- 2015 National LGBT Conference
- 22 July 2015
In many police stations across the country police staff who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) have a working life which is overshadowed by the fear of exposure and ridicule, be it by an accidental or deliberate act.
Rural districts are sometimes traditionally conservative communities and their understanding of LGBT issues coloured by visions of Mr Humphries and Larry Grayson, left-overs of a bygone age of stereotyping and prejudice. It could also credibly be argued that their position on LGBT rights and the equality agenda is similarly jaundiced.
Conference notes the recent shocking rise in candidates and actual election success of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) during the recent European and General elections. UKIP stands for everything that we as trade unionists have fought so hard and long against. Whilst only one MP managed to get elected at the general election we must not forget that there are countless UKIP local councillors as well as 22 UKIP MEP’s representing us in the European Parliament. With over 3 million votes at the general election we cannot afford to be complacent. Ahead of a potential in out referendum on Europe, there will be meetings in village halls and organised marches in market towns by UKIP members. They will no doubt be supported by other parties and groups spouting xenophobic rhetoric. Many of these rallies will occur in the self-same rural communities that LGBT police staff work in and support. LGBT self-expression and openness is often difficult, if not impossible, in these toxic, prejudiced environments.
Conference, it is each and every one of our responsibilities to ensure that the United Kingdom is a safe and equality-proofed place to live and so we urge the national LGBT committee to continue to:
1. Support, encourage and empower LGBT police staff members to attend conferences, workshops, training and events which will enable them to make their stand against homophobia, transphobia, biphobia and all forms of discrimination;
2. Circulate fact sheets to the regions and to branches highlighting the facts about UKIP;
3. Inform regions and branches how they can support anti-fascist and pro-LGBT equality organisations, for example by affiliating to Hope Not Hate, subscribing to Unite Against Fascism (UAF), and that they request e-bulletins are forwarded on to their members, and that appropriate articles appear in their branch newsletters;
4. Work with Labour Link, the national executive committee and service groups to raise awareness of LGBT equality, and to raise awareness of the potential isolation of LGBT police staff working on the front line.