www.lgf.org.uk Reg. Charity No. 1070904
A GUIDE TO YOUR RIGHTS FOR LESBIAN, GAY & BISEXUAL PEOPLE
In association with
A GUIDE TO YOUR RIGHTS... Over the last ten years there have been many changes in legislation that affect lesbian, gay and bisexual people. These range from an equal age of consent, to civil partnerships; and more recently, equality in the provision of goods and services. The Lesbian & Gay Foundation (LGF) have been working with Oâ€™Neill Patient solicitors, and Amicus the Union, to produce this information resource to enable lesbian, gay and bisexual people to have up-to-date information about their legal and civil rights. However, as the law has changed over the last decade it will continue to do so. The information contained in this resource is a summary of the law at the time of publication (May 2007). Both LGF and Oâ€™Neill Patient would recommend taking legal advice if you have a matter that needs dealing with urgently. 02
INSIDE Paul Martin, The Lesbian & Gay Foundation Les Patient, O’Neill Patient Solicitors Ten Years of Progress Sexual Orientation Regulations Disability Age of Consent Section 28 Comission for Equality & Human Rights Hate Crimes Sexual Offences Act The Law & Cruising Employment Act Anti-Discrimination Law Armed Forces Faith Exemptions Adoption Cohabitation Civil Partnership Where There’s a Will … Criminal Injuries Immigration LGB Rights Around the World Education Rights Housing-Younger LGB’s Housing-Older LGB’s LGF Housing Drop-In Police Advice Surgery Criminalisation of HIV Useful Contacts References
4 5 6 8 11 13 14 17 18 20 23 24 26 28 29 30 32 33 34 35 36 38 40 42 43 44 45 46 47 52
PAUL MARTIN Chief Executive The Lesbian & Gay Foundation
“The Lesbian and Gay Foundation believes in a fair and equal society where all lesbian, gay and bisexual people can achieve their full potential. This information guide provides the first important steps towards informing you, the lesbian, gay and bisexual community of the North West of your legal and civil rights. Discrimination against lesbian, gay and bisexual people is a breach of our fundamental human right to equal treatment and respect for individual dignity. For too long it has been acceptable to deny us these basic rights and discriminate against us because we have been perceived as somehow less deserving than other people in society. Well no more! The detailed information contained within this guide provides you with the basic tools to begin the process of challenging prejudice and discrimination committed against you because of your sexual orientation. The guide also provides you with contact details for you to gain further support when you act upon unequal treatment. But act you must. I would like to thank the people responsible for producing this guide, and in particular I would like to express my deep thanks to O’Neill Patient Solicitors, for their continuing support and commitment in ‘Ending Homophobia and Empowering People.’“ 04
LES PATIENT Senior Partner Oâ€™Neill Patient Solicitors
â€œIt is generally thought that between 5% and 7% of the population are lesbian and gay, and whilst there are no firm figures for bisexual men and women, it does mean that there are a lot of us out there. We have made steady progress over the last ten years in our journey to be treated as equal to other members in our society and I want to dedicate my contribution to this guide, to those of us that just want to get on with their lives without prejudice, hate or discrimination. I recently had the pleasure in committing to my same sex partner Andrew in our civil partnership ceremony and I cannot begin to tell you how good that felt, to be recognised as a regular bloke who wanted to show some commitment to his partner of 15 years. I am delighted to be able to contribute to this resource by The Lesbian and Gay Foundation who I have nothing but admiration for in their support for lesbian, gay and bisexual people in the North West and beyond. Long may they continue!â€? 05
TEN YEARS OF PROGRESS... Milestones on the road to full legal rights for LGB people.
Labour wins General Election. Stephen Twigg and Ben Bradshaw, both openly gay, become MPs. Chris Smith becomes the first openly gay Cabinet Minister as National Heritage Secretary. Labour MP Angela Eagle becomes the first MP to come out as a lesbian. The Government recognises same sex partners for immigration purposes.
The House of Commons votes for the age of consent for gay males to be 16, but this was later defeated in the Lords.
Immigration policy changed so that gay couples only needed to fill a two year rather than a four year probationary period. The Law Society proposes that unmarried couples, including same sex partners, should be recognised in law. Rail companies legally recognise same sex couples for travel subsidy. The House of Lords rules that same sex partners should have the right to succeed a tenancy.
2000 2001 06
The Government lifts the ban on lesbians and gay men serving in the armed forces.
The age of consent is reduced to 16.
Equal rights are granted for same sex couples applying for adoption. However, it not implemented until 2005.
