Received from: TUC LGBT+ Conference
Congress notes that over the past few years, national and global resistance to LGBT+ rights has been led by an alliance of governments and networks of anti-LGBT+ organisations.
Congress also notes that many of the barriers to inclusion and positive workplace practice arise from a lack of confidence and education around trans and non-binary people’s experiences.
Congress further believes that it is critical that we hear more trans voices in our media and public conversation.
Congress believes that everyone has the right to be themselves without fear. Congress notes with concern a worrying rise in transphobic discourse in the UK in recent years, a shocking increase in transphobic hate crime, including in the workplace and recent reports that the Equality and Human Rights Commission is failing to act impartially and to respect the rights of trans people.
The EHRC is responsible for enforcement of equality laws based on protected characteristics.
In February 2021, Equalities Minister Liz Truss appointed Baroness Kishwer Falkner as chair of the EHRC. Baroness Kishwer Falkner has expressed views that support attacks on the rights of trans people to be recognised in their acquired gender. Her comments have compromised confidence that the EHRC has the capacity to act impartially on issues affecting protected characteristics.
It is further noted that there have been a number of resignations of staff from the EHRC who are now whistleblowing, alleging an anti-LGBT+ culture among its leadership.
Congress believes that it is essential to raise understanding in our communities, workplaces and amongst elected representatives to ensure that trans people are treated with the respect and dignity they deserve.
Congress further believes that we must urgently change the culture in our institutions to pave the way for trans equality.
Some organisations are targeting employers and schools with misinformation that seeks to sow division and suspicion about trans and non-binary people.
The trade union movement must play a central role in creating better workplaces and preventing discrimination at work by the means of organising, education, alliance-building and bargaining.
Congress calls on the General Council to:
i. launch a TUC alliance for trans and non-binary rights
ii. hold an event before or during Trans Awareness Week 2023
iii. continue to publicly challenge organisations that seek to create hostility for trans and non-binary rights in the UK and counter political attacks on them using all tools at TUC’s disposal
iv. provide unions with guidance on how to resolve tensions within their activist structures regarding trans rights, parallel with and connected to the TUC’s crucial work on gender equality and sex discrimination
v. produce guidance which affiliates can provide to employers on supporting trans employees and promoting trans equality in the workplace
vi. lobby the government to ensure that policymakers, equality organisations, employers and service providers are better informed about how to promote equality and inclusion for people who are transgender.
vii. demand that the government ensures the EHRC upholds the rights of all people with protected characteristics and that it instigates an investigation into allegations concerning potential failures to properly consider issues affecting members of the LGBT+ community.
viii. to publicise the results of the investigations of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and of the European Commissioner for Human Rights which have identified the UK as one of the most transphobic countries in Europe
ix. write and distribute a briefing on the misuse of concepts such as ‘freedom of speech’ and ‘academic freedom’ examined through a LGBT+ liberation lens.
TUC LGBT+ Conference