The voice of LGBT+ members of the PCS Union

LGBTI Citizens Worldwide (Lords Debate)

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that the UK Government makes clear that LGBT phobia is not acceptable and that anti-LGBT legislation is challenged and repealed.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

 

 

 

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TUC demo: No to Austerity, Yes to Workers Rights.

PCS Proud is seeking to mobilise Proud members and take part in the TUC organised “No to Austerity, Yes to Workers Rights” march at the tory party conference on 4 October 2015.

If you are attending the demonstration and want to march with Proud then either keep an eye out for our banner in the PCS section of the march! You can also tweet us on @PCS_Proud. 

Steve Heyward, Proud Secretary, says “This march is incredibly important as workers rights are being eroded. We must raise our voices loud and clear and say “enough is enough””

More information about the demonstration can be found https://www.tuc.org.uk/about-tuc/no-austerity-4-oct-march-and-rally

The PCS news and events page can be found http://www.pcs.org.uk/en/news_and_events/news_and_events.cfm

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Ireland says YES

In a statement from PCS Proud, Secretary Ste Heyward said “The people of Ireland have spoken and want marriage equality for the LGBT community. Many campaigners were not necessarily members of the LGBT community but they know the importance of equality in society. I am extremely pleased with the result so far and congratulate each and every campaigner who spoke out with support for LGBT rights.”

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LGBT Charter

Be sure to ask candidates to support our LGBT Charter when they ask for your vote during this general election.

The PCS Proud LGBT Charter calls for a basic set of principles that promotes equality in work, at home and in wider social policy.

The following text is suggested.

Dear <Candidate Name>

I am writing to you to ask that you support the PCS Proud LGBT Charter. PCS is, as you will probably know, the largest Civil Service union in the UK. 

Members at the PCS Proud annual general meeting, called for a campaign to promote equality in the workplace, at home and in wider social policy.

I am asking you, as a candidate standing for election, to support the LGBT Charter and strive to ensure that the principles of equality, freedom and justice are upheld. Throughout the election campaign and in Government, if you’re elected.  

To show your support I ask you to go to www.pcsproud.org.uk/charter and pledge your support.

Yours sincerely,

<Your Name>

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