A report examined the impact of spending cuts on voluntary and community sector services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transsexual (LGBT) people in England and Wales. It said that the sector relied heavily on central and local government for funding, and was therefore particularly vulnerable to the austerity cuts, at the same time as there was an increased demand for services. The report said that cuts had led to a range of impacts on providers, such as: reduced financial reserves; greater competition within the sector for funding; reductions in services and to service levels, and difficulties in forward planning; staff cuts, and casualization of the workforce; and a greater reliance on volunteers.
Source: Fiona Colgan, Chrissy Hunter, and Aidan McKearney, 'Staying Alive': The impact of 'austerity cuts' on the LGBT voluntary and community sector (VCS) in England and Wales, Trades Union Congress/London Metropolitan University
A report examined the sexual health-related needs in London of men who have sex with men.
Source: HIV and STIs in Men who Have Sex with Men in London, Public Health England
A report provided findings from a project that examined hate crime, looking at: people's experiences of hate, prejudice, and targeted hostility; the physical and emotional harms suffered by victims and their families; and ways in which to improve the quality of support offered to victims. A series of briefings were published alongside the main findings, together with a 'manifesto', which set out victim-centred recommendations based on the needs and expectations of those whose lives had been directly affected by hate crime.
Source: The Leicester Hate Crime Project, Findings and Conclusions, University of Leicester
Source: The Leicester Hate Crime Project, Briefing Paper 1: Disablist hate crime, University of Leicester
Source: The Leicester Hate Crime Project, Briefing Paper 2: Gendered hostility, University of Leicester
Source: The Leicester Hate Crime Project, Briefing Paper 3: Homophobic hate crime, University of Leicester
Source: The Leicester Hate Crime Project, Briefing Paper 4: Racist hate crime, University of Leicester
Source: The Leicester Hate Crime Project, Briefing Paper 5: Religiously motivated hate crime, University of Leicester
An article examined victimization of sexual minority status groups across British Crime Surveys from 2007-2010. It said that these groups were more likely than heterosexuals to be victimized from any and some specific crimes, but people who were bisexual were more consistently victimized than lesbians or gay men.
Source: Bere Mahoney, Michelle Davies, and Laura Scurlock-Evans, 'Victimization among female and male sexual minority status groups: evidence from the British Crime Survey 2007-2010', Journal of Homosexuality, Volume 61 Issue 10
A report examined the barriers faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in accessing appropriate services for domestic abuse, stalking, harassment, and sexual violence in Wales. It outlined a range of barriers to appropriate support, related to individual circumstances, interpersonal issues (including fear of being inadvertently forced 'out' by the process), and the structure and culture of available services. The report made recommendations for improving access and inclusivity, staff development, monitoring, and further research.
Source: Shannon Harvey, Martin Mitchell, Jasmin Keeble, Carol McNaughton Nicholls, and Nilufer Rahim, Barriers Faced by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People in Accessing Domestic Abuse, Stalking, Harassment and Sexual Violence Services, Research Paper 48/2014, Welsh Government
An article examined the impact of a researcher's personal positioning when undertaking research with gay men. The paper examined: ethical issues of closeness and involvement with participants; the researcher's approach to personal feelings; the power balance between the interviewer and the interviewee; and the impact of the researcher's personal positioning on the data collection.
Source: Simon Roberts, '"Out" in the field: reflecting on the dilemmas of insider status on data collection and conducting interviews with gay men', Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Volume 33 Number 5
A think-tank report examined the position of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in relation to social housing, the housing system more generally, and the provision of equitable and fair access to housing resources. The report also considered how austerity and welfare reform in the United Kingdom had affected LGBT communities in recent years. The report said that, although equalities legislation had been introduced, equality under the law did not automatically protect against discriminatory practices, and there was still work to be done. It said that there had been some major advancements of LGBT rights in social housing, although some housing providers were not undertaking any monitoring of LGBT employees, tenants, or applicants, and over half of LGBT respondents reported that housing providers or advisors had not understood their housing needs. It concluded that the role of social landlords in offering more equitable access to housing and services was vital, since LGBT people had been disproportionately affected by austerity and welfare reform, and many had unmet housing need.
