Scottish and Ulster RIBA bodies refuse to promote AJ’s gay survey
The Royal Society of Ulster Architects (RSUA) and the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) both refused to send the AJ’s survey of lesbian, gay and bisexual architects to their members
Other RIBA regional bodies helped to push out the survey to their members via newsletters and Twitter.
Worryingly, findings from the online questionnaire showed that Scotland was the least accepting of all the regions with only 53 per cent of gay architects describing themselves as comfortable being out in the workplace, compared with the UK average of 74 per cent. Nearly a quarter of gay architects in Scotland were concerned about being open about their sexualities.
RIAS secretary and treasurer Neil Baxter said the institute’s council voted not to include the survey in its e-bulletin as it was felt raising the issue could be ‘divisive’.
He said: ‘As soon as you focus on a particular issue, you run the risk of having the opposite effect to what you want. However well intentioned, [the survey] highlights something our council felt was not an issue in Scottish practices.’
In Northern Ireland the board of the RSUA did not want to be seen as ‘endorsing’ the survey, as gay rights remains a sensitive issue in the country.
Paul Crowe, managing director of Belfast-based Todd Architecture said: ‘The RSUA is meant to represent all architects. That’s the bottom line. It’s our professional body.’