National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender + Members’ Conference 2019 Resolutions

Circular No: NP/229/19
Our Ref: EO/32


28th October 2019

Dear Colleague,


I write with regards to the above matter and to inform you that the resolutions which were passed at this year’s National LGBT+ Members’ Conference have been considered by the union’s National Executive Committee. The resolutions together with the NEC decisions are as follows:

i) RMT Sponsored MP's, Exchange Visits and Guest Speakers
“This Conference notes that:

1. within the RMT Group of sponsored MPs there has been instances in the past where some have not shown support for LGBT+ matters and could be deemed as homophobic, biphobic or transphobic.
2. the RMT arranges exchange visits and visits to other countries.
3. guest speakers etc. are invited to attend various functions of the RMT, i.e. AGM, NEC meetings, conferences, Regional Councils, branches, etc.
This conference requests the General Secretary and NEC to:

1. seek a commitment that all our sponsored MPs whilst entitled to their own individual opinion, are committed to supporting our members and their constituents on LGBT+ matters.
2. establish that locations of exchange visits and visits are not known as being hostile towards LGBT+ matters and persons. Also that they do not have homophobic, biphobic or transphobic etc. practises, such as discriminatory laws, bullying, torture, legalised killings, etc. In the event of such we request that serious consideration should be given to boycott the location, until such times as suitable amends and support are made on LGBT+ matters.
3. devise a policy stating that as far as possible for all to establish prior to any invite that they support union policy in line with LGBT+ matters. We also request that any who are known to be blatantly homophobic, biphobic or transphobic are not invited or associated with the good name of the RMT.”
National Executive Committee decision:

“We note the resolution and instruct the General Secretary to discuss the matter with the Parliamentary convenor and report any feedback.”

ii) RMT Goods Services
“This Conference notes that the RMT often engage in purchases and services from various businesses and organisations.

We request the General Secretary as far as is possible establish prior that they support RMT policy in respect of LGBT+ support. Should any organisation or business be known to be blatantly homophobic, biphobic or transphobic, their services should either not be engaged or terminated, until such time as they can prove they have made amends and support LGBT+ matters.”

National Executive Committee decision:

“We note the sentiment of the resolution. We instruct the General Secretary to take such matters into consideration for union’s procurement.”

iii) RMT LGBT+ Charter
“This Conference notes the good work done in producing various charters such as the "Womens" and "Cleaners" charters and request the General Secretary produce an updated "RMT LGBT+ Members Charter" and suitable, supporting publicity and promotional materials, including a supply of "RMT Rainbow LGBT+" sails.”

National Executive Committee decision:

“We instruct the General Secretary to carry out in line with the resolution.”

iv) Rights and Protection for LGBT+ People in Post-Brexit Britain
“Britain is considered one of the most LGBT+ friendly countries in the world, based on anti-discrimination legislation, marriage rights, adoption, transgender rights and equality of the age of consent. But these hard-won rights are very precarious after parliamentarians voted down Lord Pannick’s amendment (2018) to the European Union Withdrawal Bill retaining the EU Charter of Fundamental rights.
This Charter is the only legally binding international human rights document that expressly protects against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and trans people and those who do not conform to traditional gender constructs.
The British government has a dark and shameful history of persecuting LGBT+ people. The Home Office continues to deport desperate LGBT+ asylum seekers to countries where they face extreme persecution, imprisonment, and even death. Seventy three countries around the world still criminalise private, consensual sexual activity between adults of the same sex. Thirteen still have the death penalty.
Half of these countries are members of the Commonwealth and continue to uphold harsh anti-LGBT laws imposed by the British under colonial rule. The Commonwealth charter does not specifically enshrine protection for LGBT people. Blackmail, extortion, discrimination, physical and sexual violence is commonplace against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in many countries and key politicians and religious leaders continue to actively fund and inflame hostility and anti-LGBT sentiment.
The recent protests in Birmingham over school sex education is a reminder that we have not moved as far from Section 28 as we thought. We cannot take our rights for granted in post-Brexit Britain, especially at a time when there is an upsurge of the far right across Europe, the United States, and Brazil, and a rise of xenophobic populism, anti-migrant rhetoric, anti-Muslim rhetoric, anti-Semitism, and high levels of stigma, intolerance, violence and discrimination against LGBT+ people.
This branch calls on the RMT General Secretary to take urgent steps to mobilise all members of the RMT parliamentary group to ensure that the rights and protections for LGBT+ people in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights will be enshrined in British law once the UK leaves the EU.”
Note: This was submitted to the AGM.

National Executive Committee decision:

“We instruct the General Secretary to raise with our Parliamentary group.”

v) Discrimination and Repression in Cuba
“This union notes that the Cuban government banned this year's Pride march. We support and endorse LGBT+ Cubans who marched in defiance of this ban, and deplore the arrest of those marchers.

We further note that Cuba has not yet legalised same-sex marriage, despite strong demands for it to do so.

We appreciate that there are imperialist and religious pressures on the Cuban regime, but do not accept that these are any excuse for attacking LGBT+ rights.

Noting that RMT has given strong support to Cuba, we call on the union to clearly state its opposition to these developments and to urgently contact the Cuban government's representatives expressing our concerns.”

Note: This was submitted to the AGM.

National Executive Committee decision:

“That we instruct the General Secretary to invite Cuba Solidarity Campaign members to discuss this issue at the next meeting of our LGBT+ Advisory Committee and then place a report back to the NEC.”

I will now be acting on the instructions of these decisions and I will, of course, keep you fully advised on any further developments. I would be grateful if you could bring the contents of this circular to the attention of your members.

Yours sincerely,

Mick Cash
General Secretary