Gay-friendly Brighton Council “not complacent”

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The leader of the council in Brighton and Hove has welcomed the council’s status as one of the most gay-friendly employers in the UK – but has revealed that the organisation is far from complacent.

Council leader Simon Burgess’s comments come after gay rights group Stonewall named Brighton Hove City Council the seventh most friendly employer to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

He called the award “a great honour.”

Stonewall announced the findings of its third annual Workplace Equality Index earlier this week.

Brighton Hove is the third-highest placed local authority in the country.

“We have always worked to have a close relationship with the LGBT community,” said Mr Burgess.

“It’s such an essential part of the character of Brighton Hove and any council should be a reflection of its community.

“I’m proud of the work we do in this area and so pleased that this achievement has been recognised. But at the same time we are not complacent.”

He is keen to point out that much still needs to be achieved.

Brighton and Hove Council is continuing work on initiatives such as a campaign against homophobic bullying in schools, to recruit lesbian and gay foster parents.

The council is also working against hate crime and promoting its role as one of the top UK providers of civil partnership ceremonies.

The Stonewall survey is based on a questionnaire.

Organisations score well for policies such as having a dedicated LGBT staff group, allowing pensions to be passed to same-sex partners and awareness training for employees.

The city council scored 90 out of a possible 100 points. The top employer, IBM, scored 95.