Monro, Surya and Richardson, Diane (2009) Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equalities Initiatives: The Case of UK Local Government. In: 9th International Conference on Diversity in Organisations Communities and Nations, 16th - 19th June 2009, Riga, Latvia. (Unpublished)

In the UK, the field of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equalities work is currently undergoing a period of rapid change. Developments are fuelled by the introduction of a range of new legislation as well as ongoing local government modernisation. Whilst LGBT work is taking place in a range of local authorities, in areas such as human resources, social services, leisure services, and education, this work is quite differentiated across type and size of authority as well as locality. The changes concerning LGBT equalities work are taking place in the context of a broader drive towards equality concerning age and faith, as well as areas of equalities work which are more established. The development of these different strands of work highlights tensions as well as areas of confluence. Several key processes can be seen to play out in relation to LGBT qualities work in local government, including those of normalisation and assimilation, organisational resistance and compliance, and issues concerning democracy. This paper discusses these processes in relation to findings from a large study funded by the Economic and Social Research Council on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equalities initiatives in local government. The study uses innovative action research, as well as more traditional qualitative methods, in conducting a cross-cultural exploration of equalities work in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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