Colin Robert Houston | Belfast Telegraph | 17143
Colin Robert Houston, a pastor and baggage handler, who offered to “cure” a homosexual colleague and complained about a pink tin of deodorant left on his work locker, lost his claim for unfair dismissal and religious belief discrimination.
The behaviour of the former UUP council candidate and preacher was revealed at an industrial tribunal he took against his employer at Belfast International Airport.
A bumper sticker bearing the slogan “I’m so gay I can’t even drive straight”, was stuck to his car. He told an openly gay colleague that there was a cure for gayness.
All of his claims were dismissed. The tribunal ruled that in view of all the complaints against him the temptation to end his contract “must have been overwhelming”.
We all know how easy it is to gain “accreditation” for some kind of award by going through a questionnaire and ticking all the right boxes, and gaining an award for being a gay friendly employer because you have all the right words in your personnel policies.
What is really important is what things are actually like for gay and lesbian people where they work, and that often paints a completely different picture of so called award winning organisations.
The gap between the policy and reality is the measure of how much more there is still to do and achieve.
An SAS soldier claims underlying prejudice against gay personnel is hampering their promotion – despite a senior general saying he wants to spearhead sexual equality.
The decorated soldier says he was pushed aside for promotion to sergeant – despite his outstanding military pedigree on operations – because many senior officers refuse to accept gay soldiers in the elite regiment.
The experienced special forces Corporal was listed for a promotion board to sergeant after returning from operations last year, but while many of his colleagues were successful he failed and was told he needed to gain more time on operations.
But just three weeks after the promotion board sat the soldier, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, was told by a close friend that senior officers had discovered that he was gay and that had affected his chances.
Come on, Forces.
File photo | Rex | 17047
University researchers have been busy lately.
A University of British Columbia study found that in the last 15 years, lesbian, gay and bisexual youth are half as likely to play sports compared to straight teens. In 1998, five out of 10 gay students played formal or coach sports. By 2013, that proportion had dropped to three in 10.
The level of participation dropped from 62 per cent to 52 per cent for lesbian girls; bisexual girls it dropped from 48 per cent to 38 per cent, and bisexual boys, the participation dropped from 59 per cent to 42 per cent. The study involved 99,373 adolescent students across British Columbia.
Meanwhile, female bosses are more likely to hire gay and lesbian job candidates over heterosexuals, according to a new study of 400 managers by The University of Sussex. This comes as a surprise because past research showed gay and lesbian jobseekers were usually at a disadvantage.
Women favoured homosexual candidates, while males were more likely to choose a straight applicant. “These results show that bias against gay men and lesbians is much more nuanced than previous work suggests. Hiring decisions made by teams of both men and women could lead to less biased decisions,” commented Dr Benjamin Everly of the business, management and economics department at Sussex University.
Gay, lesbian and bisexual teens half as likely to play sports: UBC study
Brian Snyder/Reuters | 17012
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry apologized to hundreds of State Department employees who were fired after the start of the Cold War for being gay in what is known as the “lavender scare.”
“In the past – as far back as the 1940s, but continuing for decades – the Department of State was among many public and private employers that discriminated against employees and job applicants on the basis of perceived sexual orientation, forcing some employees to resign or refusing to hire certain applicants in the first place. These actions were wrong then, just as they would be wrong today. On behalf of the Department, I apologize to those who were impacted by the practices of the past and reaffirm the Department’s steadfast commitment to diversity and inclusion for all our employees, including members of the LGBTI community.”