- 2004 National Lesbian & Gay Conference
- 30 July 2004
- Carried as Amended
Conference commends the progress made by the NLGC in its work with the Government and other organisations on last year’s recommendations to do with improving the range and availability of educational materials for young lesbians and gay men in schools and youth groups.
Conference also welcomes the passing, at this year’s National Delegates Conference, of a motion asking the NEC to campaign through UNISON lay committees and outside bodies for a national strategy to support young lesbians and gay men.
However Conference notes that youth workers, library staff, Connexions staff and teaching assistants are disadvantaged, when trying to help young lesbians and gay men, because access to appropriate web-based information is being barred by school and local government firewalls that are intended to block pornography.
Conference believes that this blocking:
1.Deprives young lesbians and gay men of private access to unbiased information;
2.Gives an inherently negative message to those who may already be suffering low self-esteem;
3.Prevents the majority heterosexual peer group from gaining a proper understanding of sexuality in general, reinforcing their misperceptions that there is something unacceptable about being lesbian or gay.
4.Also disadvantages many members of staff who do not have internet access at work and rely on using it during their breaks and after work.
Conference understands that most firewall provision comes from software developed at a national level and that this can be used at an excuse at local levels to do nothing to help. Conference therefore instructs the National Lesbian and Gay Committee to work with professional bodies such as the Chartered Institute of Information and Library Professionals (CILIP) and the national service groups to raise the matter of internet access to suitable sites for young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people as a negotiating issue and to publicise the outcomes.
Conference further instructs the National Lesbian and Gay Committee to work with the appropriate bodies in the union to produce specific guidance for members who face investigation or disciplinary procedures by accessing non-pornographic lesbian and gay material over the internet that the employer deems offensive and to also include an article in OUT in UNISON.