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Lesbian,Gay,Bisexual & Transgender Conference 2005
29 July 2005
Carried as Amended

This Conference believes:

1.That after 8 years in power, the current Government has equalised the law for LGBT people in a number of areas including the new protection against homophobia at work, but has failed to deliver full legal equality for LGBT people;

2.This continuing inequality includes new partnership rights that fall short of full equality, a lack of legislation to ensure equality for LGBT people who want fertility treatment or to adopt throughout the UK, hate crime legislation that has been put in place for some groups but not for LGBT people, and companies and organisations remain free to discriminate in the provision of goods and services;

3.Whilst steps forward have been made to equalise laws, homophobia remains rife in our workplaces and wider society;

4.A single Equality Act, encompassing all discrimination would make it crystal clear that discrimination is not acceptable and would send a clear message that being LGBT is not something “second class” and we are all valuable equal human beings;

5.A single Equality Act should not mean that individual issues become blurred; there is still a clear need for individual funding and strategy, and self-organisation;

6.However important legal equality is, it is only one step along the road to liberation; Trade Unions are in a key position to take forward the struggle against homophobia, educating bigots and supporting LGBT people standing up for their rights.

This Conference further believes:

A.Some sections of the media, notable politicians, and a number of well known companies continue to scapegoat and encourage ignorance and bigotry towards LGBT people;

B.Government progress towards legal LGBT equality should be backed up through Central Government funded inclusion and regeneration initiatives. Whilst there are pockets of good practice such as New East Manchester’s (New Deal for Communities) outreach work and funding of the Lesbian and Gay help-line, or the Single Regeneration Budget (SRB) 6 funded LGBT Community Forum in Brighton, there are no requirements for LGBT inclusion in the way there are for Black and Minority Ethnic Communities;

C.Our members are employed in regeneration and inclusion schemes, as well as in health and other public services which still have a long way to go before they fully meet the needs of LGBT communities. They should be supported by UNISON in pressing for changes to support LGBT people;

D.UNISON has an obvious role in defending members against trans/homophobia at work, and as the “pensions crisis” deepens UNISON alongside other unions enter negotiations with the Government, it is important that our case for equality is forcefully put. But this should not be at the expense of the overall package – we do not want equal rights to work longer for less!;

E.UNISON members face homo/transphobia in all parts of their lives; UNISON’s support should not end when they set foot outside the workplace door;

F.Positively and visibly tackling homophobia is not only important for changes in society, but it is also good for the morale of members and liable to attract more LGBT people into membership.

This Conference resolves that:

I.Regional UNISON LGBT Groups should run campaigns locally to confront homo/transphobic bigots, companies and employers;

II.National LGBT Committee should seek funding for, and produce, campaign resources including posters, leaflets and stickers to “Stamp Out Homophobia”;

III.National LGBT Committee should contact UNISON’s other self-organised group national committees, TUC LGBT committee and the NUS LGBT group and seek support for a national “Act now for full equality demonstration and campaign”.