Repeal of Section 28 Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations come into effect, giving lesbian gay and bisexual people equal rights in the workplace.
The Sexual Offences Act abolishes the crime of buggery and gross indecency.
The first Civil Partnerships take effect from 21 December.
Section 146 of the Criminal Justices Act 2003 implemented, empowering courts to impose tougher sentences for offences aggravated or motivated by the victimâ€™s sexual orientation. The Equality Act 2006 establishes Commission for Equality and Human Rights and makes discrimination against lesbians, gay men and bisexuals in the provision of goods and legal services illegal.
The implementation of the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation)2007.
2006 2007 07
THE EQUALITY ACT (SEXUAL ORIENTATION) REGULATIONS 2007 The House of Lords voted on 21 March 2007 to introduce new regulations, to protect individuals discriminated against on the grounds of their sexual orientation. In short, the regulations will make it unlawful to discriminate against, (amongst others), lesbian gay and bisexual people in the provision of services, ranging from healthcare and education through to restaurants and hotels. For example the regulations mean it will be illegal to be refused a double room if you are a gay couple, refused a gift service for a gay commitment ceremony or refused admission to a school based on the parentâ€™s sexual orientation. The regulations are complementary to existing regulations beyond the scope of this guide, as protection in this area is already afforded to people because of sex, disability, faith or race. The Regulations will extend to England, Scotland and Wales from 30th April 2007. Catholic Adoption agencies have until December 2008 to comply with the regulations. After this time the regulations will cease to be exempt to them. 08
Chief Executive, The Lesbian & Gay Foundation “In the last decade we have been gradually achieving more equal rights and a fairer access to goods and services has been a long time coming. It is vital that we inform each other on what these rights mean and how we can begin to use them in a way that will make a difference to all of our lives for the better. We still have some way to go in our quest to achieve full equality (in law and in life) but the more we feel confident about challenging areas in life where we are treated differently or unfairly, the more we can fight prejudice and discrimination in all its forms.’’
BEN SUMMERSKILL Chief Executive, Stonewall
“We are delighted that Peers have supported equality for Lesbian and Gay people so decisively. The campaign to oppose these much needed protections reached appalling depths with small children of six, seven and eight being coerced into waving anti gay placards. It has been a stark reminder of how much prejudice still exists in Britain and is further evidence of the need for these protections.’’
LORD CHRIS SMITH First openly gay MP, and former Cabinet Minister “This is another historic milestone on the long road to end discrimination against lesbian, gay and bisexual people.”
DISABILITY Lesbian, gay and bisexual people suffer in the same way that heterosexual people suffer, because of their disablement. It seems incredible in a minority group such as lesbian, gay and bisexual people, that they often themselves discriminate against other minority groups, where negative views lead to people having no support network or social life because of their disability. The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 was passed to introduce legislation to end this discrimination. It protects disabled people in areas such as employment, the provision of goods and services, facilities, and the selling, letting or managing of land or premises. Educational establishments are required to provide information for disabled people and the Government can set minimum standards to assist disabled people to use public transport. The development of the legislation is ongoing. Education premises, shop premises, work premises and places of worship are required to adapt to allow access to disabled people in order that disabled people can live their lives without being forced to rely on others. 11
THE AGE OF CONSENT
In 1967 when gay (male) sex was partly decriminalised, the age of consent for gay men was set at 21, whilst for heterosexuals it was 16. This was almost setting heterosexuals and homosexuals apart as if there was something not quite right with gay men. There was no mention of an age of consent for lesbians, nor any legislation criminalising same sex relationships between women, as if they didnâ€™t exist. The age of consent for gay men was lowered in time to 18, but that still left an inequality. Campaigning took place between 1993 and 2001, when the age of consent was equalised and finally lowered to 16 for gay men and lesbians. 13
SECTION 28 LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT 1986 AS AMENDED
Section 28 was a controversial amendment to the Local Government Act 1986. The amendment stated that the Local Authority: “Shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality” or “promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship”. The amendment was as a consequence of many back bench MPs being concerned that some local councils were indoctrinating young children with “homosexual propaganda” 14
