BW Barkley's argument that gay men and women in our industry should 'keep their sexuality to themselves' (NCE 29 June) is flawed and contradictory.
By disagreeing with the inclusion of the word 'sexuality' in equal opportunities statements, Mr Barkley is by default suggesting that gay men and lesbians should be discriminated against. However, he concludes by saying: 'I am not advocating that homosexuals should be discriminated against.'
It is only through positive exposure, such as that actively promoted by the ICEFLOE forum, that minority groups, particularly gay and lesbian engineers, will be seen to be an integral part of our profession and today's diverse and, in my experience, accepting society.
Perhaps if a member of Mr Barkley's family were a gay civil engineer, he would maintain a more liberal view. I am sure that Mr Barkley would wish to see a gay family member in a long term relationship enjoying the same for benefits as those offered to married couples.
Our profession will continue to have difficulty when there are members holding such out of date and bigoted views.
Good engineers can be straight or gay. An element of our profession's future is to acknowledge this fact and ensure it is accommodated.
Graham D Hindley (M), GDHindley@aol. com