Pride in our past and our future

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2015 National LGBT Conference
22 July 2015
Carried as Amended

Conference notes the contradictory situations faced by Pride events in 2015.

On the one hand we celebrate the fact that in this year, 30 years after the Miners’ strike, Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM) participated in many Pride events across the country – as well as in other trade union events such as the Durham Miners Gala and the Tolpuddle festival.

Their presence, together with some actors from the film Pride, encouraged the involvement of greater numbers of trade unionists and trade union banners at these events.

Conference notes in particular the work done in Greater London to mobilise non-LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender) members for Pride London and thanks those branches and members who responded.

Conference regrets however that Pride London would not agree for the unions to march with LGSM at the front of the march. Consequently, LGSM took the decision to march further back, leading the union bloc behind various corporate sponsors. Conference believes that the principle of solidarity is essential to the spirit of Pride events.

Conference regrets the fact despite a late in the day decision from London Pride to ban United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) from the march, that organisation did participate in the march.

UKIP is a party which has had a number of elected representatives and members who have made racist and homophobic statements. The UKIP LGBT group has as we understand it made no criticism of these views expressed by people speaking on behalf of their organisation. The participation of this organisation is a particular threat to migrant and Black LGBT people.

Conference believes that Pride events have come a long way over the years they have been taking place in Britain. We believe that the participation of thousands of LGBT people and our allies is an indication of the victories that have been won over the decades from the days when only hundreds had the confidence to celebrate our sexuality and /or our gender identity as well as to put forward those demands for equality and justice which we still need to fight for. Further for UNISON as a trade union such a wide involvement gives us an audience to explain the importance of trade union membership and organisation particularly in the context of the election of a Tory government in May 2015.

Conference resolves to ask the national LGBT committee to work with regional groups and other relevant parts of the union to:

1. Maximise the participation and visibility of UNISON members in Pride events over the next year;

2. Continue to highlight the role trade unions have played and will continue to play in the fight for LGBT rights and that this should be recognised by Pride organisations in terms of their prominence in local events;

3. Continue to object to the participation of UKIP in Pride events.