Clifford Chance set to launch gay network

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Readers' comments (14)

  • Why the anonymous comments?

    It may be rather telling that all of these comments were made on an anonymous basis. This is still an issue on which people are afraid to be open and frank. As an openly gay partner in a large Scottish law firm, I am continually saddened by the fact that many LGBT members of the profession are unable to be open about their lives and loves at work.
    My firm has a very inclusive diversity policy which seeks to make every member of the firm feel valued. We do not run to an LGBT network but our collegiality and inclusiveness makes that unnecessary. The more people who are prepared to be themselves, the less need there is for support from others. I celebrated my civil partnership on the day they came into force. As a W.S., I sent in my ‘marriage’ certificate to the WS Dependants’ Annuity Fund to seek the same pension rights for my partner as would be accorded to my wife, had I married. Yesterday, by unanimous vote, the rules of the Fund were amended to include civil partners as dependants. The profession is moving forward. Just have the guts to stand up and be counted.

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  • Well done Clifford Chance

    This is exactly the type of step which needs to be taken by the large law firms in order to show the smaller ones that discrimination is no longer acceptable. I previously worked at a top 5 international law firm and knew of at least 6 other lawyers there who were gay but did not feel that they could be open about it with their work colleagues. Surely that speaks for itself. I currently work at a medium size firm and know that the senior members of the partnership and management would discriminate against any openness within the workplace. Homophobic jokes in partners meetings are in fact commonplace. I can also attest to the fact that not being able to be open does have an adverse effect on work satisfaction and feeling part of the team. Interestingly I have felt able on a number of occasions to be completely open with clients who have not batted an eyelid. Too many lawyers are still living in a bubble.

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  • Autonomous Empowerment

    How ridiculous most of the comments are here - “the left handed network” that comment is a disgrace and I personally take offence. LGBT groups within the workplace provide a forum for support, representation and discussion for workers who are oppressed inside work and out.
    Discrimination does not stop on the doorstep at work- it’s inside work as well. Until very recently it was legal to sack someone because of their sexuality, and it is still legal to do that in faith-based organisations. These forums are tackling homophobia, they’re making LGBT peoples working lives better.
    You think because Graham Norton's on telly that now everything's fine? Get real, wake up because its not. Why can't I hold my partners hand down the high street? Because I will be beaten up. But I can hold my partner’s hand in a gay village, because it is safe - just like talking about my issues at work in an LGBT network meeting - it is safe.
    I suggest you keep your Daily Mail/Telegraph/Sun views to yourself and let us get on challenging discrimination.

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  • view from Russia

    Clifford Chance and other magic circle law firms are really progressive in their decision to open the LGBT network.

    As Anonymous said on 6-Nov-2007 @ 15:19PM: “that it's not about sex but about overcoming fear.”

    Frankly speaking, I would like to propose to partners of my law firm in Moscow to open such a network within our firm, but it seems to me that no-one would listen, because Russians are not quite tolerant to such issues. I feel that some of our clients may leave us for good because of our "attitude"...

    Well, good luck to those who are not afraid to go against society's mainstream.

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