Public services and politicians have failed to tackle gay people’s fear of discrimination

£40bn every year to fund public services – but confidence in schools, policing and healthcare remains low

New polling commissioned by Stonewall shows that lesbian, gay and bisexual people continue to expect to face discrimination in almost all walks of life. Published today in the report Gay in Britain the research demonstrates that, in spite of huge advances in legal equality, people still expect to face poor treatment from schools, hospitals and police forces because of their sexual orientation.

Almost half of the 2,000 gay people surveyed by YouGov expect to be treated less fairly than a heterosexual person when applying to adopt a child. Seventy per cent expect barriers to becoming a school governor and 61 per cent believe the child of gay parents would be bullied in primary school.

These concerns are reflected across other public services, with a third of gay people expecting worse treatment in a care home and one in five believing they’d be treated less fairly by a judge. Nine in ten say they’ve never been consulted about their needs by local service providers.

Stonewall Chief Executive Ben Summerskill said: ‘Completion of our work on marriage means that one strand of Stonewall’s domestic focus – legislative equality – is effectively complete. But this polling demonstrates starkly that changing laws doesn’t change attitudes and lives overnight.’

‘Gay taxpayers contribute £40bn every year to the cost of Britain’s public services. They should be able to have confidence that they’ll receive the services they need when accessing schools, hospitals or policing. It’s time the needs of this country’s 3.7 million lesbian, gay and bisexual people, both as citizens and service-users, were properly met.’

Read the full report at


  1. YouGov surveyed 2,092 lesbian, gay and bisexual adults from across England, Scotland and Wales. Fieldwork was undertaken online between 5 October and 22 October 2012.The figures have been weighted and are representative of adults across Britain.

(not displayed)

(will appear on this page)

(will appear on this page)

E-newsletter signup


During office hours please call: 020 7593 1856 or outside office hours on 07985 439 660.

If you are a journalist and wish to be added to Stonewall's media contacts list, please contact