This blog was contributed by Antony Smith, Development Officer (Equalities and Human Rights) at Age UK.
We achieved another significant milestone for equality over the summer, when the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act completed its passage through Parliament and received Royal Assent. It means that, for the first time, every lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) person in this country will enjoy full equality in law.
It can be hard to express how much joy this historic step will bring to the older LGB members of our community in particular, given the isolation, exclusion and discrimination many of them have experienced throughout their lives – from imprisonment and incarceration to losing job, home and family – simply for being lesbian, gay or bisexual. And, of course, we must never forget that it is thanks to the older members of our community, the original campaigners for social justice, that the UK now enjoys the best legal human rights for lesbian, gay and bisexual (and transgender) people in Europe, according to the International Lesbian and Gay Association. Continue reading “Equal marriage – the Government’s commitment to caring for LGBT people in later life”
This blog was contributed by Jo Moriarty, a Research Fellow at King’s College London, in the Social Care Workforce Research Unit. She co-authored the evidence review Diversity in older people and access to services with Unit Director, Jill Manthorpe.
The Equality Act 2010 made existing anti-discrimination legislation simpler and removed inconsistencies. It covers nine so-called ‘protected characteristics’, aspects of our identity such as religion, race, gender, age, or sexuality, which cannot be used as reasons for treating us unfairly.
Some older people may avoid asking for help because they think they won’t receive equal treatment, in spite of sharing a particular protected characteristic, such as being gay.
Age UK asked us to investigate whether five key services – falls prevention, home from hospital schemes, handyperson schemes, befriending, and day opportunities – successfully offer support across all older people, regardless of any ‘protected characteristic’.
It seemed a straightforward task. Researchers today have access to masses of material. We can trawl through specialist databases containing thousands of research papers published each year. Many organisations such as Age UK publish their research reports online and for free. Continue reading “Guest blog – Protected or ignored characteristics?”