As a result it was long thought that a person would be prosecuted if they distributed any written material that portrayed a gay relationship as equal to a heterosexual relationship. This would for example have covered leaflets, books, flyers etc. No prosecution was ever brought under this legislation, but it became a dark shadow over the educational sector, so long as it had its life. A number of gay groups in schools and colleges were closed in case they were deemed to be seen to be promoting homosexuality. On 7 February 2000, the Labour Government tried to repeal Section 28, but this was defeated in the House of Lords, led by Baroness Young. However the Scottish version of the clause was repealed in Scotland on 21t June 2000 by the Scottish Parliament. On 24 July 2000, legislation to repeal Section 28 was again introduced and passed in the House of Commons but again was knocked back by the Lords. The House of Lords finally allowed the repeal of Section 28 which received Royal Assent on 18September 2003 becoming effective on 18 November 2003. For more on Education in Schools see page 40 of this guide 15
COMMISSION FOR EQUALITY AND HUMAN RIGHTS (CEHR) The Equality Act 2006 which established the CEHR, gained Royal Assent on 16 February 2006. The CEHR will come into being in October 2007. On 5 March 2007, Nicola Brewer took up her appointment as the CEHR’s first Chief Executive Officer. Speaking about her appointment, Nicola Brewer said: “Big initiatives on equalities and human rights in the UK right now have created a once in a generation opportunity to do something meaningful”. This body is the first statutory body to protect lesbian, gay and bisexual people in Britain. The Commission is charged with underlining the importance of equality as the commissions for Racial Equality, Equal Opportunity and Disabled rights currently do. The CEHR will promote equal opportunities for all and will cover six strands of equality - (i) age, (ii) disability, (iii) race, (iv) religion and belief, (v) gender and (vi) sexual orientation. 17
The bombing of the Admiral Duncan pub in Old Compton Street, London in April 1999, was a low point in gay history. Sadly there are still daily occurrences of violence against lesbian, gay and bisexual people. The author of this article has recent, personal experience of his gay brother being “queer bashed” and a work colleague being mugged at a bus stop in Manchester after a night out in the Gay Village. Once this sort of violence occurs, the memory of it stays with the victims for the rest of their lives. It is difficult to fully assess the amount of lesbian, gay and bisexual people that have been the victim of homophobic hate crimes committed against them as many choose not to take the matter further. Regrettably, for a number of reasons such as the victim not wishing to be ‘outed’, fear of retribution, or fear that some will form a negative impression, these crimes are not reported. 18
Section 146 of the Criminal Justices Act 2003 came into force in April 2005, giving the courts authority to impose tougher sentences for offences motivated or aggravated by the victimâ€™s sexual orientation in England and Wales. In recent times, the police in some counties have taken the initiative to work with the LGBT community to cut down the levels of crimes. Section 146 of the Criminal Justices Act 2003 came into force in April 2005 , giving the courts authority to impose tougher sentences for offences motivated or aggravated by the victimâ€™s sexual orientation in England and Wales. The Act does not create a specific offence for homophobic assault as such, but it does ensure that where the assault is motivated by sexual orientation (actual or perceived) then the judge can take this into account. It is important that Local Authorities work with the police in their local areas to create crime reduction strategies. Statutory guidance to the Crime and Disorder Act requires the police and local authorities to work with, and seek participation of, the local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. It is important that the police themselves make it easier for victims to report crimes against them and for the police to be sympathetic, so that victims no longer have a fear of reporting. For more on LGBT policing go to page 44 19
SEXUAL OFFENCES ACT 2003 The Government currently believes that criminal law should not discriminate unnecessarily between men and women or between those of different sexual orientation. The Sexual Offences Act 2003 endeavors to tackle this issue. This legislation overhauls the Sex Offenders Act 1997. The Act represents a major review of sexual crime and the fear of sexual crime. These manifestations have had a damaging and lasting effect on the lives of individuals and groups. It is the Government’s attempt to reflect current attitudes to sex, rather than the ‘Victorian’ views which have formed the bedrock of much legislation on the subject up until now. The Act seeks to clarify issues surrounding consent to rape and sexual assault cases: It gives children more protection against sexual abuse. It provides for a specific set of offences to protect persons against mental disorder. It tackles the commercial exploitation of people for sexual purposes through prostitution or trafficking. It strengthens the protection of society from convicted sex offenders living in the community. 20
The Act sweeps away the offences of gross indecency, buggery and soliciting by men, but it will remain an offence to engage in sex in a public toilet (cottaging). A new offence of voyeurism will criminalise those that install cameras in public changing areas and protects any one being spied on in a building who has an expectation of privacy. The Act criminalises all consenting sexual activity amongst under 16 year olds.this means it will be a criminal offence for two 15 year olds to kiss in public, although the Home Office says that it is unlikely that a prosecution would take place if both were enjoying the embrace. How old do you have to be before you can go into a sex shop to buy a sex toy? – Still 18. Flashing was once thought to be the province of a man. Flashing has now been extended so that a man or a woman can be deemed to “flash” i.e: expose their genitalia in public and this can carry a prison sentence of two years. Someone urinating in public, streaking or naturists are not dealt with in the same way 21
