Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights

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TUC LGBT Conference 2013
This took place on 27-28 June and the report of the Conference can be downloaded here.

The TUC campaigns for equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people at work and in society. The first TUC LGBT Conference was held in 1998, since when bisexual and transgender rights have been included in the remit. This annual conference elects a committee that advises the TUC on policy, and oversees campaigns on LGBT issues.

The TUC has been involved in all the campaigns to end legal discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity, and was involved in all the many improvements to the law secured over the last dozen years.

Homophobia: Let's Tackle It
Homophobia: Let's Tackle It (Front cover)The TUC continues to work in alliance with other organisations to challenge homophobia and transphobia in sport. We are delighted to see the publication of "Homophobia: let's tackle it", a recent resource produced by Show Racism the Red Card. Read our review here.

TUC campaigning included challenging the Government at the High Court in 2004 over exemptions to the employment regulations, a campaign which resulted in the end in the removal of the exemption that would deny equal rights in occupational pension schemes to same sex partners in a civil partnership. The TUC was similarly active in promoting support for regulations outlawing discrimination in the provision of goods and services, and helped remove a proposed exemption for religious adoption agencies that would have undermined the principle of equality.

The Equality Act 2010 consolidated much of this legislation and has achieved full legal equality for LGBT people with all other groups, with a few exceptions on which campaigning will continue. The public sector equality duty introduced by the Equality Act, the TUC believes, offers a powerful lever to assist public bodies to challenge continued prejudice and hostility in areas where it remains endemic, such as in schools and colleges, and in sports like football. The TUC is working with unions and allies such as Schools Out to challenge this unacceptable state of affairs.

Advice and information

The TUC has published updated guidance for unions taking into account recent legal changes and current good practice, LGBT Equality at Work; a TUC guide for union negotiators on lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans issues can be downloaded from this website.

Its coverage includes advice on monitoring sexual orientation and gender identity as well.

Working abroad?
LGB or T workers going to work abroad should check how that country treats LGBT people, because in 76 (as at 2013) countries homosexuality is still illegal. Trans people may be treated differently. See the list of countries 

Advice and guidance from the Equality and Human Rights Commission can be found on their website here: www.equalityhumanrights.com

There are now LGBT groups within all major UK trade unions; members should visit their union’s website for further information. In addition, regional trade union LGBT networks function in most of the TUC regions and in Wales. Occasional newsletters aimed at activists in the regions are published on this page.

The TUC sponsors Pride London and UK Black Pride each year, and trade unions are playing an increasing role in the many Pride events that now take place across the country.

The TUC supports LGBT History Month, held each February, and encourages unions to organise events during this period. See their website at www.lgbthistorymonth.org.uk.

To contact the TUC about work on LGBT equality, email Peter Purton on ppurton@tuc.org.uk.


date: 18 February 2014 embargo : 00.01hrs Wednesday 19 February 2014 Unions display their work on promoting LGBT equality at TUC HQ in London The rainbow flag will be flying at the headquarters of the TUC in London this afternoon (Wednesday) when unions will display the work they have been...
19 February 2014
A list of events organised by trade unions to mark LGBT History Month 2014, as alerted to the TUC.
06 February 2014
A list of countries where homosexuality is still illegal
31 October 2013
The position of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGB and T) people in Britain has been transformed beyond recognition in the course of a single generation. However, the problems that remain are substantial and trade unions, which have played a major part in winning the improvements gained in recent years,...
16 September 2013
TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady will today (Thursday) warn that the government is undermining its good work on equal marriage by axing vital workplace protections for gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transsexual people.
27 June 2013
The Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) plays a vital role in underpinning union work to tackle discrimination and harassment at work as evidenced by the TUC's response to a government review of the duty.
19 April 2013
The TUC submission to the House of Commons public bill committe considering the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill supports the bill but calls for amendments on pensions and extending civil partnerships to opposite sex couple; and challenges the further exemptions from equality law on grounds of religion, especially in education.
06 March 2013
Same sex (civil) marriage is a further step towards equality for same sex couples, and its measures also remove an oppressive burden on people who are undergoing gender transition. However, inequalities remain and the TUC supports making civil partnership available to all.
12 February 2013
An updated listing of trade union or TU-related events organised for LGBT History Month, February 2013, with details of each activity, and how to register (if necessary).
01 February 2013
The TUC has today (Tuesday) said the government is right to push ahead with its plans for equal civil marriage.
11 December 2012

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