Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights

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Activist Resources

The TUC Charter on international LGBT solidarity spells out the
The TUC is encouraging trade unions to collectively challenge the
This is a new guide for trade union reps about

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.

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 whichcampaigning 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.

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.


The 2015 Birmingham Pride Parade will be led by the original members of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM), who recently returned to public prominence with the film PRIDE. They will also be joined by hundreds of trade unionists from across the Midlands.
22 May 2015
The purpose of the Charter is to establish the principles on the basis of which trade unions should operate to protect and advance the rights to equality of LGBT people everywhere.
27 March 2015
The TUC is today (Friday) launching a new Charter for International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Solidarity. The central message of the Charter is that solidarity is at the core of trade union values, but that decisions regarding when, whether and how to act must be firmly in the...
27 March 2015
The TUC Charter on international LGBT solidarity spells out the duty of unions to support LGBT people facing oppression across the world, and explains the principles on which it must be based. The Charter has been endorsed by the International TUC.
13 March 2015
The TUC is encouraging trade unions to collectively challenge the prejudice faced by many LGBT people in football and wider sport. As with many trade union campaigns we want to encourage local victories and engagement with local clubs, supporters groups and county football associations which are vital to contribute towards...
28 January 2015
A toolkit designed to stamp out homophobia in football is being launched today (Wednesday) by the TUC as part of a concerted action by unions and their allies.
28 January 2015
Today (Thursday), on Transgender Day of Remembrance, the TUC is calling for an end to violence against trans people and for specialist support services for trans people to be protected from government spending cuts. The TUC will join trans people and their supporters today in remembering those who have been...
20 November 2014
In this issue: Equality Conferences; Discrimination Law Conference; Equality Officers Briefings; Women’s Conference deadlines; Black Workers’ Conference deadlines; Disabled Workers Conference; LGBT Conference; Trade Union Women’s Reception; UN Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women Event; UK Disability History Month
14 November 2014
A new report published today (Wednesday) – commissioned by the TUC from London Metropolitan University – exposes the impact on LGBT services of the government’s austerity measures. Staying Alive: The Impact of Austerity Cuts on the LGBT Voluntary and Community Sector in England and Wales is the first major investigation...
03 September 2014
This is an exclusive article written by Patrick Strudwick in the Society pages of the Guardian newspaper. A new report Staying Alive: The Impact of Austerity Cuts on the LGBT Voluntary and Community Sector in England and Wales commissioned by the TUC from London Metropolitan University – exposes the impact...
03 September 2014

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