Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) People in Public Life

Back to all Motions

2009 National LGBT Conference
29 July 2009

Conference affirms the improvements made to LGBT equality in the last five years and welcomes the progress made in raising the profile of LGBT participation in our union. UNISON has always been at the forefront of the equality agenda and we can be proud of our achievements in continuing to support and encourage self organisation at all levels.

However despite this good work the participation of LGBT people in public life remains low. Many organisations, whilst campaigning under the premise of LGBT are in fact ‘LGB’ organisations and remain focused on sexual orientation as their primary campaign thus weakening the ideal of LGBT equality. LGBT people make up 16% of the population yet this figure is not representative in what is seen as mainstream society or in the media.

LGBT History Month remains a key period in the diary of many LGBT activists along with Pride events and IDAHO (International Day against Homophobia) day. Despite these key annual events and the work that goes into promoting them, many people are still unaware that February is LGBT History Month and that May 17th is the date for IDAHO, or indeed that many of the key role models in society identify as LGBT.

Conference therefore calls on the National LGBT Committee to run a campaign to highlight LGBT people in public life and to actively promote and recruit LGBT activists and campaigners. The campaign should aim to highlight the positives of LGBT contribution to society, to emphasise it is not a barrier to career progression in both public and private sector and to influence and develop positive LGBT role models both now and in the future.

Therefore we call upon the National LGBT Committee to:

1.Campaign through U Magazine, InFocus and Labour Link highlighting the high impact and positive work of LGBT activist and LGBT People in Public Life;

2.Encourage Regions and Branches to engage with local LGBT individuals and organisations to promote the positive image of LGBT people in public life;

3.Take as an example the work of the National Women’s Committee postcard campaign ‘I don’t do politics!’;

4.Work with other interested organisations (Trades Union Congress, Stonewall, Press For Change, LGBT Labour) to extend the campaign to all possible channels.