Ruth Hunt, Baroness Hunt of Bethnal Green

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The Baroness Hunt
of Bethnal Green
Official portrait of Baroness Hunt of Bethnal Green crop 2.jpg
Hunt in 2019
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
Assumed office
28 October 2019
Life Peerage
Personal details
Born
Ruth Elizabeth Hunt

(1980-03-12) 12 March 1980 (age 42)
Cardiff, Wales
Political partyCrossbencher
Domestic partnerCaroline Ellis
Alma materSt Hilda's College, Oxford
OccupationFormer Chief Executive of Stonewall

Ruth Elizabeth Hunt, Baroness Hunt of Bethnal Green (born 12 March 1980) is a Welsh administrator who was Chief Executive of UK-based lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans equality charity Stonewall,[1] the largest LGBT equality body in Europe, from 2014 until her resignation in 2019.[2]

Hunt was nominated for a life peerage and Crossbench member of the House of Lords in the 2019 Prime Minister's Resignation Honours.[3] She was created Baroness Hunt of Bethnal Green, of Bethnal Green in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, on 16 October 2019.[4]

She was formerly President of the Oxford University Student Union.

Biography[edit]

Hunt was educated at Christ the King Primary School, Cardiff, New College, Cardiff, a former independent school, and King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Girls, Birmingham, before going on to study English Language and Literature at St Hilda's College, Oxford.

Hunt joined the Equality Challenge Unit, an organisation which promoted "equality for staff employed in the higher education sector",[5] in January 2004 where she led work to advise Higher Education Institutions on sexual orientation and gender identity equality.[6]

In 2005, she joined Stonewall in the role of Senior Policy Officer where she led work on Stonewall's research into homophobic bullying in schools. She became Head of Policy and Research in 2007 and Director of Public Affairs in 2009.

During this time Hunt produced research into lesbian, gay and bisexual health needs and inequalities,[7] religion and belief and its impact on sexual orientation equality, older gay people's experiences in Britain[8] and, in 2012, the first guide looking at openly gay role models.[9]

In 2013, Hunt was named as Deputy Chief Executive of Stonewall,[10] overseeing the strategic development and delivery of Stonewall's policy, research, campaigns and information functions which includes the work of Stonewall's Public Affairs team, Education team, the Stonewall Information Service and Stonewall Scotland and Stonewall Cymru.

In July 2014, after a period as Acting Chief Executive, she was named Chief Executive of Stonewall.[11]

Hunt has overseen the growth of Stonewall's work in Scotland and Wales, in particular the establishment of the Stonewall Cymru bilingual information service[12] and Stonewall Scotland's lobbying to secure the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill. She gave evidence to the Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee on marriage equality in September 2013.[13]

Hunt leads Stonewall's work on policy development and strategic influencing, in particular developing strategic partnerships with organisations across the public and private sector. She has led work with organisations such as the Ministry of Defence, the UK Border Agency, the Home Office and Accenture.

As Deputy Chief Executive, Hunt was involved in Stonewall's campaign regarding the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill in England and Wales.[14]

She was involved in Stonewall's campaign regarding the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008, legalising lesbian to access fertility treatment.[15]

In October 2013, in its "Pink List", the Independent on Sunday named Hunt as the fifth most influential LGBT person in Britain.[16] In 2014, she dropped to eighth place in the renamed "Rainbow List", and in 2015 she was voted into third place.[17][18] In 2015, she also received an honorary fellowship from Cardiff University, where her mother Sheila was then Professor of Nursing,[19] and an honorary degree from Keele University.[20][21]

She attracted much attention in May 2014 when she announced in The Daily Telegraph that Stonewall would not be joining a wide boycott of The Dorchester hotel in London, owned by the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, where Stonewall was to hold a gala dinner. Bolkiah was proposing to introduce the death penalty for sodomy but she argued that there was not "a mandate for the boycott" and "We only implement actions that we can calculate will have an impact."[22]

Hunt edited The Book of Queer Prophets, a collection of essays on sexuality and religion to be published in May 2020. The book includes essays by Jeanette Winterson, Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, John L. Bell, and others.[23]

She publicly apologised days before the 2015 general election after Stonewall was criticised for publishing an online campaign graphic which suggested that only the Labour Party substantially supported LGBT equality in its manifesto.[24]

In 2019, some donors were reported by The Sunday Times to have stopped funding Stonewall as a consequence of Hunt's position on trans equality. One donor was reported as saying that Hunt was "no longer a worthy champion of our rights", another that she had "lost what the big principle is".[25]

Personal life[edit]

Hunt entered a civil partnership with her partner Kirsty Lloyd in 2010,[26] although it was reported in 2014 that the couple had separated.[citation needed]

