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

This Conference believes:

1.To be LGBT remains illegal in many countries across the world, with LGBT people facing life prison sentences, beatings, rape, torture and even death;

2.Even in countries where the state does not officially sanction severe repression of LGBT people, homophobia and transphobia can be brutally rife;

3.The UK Asylum system should provide safe refuge for anyone fleeing persecution, including LGBT asylum seekers;

4.The debate on immigration and asylum in the UK seems to be lurching to the right, with politicians and the media lumping the two issues together and hyping up fears and ignorance about failed “bogus” asylum seekers.

This Conference further believes:

A.Moses Kayiza, a gay man who was arrested, raped and tortured in Uganda because of his sexuality, would be deemed by the hostile media and politicians to be a failed bogus asylum seeker, as he has lost his case and is likely to be deported;

B.During the assessment of Mose’s case for asylum, a high level of ignorance about sexuality was shown – the official records of the reasons for the refusal of Mose’s asylum claim included that he could not be gay because he had been married, he would be safe to return to Uganda as he could somehow hide his sexuality in the future, and that he could not have been raped by male police officers in a country where homosexuality is illegal;

C.By the time this motion gets debated, Moses will either have been deported to a lifetime of imprisonment or worse, or if his anti-deportation campaign is successful, he will be living in safety as part of the LGBT community in Manchester;

D.Mose’s case is just one of many in an asylum system that is driven by a racist backlash, rather than compassion and a willingness to understand;

E.As LGBT activists in a Trade Union, we understand the concept of solidarity, and we must take every opportunity to extend this to our brothers and sisters who are experiencing oppression world wide, and who seek safety in the UK.

This Conference resolves:

I.To support anti-deportation campaigns by LGBT asylum seekers who ask for our help, including putting information about their campaigns in Out in UNISON, in the LGBT e-bulletin and on the LGBT section of the UNISON website, to invite speakers to meetings and conferences where possible, and to write letters of support individually and collectively;

II.To facilitate contact between LGBT anti-deportation campaigns and local and regional activists as much as possible;

III.To work with current LGBT anti-deportation campaigns to produce and distribute a “how-to” information sheet on supporting and campaigning for LGBT asylum seekers;

IV.That the National LGBT Committee work within UNISON to lobby government to change the asylum system to make it more welcoming and less homo/transphobic, including guidance on handling asylum claims by LGBT people.