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2010 National LGBT Conference
30 July 2010

Conference notes the formation of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition government.

Conference recalls the Conservatives’ poor record on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) rights. Conference notes that despite Cameron’s attempts to make his party more electable, he voted against lesbian fertility rights and same sex couple adoption, and asked for the recording to be stopped when questioned on the Conservatives’ voting record by Gay Times.

However, Conference acknowledges that 13 years of progressive legislation, including the repeal of Section 28, the equalisation of the age of consent, gender recognition, the introduction of civil partnerships, fertility rights for women in same sex relationships and hate crime laws, has changed British culture and the lives of LGBT people beyond recognition. In this context, conference believes that, while we must always be vigilant, it would be difficult for any government to reverse current equalities legislation.

Nonetheless, while the Government Equalities Office’s Working for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equality, published June 2010, includes some positive commitments, there is little detail. Conference rejects any attempt to give a progressive image to a government committed to unprecedented cuts and attacks on our terms and conditions.

Conference recognises that LGBT people depend on public services. Conference condemns the 25% cuts in departmental spending announced as part of the Emergency Budget in June. Conference deplores the fact that low paid members are paying for the bankers’ greed and that LGBT services are likely to be disproportionately affected.

Conference also deplores the proposals for free schools. This will not only result in more faith schools and the concomitant exemptions to equality laws allowed them, it will also redirect funding away from the poorest children towards the most affluent and articulate families.

Conference believes that, as trade unionists, we need to join the whole union campaign against cuts in vital public services that will hit the lowest paid and most deprived in society hardest. Conference therefore welcomes the LGBT committee’s updated campaign guide.

Conference underlines the need for:

1.Continued campaigning on the equalities agenda including:

A. The speedy and full implementation of the Equality Act, including a robust and effective single equality duty;

B. LGBT workplace rights embedded firmly on the bargaining agenda;

C. Equal partnership rights, including gender neutral marriage and civil partnership and full pensions equality;

D.Action on bullying and hate crime;

E.Improved access to healthcare, including gender reassignment services and removing unfair treatment in blood donation services;

F.Progress on asylum for LGBT people and LGBT equality across the world.

2.Effective campaigning against savage cuts in public services;

3.Promoting UNISON’s Million Voices campaigns at national, regional and branch level.

Conference instructs the National Committee to continue to campaign with UNISON National Executive Council, Labour Link, TUC LGBT Committee and LGBT Labour to promote LGBT equality and oppose cuts. It calls on branch and regional LGBT groups to make effective use of UNISON’s updated LGBT campaign guide.