TUC-LGBT

Document Sample
TUC-LGBT Powered By Docstoc
					TUC LGBT Conference 2008

Agenda



TUC LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL AND TRANSGENDER CONFERENCE 2008 Congress House, London Thursday 3 July 11.00 to 18.00 Friday 4 July 09.30 to 17.30

CONTENTS
Page MOTIONS 1 TUC Education Campaign 2 Tackling heterosexism within the curriculum 3 LGBT equality as a measure of community cohesion 4 Theatre in Education and homophobic bullying 5 Trans equality 6 Protection from discrimination 7 Trans status and partnership law reform 8 Appointments to the Equality and Human Rights Commission 9 Appointment of Joel Edwards 10 Discrimination in the blood donor services 11 Elderly care for LGBT people 12 Holocaust Memorial Day 13 Domestic violence and homophobic hate crime 14 Inclusive workplaces 15 Reaching out to LGBT members 16 TUC structures 17 Human rights are fundamental 18 Home Office processing of LGBT asylum cases 19 End HIV-based discrimination in travel 20 Cuba 50 5 5 6 6 7 8 8 9 9 10 11 11 11-12 12 13 14 14-15 15 16 16-17

GLOSSARY OF TERMS WITHIN THE MOTIONS

18

MOTIONS AND AMENDMENTS
1 TUC EDUCATION CAMPAIGN Conference endorses the campaign by the TUC to convince the DCSF and the DCLG to withdraw the guidance about the Goods and Services Regulations which permitted staff in schools and colleges to tell pupils that same sex relationships are „sinful‟. Conference congratulates the TUC on its education campaign which seeks to convince Government Departments to move beyond a focus on bullying to taking concerted and consistent action to achieve equality for LGBT people as a human and legal right and to reject a model which casts LGBT people as „victims‟. Conference welcomes the high profile fringe meeting at Congress 2007 on LGBT equality with its emphasis on classroom practice. Conference recognises that trade unionists and their families and school and college governors will include LGBT people. Conference believes all education unions must campaign consistently to promote attitudinal change and to inform teachers, parents and students about the employment rights of LGBT staff and the rights of students under the goods and services regulations. Conference instructs the TUC LGBT Committee to: continue to press DCSF and DCLG and to seek a meeting with Ministers; and i) ii) seek to involve all affiliates in the campaign. National Union of Teachers

2

TACKLING HETEROSEXISM WITHIN THE CURRICULUM

Conference welcomes the development of materials to tackle and address homophobia within schools and colleges, such as the curriculum resource being prepared by the Terrence Higgins Trust, „The School Report‟ by Stonewall and the outcome of the „No Outsiders‟ project in primary education. In particular, Conference welcomes the DCSF „Safe To Learn‟ guidance on tackling homophobic bullying which was developed with the teaching unions and launched in October 2007. Conference also notes that many schools, colleges and local authorities are currently engaged in positive and productive work tackling homophobia across a range of educational settings. Conference, however, is concerned that issues of sexual orientation remain largely hidden within the curriculum and notes that three quarters of young people who experience homophobic bullying have never seen issues of sexual orientation addressed in the classroom. Conference is particularly concerned that sex and relationship education may not be relevant to gay, lesbian and bisexual students. Conference calls upon the TUC to: encourage affiliates to share and disseminate existing good practice in tackling i) homophobia in schools and colleges; ii) work with government, LGA and educational bodies such as QCA and TDA to tackle and eradicate heterosexism within the curriculum.

National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers

3

LGBT EQUALITY AS A MEASURE OF COMMUNITY COHESION

Conference notes that since September 2007, schools have been under a new duty to promote community cohesion. The Government‟s guidance to support schools in this work emphasises a need for pupils to be given the opportunity “to learn with, from and about those from different backgrounds”. In the light of the 2007 Stonewall report on homophobic bullying in schools, however, together with the persistent and widespread discrimination and harassment of LGBT people in our society more generally, Conference is extremely concerned that the guidance on community cohesion defines diversity predominantly “in terms of cultures, religions or beliefs, ethnicities and social backgrounds”. Conference believes that the Government‟s narrow understanding of culture neglects to acknowledge the profound dimension of heterosexism within our society which fundamentally militates against the ideal of community cohesion. Conference further believes that LGBT equality is the measure for any society in which there is a common vision and sense of belonging by all communities. Conference therefore calls on the TUC and its affiliated unions to: campaign for the explicit inclusion of LGBT equality into any Government i) policies or guidance materials on promoting community cohesion; and ii) lead a cross-sectoral campaign on tackling heterosexism in all its manifestations. Association of Teachers and Lecturers

