RMT LGBT Conference 2012 Motions

There were six motions at the LGBT conference this year. All were passed. The motion "International LGBT Rights" and "Diversity Role Models: tackling homophobia through education" were voted to go before the unions AGM. The others will be discussed by the unions Executive.

International LGBT Rights

Submitted by Stratford No.1 Branch:

“This conference notes:

1. The speech by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon on 7th March 2012 calling on all countries around the world to decriminalise consensual same-sex relationships and end discrimination against LGBT people.
2. That in 76 countries being gay is illegal, and in 10 of these, punishable by death or life imprisonment.
3. LGBT people in regions around the world are victims of violence, such as targeted killings, violent assaults and torture.
4. The Russian city of St Petersburg has recently passed a law making it illegal to speak in public about being LGBT.
5. Across Africa, parliaments are advocating laws that would further penalise, even execute, gay people.
6. In Iraq, religious militias have brutally murdered hundreds of gay men and young men perceived to be gay.
7. The Iranian theocratic regime criminalises and oppresses homosexuality.

This conference believes that:

1. Human rights are for all people, in all countries.
2. Proposals to cut aid to countries with anti-gay laws may be counterproductive and are generally not supported by LGBT groups in those countries.

Conference calls on the RMT to:

1. Support campaigns against homophobia around the world.
2. Build solidarity links with LGBT rights campaigners and trade unionists
around the world.
3. Support and mobilise for appropriate protest actions.
4. Raise the issue of LGBT rights at international events that the union attends.
5. Continue to support LGBT workers and trade union rights in countries such as Iran, while opposing military action against them.
6. Include a feature on international LGBT rights in RMT news.”

RMT National LGBT Advisory Committee

Submitted by Stratford No.1 Branch:

“We note that in many regions across the country, vacancies remain unfilled on the RMT National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Members' Advisory Committee, and this includes regions with a large RMT LGBT membership. It is important that the Advisory Committee has as many representatives as possible, to accurately reflect the ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, number, geographical location and specific grades of the Union’s members.

It may be that some branch and regional secretaries are still unfamiliar with LGBT equality issues and the role of the RMT National LGBT Advisory Committee. It may be that some RMT LGBT members require more support and encouragement to participate and become more active within RMT.

We recognise the importance of clear organising strategies in the regions for building mutual support against homophobia and for equality, for the benefit of the RMT, and we recognise the importance of keeping RMT members informed of these strategies.

We understand that members of the RMT National LGBT Advisory Committee are keen to visit regional councils across the country to promote their work and discuss homophobia and equality issues affecting RMT LGBT members.

We call upon the RMT General Secretary to write to Regional Organisers requesting details of strategies for organising for mutual support against homophobia and for equality, for the benefit of RMT, and we ask the General Secretary to make arrangements for this information to be published on the RMT website.

We also call on the RMT Council of Executives to explore the option of central funding to support members of the RMT National LGBT Advisory Committee to attend and speak at regional councils across the country - ideally in twos - to promote greater awareness of LGBT issues and encourage wider participation of all RMT members in organising against homophobia and for equal rights, regardless of sexuality.”

Diversity Role Models: tackling homophobia through education

Submitted by Finsbury Park Branch:

"This union is appalled that:
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) young people are three times more likely to attempt suicide
Two thirds of LGBT young people suffer bullying at school which leads to lack of focus on learning and achievement
Straight students are terrified of being called 'gay’; which leads to girls dropping out of sport and boys hiding their artistic talent to conform to gender roles and avoid being labelled gay or lesbian.
In schools where homophobic bullying is tackled, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students are 60% less likely to be bullied, preparing students for a working environment in which homophobia and transphobia are not tolerated and diversity is respected.

This union commends the good work by Diversity Role Models who actively seek to prevent homophobic and gender based bullying in United Kingdom schools by educating all young people about differences in sexuality; communicating with students directly, using positive role models (LGBT and heterosexual) to counter negative stereotypes.
This Conference requests the Council of Executives to consider:
• Fostering a working relationship with the charity Diversity Role Models, financially (where possible) and also publishing details of their work via an article in RMT News
• Organise a support function open to all RMT members who experienced homophobic bullying at school or members whose children are experiencing homophobic bullying at school
• Contact teacher and other education trade unions asking what their policies and activities are on this issue
• Run political campaigns to oppose cuts in funding to anti-bullying initiatives"

Aviation industry forced gay flight attendant into a sham marriage

Submitted by TfL No.1 Branch:

“This Conference notes the appalling treatment of gay flight attendant Maxim Kupreev by his employer Aeroflot for trying to set up an LGBT staff group by a response of a forced sham marriage to a school friend at the end of last year and a statement that there was no need for an LGBT staff group since they had no gay employees. As reported in gaystarnews http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/aeroflot-forces-gay-flight-attendant-...

This union prides itself on international solidarity and fighting for the cause of workers and thus calls on the union to:
campaign for ITF to organise a LGBT section structured similarly to the existing sections for organising women and youth via their board structure mechanisms that exist and by resolution to the next ITF congress if required.
Send a message of solidarity to the aviation union(s) based in Russia on this struggle for recognition of their LGBT members.
Encourage ITF to organise a campaign to demonstrate against the global airline alliance Sky Team, which owns Aeroflot and is led by Air France-KLM and includes American carrier Delta until they are willing to recognise the LGBT status of employees in all of their businesses.”

Campaign for Equal Marriage

Submitted by TfL No.1 Branch:

“ This Conference believes that the current legal differences between the rights of a civil partnership and those a marriage in British legislation; and the forced divorce from a happy marriage or civil partnership if one of them legally changes their gender is discriminatory and leads to “some being more equal than others”.

This Conference is against the discrimination of not allowing same-sex marriages or opposite-sex civil partnerships and believes that the definition for marriage in the UK should be “a union between consenting adults”. This would not only allow for same sex marriages but would also afford legal rights to the trisexual minority too.

This Conference calls on the Union to:
Urge the RMT parliamentary group to campaign for a lift of the ban on same sex marriage and opposite-sex civil partnerships
To organise a campaign for members to lobby their MPs to vote in favour of the proposed equal marriage bill.
To sign up to the Equal Marriage Pledge as organised by the Equality Network in Scotland http://www.equalmarriage.org.uk/
To formally support the Equal Love Campaign http://equallove.org.uk/

'Gay Cure’ adverts on TfL Buses
Submitted by Jubilee South Branch:
“It is disgraceful that such clearly homophobic adverts could get so near to being placed on London buses.
The adverts were only stopped once their imminent unveiling across the city was highlighted in the national press.
TfL should have guidelines in place so that its contractor responsible for advertising understands that these adverts are offensive to LGBT people and others.
The responsibility is with TfL. If they wish to be perceived as a gay friendly employer - as of course they should - they must ensure that they aren’t covering their property with adverts extolling the joys of being cured of homosexuality, regardless of the ten thousand pound income they reportedly lost from cancelling such adverts.
There is confusion over whether TfL blocked the advert, or the Mayor of London did so.
We ask that RMT General Secretary Bob Crow write to LUL to express our disgust that such a situation should ever arise, and also to enquire who it was that ultimately blocked the adverts - TfL or Boris Johnson.”