Goods and Services – No Exceptions and No Exemptions

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2006 National LGBT Conference
8 November 2006

This conference is disappointed that the proposed Sexual Orientation (Goods & Services) Regulations will not be implemented from October 2006 as expected. Further, this conference is extremely concerned at reports in various parts of the media (e.g. Observer 15/10/06 and Guardian 16/10/06) that the delay is connected to issues of religious exemptions from the regulations; and that these exemptions may be being considered as a direct result of the personal religious beliefs of the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

Whilst recognising an individual’s right to follow whichever faith, or none, that they choose, conference does not believe that discrimination guised as religious doctrine is acceptable within our society or statute.

This conference firmly believes that offering exemptions to religious bodies would completely undermine the intent and spirit of the regulations by providing a loophole, through which people can continue to discriminate against LGB people (T issues to be legislated on by 27/12/07 in line with EU Gender Directive).

Conference, therefore, instructs the National LGBT Committee to work within its sub-committee structures, and with other parts of UNISON such as the Labour Link, to campaign and lobby for the introduction of the Regulations without religious exemptions.