- 2015 National LGBT Conference
- 21 July 2015
Conference welcomes the extension of new rights to surrogate parents enshrined in the Children and Families Act 2014, and recognises that they will be of particular benefit to same sex parents.
According to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), the number of lesbian couples becoming parents via fertility treatment increased by more than a third in 2012, reflecting recent reforms enabling same sex couples to receive treatment on the NHS and the introduction of equal marriage in Scotland.
However, Conference is aware that these rights are being introduced in a climate where reps are reporting that managers are increasingly interrogating members exercising family rights about their family relationships and recognises that this is causing particular difficulties for same sex parents.
Stereotyping, prejudice and ignorance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) relationships can lead to LGBT workers experiencing more intrusive questioning into family relationships, when they seek to exercise maternity, paternity and other parental rights. Disbelief and, on occasion, open hostility means that LGBT parents are more likely to struggle to exercise and enforce their rights than heterosexual parents, particularly in unorganised workplaces.
Conference calls on the national LGBT committee:
1. To work with the National Executive Council to support branches and to take a proactive approach to challenging the myths and stereotypes about LGBT family relationships and same sex parents;
2. In its ongoing work, to raise awareness of parental rights, the extension of rights and the distinct concerns of LGBT parents;
3. To assist equipping reps with the knowledge and confidence they need to ensure decisions regarding parental rights are objective and judgemental free, and not based on stereotypes and assumptions;
4. To produce guidance in negotiating policies and procedures with employers that specifically reference LGBT and same sex parents.