4

THEATRE IN EDUCATION AND HOMOPHOBIC BULLYING

Theatre in Education takes performance into schools to stimulate interest in educational topics and encourage students to explore many difficult social and relationship issues. TIE companies producing education plays and workshops which challenge homophobia and homophobic bullying find that take-up is slow and tours all too easily cancelled. Five years after Section 28 was repealed homophobic bullying remains almost endemic in schools. Conference recognises the important role TIE can play in challenging homophobia and homophobic bullying and calls on the TUC to promote this work as part of its campaign for LGBT rights. Equity

5

TRANS EQUALITY

Conference deplores the introduction of widespread exceptions into the goods, facilities and services protections put in place for trans people, which allows a potential defence of justification in a very extensive range of circumstances.

The introduction of exceptions to the prohibitions on discrimination, normally found only in indirect discrimination in other strands, into direct discrimination against trans people means that it becomes difficult for any trans person to claim protections, and is contrary, to the Directive 2004/113/EC. Conference calls on the TUC to lobby the Government to introduce protections for trans people equal to those for persons protected on sexual orientation grounds. Prospect

Amendment In paragraph 3, line 2, “grounds” delete full stop and insert: “including: immediate exclusion of transsexual and transgender people from the provisions i) of the Mental Health Act and abolishing the mental illness classification; ii) removal of the medical qualification from the Gender Recognition Act; and iii) extending the new proposal to make incitement of homophobic hatred illegal to cover transgender and transsexual people.” Unite - T&G Section

6

PROTECTION FROM DISCRIMINATION

Conference notes that the Government failed to comply with Directive 2004/113/EC by not suitably altering UK law by 21 December 2007. Conference recognises that the Government has belatedly given some trans people some protection from discrimination in the supply of goods, facilities and services (GFS) in its Statutory Instrument. The protection given is little more than the minimum to comply with the directive – much less than the other minority groups have: no protection from indirect discrimination in employment or provision of GFS; i) ii) areas such: education, advertising, and GFS in places of religious worship are exempt; iii) the public sector gender duty excludes trans protection for all but employment and vocational training; iv) protection would appear to allow exceptions based on perception; and proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim – hitherto limited to indirect v) discrimination against trans people. Conference calls on the TUC to censure the Government for failing to act in a timely manner, to work with others to ensure that the GFS protection from discrimination is made no worse than that given to others, and to seek to achieve this with the forthcoming Single Equality Bill. Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association

7

TRANS STATUS AND PARTNERSHIP LAW REFORM

Conference views the Gender Recognition Act as an important milestone in achieving acceptance and equal rights for people who are transgender. The ability to obtain a new birth certificate and not be forced to reveal their previous identity is vital to the lives, safety and happiness of many people. Conference is dismayed that the Government has decided that marriages and civil partnerships have to be ended prior to the issuing of the Gender Recognition Certificate, especially as governments promote themselves as pro-family. This inequality toward trans people is discriminatory and can be disrespectful to the beliefs and feelings of individuals affected and needs to be rectified. Conference calls on the Government to eradicate the two-tiered system of civil partnership and marriage laws in order that same sex and heterosexual people have a choice of both, and amend legislation to enable real choices for trans people to remain married and obtain their Gender Recognition Certificate. Conference further believes that greater understanding of trans issues across the trade union movement is essential for the effective representation of trans people at work. Conference call on the TUC to launch an awareness campaign on trans issues in the workplace. Unite the Union – Amicus Section 8 APPOINTMENTS TO THE EQUALITY AND HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION

Conference is concerned about the appointment of Joel Edwards to the Equality and Human Rights Commission. On numerous occasions Joel Edwards has made homophobic statements and continues to do so. This is incompatible with the aims of the Commission. Conference therefore calls upon the TUC to examine methods of monitoring Joel Edwards‟ behaviour as a commissioner and investigate whether this provides grounds for his removal from this appointment. NAPO – the trade union and professional association for family court and probation staff

