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2019 National LGBT+ Conference
25 July 2019
Carried as Amended

Conference notes the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender plus (LGBT+) legislation during the last Labour Government years strengthened our protections and way of life. Within the last decade we have seen further legislation come forward which, whilst has been intended to improve the lives of LGBT+ people, in a lot of respects, we continue to see societal and economical discrimination.

UNISON welcomes the improvements in the lives of LGBT+ people, however what we have seen in the fight for fair treatment, representation and justice in the lives of LGBT+ people, we have also seen a reduction and drifting away of the political struggles that forged this movement.

We have heard from certain Pride organisers, “it’s not a protest anymore”.

Organisations are actively trying to be more inclusive, however these statements only scratch the surface of the challenges we face when we look deeper than face value at these legislations. We often see our hard fought rights being eroded.

When we look at legislation such as the Gender Recognition Act 2004, blood donation for men who sleep with men and survivor pension benefits for same sex couples, we can see where laws continue to fail us. We also have to ask, are these organisations that support Pride truly inclusive? Or are they simply looking to cash in to take the “pink pound??

Many within our community think Pride has been hi-jacked by the corporate elite. The privatisation of our struggles has become held to ransom by a money-making racket, serving primarily the well-off. Envisaged as a festival yet serves no purpose to highlight the many issues we as LGBT+ people face on a daily basis.

As a community, we can only fight these injustices together by education, political understanding and ensuring this is intrinsically part of our Pride events and marches. We must find a way to ensure we retain and develop our historical and political struggle that formed the early Pride marches and we must ensure that Pride is acknowledged as a protest.

Conference calls on the National LGBT+ Committee to:

1)Encourage Branches and Regions to support local Pride events that align with UNISON values

2)Where possible, encourage UNISON members/activists to stand for seats on local Pride committees and offer support where needed to influence local Prides to be more inclusive where appropriate

3)Forge stronger links with Pride associations around the United Kingdom (UK) to strengthen and increase trade union involvement to ensure our rich and strong history is not lost forever

4)To develop a presentation so Regions and Branches can highlight the history of Pride and the LGBT+ civil rights movement, highlighting why Pride is still so important.