LGBT rights charity Stonewall has responded to a highly criticised measure by the NUS’ LGBT Campaign to do away with reps for gay men.
The National Union of Students’ LGBT Campaign has passed a motion calling for the abolition of representatives for gay men – because they “don’t face oppression” in the LGBT community.
The NUS LGBT+ Campaign discussed the issue at its annual conference, which took place in Sheffield this week.
At the event, delegates passed a motion that blames “cis gay men” for “misogyny, transphobia, racism and biphobia”.
The motion has seen outrage expressed by all sides of the LGBT+ community and beyond.
LGBT rights charity Stonewall today issued a statement criticising the measure.
The statement reads: “We believe that LGBT societies should represent the full diversity of the LGBT community, including the multiple minority identities that exist within it. Gay men experience homophobia and oppression daily, both inside and outside the LGBT community. This could be because they are of faith, or have a disability, or are part of an ethnic minority. They also continue to face discrimination in the workplace, at school, in church, in institutions, or on the sports field. The fight against homophobia isn’t over yet.
“We think the best way to reflect diversity is to proactively engage with and encourage others to apply for positions on the board rather than excluding specific parts of the community.”
The NUS said in a statement: “The NUS itself does not have any committee places solely reserved for men, this is because we recognise that the LGBT+ community is far wider than just men, at a national level we have an open place where anyone can put themselves forward for nomination.
“The conference suggested local LGBT+ societies do the same, although ultimately we have no jurisdiction over them. This has nothing to do with the views of an individual about the validity of issues anyone faces but is simply because we believe its fairer practice.”
The motion was passed – despite other resolutions at the same conference highlighting that men who have sex with men are disproportionately at risk of HIV, and disproportionately at risk of violence.
The NUS has recently been drawn into a row with gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, who helped organise a rally outside NUS HQ last week to protest their ‘No Platform’ policy. The NUS denies no-platforming Mr Tatchell.