Pressing for Change – The Continuing Campaign for Transgender Equality

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2006 National LGBT Conference
25 July 2006

Conference welcomes the UNISON response to the Government’s consultation on anti-discrimination in the area of goods facilities and services on the grounds of sexual orientation and expresses its gratitude to those regions, branches and members who contributed to the consultation.

Conferences notes that UNISON included in its response its demand that the omission of anti-discrimination on the grounds of gender identity or gender expression be corrected by legislative means as a matter of urgency.

Conference notes the Government’s commitment to implement such protections as a part of the forthcoming Single Equality Act and also notes that the UK is obliged to provide protection on the grounds of gender reassignment under the EU Gender Directive (2004/113/EC) by no later than December 2007. Conference notes that under this Directive the Government may legislate by regulation. If it proceeded in this way this would not cover the field of education or fully cover discrimination on grounds of gender identity (apart from gender reassignment), as these are not contained in the Directive. Conference therefore believes the Government should introduce primary legislation that addresses the full range of issues, throughout the UK, at the earliest opportunity.

Conference notes that UNISON continues to lobby for the rights of all our LGBT members not to be discriminated against in the provision of goods facilities and services and therefore welcomed the early day motion in the last parliamentary session which asked for changes to the Equality Bill to facilitate this.

Conference believes that transgender members should not be discriminated against in employment and the provision of goods, facilities and services and calls on an amendment to the Sex Discrimination Act or the inclusion in other relevant proposed Equality legislation to ensure that such protection is introduced at the earliest opportunity.

Conference therefore instructs the National LGBT Committee to:

1.Continue working with Press For Change to put pressure on the Government to introduce comprehensive protection against discrimination in the areas of goods, facilities and services at the earliest opportunity;

2.Underscore the importance of such protections being introduced prior to December 2007 in order to comply with the EU Directive;

3.Campaign for the Government to proceed by use of primary legislation so as to ensure that the protections granted match those accorded under the Sex Discrimination Act (especially in the area of education);

4.Lobby for the earliest possible introduction of the Single Equality Act to address the need for harmonised, robust equality legislation across all equality strands, including gender identity;

5.Continue to raise the issues with the National Executive Council and Labour Link, seeking their support in the campaign;

6.Urge branch and regional LGBT groups and individual members to contact their local MP’s to raise the issues;

7.Draft a model motion for use by regional LGBT groups to submit to Regional Councils;

8.Raise the issues in the wider LGBT labour and union movement, including the TUC LGBT Committee and the Labour Campaign for Lesbian and Gay Rights (LCLGR) to maximise support;

9.Engage in a high profile campaign to encourage the widest possible response to consultation by the Government on measures to implement these protections, in particular stressing the need for the legislation to be comprehensive and for any exemptions to be narrowly drawn clearly warranted on equality grounds.