CRUISING AND THE LAW
The Sexual Offences Act 2003, which prohibits "sexual activity in a public lavatory", has nothing to say about sex in other public places. However, anyone who engages in sex acts in public can find themselves charged with offences under the Public Order Act, if the police have sufficient evidence to convince a court of law that the activity was witnessed, (or there was a high likelihood of being witnessed), by a third party. The attitude of the police to cruising at any given location varies, according to the time of the day or night, and the number of complaints from local residents and councillors. Occasionally, police will visit a cruising area to advise cruisers of the risk of homophobic attacks, and anyone seen to be involved in sexual behaviour will be asked to move on rather than being arrested Anyone who leaves evidence of sexual encounters, such as discarded lubricant and condom packets etc draws attention to the fact that the area is a public sex environment, even if no sexual activity has been seen. This can lead to complaints to the police and local council and an increased police presence. 23
The Employment Act 2002 This Act represents one of the most fundamental employment law reforms for many years. Employment law is however constantly changing and regulations come into force on a regular basis.
Maternity/Adoption Leave The 2002 Act increased maternity leave from 18 to 26 weeks. This was however further amended, highlighting the importance of “family life”, in relation to employees whose expected week of childbirth began on or after 1st April 2007. Those who qualify can now take up to 52 weeks leave. The rules for adoption leave include a requirement of continuous employment. Only one parent can take adoption leave, the other may be entitled to two weeks paternity leave.
Paternity Leave As from April 2003, the Employment Act 2002 introduced the right to two weeks paid paternity leave. An employee who has a child born or placed for adoption on or after the 6th April 2003 and who satisfies certain conditions, is entitled to take either one week or two consecutive weeks paternity leave. The definition of “partner” for paternity leave is “a person (whether of a different sex or same sex) who lives with the mother or adopter of the child in an enduring family relationship but is not a relative”. This therefore covers the partner of a lesbian couple where the other is the mother of a child. Similarly where a couple adopt a child jointly and one elects to be the adopter and takes adoption leave, the other partner (whether male or female), will qualify for statutory paternity leave. 24
Parental Leave Employees who have completed one year’s service are entitled to 13 weeks unpaid leave for each child born or adopted. Parents of disabled children get 18 weeks in total. he leave can start once the child is born or placed for adoption with the employee, or as soon as the employee has completed a year’s service, whichever is later. It may be taken at anytime up to the child’s fifth birthday or five years after placement in the case of adoption.
Flexible Working As from 6 April 2003, parents, including guardians who are responsible for looking after children aged under 6 (or under 18 if the child is disabled), can request flexible working arrangements. This includes the same sex partner of a biological mother. The request must be to enable the employee to care for the child and an important condition is that the employee must have been employed in their job for at least six months to be eligible. From 6 April 2007, the right to request flexible working was extended to employees with a responsibility for caring for spouse/partner, adult relative and adults living at the same address as the employee. There are various grounds on which an employer can lawfully refuse such a request. Examples of flexible working include: A change in working hours. A request to work from home. A request for flexitime. Job sharing. A request for time off in lieu. A request for shift work. 25
ANTI-DISCRIMINATION LAW The Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 outlaws discrimination based on sexual orientation in the workplace. Legislation specifically banning discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or â€˜perceivedâ€™ sexual orientation in employment came into effect on 1st December 2003 . This specifically prohibits victimisation and harassment and as such protects lesbian, gay and bisexual workers. For further details on employment matters visit the DTI website at www.dti.gov.uk or ACAS at www.acas.org.uk The regulations cover:All employers and contract workers in England, Scotland and Wales Office holders Police Barristers and advocates Partnerships Trade organisations Qualification bodies Providers of vocational training Employment agencies Practical guidelines for employers offering help on how to comply with, and get the best from, these new laws can be found at www.stonewall.org.uk 26
