Solidarity Newspaper

LGBT transport workers discuss solidarity , 23 May, 2012

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Delegates to this year’s LGBT members’ conference of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) on 18 May debated a range of issues including international LGBT rights, homophobic bullying in UK schools, equal marriage and the banned advertising campaign on London buses (which aimed to promote the “ex-gay” movement and “conversion therapy”).

Delegates also discussed the recent upsurge in religious and state-sponsored homophobia in many regions around the world.

Conference noted with concern that across Africa, parliaments are currently advocating laws that would further penalise and even execute homosexuals.

In Russia, the city of Saint Petersburg has recently passed a law making it illegal to speak in public about homosexuality. In Iraq, sectarian militias are brutally murdering gay men, and young men perceived to be gay.

In Iran, the theocratic regime continues to criminalise and oppress homosexuality. Conference also discussed the work of the charity Diversity Role Models in preventing homophobic bullying in UK schools by educating about differences in sexuality. Delegates passed all of the six resolutions discussed at conference.

Two resolutions from the conference will be sent to the RMT Annual General Meeting (24-29 June). The first resolution calls on the RMT to support campaigns against homophobia around the world, and build international solidarity links with LGBT rights campaigners and trade unionists.

The second resolution calls on the RMT to foster a working relationship with Diversity Role Models and run political campaigns to oppose cuts in funding to anti-bullying initiatives in the UK.

• More on LGBT&Q struggles here