EU Referendum: LGBT Resilience

Tuesday, June 28, 2016 - 08:15

Update: Monday 4th July

The LGBT Chief Executives Network has issued a Statement on the future of LGBT issues across the United Kingdom. This statement has been issued as a result of the EU Referendum. Read the Statement here and see who has signed up to it. We encourage other LGBT organisations to sign up to the Statement so please get in touch with us on paul.roberts@lgbtconsortium.org.uk to add your organisation's signature.

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The EU Referendum has been a shock to us all--not just the result, but the rhetoric that surrounded the entire campaign. Here at LGBT Consortium, we are extremely concerned that the decision the UK has taken was indeed delivered on a platform of fear, hatred and prejudice. The consequences of the decision taken will unfold over the coming weeks, months and years, and whilst we firmly believe we would have been better off as a central part of the European Union, that is sadly not where we are at. As a result, there is a need more than ever for diverse communities to speak out loud on inequality and discrimination to ensure it doesn't creep in further as politics shift to the right and the economy tightens up.

Over the last few weeks, our LGBT communities have seen the horror of what extreme views in Orlando can lead to and at home we have seen the closure of key LGBT organisations such as PACE and Broken Rainbow. Alarm bells have already been ringing for our sector for some time but these new developments add far more pressures to an already straining sector. This is where we come back to need to fight back and show that our LGBT communities are resilient ones and we can lead the way forward in showing how communities can unite together, trust each other and work together for a common good. 

Words to this effect are all well and good, but what do we practically do from here? The consequences from the referendum result are far from known but here are some of the things LGBT Consortium will be doing, alongside our #LGBTResilience Campaign, to ensure LGBT voices are not lost as we enter these unchartered waters:

  • Liaising with our other voluntary sector partners (e.g. NCVO and NAVCA) to identify ways that we can push collective voices to those in a position of power
  • Working with other specialist equality organisations to show solidarity, communicate common messages and raise the voice collectively of diverse communities
  • Bringing LGBT leaders across the sector together to identify our own common messages to feed into wider discussions
  • Keeping in close contact with the Government Equalities Office to understand how LGBT voices will be heard in Government as we move forward
  • Promoting the sector's LGBT Hate Crime campaign to encourage LGBT people to recognise hate crime, report it and get support 
  • Identifying ways for LGBT people and our allies to invest in LGBT organisations so we can strengthen our own economy

Rest assured, that we will not stand by and allow our voices to be re-marginalised. There is so much work to do, but we must be mindful of having an element of patience--we have to understand what is happening around us and react in the most appropriate way. We don't want to be too reactive if we want to maintain a valid and relevant voice but equally we don't want to watch as decisions that could affect all our lives are made around us. 

Let's remain resilient, heard and active. 


 

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