Refugee advocates and LGBT activists are to picket an event organised by Britain's leading lesbian and gay organisation - because it features Home Secretary Theresa May as the star speaker.
The group Stonewall recently awarded May's Home Office first place in its Workplace Equality Index. The Home Office said this was in part "for accepting Stonewall's recommendations in new training for asylum caseworkers on how to deal appropriately and sensitively with the claims of lesbian, gay and bisexual people."
Stonewall say in their report on this year's index:
"Finally, the Home Office and its agencies have taken their wider responsibility to LGB people in the justice system seriously. This year, the UK Border Agency accepted the recommendations of Stonewall's No Going Back research and has begun to deliver new training to caseworkers on how to deal appropriately with the asylum claims of LGB people."(NB: Stonewall's report 'No Going Back' made 21 recommendations.)
The website Gay Mafia Watch says:
"The Home Office is the lead government department with a number of subsidiaries including the UK Borders Agency which is directly responsible for forcibly removing failed asylum seekers (including LGBT people) fleeing persecution, rape, torture, and death such as Asylum Seeker from Uganda, [BN] – who was at the high court fighting her deportation only last week."They and the group No Borders will picket Stonewall's 2011 Workplace Conference on Friday 18 March outside the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in central London.
"Not only has this award been given to one of the most despicable elements of the government, Stonewall’s made a special effort to endorse Conservative MP Theresa May as some sort of hero behind this achievement. Neither have anything to be proud about."
London NoBorders says:
"With the Home Office receiving the award for best place to work for LGB people, Stonewall however picked a winner that leaves us with a bitter taste. While those up in office were able to freely express their sexuality, those that had sought the same in the UK were at the mercy of callous bureaucrats working for the very same employer. London NoBorders condemn this decision of Stonewall and would like to remind them of their key priorities and the historical background of their chosen name."