9

APPOINTMENT OF JOEL EDWARDS

Conference condemns Joel Edward‟s appointment as Commissioner to EHRC. Mr Edwards, General Director of the Evangelical Alliance (EA), describes gay sex and same sex partnerships as „sinful‟. Conference is appalled that the Chair of the EHRC, Sir Trevor Phillips, took part in the selection process. EHRC states that “all Commissioners are appointed on the basis of their experience or knowledge of discrimination and human rights.” This statement is incongruous with Mr Edward‟s position. The EA has opposed recent legislative steps towards equality for LGBT people. Under the direction of Mr Edwards, EA has issued public claims such as “homosexual practice is morally wrong” and “a behaviour choice”, in submissions to House of Commons Committees. Conference affirms that by appointing Mr Edwards as a Commissioner, any confidence that the EHRC will promote further equality for LGBT people has been deeply undermined. Conference calls on the TUC to condemn the appointment of Mr Edwards and campaign for his immediate removal from the Board of EHRC. Conference notes that “all (EHRC) Commissioners have a collective responsibility clause in their Code of Conduct” and calls on the TUC to ensure that Mr Edwards and his fellow Commissioners adhere to the Code. National Union of Journalists

10

DISCRIMINATION IN THE BLOOD DONOR SERVICE

Conference is angry that gay men are still prevented from giving blood by the British blood donor services. At a time when the blood donor service is advertising for donors and blood banks around the country are short of blood, particularly from rare blood types, it is time for them to re-think this policy. All blood products should now be screened for diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis, so there is no reason why gay men, who do not fall foul of any of the other criteria, should not be able to give blood. Presumably, the initial reason for disallowing gay men to give blood was because they were one of the higher risk groups for the transmission of HIV. As heterosexual men and women between the ages of 18 and 25 are now the greatest numbers of new infections it is time to change the criteria. Conference calls on the TUC LGBT Committee to: raise this issue with affiliates and ask them to raise the matter with their MPs, i) MEPs, MSPs and Members of the Welsh Assembly; and ii) raise the matter with the Health Minister and ask them to take steps to end this discriminatory practice. Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen

Amendment Insert new sub-paragraph iii): iii) call on the relevant bodies to undertake research, in light of progress in medical diagnosis and detection of diseases and conditions, into what the current risk factors are in blood donation and amend their policies accordingly. Unite - Amicus

Amendment In paragraph 1, line 1, delete “is angry that gay men” and insert “notes men who have had anal/oral sex with men”. Delete paragraphs 3 and 4, and insert new paragraph 3: “Decisions about who may donate blood should be based on accurate, current medical and epidemiological evidence.” In sub-paragraph i), line 1, delete all after “affiliates”and insert “and raise with relevant bodies including the Department of Health.” Unison

11

ELDERLY CARE FOR LGBT PEOPLE

Conference notes the increasing length of time people are living and the implications for the LGBT community with relation to elder care in the UK. Conference calls upon the TUC LGBT Committee to conduct a survey of elder care organisations in the UK to identify the provision for lgbt people and create a report with recommendations for any action for unions to be issued before the 2009 TUC LGBT Conference. GMB

12

HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY

Conference asks that the TUC LGBT Committee remember the deaths of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people killed in the holocaust and commemorate the deaths of all those LGBT people killed because of their sexuality by laying a wreath at the national Holocaust Memorial Day event in 2009. Community

13

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND HOMOPHOBIC HATE CRIME

Conference is concerned that very few homophobic incidents are reported to the police for reasons including distrust, confidentiality, not wishing to be „outed‟. Existing services are not effective and are mainly developed on an ad hoc, non cohesive, basis. Gaining the confidence of victims and witnesses should be at the heart of any solution tackling homophobic hate crimes. Therefore, Conference calls on the Government to initiate a new proactive approach by ensuring: local police forces have fully operational diversity and hate crime units; i) ii) homophobic incidents are recognised as hate crimes; iii) training of new officers; and iv) joint partnership of „hate crime‟ diversity officers, LGBT representatives and interested agencies. Conference is also appalled by the lack of recognition of same-sex domestic violence. Mostly, abuse is unreported because victims see it as a personal problem or do not expect a sympathetic response. Conference calls on the affiliates to campaign for: prevention of same-sex domestic violence and promotion of zero tolerance; a) continued overpage b) recognition of same-sex abuse and challenge attitudes that promote or condone violence against LGBT People; and

c)

accessible public agencies ensuring LGBT people have confidence in the criminal justice system and report incidents of domestic abuse.

