Unions support the global fight for equality

Tim Lezard Europe, UK, LGBT

lgbt rainbow flag bannerThe TUC today launches a new Charter for International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Solidarity.

The central message of the Charter is that solidarity is at the core of trade union values, but that decisions regarding when, whether and how to act must be firmly in the hands of the LGBT communities in each country.

The Charter explains how unions can best support the struggles of LGBT people in the many countries where homosexuality is illegal, and subject to popular prejudice. It is still a crime to be lesbian, gay or bisexual in more than 70 countries, with punishments including life imprisonment, flogging and the death penalty.

Crucially, the Charter emphasises that:

  • leadership must come from the LGBT communities.
  • LGBT communities in different countries will have varied approaches based on cultural and national sensitivities.
  • trade unions should be prepared to offer practical support in whatever form is needed.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “The message of this charter is that trade unions support campaigns against laws that oppress LGBT people across the world. ‘An injury to one is an injury to all’ is a basic trade union message and it applies everywhere.

“Unions will also support LGBT communities who wish to avoid a kneejerk response to violations ­– one example being the Winter Olympics in Russia where a boycott was seen to be doing more harm than good and Russian LGBT organisations called for engagement as a more effective approach.”

The Charter can be downloaded here.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License.
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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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