Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Group

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2005 National Women's Conference
21 October 2004

Conference notes that:

1) following many years of informal discussion and several rounds of formal consultation within the lesbian and gay self-organised group, the 2003 Lesbian and Gay Conference agreed that the UNISON lesbian and gay group should be replaced by a UNISON lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender group;

2)the necessary rule change from Lesbian and Gay Conference to National Delegate Conference did not, however, achieve the necessary two-thirds majority in June 2004;

3)the agenda for the 2004 Lesbian and Gay Conference includes a series of motions, from the NLGC, regional and branch groups, and the black and disabled lesbian and gay members’ caucuses, for the rule change to be carried at the 2005 National Delegate Conference;

4)neither in 2003 nor in 2004 were any motions submitted calling for the lesbian and gay group to remain a lesbian and gay group;

5)the vast majority of other union and community groups that UNISON works with, including the TUC, operate as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender groups;

6)although the women’s self-organised group includes male to female transgender members and has worked on gender identity issues, female to male trans members cannot be part of women’s self-organisation;

7)many members participate in more than one self-organised group and many other members who are eligible to participate in self-organisation, do not do so.

Conference believes that:

a)self-organisation is a critical tool in working for equality and against discrimination;

b) bisexual and transgender workers face discrimination on grounds of their sexual orientation and gender identity at work, in society and – sometimes – in the union;

c) there is no possibility of UNISON establishing two new self-organised groups for bisexual or transgender members, even if there was any call for this;

d) a UNISON lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender group is the best way to address bisexual and transgender equality issues within self-organisation.

Conference therefore instructs the National Women’s Committee and calls on regional and branch women’s groups to explain to other members why the lesbian and gay group wants to be replaced by a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender group, and to call for support for the necessary rule change at the 2005 National Delegate Conference.