Source: Kevin Gulliver and Dawn Prentice, Rainbow Rising? LGBT communities, social housing, equality and austerity, Human City Institute
A report (by an official advisory body) examined whether the two offences under which hate crime was prosecuted could be extended to bring equality of treatment across the five characteristics of disability, gender identity, race, religion, and sexual orientation. The report said that a consultation had revealed strong support for extending the aggravated offences, but also serious concerns from many stakeholders that the existing offences were unnecessarily complex and not working well. The Commission therefore recommended that a review of options should be conducted, but said that, in the absence of support or resources for a review, a less satisfactory solution would be for aggravated offences to be extended to disability, sexual orientation, and transgender identity. With regards to sentencing, the Commission said that the current, enhanced sentencing powers were under-used, partly because the the hostility element of hate crime was not always fully investigated, and the court was not always given the associated evidence. The report made recommendations for clearer sentencing guidance, and for the police national computer records to show where offences were proven to be aggravated by hostility.
Source: Hate Crime: Should the current offences be extended?, LC348, Law Commission
A paper examined how the differential treatment of people from sexual minority groups could influence subjective reports of overall well-being, drawing on survey data from Australia and the United Kingdom. It said that lesbian, gay, and bisexual people were found in both countries to have lower levels of life satisfaction than heterosexual people, as a result of a combination of direct and indirect effects.
Source: Nattavudh Powdthavee and Mark Wooden, What Can Life Satisfaction Data Tell Us About Discrimination Against Sexual Minorities? A structural equation model for Australia and the United Kingdom, Institute for the Study of Labor (Bonn)
An article examined difficulties in recruitment for research on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals. It discussed methods of recruitment used by the author and argued for a plurality of recruitment procedures for future research on sexualities and personal relationships.
Source: Mark McCormack, 'Innovative sampling and participant recruitment in sexuality research', Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, Volume 31 Issue 4
A report examined the day to day experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans (LGBT) students in higher education, their access to services, and factors that influenced their academic success and the completion of their studies. It said that: 20 per cent had experienced at least one form of bullying or harassment on campus (this rose to one third in the case of trans students); few trans students felt completely safe on campus; and 25 per cent of heterosexual students had seriously considered dropping out of their course, compared with 27.7 per cent of gay, 26.6 per cent of lesbian, 30 per cent of bisexual students, and over half of trans respondents. The authors called for the enforcement of zero tolerance policies on campus regarding homophobic and transphobic behaviour, harassment, and bullying. The report also recommended more staff training on LGBT issues, more peer to peer support, and improved access to information and services on campus for LGBT students.
Source: Education Beyond the Straight and Narrow: LGBT students' experience in higher education, National Union of Students
A report examined ways in which national equality bodies might engage with equality duty bearers (defined as people and organizations that had an explicit legal duty under European Union and national equality legislation). The report outlined the range of EU-wide obligations, considered available engagement tools (such as legal mechanisms, research, training, and dialogue), and discussed issues relating to the choice of the 'right tool'.
Source: Joint Responsibility for Equal Treatment: How equality bodies work with duty bearers, Equinet (European Network of Equality Bodies)
A new book examined domestic violence and abuse in same sex relationships, and considered how experiences might be shaped by gender, sexuality, and age.
Source: Catherine Donovan and Marianne Hester, Domestic Violence and Sexuality: What's love got to do with it?, Policy Press
A new book examined the European Court of Human Rights' jurisprudence in respect of sexual orientation. Analyzing the complaints brought under the European Convention on Human Rights, it considered how the court's interpretations had shaped lesbian and gay rights in Europe.
Source: Paul Johnson, Homosexuality and the European Court of Human Rights, Routledge
The Northern Ireland Executive began consultation on proposals to publish a Sexual Orientation Strategy and Action Plan with the aim of promoting: an environment free from harassment and bullying; action against homophobia in all forms; and equality of opportunity for lesbian, gay and bisexual people. The consultation would close on 6 June 2014.
