- 2016 National LGBT Conference
- 26 July 2016
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people on the Isle of Man are not protected from unfair treatment and discrimination in the workplace and in access to public and private service. There are no legal protections for LGBT people in the form of anti-discrimination laws relating to specifically to sexual orientation or gender and there is no counterpart to the all-encompassing Equality Act in place in England, Wales and Scotland.
In June 2016, The Island’s Legislative Council completed the drafting of an Equality Bill. The Bill is now ready for any future Manx Government to pass into law. The concern, however, is that the next Manx Government may not consider the Bill with a view to enactment and if considered there may be opposition within the House of Keys and Legislative Council. The financial costs to the State and the business community have been used as excuses for why it has not yet been implemented and many politicians believe an Equality Act to be unnecessary or a threat to freedom of religion. There is popular complacency, and some opposition, surrounding the adoption of an Equality Act and without popular political pressure, it is feared that the Bill will be ignored.
The Bill must be placed on the government’s legislation timetable for consideration in 2016/2017. Discrimination of LGBT people is very real. A recent high-profile instance was in 2013 when a lesbian couple were denied rental of a property with no recourse to legal action and there are continuing reports of humiliating behaviour taken by employers against young trans people.
Conference calls on the national LGBT committee to:
1. Raise awareness of the Isle of Man Equality Bill utilising all available channels including social media;
2. Work with the Isle of Man branch and the North West LGBT Group to lobby the Manx Government, calling on them to pass the Bill into law.