The 3.6 million lesbians, gays, and bisexual people in Great Britain continue encountering severe issues of bigotry and prejudice in their daily lives according to a recent study of this issue. A poll, commissioned by the equality charity, Stonewall, suggest government bodies tend to ignore the dimensions of problems encountered by gays and lesbians, particularly in schools. The YouGov poll of 1,658 gay adults found homophobic bullying in schools is more prevalent now than in previous decades. Around 30% of gays and lesbian people expect to encounter discrimination if they were to try enrolling a child at primary or secondary school and 80% believe they would encounter difficulty if they were to apply to become a school governor.
The poll reveals more confident feelings towad polce and courts but many believe they would be treated less well in a hospital. However, one in four think they would be treated less fairly by police if they became a victim of a hate crime. Nearly nine in ten claim the Conservative Party would reject their bids to seek office while 61% has this view about the Labour Party and 47% of the Liberal.
The poll uncovred stories of prejudice in the lives of children. A 14 year-old girl told a teacher in confidence of her lesbian feelings and subsequently was required to sit outside thechanging room at the beginning and end of sports lessons while the “normal children” changed. Almost two-thirds of lesbian and gay people under the age of 19 reported being bullied in school. The poll suggest schools are not doing enough to deal with prejudice against gays and lesbians.
There undoubtedly is much to be done in confronting issues faced by gays and lesbians in Great Britain. A first step is introducing more pro-active programs in schools.