Source: Development of a Sexual Orientation Strategy and Action Plan: Consultation document, Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister
An article examined the findings of a systematic review of evidence on the association between intimate partner violence (IPV) among men who had sex with men (MSM), and various health conditions and sexual risk behaviours. It said that MSM who were victims of IPV were more likely to engage in substance use, experience depression, be HIV positive, and not use protection during penetrative sex. Those who perpetrated IPV were found to be more likely to engage in substance use. The article said that the work highlighted the need for research into effective interventions and for training for health professionals.
Source: Ana Maria Buller, Karen Devries, Louise Howard, and Loraine Bacchus, 'Associations between intimate partner violence and health among men who have sex with men: a systematic review and meta-analysis', PLoS Med, Volume 11 Number 3
A study examined the experiences of lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) people in Manchester, a city in the north of England. The first report from the study examined community safety. It said that hate crime was commonly experienced (almost half of LGB people) but went unreported in over 60 per cent of cases. The study had found gaps in the evidence base around victimization and the report recommended better monitoring of the sexual orientation of service users by public services across the city, as well as improved targeting of services and cross-agency work to increase the reporting of homophobic and biphobic hate crime.
Source: Community Safety: The state of the city for Manchester's lesbian, gay and bisexual communities, Lesbian and Gay Foundation
An article highlighted the ways in which biography, gender, and socio-economic status were significant mediators in the development and maintenance of social capital by older lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults.
Source: Ann Cronin and Andrew King, 'Only connect? Older lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) adults and social capital', Ageing and Society, Volume 34 Issue 2
The government began consultation on potential changes to civil partnership in England and Wales, following the passage of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013. The consultation would close on 17 April 2014.
Source: Civil Partnership Review (England and Wales): A consultation, Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Links: Consultation document
A series of reports presented the early findings from a study of the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ) young people in England. Key points to emerge from a survey of over 7000 young people included: that LGBTQ young people experienced higher levels of verbal, physical and sexual abuse, and fear of such abuse, than their peers; 8 per cent had to leave home for reasons relating to their sexuality or gender identity; most LGBTQ young people felt that their education had been affected; they reported significantly higher levels of mental health problems; and trans young people faced the greatest levels of discrimination and disadvantage. The project was funded until July 2015 and would publish further reports as the work progressed.
Source: Youth Chances Summary of First Findings: The experiences of LGBTQ young people in England, Youth Chances
A report reviewed research concerning sexual orientation and poverty in the United Kingdom. Synthesizing literature from North America, Europe and the United Kingdom, and drawing on the United Kingdom Household Longitudinal Study, the report said that the economic impact of sexuality-related stigma, harassment and discrimination occurred when institutions, such as employers, schools, and local authorities, excluded people based on their sexuality. It said that there was evidence of material disadvantage for gay men, and bisexual men and women, but poverty experienced by lesbians was more likely to be associated with their gender per se. The report discussed a range of issues related to poverty and sexuality.
Source: SC Noah Uhrig, An Examination of Poverty and Sexual Orientation in the UK, Working Paper 2014-02, Institute for Social and Economic Research
A study examined the workplace experiences of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) employees. The report said that LGB employees were more than twice as likely to be bullied and discriminated against than heterosexual employees, and one and half times more likely to experience a range of negative acts, such as: experiencing unwanted physical contact; being confronted with unwanted jokes or remarks; being asked intrusive or pushy questions about their personal or private life; receiving intimidating emails, text messages or photos; and being excluded from social activities with colleagues at work. Although most people were open about their sexuality while at work, one in five remained closeted. The study also examined the attitudes of heterosexual employees towards their LGB colleagues, and reported finding evidence of ignorance and discriminatory attitudes. The report outlined recommendations for employers.
Source: Helge Hoel, Duncan Lewis, and Anna Einarsdottir, Discrimination, Bullying and Harassment of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Employees in Britain, University of Manchester Business School/University of Plymouth