Stonewall’s “Adversity Champions”

GayMafiaWatch can exclusively reveal the truth behind a dark, unfolding conspiracy involving the gay and lesbian rights organisation Stonewall and some of Britain’s biggest multinational companies, local government and even the police who have come under the spotlight recently for an increase in complaints of homophobic abuse all over the country. Many of the major corporations listed as “Stonewall Diversity Champions” are also listed as financial donors to Stonewall, bringing into question the overall credibility of the awards.

Now this isn’t the case of a handful of whiney queens using the ‘gay card’ when they police don’t act in their favour. It’s far more sinister and worrying than anything like that. The Association Gay Police Officers has observed numerous instances of police officers were refusing to serve with their fellow LGBT officers in the past 12 months at most police forces in the country, and have witnessed senior officers at quoting the Bible in abuse. Other reports of police homophobic graffiti, use of abusively anti-gay language and behaviour have also been well documented and are now officially ‘on the rise’ by 25%. 7,000 complaints were received by the Association’s helpline in the past year.

Despite this disgraceful state of affairs, and the lack of confidence the gay community now has in it’s protectors – the gay rights group Stonewall has awarded it’s acclaimed ‘Diversity Champions’ award to no less than 24 Police Forces this year. One of those was Devon and Cornwall Constabulary, accused of some appalling acts and a clear, ongoing history of anti-gay malpractice and behaviour by Cornish Gay Rights Campaigner Malcolm Lidbury who was also astonished to hear of Stonewall’s stamp of approval.

Only last August, Lidbury was again targeted by officers of Cornwall Police when he was arrested, his home searched despite no Criminal charges or Criminal prosecution being made. Lidbury has had his vehicle stopped and maintains the police have continued to make unlogged visits intended to “harass and violate his life as an ‘out‘ gay man”. Lidbury recently testified these complaints supported by 19 witnesses in court, the complaints were thrown out by the self-regulated police complaints body and the harassment continues and Lidbury has accused Stonewall of ‘turing their back on him and others’ in a similar situation including a 15 year old named Peter who Malcolm has been supporting. “We approached Stonewall way back in 2005 on Peter’s behalf… they sent him a list of solicitors, none of which who would work West of Bristol, unless for an exorbatant fee… not much good to a then homeless gay 15 year old child! People are under the illustion that Stonewall will help them… I was…not any more!” “I was an ardent supporter of Stonewall and was even a Stonewall Equality 2000 rep for Cornwall back in the 1990’s, but Stonewall has lost touch with the reality of what is still happening to lgbt people outside the M25 gay ghetto.”

Bank Bullies and Bent Coppers

In the West Midlands, openly gay Senior Inspector Bernard McEldowney expressed his shock to see his force ranked 33rd in Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index. David Joseph Henry, Leader of the Queer Youth Network which is a member of Stonewall’s Education for All campaign said he was “Outraged and felt betrayed” when he discovered Kent County Council was another recipient of the acclaimed awards. The youth group hit the headlines in 2003 when it launched a campaign to overturn anti-gay policies. “I cannot believe they would be deserving of such an accolade considering their recent attempt to reintroduce Section 28 and continue to uphold a similar anti-gay policy. Kent’s award should be revoked immediately”. Stephen Coote, Director of the GBA (Gay Business Association) has also expressed his concerns with the awards after received several complaints by the association’s members that their workplaces, despite being very homophobic in their experience had also received the awards including several major banks and insurance companies. He continued to question the validity of the awards in an article in the Pink Paper published in January 2008.

Stonewall have given prestigious “Diversity Champions” awards to a number of proven, institutionally homophobic or racist organisations including:

  • Devon and Cornwall Constabulary
    • Sixteen allegations of homophobia in 2007. It’s own diversity inspector admitted that Devon and Cornwall police has dealt “poorly” with the gay community, and it’s basic command unit’s diversity unit was understaffed, and is “reactive rather than proactive.”
  • Kent County Council
    • Despite several calls and needs assessments, the council continues to fund any gay community projects and still refuses it’s responsibility in leading the establishment of youth service provision for LGBT young people in the whole county (which is now being led by the police instead!). Kent Council Council hit the headlines in 2003 when leader Sir-Sandy Bruce Lockheart introduced it’s own ‘mini-section 28’ policy – which prevented the “promotion of homosexuality” . Kent County council may have managed to bribe Stonewall into giving it an award and shelve off the fallout from negative criticism, but it has failed to repair the damage Section 28 and it’s local spawn has done to Kent’s youth. It’s also fair to mention that the policy wasn’t exactly thrown out, but rather ‘re-worded’ and still quite offensively and wrongly attempts to ensue the any and all sex education in Kent is delivered maintaining that although there exist other “lifestyles” “marriage is the best way to raise a family”. This policy still exists.
  • Environment Agency
    • It’s important to remember the word ‘Diversity’ since that’s what these awards are supposed to be all about, homophobia is just a part of it, that’s why we’ve highlighted this award winner as they are known to be guilty of “positive discrimination” in recruiting and headhunting “non-white” people for it’s training programme. A practice, which carried out poorly as a half-baked attempt to include underrepresented groups which often harms those minority groups far more by undermining the overall credibility and effectiveness of equal opportunities across the board.
  • HSBC Bank
    • The finance giant was recently defeated in the High Court by it’s former head of equity Peter Lewis who claimed the bank had discriminated against him on four grounds because of his sexual orientation. He branded HSBC part of an “aggressive, macho, male culture” that exists within the City.
  • Merseyside Police
    • Less than 18 months ago during an internal audit, nearly one million internal emails between staff at Merseyside Police were exposed to contain “grossly offensive racist and homophobic” content. An investigation was launched which saw the involvement of over 500 officers, despite this the most serious outcome were a small number of fines of £360 and warning letters. Complaints of homophobic dealings with Merseyside police continue, with the latest scandal this year involving incidents of blackmail and during a crackdown on cruising and cottaging by gay men. It was also exposed as not following official guidelines on dealing with the matter and an emergency public meeting was called by the gay community. Dozens of men have been arrested in the past year. Despite this, on the streets of Liverpool attacks on the gay community are continuing to rise, one bar owner told GayMafiaWatch “Groups and solo drunk straight men have shouted abuse at me and my friends several times in the past but fortunately no physical incidences have occurred.” It’s happening more and more around the Dale Street area, it’s only a matter of time before someone gets killed”.

