Public duty and private prejudice: Sexualities equalities and local government

Diane Richardson, Surya Monro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Rather than critiquing social institutions and practices that have historically excluded lesbians and gay men, as did earlier social movements in the 1960s and 1970s, since the 1990s the politics of sexuality has increasingly been about demanding equal rights of citizenship. These citizenship demands have, at least to a degree, been answered via a raft of recent legislation in the UK including the Adoption and Children Act 2002, Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003, Gender Recognition Act 2004 and the Civil Partnership Act 2004, and by associated changes in policy making and practice that emphasize 'Equality and Diversity'. In this article we consider how the implementation of sexualities equalities policies is related to processes of privatization and individualization. This is illustrated by using sexualities equalities work in local government as a case study to indicate how processes of change and resistance are aided by these processes. The article draws on findings from a study of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equalities initiatives in local government in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, which examined the views of those who now have a public duty to implement recent legislative and policy shifts and are obliged to develop equalities initiatives concerning 'sexual orientation' and 'gender reassignment'.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-152
Number of pages22
JournalSociological Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes


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