â€œWhat do I do if I think I have been discriminated against because of my sexual orientation?â€? Lesbians, gay men and bisexuals who have been discriminated against because of their sexual orientation can submit a complaint to an employment tribunal. If you are not sure that your complaint is one that an Employment Tribunal can deal with, contact the ETS public enquiry line on 08457 959 775. www.employmenttribunals.gov.uk. Cases of sexual orientation discrimination in the area of training and education will be heard by county courts. Complaints to employment tribunals must be submitted within three months of the act of discrimination and within six months to county courts. The employee needs to establish facts, which in the absence of an adequate explanation can lead to a conclusion that unlawful discrimination has taken place. If the employee achieves this, the burden of proof lies on the employer. This means that rather than the employee proving there has been discrimination, the employer has to demonstrate that they have not violated the law. ARE YOU IN A UNION? If you are a member of a trade union, you can get advice, information and representation. Visit www.amicustheunion.org. for more. 27
THE ARMED FORCES
British lesbians, gay men and bisexuals serving in the armed forces were successful in the European Court of Human Rights in challenging the ban on lesbians and gay men in the forces. In a series of cases, the European Court of Human Rights declared that discharging lesbians, gay men and bisexuals from the military forces because of their sexuality, violated Article 8 of the Convention â€“ the right to a private life. In recent years The Army, The Royal Navy and The Royal Air Force have actively campaigned to attract lesbian, gay and bisexual service men and women into service and all have had a highly visible presence at recent LGBT Pride events. 28
FAITH AND OTHER EXEMPTIONS
There are some areas where discrimination might still occur and would not be illegal. Lesbians, gay men and bisexuals might face discrimination by religious organisations. The regulations permit sexual orientation discrimination ‘for the purpose of an organised religion’ where the religion’s doctrine dictates or where required by ‘strongly held religious convictions of a significant number of the religion’s followers’. The scope for such discrimination by religious organisations however is narrow. Teachers at faith schools, for example, cannot be sacked for being lesbian or gay. The new regulations also contain a general exception if there is a necessity to safeguard national security. 29
CHILDREN ADOPTION AND PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY The Adoption and Children Act 2002 came into force on 30 December 2005. For the first time, unmarried couples, including same-sex couples, can apply for joint adoption. In the past, this has been limited to married couples or a single person, even though they may be cohabiting. Anyone wishing to adopt will need to be able to show that they are in an â€˜enduring family relationshipâ€™. The adoption process has also been simplified although it is still lengthy and very thorough, as full assessments need to be undertaken before it is referred to the Adoption Panel and/or the Court. The other major change relates to parental responsibility, which is classed as all of the legal rights, duties and responsibilities that go with being a parent. The Act enables a step-parent (i.e. a civil partner) to acquire parental responsibility for a child of his/her civil partner by agreement between the step-parent and the parents who have parental responsibility for the child, or by order of the court. A parental responsibility agreement can only be terminated by the court on application by any person with parental responsibility for the child or the child himself. The introduction of The Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations make it unlawful to discriminate in the provision of goods, facilities and services on grounds of sexual orientation. Catholic adoption agencies, comprising around a third of the voluntary sector,have said they will shut if forced to comply with new government legislation requiring them to enlist same-sex couples as potential adoptive parents. 30
On 29 January 2007, the Prime Minister announced that there would be no exemptions for religious adoption agencies although MP Ruth Kelly allowed them some extra time to comply. Adoption agencies are exempt from the regulations until December 2008
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION Adoption UK www.adoptionuk.org British Association for Adoption and Fostering www.baaf.org.uk Lesbian and Gay Foster and Adoptive Parents Network â€“ E-mail: email@example.com PACE Family Support Service www.pacehealth.org.uk Pink Parents UK www.pinkparents.org.uk 31
At the present time, couples who live together do not have the same legal rights and duties as couples that have entered into a civil partnership and therefore will not have the same protection during the relationship, upon separation or death. The main area of dispute usually relates to any property whether purchased in a partnerâ€™s sole name or in joint names. Even if a property is held by only one party, it is open to the other party to claim an interest in the property. It is always worth considering these matters when you start to live together or buy a property together. A Cohabitation Agreement and/or Declaration of Trust will offer some protection, as it will at least set out what your intentions were at the outset. This is a very complex area of law and it is usually worth seeking legal advice. In addition, cohabiting couples do not have the same tax advantages as couples who have entered into a civil partnership and are not classed as next of kin. 32
