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17 May - International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

17 May 2013
Standing in solidarity to overcome prejudice and discrimination

The global union federation Public Services International (PSI) urges affiliate members to use the opportunity of the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia, 17 May, to promote understanding and defend the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) people in our workplaces and communities.

Homophobia or transphobia, in any form, is damaging and even life-threatening.  PSI General Secretary Rosa Pavanelli says, “On this day, and every day of the year, we must commit to standing in solidarity with LGBT sisters and brothers to combat marginalization, violence and abuse based on sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Because of the threat of harassment or censure, many people choose not to disclose their sexual orientation – especially at their places of work.  Trade unions can and do take action at national and international levels to protect LGBT workers’ rights and to overcome prejudice and discrimination.

Recruiting and retaining LGBT workers can in turn benefit a union through growing its negotiating strength and representative capacity. Indeed, the more diverse a union proves itself to be, the more effectively it will be able to recruit from a broad range of equity-seeking communities, and strengthen collective power to defend trade union and human rights.

For more information, please contact PSI’s Equality and Trade Union Rights Officer Sandra.Vermuyten@world-psi.org

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