  • West Midlands Police
    • On his way home on a night out in Birmingham’s Gay Village a 33-year old gay man claims he was the victim of a vicious torrent of homophobic abuse by three officers. “A police car screeched up and the officer wound down his window and said ‘Oi, you fucking queer! Have you ever been arrested?’ I kept walking, but then he pulled up again and shouted ‘get yourself fucking home’. Not only that, but his two colleagues were laughing with him.” LGBT magazine ‘Midlands Voice’ also claims it has hears a number of similar incidents in the gay village area in recent months.

  • Metropolitan Police
    • “Institutional” homophobia and transphobia, has Blighted Scotland Yard’s internal reaction to killings and attacks on gay, lesbian and transsexual people according to a report by the independent Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Advisory Group. “There were several investigations where we have deep reservations about the way in which the identity of the victim informed investigative decisions at the time. We also found evidence of inappropriate attitudes to the circumstances of some murders.”
  • GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer
    • Internationally condemned for not doing enough to develop and deliver cheaper, more effective AIDS drugs to the developing world or for focusing on a cure rather than new and more expensive treatments. In Britain, gay men remain the biggest disproportional group affected by HIV/AIDS.
  • The Conservative Party
    • There are still a great number of LGBT people out there who clearly believe the Conservative Party to be out of touch and homophobic to say the least, and who will never vote for them again on these grounds and the long history the Party has of blocking gay rights legislation and even creating and enforcing it (Section 28 for example). In many corners of the country there still exist a number of viciously homophobic Tories, many of them now silent but from time to time they erupt their plumes of vile hatred and intolerance on a great number of subjects from immigration and asylum seekers to low income and single parent families and on a public rather tired of their clap-trap. How on earth have these people demonstrated their commitment to fighting homophobia, let alone diversity.

Although not mentioned in detail above, GayMafiaWatch has heard of many, many complaints of continuing homophobia at many of Stonewall’s award winners, so many infact that we could continue this article for many more pages if we did.

We would however like to draw extra attention to the blatant hypocrisy demonstrated by Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme in congratulating this excusive club of British businesses still guilty of breaking the boundaries of basic Human Rights. The socially conscious of us who care about workers rights, the environment and the effect big businesses has on smaller companies that cannot compete with their monopolies can’t really justify holding Stonewall to account for ensuring all it’s award winners are ethical, beyond anything but recognising diversity. Despite that, it cannot be disputed that the Diversity Champions Programme will never achieve full credibility whilst it continues to play bum chum with a number of notable welding homophobes mentioned above.

Times may be changing, and the nation’s police forces may at last begin to become more proactive in taking up anti-gay invite like Stonewall’s Diversity Champions, but it is misleading and confusing for them to be praised in their entirety when so many police officers who work for them are not as tolerant. Without the support of the police – (all of them, that’s every single officer) the gay community cannot invest faith of any kind in them, let alone reward them for their so called efforts. For Stonewall to do so is a complete insult and kick in the face to every single LGBT person they have failed and continue to fail now and in the future.

Further Reading

BBC News: Anti-Gay Police Complaints Rise
PinkNews: Police Homophobia Claims Rejected
PinkNews: Equality Awards going to “Homophobic Workplaces”
The Pink Pasty: Homophobia in Cornwall

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2 Responses to Stonewall’s “Adversity Champions”

  1. […] Stonewall’s “Adversity” Champions Intolerant multinationals, local government and even the police listed as “Stonewall Diversity Champions” are also listed as financial donors to Stonewall, bringing into question the overall credibility of the awards. […]

  2. […] Stonewall’s “Adversity” Champions Intolerant multinationals, local government and even the police listed as “Stonewall Diversity Champions” are also listed as financial donors to Stonewall, bringing into question the overall credibility of the awards. […]

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