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Homophobia affects us all says Lib Dem

November 16, 2006 10:22 PM

Homophobia is Gay badgeSpeaking at last night's meeting of Race Action Northampton, Lib Dem Parliamentary spokesperson for Northampton North Andrew Simpson said " Homophobia can affect everyone it can be simply because somebody is perceived to be gay or lesbian. It must be tackled like any other form of discrimination and challenged in both the media and within public life".

Whilst welcoming the Government's Equality Act as 'long overdue' Andrew said "Really the Government should have taken the opportunity to bring together the 20 or so acts into one all encompassing Equality Act that puts homophobia alongside racism, sexism, ageism and discrimination on the grounds of disability.In this way all are tackled under the same legislative position".

Andrew also called for more action to tackle homophobic bullying in schools citing the fact that only around 8% of Northamptonshire schools have a policy on homophobic bullying he said "All schools should include a policy to tackle homophobic bullying within their bullying policy and every school should have at least one teacher trained to deal with homophobic bullying.He said " It was the last Conservative government that did so much damage with section 28 and made schools frightened to tackle issues around sexual orientation. We now need to create an open and enlightened environment in our schools so that pupils understand that all people are equal and that being gay, lesbian, bisexual or trans-gender is just as normal as being straight."