Study suggests bisexuals get ‘bad deal’ in local government equality policies

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A research project undertaken by the University of Huddersfield on LGBT equalities and local government has found that a lack of understanding surrounding bisexuality in the workplace is leaving those who identify as such largely invisible.

Dr Surya Monro, Research Fellow at the University of Huddersfield, undertook the research project in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Newcastle (funded by the ESRC).

The study revealed that a lack of awareness regarding bisexuality has resulted in many local authorities only addressing gay and lesbian people in equality policies or simply tagging bisexuality onto the end of gay and lesbian issues. Dr Monro said: “There are some issues which are only specific to bisexuals that people don’t realise or think about”.

Although Dr Monro believes things are moving in the right direction, a lack of resources within authorities means that prejudice towards bisexuals is still apparent.

“I already had an interest around the politics which surround LGBT equality,” said Dr Monro, “and my PhD was about transgender, so it was partly what I was interested in and partly a commitment to social justice.

“We had this idea for a research project looking at how things have moved on. Following legislation passed under New Labour, which was really supportive of LGBT becoming more included in society, we thought it was time to see if things actually had changed on a local level.”

The Equality Act 2010 is to go into force this month, which is intended to simplify and strengthen the previous legislation. But recent government financial cuts mean there is still the danger of equality issues falling off the agenda as local authorities try desperately try to keep basic services afloat.