s new guidance, funded by the Equality & Human Rights Commission, examines the legal position and the need for organisational clarity. Detailed case studies from a range of sectors demonstrate how employers can accommodate the needs of both sides in any disagreement, alongside lessons learned from each case.

‘While the 500 employers who are members of Stonewall’s Diversity Champions Programme tell us that such conflicts are rare, employers also tell us that they’re less confident about preventing and responding to such incidents than they are other to forms of dispute,’ said Ben Summerskill. ‘Recent YouGov polling found that people of faith in Britain are no more likely to be prejudiced against lesbian and gay people than anyone else. Happily, many people of faith don’t have any problem working, living, socialising or praying with lesbian, gay and bisexual people. This guide will help with the small minority who do.’

As well as supporting 470 major employers, Stonewall’s Workplace department also now runs a range of conferences, seminars and professional development courses as well as publishing an annual graduate recruitment guide and regular research into workplace good practice.


  •  Stonewall, the gay equality charity, celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2009

  • ‘Religion and Sexual Orientation – How to manage relations in the workplace’ can be downloaded free from here

  • Workplace discrimination against lesbian, gay and bisexual people became unlawful in Britain in December 2003.

  • Employment tribunals involving sexual orientation discrimination remain rare. However, in February 2008 youth worker John Reaney was awarded £47,000 in a case taken against the Bishop of Hereford, who had refused to employ Reaney on grounds of his sexual orientation. The case was taken by Stonewall.

  • For more information contact: James Lawrence, Communications Officer, on 020 7593 1857 / mobile 07985 439 660


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