Unite – T&G Section

Amendment Insert new sub-paragraph d): “d) greater resources for refuge and support services for LGBT victims of domestic abuse.” Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen

Amendment Insert new sub-paragraph v): “v) confidentiality provisions are implemented to protect the identity of victims of hate crime in line with those currently in force for victims of sexual offences.” LGBT Committee

14

INCLUSIVE WORKPLACES

Conference notes the responsibility of employers to ensure that workplaces are free from all forms of discrimination. Nevertheless, there are numerous examples of employers who actually continue to perpetrate discrimination against LGBT workers through such practices as blocking access to internet sites and e-mail with LGBT-related content. Conference condemns such discriminatory measures as being against all basic precepts of inclusiveness and fairness in the workplace. We also believe that if we do not take issue with employers who act in this way, we are failing to advance the cause of liberation for LGBT workers. Conference calls on the TUC to: i) produce and publish a good practice guide, identifying barriers to the creation of an inclusive workplace as well as examples of good practice; and ii) hold an associated dissemination event. University and College Union

15

REACHING OUT TO LGBT MEMBERS

Conference is concerned that many LGBT trade union members are under-involved in union activity. Even where LGBT networks exist, it can be very difficult to reach out to LGBT members and to get them involved. Conference is concerned that this means the voice of the LGBT members is less likely to be heard by unions and their concerns acted on. This can lead to a vicious circle - LGBT members don‟t see themselves reflected in the union and therefore don‟t come forward which perpetuates the problem. Unions need to take positive action to break this circle and to encourage a more confident LGBT presence and greater activity amongst this group of members. Conference calls on the TUC to: continue to be aware in its work on LGBT issues that some affiliates are still at i) first base with this area of work and are struggling to reach LGBT members; and ii) explore whether there are any other ways, in addition to the work that is already being done, to help affiliates share ideas of what works in reaching out LGBT members. Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers

to

Amendment Insert new paragraphs 3 and 4: “Conference congratulates the NUJ and Unite - T&G on their use of Round One union modernisation funding to recruit and train equality reps. “Conference believes that equality reps can be instrumental within every trade union in encouraging LGBT members to become active in their unions.” Insert new sub-paragraph iii): “iii) call on the Government to introduce legislation to implement statutory rights for equality representatives immediately.” National Union of Teachers

16

TUC STRUCTURES

Conference calls on the incoming TUC LGBT Committee to review the current arrangements for our annual TUC LGBT Conference. We believe that the trade union movement is missing opportunities to reach out to working LGBT people at this the largest democratic forum of organised LGBT workers. Therefore Conference asks that the LGBT Committee considers in their review: the publicity given to this Conference and its associated events; i) ii) the financial and other resources provided for the Conference; iii) the relationship between this Conference and Congress including the possibility of this Conference directly electing representatives to the General Council; and iv) the relationship with non-TUC organisations including LGBT groups and LGBT organisations who campaign for similar aims. A report of the TUC LGBT Committee‟s findings and recommendations will be put to the TUC LGBT Conference 2009. Communication Workers’ Union

17

HUMAN RIGHTS ARE FUNDAMENTAL

Conference notes developments in the human rights agenda: the new GB commission for both equality and human rights; i) ii) proposals for UK Bills of Rights; iii) human rights based approaches to services such as healthcare; and iv) increasing international acceptance that LGBT rights are human rights, such as in the Yogyakarta Principles. Conference also notes attempts to use human rights arguments to undermine equality, notably in claims of „clashes‟ between sexual orientation and trans rights and religious freedoms, for example in recognising same sex couples or gender transition. Human rights underpin trade union and LGBT rights. Conference welcomes developing work on LGBT equality by international union bodies Public Services International, Education International and ETUC, and calls for this to be extended. Conference calls on the TUC and affiliates to: a) promote use of human rights to defend trade union and LGBT rights, challenge inequality and injustice, promote equality and improve services; b) campaign for any domestic bill of rights to make explicit reference to sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression; and include a free-standing non-discrimination clause; c) push for the extension of LGBT equality work in our unions and global union bodies, including ETUC and ITUC. Unison

