Zero tolerance of biphobia

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2013 National LGBT Conference
2 August 2013
Carried as Amended

Conference notes the continuing high levels of biphobia at work and in society. Research published in May 2013, which many UNISON members participated in, showed that bisexual people experience even higher levels of discrimination at work than gay men. Bisexual people are much more likely to feel they have to hide their sexual orientation at work than lesbians and gay men. Bisexual women were the least likely to report discrimination, believing it would not be taken seriously as it ‘happens all the time’.

Conference notes with regret that bisexual workers experience prejudice and discrimination not only from colleagues and managers who are straight but also from those who are lesbian or gay. This ranges from stereotyping all bisexual people as greedy or promiscuous to refusing to accept bisexuality as a valid identity, viewing it as ‘just a phase’ and forcing the closet on people.

Conference reiterates the principles and values of our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) group:

1. On dignity and respect for all;

2. On recognising that LGBT self-organisation brings together different groups of members working together in partnership, who experience discrimination in different ways, but rejecting any notion of a hierarchy of discrimination;

3. That responsibility for tackling prejudice and discrimination rests with us all, not with those who face it;

4. That people experiencing prejudice, discrimination and hate crime are encouraged to report it, with appropriate support offered to them; and,

5. That there is zero tolerance of prejudice and discrimination within our group.

Conference welcomes the new UNISON factsheet ‘Bisexuality: a trade union issue’ and calls on the National LGBT Committee and regional and branch LGBT groups to promote this guidance across UNISON and in our workplaces.