Debbie Hayton Debbie Hayton

Ofcom is right to leave Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme

(Photo: Getty)

Ofcom has joined the exodus from the Stonewall Diversity Champions programme. The explanation came in a carefully worded statement yesterday in which the communications regulator explained that their, ‘commitment to supporting the rights and freedoms of LGBTQ+ people is as strong as ever.’

So it should be, but we are living in strange times. Sex has been conflated with gender, transsexual with transvestite (we are all transgender now), and support for anything LGBTQWERTY has been conflated with complying with what Stonewall think. Ofcom seem to agree; their statement concludes:

‘We will continue to participate in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index, which is widely recognised as a strong benchmarking tool for employers to measure their progress on LGBTQ+ inclusion in the workplace.’

From a teacher’s perspective this looks like Ofcom have decided not to pay for any more lessons but will still sit the end of year test. I wish them luck with that. But really, I wonder why they are so concerned. Supporting LGBTQ+ people – to use their terminology – is not rocket science. We are human beings the same as everyone else. What we need is to be treated no less favourably, and our right to do so is enshrined in the Equality Act itself.

But often membership of the Diversity Champions scheme is not about doing the right thing – many employers do that without going anywhere near Stonewall – it is about being seen to be doing the right thing. Image matters, though the organisations that plaster the Stonewall Diversity Champions logo on their website are perhaps more interested in listening to Stonewall than following the law.

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