On Thursday 17 September 2015, the House of Lords debated a motion to take note of the treatment of LGBTI citizens worldwide. Click here to read the transcript of the debate in the Hansard
During the debate some frightening statistics were brought to the attention of the house. One notable point was that between 2008 and 2014 the Trans Murder Monitoring Project listed 1612 murders of Trans people worldwide.
Lord Collins of Highbury, in contributing to the debate, said “Too many Governments have proposed or enacted laws that aim to curb freedom of expression, association, religion and peaceful protest. As we have heard, same-sex sexual conduct between consenting adults continues to be criminalised in 78 jurisdictions in the world, and 40 of the 53 countries of the Commonwealth of Nations criminalise same-sex relations for men, women or both.”
In moving the motion, Lord Scriven asked the minister to enact a suggestion to fly the rainbow flag at all UK Embassies during Pride. PCS Proud also calls for the Bi and Trans flags to be flown too.
PCS Proud recognises that we have members working for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and Department for International Development (DFID) in Embassies all over the world. It is incredibly important that our members safety continues to be paramount but also that ideology and LGBT phobia is challenged wherever it arises.
We are seeking to write to the Rt Hon Nicky Morgan (Minister for Women and Equalities) and the Rt Hon Philip Hammond (Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs) to introduce them to our charter and ask that similar values are upheld in Government and in places where the work of the Government is carried out.
In addition to this we are seeking to request that the UK Government makes clear that LGBT phobia is not acceptable and that anti-LGBT legislation is challenged and repealed.
Steve Heyward, Secretary of Proud, says “It is crucial that the disgraceful treatment of LGBT people around the world is challenged. We have a responsibility, first and foremost, to protect our fellow human beings. I am incredibly proud of members who took part in the #IAmGay campaign and encourage members to take part in similar campaigns so that LGBT people in countries that legislate against them can have a voice.”
PCS believes that equality should be at the heart of everything that we do and therefore we ask members to consider sending motions to branch AGMs so that PCS Annual Delegate Conference can have a position and so the wider union can prioritise a campaign for LGBT rights around the world as part of our international work as well as our equality work.
Dorion Griffiths, Proud’s Organiser for Campaigns and Communications has drafted some wording to get members started with motions:
This Conference notes the appalling treatment of LGBT people around the world. From jail to the death sentence, 40 out of 53 Commonwealth states have criminalised homosexuality. This Conference further notes that the treatment of Trans people by the UK media has caused suicide and harm.
Phillip Hammond, the Foreign Secretary, issued an instruction on embassies across the globe to not fly the rainbow flag during pride season due to the safety implications that doing so may have. Conference agrees that this is unacceptable. and that each embassy should make its own decision regarding safety issues.
This conference agrees that PCS should condemn any LGBT phobia whether it be in law or in society’s attitudes towards LGBT people.
The NEC are therefore instructed to:
- Work with PCS Proud and the international committee to launch a campaign against LGBT phobia around the world
- Issue a briefing to all PCS groups highlighting the PCS Proud LGBT Charter and encourage negotiators to press for the charter to be embedded in the employer’s equality policy.
- Create, with PCS Proud, a PCS strategy for more LGBT representation in our structures.
If any members have queries or issues please do not hesitate to contact Proud@pcs.org.uk