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Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.