Coalition Government equality appointments decided

When pretty much every Diversity practitioner you ask is not keen to see a Conservative government in power, it may be fair to assume that such a shift in power may not be good for equality. Well it’s time to stop pinching yourselves this nightmare is real, and the twist in the plot was that our only hope the LibDems have colluded with the enemy! Was that the “Real change” you were talking about Mr Clegg?

So let’s get started with the appointment of the most influential Minister in relation to equality, Theresa May, who is Harriet Harman’s replacement. She will be in a dual role of Home Secretary and Equalities Minister. One of only four women cabinet members, her appointment has angered gay rights activists who see it as a major hypocrisy. According to pinknews.co.uk
  • In 2001 and 2002 she voted against gay couples jointly adopting children.
  • Although in 2004, like much of the Conservative front bench, Mrs May did vote in favour of civil partnerships, that same year, Mrs May didn't attend Parliament for any of the four votes that led to the Gender Recognition Act.
  • She didn't even turn up to Parliament for the vote for the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations that outlawed discrimination on the basis of sexuality for the provision of goods and services including adoption. This is a key piece of legislation that she has the responsibility for administering
  • In 2008 she voted in favour of a defeated bill which said that IVF rights should require a male role model- effectively discriminating against lesbian fertility rights.
Source pinknews.co.uk
Defending her voting record on Channel 4 News Mrs May commented "Certainly there were some votes I wasn't present for. But what we intend to do in government is taking forward an agenda on equalities across the whole range of equalities."
Lynne Featherstone has been made Equalities Minister, a junior ministerial role in the home office. She has previously impressed with stance on a number of equality issues such as the Nameless CV Proposal. Upon appointment she immediately criticised David Cameron for the lack of women in government saying “we must do better”. I have a feeling Mrs Featherstone will not always tow the party line, and for that I thank all those who voted for her as she may be our only hope. Having been shadow Equalities Minister for the LibDems she has a clear understanding of the issues at hand.
In the end what will concern most diversity practitioners is that the current regime seem to think equalities is a part time job which can be slotted around running one of the most demanding offices  in government. Can Lynne Featherstone take off where the legendary Harriet Harman left off? (Yes we miss you now Ms Harman!)
Blogging from her bath tub (She is a minster that goes the extra mile of keeping her followers in touch!) Mrs Featherstone commented
“So - today will find out the lie of the land - but the chance to deliver Liberal Democrat equality policy is phenomenal. Will I get our whole agenda agreed - well I might - but there are a few things I can see causing ructions - but I am optimistic about most of it."
Let’s hope so!



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