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

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


Katie Carlile
.5 years ago

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

Patricia H.
Patricia H.5 years ago

thanks for sharing

Valerie Hammett
Valerie Hammett5 years ago

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

Stephen Greg
Jason T5 years ago

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.

Angela N.
Angela N5 years ago


paul m.
paul m5 years ago

Noted ,,,thanks,,

Linda T.
Linda T5 years ago

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

Andrew Carvin
Andrew Carvin5 years ago

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.

JACK DOYLE5 years ago

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.

Anita Wisch
Anita Wisch5 years ago

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