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Business World ‘Intolerant of Homosexuality,’ Says BP Former Chief Exec

Business World ‘Intolerant of Homosexuality,’ Says BP Former Chief Exec


Lord Browne, the former chief executive of BP, said this week that the business world must do more to end anti-LGBT discrimination.

Browne, speaking at the launch of Connect Out, an LGBT network set up by engineering and design consultants Arup, said that he believes the business world has an anti-gay atmosphere.

Reports the BBC:

“My sense is that the business world remains more intolerant of homosexuality than other worlds such as the legal profession, the media and the visual arts–I am one of a handful of publicly gay people to have run a FTSE 100 company.

“In some industries, the situation is particularly bad. Among the many people I know in private equity, where I now work, fewer than 1% are openly gay.”

He therefore wants “leaders in companies, and not just in human resources” to “think about inclusion in every decision they take”. He says: “It comes down to a simple maxim – don’t do anything that excludes people.”

Speaking on how it felt for him to hide his sexuality during his 41-year career at BP, Lord Browne said:

“Hiding my sexuality did make me unhappy and, in the end, it didn’t work. People guessed, and it was only a matter of time before it came out. I realise now that the people we dealt with certainly knew I was gay. Putin had files on everybody. But at the time I was trapped by the fear of exposure.”

Browne quit his position as BP’s chief executive in painful circumstances after being forced to admit that he had misled a court relating to circumstances in which he met his former boyfriend. This, he told a BBC interviewer, was symptomatic of the way in which he had become so accustomed to lying about his sexuality–though he was clear that this in no way excused his error in judgement.

Browne went on to say that he believes the UK, and the UK’s business sector in particular, could play a key role in helping to decriminalize homosexuality abroad and in fostering a tolerant and even gay-affirming environment in countries that are currently hostile to LGBT identity.

Read the full interview here.


Related Reading:

British Home Secretary Records Pro-Gay Marriage Video
‘Spot the Transgender’ Ad Banned By British ASA
British Marriage Equality Group Releases Support Ad
Archbishop of Wales: Church Should Embrace Gay Marriage

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Image used under the MorgueFile User License with thanks to a_glitch.

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5:03AM PDT on Jun 5, 2012

Sadly not being able to express themselves will negatively affect their mental health :( no wonder here are so many suicides.

4:58AM PDT on Jun 5, 2012

thanks for sharing

12:38PM PDT on Jun 4, 2012

sexual preference and business world..i just dont see the connection.

7:53AM PDT on Jun 4, 2012

Like I care about one man's (who USED to work for BP) stance on gay rights after everything BP has done to hurt nature. He can stop pretending to be a good person.

10:09AM PDT on Jun 3, 2012


7:41AM PDT on Jun 3, 2012

Noted ,,,thanks,,

12:01PM PDT on Jun 1, 2012

I think though ALEC they the business community have proven their intolrence for the whole working class and not just gays.

11:05AM PDT on Jun 1, 2012

I made a video about why Homosexuals should have equal rights. It’s at my YouTube channel Zarrakan, and here’s the link:

Watch it, share it, and join the fight against the evil Homophobes.

8:19AM PDT on Jun 1, 2012

If Mutt Robbme believes this would even qualify as an amendment to an already antique constipated Contitution he should be in the Sanitarium with Sanitorum.

7:32AM PDT on Jun 1, 2012

Do you really think that BP, and anyone that works for such a morally corrupt company, is a beacon for equality?

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