Black and Disabled Members Network Days

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2007 National LGBT Conference
20 September 2007

As Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people are not a uniform group, and because our community is as prone to racism and discrimination against disabled people as the rest of society, black and disabled members meet as distinctive groups within our self-organised group. The national committee arranges annual meetings for black and disabled LGBT members – which are usually attended by both new members and more experienced activists. These national network days allow black and disabled members to discuss issues of shared concern, elect members to the national committee and formulate proposals to go to the annual national LGBT conference.

There are only three weeks between the publication of the preliminary agenda for LGBT Conference and the deadline for the submission of amendments to motions. Conference recognises that regional groups arrange a meeting during this time to enable members to democratically decide on submission of amendments – and that often this meeting is the AGM for the group at which time elections are held for the forthcoming year.

Conference notes that the National Network Day for black or disabled LGBT members always occurs during the final weekend before the deadline for submission of amendments. Conference is concerned that this is often the weekend that regional groups choose to hold their regional meetings or AGMs. This means that black and disabled members have to choose whether to go to their Network Day or take part in their regional LGBT self-organised activity.

Conference believes that as our self-organised group and the whole union is committed to securing fair representation of members in all activity and as Black and\or disabled members are under-represented (or not represented at all!) in many regional groups, its inappropriate and unacceptable for regional groups to convene meetings that clash with the Network Days. Conference calls on all regional groups to avoid doing this in the future.