AA new survey reveals that over 135 000 lesbians and gay men in the UK say that they have been refused service or goods, apparently, because of their sexuality.
Research released for the first time today reveals the extent of the problem of discrimination against lesbians and gay men being refused goods and services, which is the subject of the new Equality Act 2006. The Equality Act passed the House of Lords in Westminster this week and is expected to come into force in April.
Findings of the ‘Out Now Diva and Gay Times Readers Surveys’ apparently reveal that well over 100 000 British lesbians and gay men report having been refused goods and services because they are gay.
“This is the first time we have released these findings,” says Ian Johnson, managing director of Out Now Consulting – a specialist gay marketing consultancy that carried out the research.
“We think people will be shocked to learn that so many people during a twelve month period were effectively turned away by organisations that refused to serve them – because they were gay. That is just wrong,” said Johnson. “That sort of thing ought not to happen in a modern society if all members of the community are to be treated equally and with respect. More than 100 000 gay people in the UK know all too well why these laws are needed, and they have first-hand experience that they could not buy goods or services in the UK – just because they are gay.”
Whitehall estimates the total number of gay and lesbian people in the UK to be 6% of the total adult population, or 3 million people.
The ‘Out Now Diva and Gay Times Readers Surveys’ show that 4% of UK lesbians and 5% of gay men report being refused goods and services on the grounds of their perceived sexuality in the previous 12 months. That equates to 135 000 people that are affected by this type of discrimination.
“These survey results show that far too many lesbians and gay men know about the hard edge of the discrimination that has led to the enactment of this new legislation,” according to Kim Watson, Deputy Managing Director at MPG – publisher of Diva and Gay Times magazines.