Lesbian Labour were in Liverpool this week handing out leaflets and speaking to delegates at the annual Labour Party Conference. Our concerns include the loss of single sex spaces and provision in public life, which particularly affects us same-sex attracted women.
Unfortunately we were literally and metaphorically left out in the cold given the Labour Party’s refusal to tolerate diversity of opinion over same-sex attraction and single sex services, after refusing stall applications from same-sex champions The LGB Alliance, the feminst charity Filia, as well as the Labour Women’s Declaration. This of course only made us more determined to get our message out there, and with our pop up stall we did!
Thoughts on the cancelled alphabet soup conference, the “enlightened” response from the C of E, and the government’s cautionary approach to banning conversion therapy for gender identity.
A global conference which focused on banning such practices (see article) everywhere would have been a useful step.
Instead… histrionics. Footstomping. “If you don’t do what we want we won’t play”. Stonewall and other well- funded groups financially incentivising rainbow washing and virtue-signalling whilst denying same-sex attraction, should be ashamed of themselves.
Simply copy and paste the text below into a blank email and send to the following email addresses. Please ACT NOW and let the UN refugee agency know that more must be done to help.
Kenya firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Kakuma UNHCR Protection office in Kakuma: KENKA@unhcr.org email@example.com Geneva
firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com CC: Tayyar Sukru Cansizoglu (Head of Sub Office Kakuma)
Dear UNHCR, We demand that you IMMEDIATELY ensure that movement passes are issued for all LGBT refugees to leave Kakuma Camp. We demand that you give your protection for all LGBT refugees to transit safely from Kakuma Camp to Nairobi and to be protected for the duration of their time in Kenya. According to The Statute of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the ‘essential function of UNHCR is to provide international protection to refugees and to seek durable solutions to their problems by facilitating either their voluntary repatriation or their integration into new national communities in safety and with dignity’ FiLiA believes that the residents of Block 13 in Kakuma camp are not being protected or having due regard to their safety or dignity. LGBT Refugees in Kakuma Camp are facing violent attacks on a daily basis and in 6 years UNHCR has proven that protecting them in the camp is not possible. UNHCR operates the camp at Kakuma and the neighbouring Kalobeyei Integrated Settlement – https://www.unhcr.org/ke/kakuma-refugee-camp UNHCR’s own Guideline No. 9, which deals with claims based on sexual orientation and / or gender identity, recognises that non-state actors may be agents of persecution where the state is unwilling or unable to protect them. The residents in Block 13 are experiencing harm capable of amounting to persecution and have no recourse to protection from the state or apparently from UNHCR. https://www.unhcr.org/…/unhcr-guidelines-international… UNHCR’s Guideline on Gender-Related Persecution, which deals with sex and gender in refugee claims, acknowledges that gender-based violence encompasses persecution on the basis of sexual orientation, and that sexual violence is capable of amounting to persecution. Women in Block 13 are at risk due to both their sex and their sexual orientation. Article 5 of the UN Declaration on Human Rights confirms that nobody shall be subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment. Article 7 of the same – all are equal before the law and entitled to equal protection against discrimination. Article 14 – everyone has the right to seek and enjoy asylum from persecution. The conditions in Kakuma for those who are resident in Block 13 fail on these counts. Having sought asylum from persecution in their countries of origin, they are exposed to continued persecution and to inhuman and degrading treatment and discrimination due to their sexual orientation. This undermines the purpose of the Refugee Convention and compounds the suffering of the refugees in Block 13. Please do your job and protect these Refugees. Yours sincerely,
The Equality and Human Rights Commission’s response to the UK Government’s Consultation on conversion therapy and its letter to the Scottish Government about reform of the Gender Recognition Act are a breath of fresh air.
The Commission has called for careful and respectful discussion of potential changes to the law and asked all Governments to take the time needed to ensure that definitions are clear, and that the policy is evidence-based.
The EHRC’s mandate is to challenge discrimination, and to protect and promote everyone’s human rights. LGB (lesbian, gay and bisexual) and women’s grassroots organisations have for the last few years been raising alarm at policies, advocated by gender identity activists, which only recognise the rights of one group.
Protecting human rights often means balancing the interests of people with different protected characteristics. Legislators and regulators must listen to the views of all and not favour a particular lobby or allow one group’s interests to destroy the rights of others. As the EHRC have stated, the established legal concept of sex is a critical underpinning to all our rights; including those of LGB people, women and people who identify as transgender.
The EHRC has clearly listened to our voices. For this we thank the Commission. For our part we will continue to lobby all Governments to focus on what any good law requires – open debate, broad consultation, human rights impact assessments, clear language and proper regard for evidence.