If you’ve ever seen the movie Pride, you’ll know that it was the National Union of Miners that supported a motion promoting lesbian and gay rights at the TUC’s congress in 1985. This in turn ensured the Labour Party adopted progressive policies in opposition and later in Government.
In the last two decades alone Usdaw, the TUC trade unions, and LGBT+ activists have:
- Lobbied for civil partnerships and the introduction of equal marriage in the UK, and continued to support the call for love equality in Northern Ireland.
- Lobbied for greater legal protections for LGBT+ people at work far in advance of legislation brought in by the EU in 2000 that was introduced in the UK in 2003.
- Supported the challenge to the UK 2003 interpretation of EU law, which allowed an organisation with a religious exception to dismiss someone for being gay. This meant exceptions could only be applied in the narrowest circumstances.
- Lobbied to ensure pension rights were not capped for same sex couples entering into civil partnerships and same sex marriage.
- Ensured LGBT+ members have a voice in the Union by setting aside space on the Union’s Regional Equality Forums and National Equalities Advisory Group for LGBT+ activists.
- Trained our reps to support LGBT+ colleagues facing workplace discrimination.
- Sent a full delegation, including a LGBT+ activist from every one of the Union’s seven regions, to TUC LGBT+ Conference every year and has an elected representative on the TUC LGBT+ Committee.
- Supported Pride events across the UK.
- Published a range of literature helping reps support LGBT+ members in the workplace.
- With the exception of last year when the pandemic meant it had to be postponed organised a national get together for LGBT+ members.
Pride in your Union
One of the founding members of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM) was an Usdaw member – Mike Jackson.
Watch this short film to hear Mike talk about the miners strike, being a gay activist living in London in the 1980’s, why trade unions still matter today and being an Usdaw member.
Ban Conversion Therapy
Each Pride season we celebrate progress in LGBT rights achieved through hard work and campaigning by Unions and LGBT activists.
While so much progress has been made towards LGBT equality, there is always more work to do, and in many parts of the world hard fought for LGBT rights are being attacked.
In the UK, the government have moved away from commitments made in the 2018 LGBT Action Plan aimed at improving the lives of LGBT people. This is adding to a hostile environment for LGBT people where the promotion and practice of conversion therapy is still not illegal.
Find out more >>