Welsh minister to launch Stonewall report

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The largest ever survey of Wales’ lesbian, bisexual and gay population will be unveiled today at the Senedd, the Welsh Assembly building.

Dr Brian Gibbons, Minister for Social Justice and Local Government, will deliver the keynote speech at the launch of Counted In! which was commissioned by Stonewall Cymru.

The report recommends that the Welsh Assembly provide support and guidance about policies and procedures for organisations looking to embrace equality of opportunity in the workplace.

Counted In! also demonstrates the important contribution lesbian, gay and bisexual people make to the Welsh society, culture and economy but highlights areas where further improvements are needed.

Liz Morgan, director of Stonewall Cymru, said:

“Homophobic hate crime is still under reported. Of those who have experienced hate crime only half have reported it.

“We need to work with the police to ensure gay people feel confident enough to report hate crime.

“It is absolutely crucial that we have this data about Wales’ lesbian and gay population, given the paucity of research into LGB issues and the absence of any question on sexual orientation in the National Census.

“We hope this report and its recommendations will be adopted by the Welsh Assembly and will be used to ensure even greater inclusion for lesbian and gay people in Wales.”

The report revealed that highly-qualified gay job-seekers are taking their skills to employers who show a commitment to workplace diversity.

Nearly one third of lesbian and gay people said they would be attracted to jobs where there was a good record on equality and diversity and more than 50% stated that having an equal opportunities policy would influence their choice of employer.

Ms Morgan commented:

“In our experience gay and straight people don’t want to work for an employer that permits any kind of discrimination and are choosing to take their skills and talents to organisations that promote an inclusive workplace.

“Staff who feel comfortable and supported in work are more likely to be happier and therefore more productive.”