Amendment Insert new paragraph 5: “Conference deplores the proposed emasculation of the EU directive on protection for all equality strands. This retrograde step would perpetuate multi-tier protection for disadvantaged groups within the EU. Conference applauds the work being done by the TUC to oppose this attempt to undermine EU equality legislation and calls for resources to be prioritised for the continuation of the campaign.” University and College Union

18

HOME OFFICE PROCESSING OF LGBT ASYLUM CLAIMS

Conference condemns current Home Office practice where LGBT people seeking asylum are returned to countries identified on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office list as those which persecute, torture or even kill their own LGBT citizens. Conference also expresses deep concern about the methods and practices used by the Home Office to prove or disprove the sexual orientation and gender identity of LGBT asylum seekers which are often incompatible with the circumstances that have given rise to their asylum claim. Conference therefore calls upon the TUC and its affiliates to work with and lobby Government and human rights organisations to ensure that the Home and Foreign and Commonwealth Office takes full account of expert Foreign Office advice when processing LGBT asylum claims. Nationwide Group Staff Union

19

END HIV-BASED DISCRIMINATION IN TRAVEL

Conference welcomes the positive steps the USA is making in improving the provision of HIV treatment in Africa. However, this action seems hypocritical from a country whose immigration laws „ban‟ those with HIV from entering that country. The Department of Homeland Security announced in November 2007 that they intended to review the rules, but their proposals would make it more difficult for those with HIV to enter and/or stay in the USA. Both the current and proposed rules are considered by the UN Human Rights Committee to be in breach of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. HIV+ people visiting the USA have two options: declare their HIV status, with a high risk of being refused entry; or i) ii) lie about their HIV status but risk having any related medication found during baggage checks – and then refused entry. Conference instructs the TUC to work with groups such as Human Rights Watch and Immigration Equality Inc to end HIV based discrimination. The TUC is also instructed to put pressure on the UK Government to take up this issue with the US Department of State as a matter of urgency. Public and Commercial Services Union

20

CUBA 50

The Fire Brigades‟ Union would like Conference to acknowledge the achievements of the Cuban revolution and note that 2009 will see its 50th anniversary. We recognise the revolution did not bring great change for LGBT people. Official and public attitudes continued to denigrate and abuse LGBT people, this homophobia characterised in society by the machista values and adherence to the Roman Catholic Church, with same sex relationships seen as a sexual aberration. In recent years significant advances in the field of LGBT rights have been apparent, but much still has to be done, and there remains some way to go before full respect, understanding and acceptance of the LGBT people becomes a general characteristic of Cuban society. Work is continuing in Cuba to encourage people to question and reconsider mind sets and public attitudes. We therefore call on TUC affiliates, trade union members, including LGBT activists, to support the achievements of the Cuban revolution and work to build links with Cuban union counterparts to assist in supporting their LGBT members. Finally, in recognition of the anniversary in 2009 we request that the TUC encourages a delegation from Cuba to attend the TUC LGBT Conference 2009. Fire Brigades’ Union Amendment - see opposite

Amendment In paragraph 4, line 3, after “members.” insert: “In addition to this we call on the UK Government to end its complicity with the US blockade of Cuba and to apply political pressure on the United States to end the illegally imposed economical blockade.” Fire Brigades’ Union

GLOSSARY OF TERMS WITHIN THE MOTIONS Certain motions have used initialisation or acronyms, and the list below gives an explanation of these: DCSF DCLG EA EHRC GFS LGA QCA TDA TIE Department for Children, Schools and Families Department of Communities and Local Government Evangelical Alliance Equality and Human Rights Commmission Goods, facilities and services Local Government Association Qualifications and Curriculum Authority Training and Development Agency Theatre in Education




				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Tags: TUC-L
Stats:
views:29
posted:11/29/2009
language:English
pages:18
Description: TUC-LGBT