24 February 2014

Public services are failing to tackle lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people’s fear of discrimination

One in six LGB&T people say they have experienced poor treatment when accessing a public service in the last three years. 

New polling commissioned by Stonewall Scotland shows that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people continue to face discrimination in almost all walks of life.

Published today in the report Your Services Your Say the research demonstrates that, in spite of huge advances in legal equality, LGB&T people in Scotland still expect to face poor treatment from hospitals, police, schools and other local services.

Almost half (48%) of the 1,000 LGB&T people surveyed by YouGov expected they would face discrimination from fostering and adoption agencies when applying to become parents.  Sixty-seven per cent of LGB&T people think their child would experience bullying in primary school if it were known that they had LGB&T parents.

These concerns are reflected across other public services, with more than a third (36%) of LGB&T people saying they would not feel confident reporting a hate crime directly to the police and more than one in five (22%) saying they would feel uncomfortable being open about their sexual orientation or gender identity with NHS staff.  More than half of LGB&T people think they would be discriminated against in a construction and engineering apprenticeship and eighty per cent stated that they have never been consulted about their needs by local public service providers.

Director of Stonewall Scotland Colin Macfarlane said: ‘The historic passage of the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill means one strand of Stonewall Scotland’s domestic focus – legislative equality- is effectively complete. However, we are acutely aware that this does not mean ‘mission accomplished.’  

‘This report, the most comprehensive of its kind to be published in Scotland, starkly demonstrates that changing laws doesn’t change attitudes overnight. LGB&T taxpayers contribute millions to the cost of Scotland’s public services. They should be able to have confidence that they’ll receive the services they need when accessing hospitals, schools and policing and this report should provide Scotland’s public services with an insight into the needs of LGB&T people. It is time that their needs, both as citizens and service-users, were properly met.’

Read the full report at www.stonewallscotland.org.uk/yourservicesyoursay 

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For media enquiries in the first instance please contact Stonewall Scotland on 0131 474 8019 or email info@stonewallscotland.org.uk. If you have an out of office media enquiry please call 07870 650 662.