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Police Force Named Britain's Most Gay-Friendly Employer


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Police Force Named Britain's Most Gay-Friendly Employer

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

Posted: January 15, 2006 - 8:00 pm ET

(London) Less than a decade ago Staffordshire police were rated the most homophobic force in the country after going on a clandestine operation to arrest gays suspected of having public sex.

Today, the force is being honored as the most gay-friendly force in the country and the best place in Britain for gays and lesbians to work.

The honor was bestowed on the force by Stonewall, Britain's largest LGBT rights organization.

Stonewall's Workplace Equality Index named IBM as the second best place to work. But, the Royal Navy, which sought out Stonewall's help in becoming more inclusive failed to make the top 10.

The dramatic turnaround for the Staffordshire police was the result of a concerted effort by the force.

After it received heavy criticism for seeking out cruising gays in parks and public washrooms and arresting 21 men, many of them married, the force worked with local gays to make the department a model for gay inclusion.

It adopted a policy of hiring gay officers and fast tracking the best to senior positions on the force. Today one in 10 of the force’s 2,309 police officers is gay.

Officers are entitled to have paid parenting leave if they or their partners adopted a child, and they are allowed to attend up to three gay pride festivals a year on paid time.

While IBM came in second in the top 10 list, the Department for Work and Pensions and Manchester city council tied for third place.

©365Gay.com 2006


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