Hunt works with her current partner, Caroline Ellis, as codirectors of Deeds and Words.[27][28][29] Hunt and Ellis live together in London[28] in a civil partnership.[29]

Hunt is a practising Roman Catholic and has spoken out in favour of bridging the gap between faith leaders and LGBT communities.[30]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Stonewall". Stonewall.org.uk. Archived from the original on 2 March 2013. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  2. ^ "About us". Stonewall.org.uk. Archived from the original on 20 November 2013. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  3. ^ "Resignation Peerages 2019" (PDF). Cabinet Office. 10 September 2019. Archived (PDF) from the original on 11 October 2019. Retrieved 26 October 2019.
  4. ^ "No. 62802". The London Gazette. 22 October 2019. p. 18924.
  5. ^ "About us - Equality Challenge Unit (ECU)". ecu.ac.uk. Archived from the original on 23 December 2008.
  6. ^ "Ruth Hunt". Stonewall.org.uk. 4 August 2015. Retrieved 18 June 2022.
  7. ^ "Prescription for Change : Lesbian and bisexual women's health check 2008" (PDF). Stonewall.org.uk. Archived (PDF) from the original on 26 September 2013. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  8. ^ "Stonewall". Stonewall. 7 December 2009. Archived from the original on 16 August 2013. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  9. ^ "Stonewall". Stonewall. 8 August 2013. Archived from the original on 29 September 2013. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  10. ^ "About us". Stonewall.org.uk. 19 June 2013. Archived from the original on 13 September 2013. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  11. ^ "Stonewall announces new Chief Executive". Stonewall.org.uk. Archived from the original on 30 August 2014. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
  12. ^ "English". Stonewallcymru.org.uk. Archived from the original on 17 November 2014. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  13. ^ "BBC Democracy Live - Equal Opportunities committee". Bbc.co.uk. 26 September 2013. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  14. ^ "My Week: Ruth Hunt is building on the vote for gay marriage". Thirdsector.co.uk. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  15. ^ "UK | Lesbians given equal birth rights". BBC News. 31 August 2009. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  16. ^ "The Independent on Sunday's Pink List 2013". The Independent on Sunday. 13 October 2013. Archived from the original on 14 October 2013. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
  17. ^ "Rainbow List 2014, 1 to 101". The Independent on Sunday. 9 November 2014. Archived from the original on 1 August 2020. Retrieved 4 December 2020.
  18. ^ Morrison, Sarah (15 November 2015). "Rainbow List 2015: 1 to 101". The Independent on Sunday. Archived from the original on 15 September 2017. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
  19. ^ "New chief for the School of Nursing". WalesOnline. 23 July 2007. Retrieved 4 December 2020.
  20. ^ "Prestigious line-up to receive Honorary Fellowships". Cardiff University. 13 July 2015. Archived from the original on 1 April 2016. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
  21. ^ "Keel University Honorary Degrees 2015". Keele University. 16 June 2015. Archived from the original on 3 April 2016. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
  22. ^ Hunt, Ruth (16 May 2014). "Why Stonewall isn't joining the Dorchester boycott". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 14 April 2016. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
  23. ^ Chandler, Mark (27 January 2020). "William Collins acquires collection on sexuality and religion curated by ex-Stonewall boss". The Bookseller. Archived from the original on 27 January 2020. Retrieved 22 February 2020.
  24. ^ Duffy, Nick (28 April 2015). "Lib Dem Minister and senior Tory slam Stonewall's 'skewed' election graphic". PinkNews. Archived from the original on 27 September 2020. Retrieved 4 December 2020.
  25. ^ Hellen, Nicholas (24 February 2019). "Stonewall drives away backers with 'trans' agenda". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Archived from the original on 8 November 2020. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
  26. ^ Dugan, Emily (4 December 2014). "Ruth Hunt interview: 'People say it's fine now – it's not. We still edit ourselves'". The Independent. Archived from the original on 12 January 2021. Retrieved 4 December 2020.
  27. ^ "Our Directors | Deed + Words". deedsandwords.co.uk. Retrieved 18 September 2022.
  28. ^ a b Love with Ruth Hunt | Somewhere To Believe In, retrieved 18 September 2022
  29. ^ a b Stanford, Peter (30 July 2022). "The book of Ruth" (PDF). The Tablet. Vol. 276, no. 9463. United Kingdom. pp. 12–13. Retrieved 18 September 2022.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: date and year (link)
  30. ^ "BBC News - Archbishop Vincent Nichols stops Soho gay Catholic Mass". Bbc.co.uk. 2 January 2013. Archived from the original on 15 August 2013. Retrieved 19 November 2013.

External links[edit]

Orders of precedence in the United Kingdom
Preceded by Ladies
Baroness Hunt of Bethnal Green
Followed by
The Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick