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Stonewall’s list of top employers to be reviewed amid backlash over trans lobbying

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Published Time: 16.05.2024 - 21:40:24 Modified Time: 16.05.2024 - 21:40:24

Stonewall’s guidance on trans issues has faced intense scrutiny after last month’s damning Cass Review Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Stonewall is to review how it compiles its ranking of top LGBT employers, amid a fierce backlash over the organisation’s trans lobbying

Stonewall’s guidance on trans issues has faced intense scrutiny after last month’s damning Cass Review

: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA

Stonewall is to review how it compiles its ranking of top LGBT employers, amid a fierce backlash over the organisation’s trans lobbying.

The controversial LGBT+ charity is planning to review its Workplace Equality Index, which scores organisations based on Stonewall’s opinion of their diversity and inclusion policies.

The index review is understood to be a routine procedure that happens every three years. However, Stonewall could face pressure to reexamine its scoring system after becoming embroiled in a toxic row over trans rights.

Stonewall’s guidance on trans issues has faced intense scrutiny after last month’s damning Cass Review warned there was a lack of established medical evidence for the use of puberty blockers to treat children who identified as trans.

The charity was a strong advocate for the use of puberty blockers in children, with Baroness Hunt of Bethnal Green, Stonewall’s former chief executive, previously advising schools to “shred” a research pack highlighting the dangers of the treatment.

Over 10,000 people have signed a petition calling for Baroness Hunt to lose her peerage since the publication of the Cass Review.

Companies wanting to be included on Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index need to answer various questions about their inclusivity policies, which have in the past included whether private health insurance covers transition-related treatments.

Stonewall has previously come under fire over some of the advice it has given to organisations eager for a place on the index, such as calling for them to replace the word mother with “parent who has given birth” to help boost their ranking.

The Welsh government, which appeared high on the list in 2020, deleted the term mother from its maternity policy in 2019.

Stonewall was meant to release its 2024 index as early as February, but has decided to delay the scores until the summer to coincide with Pride celebrations.

The charity has told organisations that it will not open entries for the next LGBT league table until early 2025, with the next diversity index expected to be announced as late as 2026.

Set up in 1989 to fight a ban preventing the “promotion” of homosexuality by local authorities, Stonewall has been pivotal at lobbying parliament and businesses on important LGBT matters and improving equal rights.

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