Stonewall research: ‘Love thy neighbour’

Research by Stonewall published in 2008 suggests that many faith leaders inadequately reflect their followers’ religious objections to lesbian and gay sexuality.

‘Love thy neighbour’, based on interviews with Jewish, Muslim. Hindu and Christian participants from across the north of England, found that many hold significantly more moderate views of homosexuality than is often claimed on their behalf.

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Joseph Rowntree Foundation research: ‘Immigration and social cohesion in the UK’

In July 2008, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation published ‘Immigration and Social Cohesion in the UK: The rhythms and realities of everyday life’ by Mary Hickman, Helen Crowley and Nick Mai.

The research shows that most people felt that social cohesion was about negotiating the right balance in expressing difference and unity in local areas, rather than expecting complete consensus on values and priorities. However, some majority ethnic long-term residents experienced government concerns with immigration as prioritising the interests of private business, while neglecting their specific needs. The researchers conclude that the limited opportunities and multiple deprivations of the long-term settled population in parts of UK towns and cities undermine social cohesion. To ensure cohesion, the impact of social and economic changes needs to be addressed as well as how people relate to each other.

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European legal victory creates new rights for carers

On 17 July 2008, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that treating employees less favourably because of their association with a disabled person was unlawful.

The case of Sharon Coleman, funded by the Equality and Human Rights Commission jointly acting with solicitors Bates Wells & Braithwaite London LLP, was referred to the ECJ by an Employment Tribunal in order to determine if ‘disability discrimination by association’ is unlawful. Her case will now have to go back to the Tribunal for a hearing later this year.

In a statement, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said that ‘[t]he legal victory in Europe creates new rights for Britain’s six million carers, including those looking after older relatives’.