Motions Passed At LGBT Advisory Committee October 2012

At this months Lesbian, gay, Bisexual & Transgender advisory committee passed motions on the scrapping of benefit for under 25s, bogus 'gay-cure' organisations, and extending the length of the LGBT conference.

Scrapping Housing Benefit for under 25s

Submitted by Stratford 1:

“We note the plans announced by the Conservative Party leader on 25 June 2012 to scrap housing benefit to under 25s. We note the comments of Bob Green, Chief Executive of the LGBT Housing Association Stonewall Housing, that there is a risk that the LGBT people fleeing homophobic or transphobic violence “will remain in serious situations and some may have to move further away from their support networks. In essence, LGBT people may not be able to afford safety”

We believe that plans to remove housing benefit are an attack on young LGBT people’s independence and their ability to escape homophobia/transphobia.

Recognising the role of the LGBT Advisory Committee, we ask that RMT, in pursuing its policies as determined by the AGM and /or Council of Executive on this issue, please include the impact on young people outlined in this resolution.”

Bogus “Gay Cure” Organisations

Submitted by Gillingham-Strood:

This union notes:

  1. For more than 30 years a powerful group of religious-right extremists have claimed they are able to ‘cure’ homosexuality. This so-called ‘ex-gay’ movement advocates that gay, lesbian, and bisexual people can, and should, change their sexual orientation to that of heterosexuality through prayer and a practice known as ‘reparative therapy’.
  2. The ‘ex-gay’ movement has its roots in and financial support from right wing, Christian organizations.
  3. The UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP), the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and the British Association for Counseling and Psychotherapy has all denounced so-called ‘reparative therapy’.
  4. In April 2012, Di Hodgson, Chair of UKCP's Diversity, Equalities and Social Responsibility Committee, stated: “We utterly condemn professionals who practice 'reparative therapy' as sexuality is not a symptom which needs treating or correcting. UKCP does not consider homosexuality or bisexuality, or transsexual and transgendered states to be pathologies, mental disorders or indicative of developmental arrest. These are not symptoms to be treated by psychotherapists, in the sense of attempting to change or remove them.”
  5. The organizations and individuals who promote and practice “reparative therapy" are by and large not qualified or accredited to any professional body.
  6. Exodus International is a large, US-based, ex-gay organization whose entire raison d'etre to date has been to "cure" and ‘prevent’ homosexuality through ‘reparative therapy’. However, the leader of Exodus recently publicly renounced the claim that homosexuals can be ‘converted’ to heterosexuality – much to the disapproval of the Christian-right. Even so, a major splinter group of Exodus called Desert Stream continues to organize 'gay cure’ ‘events around the world.
  7. Uganda’s notorious “Kill the Gays” Anti-Homosexuality Bill came directly out of a conference in Kampala in March 2009, strongly influenced by the anti-gay rhetoric of Exodus International.
  8. In 2001, influential US psychiatrist Robert Spitzer conducted a study that claimed gay men and women could be turned straight through psychotherapy. However, in April 2012, he admitted his study was “fatally flawed” and made the following statement: “I believe I owe the gay community an apology for my study making unproven claims of the efficacy of reparative therapy. I also apologies to any gay person who wasted time and energy undergoing some form of reparative therapy because they believed that I had proven that reparative therapy works with some ‘highly motivated’ individuals.”

    9. In April 2012, the self-styled Christian groups Core Issues Trust and Anglican Mainstream funded an anti-gay advertising campaign on London buses that claimed therapy can ‘cure’ homosexuality. The advertising campaign was only pulled at the last-minute.

  9. In 2009, CARE - Christian Action Research and Education - co-sponsored a conference promoting the idea that gay people can be converted to heterosexuality. It recently came to light that CARE has funded interns for an estimated twenty MPs, including some who are now ministers in the coalition government.

This union believes:

  1. Organizations that peddle phony claims that they can ‘cure’ homosexuality must be stopped. They are nothing other than anti-gay and homophobic.
  2. Reparative (conversion) therapy that seeks to change sexual orientation is profoundly unethical and dishonest.
  3. Reparative therapy can be harmful - especially if applied to young and vulnerable people - and encouraging anyone to repress feelings can lead to severe psychological distress and mental health problems.
  4. It is a disgrace that elected Members of Parliament have accepted staff members paid for by an anti-gay charity that has co-sponsored a ‘gay cure’ conference event.

We call on the RMT to:

  1. Support campaigns against anti-gay organizations that fraudulently and harmfully claim they are able to ‘cure’ homosexuality.
  2. Support and mobilize for appropriate protest actions on this issue to bring the fake business of ‘reparative therapy’ to an end.
  3. Request the RMT's Parliamentary group of MPs, led by John McDonnell, to raise this issue again in parliament - including the issue of CARE funded interns for MPs and ministers in the coalition government.
  4. Lobby government to make it an offense to advertise, promote or offer bogus gay ‘cures’.
  5. Support international campaigns against the ‘ex-gay’ movement and raise the issue with international trade union contacts.
  6. Campaign under the slogan, “Cure homophobia not homosexuality”.

Length of LGBT National Conference

Submitted by Midlands Regional Council:

“That this Midlands Regional Council notes the LGBT Annual Conference is growing in size with the number of delegates attending and the amount of agenda items and resolutions year on year.

This Midlands Regional Council therefore calls on the LGBT Advisory Committee to increase the number of days that the LGBT Annual Conference is held from the current one day to two days. Not only will this help spread the workload for the delegates, but also provide more time for a balanced and full debate of agenda items and resolutions. This will mean that this Conference falls in line with other Equality Committee conferences, eg women’s conference and black and ethnic minorities conference."