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Letter My union opposes all hate crime, bullying and harassment

THE Morning Star on July 4 2018 printed a call to “Improve the climate of debate around proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act.”

This is the message I signed up to but I need to make absolutely clear my and my union’s total opposition to all hate crime, including against trans people.

Unite’s policy conference on the same day held an inclusive respectful united debate on equalities, including agreeing progressive action on sexual harassment and domestic abuse, period poverty, menopause, changing the face of the union and BAEM progression, disability rights, LGBT asylum-seekers, International Women’s Day, equality impact assessments and unconscious bias.

Conference also agreed the executive council statement on gender identification. This statement, I am proud to say, was drawn up by Unite’s national women’s and LGBT committees together with consultation, discussion and mutual respect.

The statement confirms:

“Unite is firmly committed to equality for all, and the members of our union are a strong representation of the diversity within our communities … Respect and tolerance are crucial and we oppose all hate crime, bullying and harassment.

“We therefore oppose any construct of a debate which seeks to divide and set one group of workers against another and will defend our members against any homophobic, transphobic or sexist hate language or abuse … Unite believes that any worker has the right to determine their gender identity without unnecessary medicalisation and supports the review of the process … By working together to tackle the discrimination we all face, Unite believes that we will create a more tolerant, fairer society for all.

“We oppose divisions between our women’s movement and our lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans movement, our campaigns to tackle discrimination are inclusive and member led.”

In moving the statement, Unite executive council LGBT representative Jenny Douglas gave a powerful example from Scotland of how Unite is already putting these commitments into practice with the STUC, and how the review of the Gender Recognition Act, announced by the government this week, should be conducted, involving full participation of LGBT and women’s groups and organisations, Rape Crisis and Women’s Aid Scotland.

Let’s be clear, this union will oppose ALL hate crime, bullying and harassment.

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