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2002 National Lesbian & Gay Conference
25 October 2002
Carried as Amended

This Conference notes with concern that while the lesbian, gay and bisexual community has been resourceful in negotiating their way around sectarian barriers in Scotland and Northern Ireland, sectarianism is on the increase and remains a taboo subject for many lesbian, gay and bisexual communities.

This Conference believes that sectarianism has not only had a particularly negative impact on lesbians and gay men as individuals, but also on the lesbian, gay and bisexual community’s capacity to develop fully inclusive and tolerant community organisations that are capable of attracting broad support from all sections of the lesbian, gay and bisexual community, an dthat have the ability to interact with all sections of the public.

Conference condemns remarks made by Peter Robinson, Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA), in a recent debate in the Northern Ireland (NI) Assembly. In his speech Mr Robinson ridiculed “lesbians in Lenadoon” and denigrated a number of lesbian, gay, queer and transgender community organisations. Conference believes that his comments are symptomanic of the continued climate of homophobia and sectarianism that pervades our societies still.

Conference therefore calls on the National Lesbian and Gay Committee to: in partnership with both regions to promote joint working, awareness raising, understanding and discussion of the impact of sectarianism from the point of view of lesbian, gay and bisexual communities; with other organisations to research into the extent of sectarianism, and the ability to challenge it, within the lesbian, gay and bisexual community;

3.develop models of good practice for lesbian, gay and bisexual community work across divided communities that will help to challenge sectarianism.