Belfast Telegraph

Gays 'still facing discrimination'

Discrimination is still affecting too many gay men and women, the Equality Commissioner has said.

The commission received 82 inquiries from people concerned about their rights in the last year, said Michael Wardlow.

There was an increase in the number of inquiries received from people harassed because of their sexual orientation when seeking access to goods and services.

Mr Wardlow said: "We understand that sensitivities and privacy issues, which often influence people against declaring their sexual orientation at work, in school and in other social contexts, can also inhibit them from raising complaints about discriminatory treatment.

"The law is in place to protect everyone from homophobic treatment and discrimination, and the Equality Commission would like to hear from more lesbian, gay and bisexual people about their experiences and advise them of their rights and options."

Wednesday is the International Day of Anti-Homophobia and Mr Wardlow said the law in Northern Ireland highlights society`s rejection of discrimination, harassment and physical attacks on people because of their sexual orientation.

In 2011/12 the PSNI recorded 200 homophobic incidents. Homophobic incidents were down by 11 (5.2%).

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