Some 200 trade union lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) activists met last week for the ninth annual TUC LGBT conference.
Delegates discussed the progress of both anti?discrimination legislation in society, and policies within the trade union movement aimed at progressing LGBT rights.
The conference heard horrific accounts of the discrimination and violence faced by LGBT people in countries like Jamaica and Colombia, and increasingly in Iraq.
Ali Hilli from the Iraqi LGBT Group described how limited toleration of gays under the previous regime is being undermined by the current US and British backed government and its militias.
Another lively debate was around the issue of censorship of music containing homophobic and other hate lyrics.
Some delegates were unhappy about calling on the government to censor such music, which could provide a cover for essentially racist policies against the black community, but unfortunately that motion was passed.
Trans delegates at the conference were critical of the continuing lack of recognition of many trans issues by the government and the TUC’s failure to push these hard enough.
It was clear from some of the contributions and from discussions among delegates that many felt such a conference should not only be discussing issues aimed at achieving LGBT equality in the workplace. They also felt it should tackle more fundamental questions about the struggle for LGBT liberation within the wider society.
That would include whether liberation can be achieved within capitalism.