CIVIL PARTNERSHIP The Civil Partnership Act 2004 came into effect on 5th December 2005, creating a new legal status of ‘Civil Partner’ between same-sex couples. It has many similarities to marriage in terms of rights and obligations. In order to register the Partnership, a civil ceremony will take place and once registered, to all intents and purposes, a couple will be regarded as “spouses”. All legislation, which affects spouses, also includes same-sex couples: Receiving the same workplace benefits as spouses Being entitled to take advantage of capital gains tax and inheritance tax exemptions Automatically becoming next of kin Rights under tenancy agreements Rights to apply for compensation Rights with regards to children A Civil Partnership is only terminated by death, dissolution or annulment. Upon dissolution the courts can deal with financial matters including maintenance, lump sum payments, property adjustment orders and pension sharing orders. Any Will made prior to the registration of a civil partnership will be revoked following registration, unless stated to be in contemplation of the registration. For a more comprehensive guide see The LGF’s Guide ‘Civil Partnerships – Everything lesbians and gay men need to know’. www.lgf.org.uk 33
WHERE THERE’S A WILL... Many people think that if they die without a will (they are called ‘intestate’) their spouse or civil partner automatically takes everything – this is not the case. The Law states that if you die intestate, leaving a spouse or civil partner and have no children BUT you have (for example) brothers or sisters, then the surviving spouse or civil partner gets the first £200,000 together with 50% of anything which is left over with brothers or sisters etc recieving the other 50%. If there are children in your union, then the surviving spouse or civil partner only takes the first £125,000 and the children take 50% of the balance. The other 50% goes on trust for the surviving spouse or civil partner and children. Once you are aware of your rights you will need to consider making a will to cover : Inheritance Tax Planning An executor – who will look after your estate and administer it Guardians for your children This is also the time you might want to consider leaving a legacy in your will to support the work of your favourite charities after your death. Your solicitor can advise you on how to do this, although it is up to you what causes you support whether that be an LGB charity or otherwise. 34
CRIMINAL INJURIES COMPENSATION
The inequality in the criminal injuries compensation scheme was highlighted in the Soho bombing in April 1999, when it became clear that eligibility was denied to same sex partners. The Home Office revised the scheme to include civil partners or lesbian and gay partners who have been living in the same household immediately before the fatality for two years. The scheme includes compensation for bereavement as a result of violence, including, in some cases, compensation for the lost earnings of the person who has been killed. There is a list of fixed compensation payments. For further information visit the CICA website at www.cica.gov.uk 35
IMMIGRATION The introduction of the Civil Partnership Act 2004 finally gave immigration equality to gay and lesbian coupes. UK immigration law is extremely complex and expert legal advice is usually required. There are several areas to consider:
Unmarried Partners The Immigration Rules allow an overseas national to enter or remain in the UK as the unmarried partner of a person living here, if, amongst other requirements, there is a committed relationship which has lasted for two years or more. The partner in the UK can be a non-British citizen if they have â€œsettled statusâ€?, or a citizen from the European Union who is living in the UK. Evidence of cohabitation will be required. The application differs depending on whether you are already in the UK or not.
Civil Partners For registered civil partners, there is no two year cohabitation requirement, although it is still necessary to show that the relationship is genuine. There is a two year probationary period before the grant of indefinite leave to remain is obtained.
Proposed Civil Partners This differs depending on whether you are a member of the European Economic Area (EEA)or not and whether applying from inside the UK or outside. 36
Non EAA National If the proposed partner is not a member of the EEA then they will be “subject to immigration control”. If already in the UK they will need to give notice to a special register office unless they have entry clearance, a Certificate of Approval or indefinite leave to remain. A “proposed civil partner” applying from outside the UK can apply for entry clearance to permit the individual to come to the UK to enter a civil partnership – usually for a six month period.
EAA National Those in a “durable relationship” can now apply to enter the UK as the family member of their EEA partner. This includes civil partners and unmarried partners who have lived together for more than two years. The Directive on Free Movement of Persons, introduced in April 2006, means that same sex partners are now mutually recognised by member states who themselves recognise civil partners.
Recognising foreign law Certain same sex relationships legally registered under foreign law, will be treated as having been formed as a civil partnership in the UK. If this is the case, then there is no need to re-register the partnership in the UK.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION The Home Office www.ind.homeoffice.gov.uk UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group www.uklgig.org.uk For entry clearances or visas www.ukvisas.gov.uk After entry into the UK INDpublicenquiries@ind.homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk 37
OUR RIGHTS AROUND THE WORLD
On 17 May 1990, the General Assembly of the World Health Organisation (WHO) removed homosexuality from their list of mental disorders. The fight for the recognition of equal rights for lesbian gay, bisexual and transgender people did not end there though. Around the world, the human rights of lesbian, gay and bisexual people are violated daily. People are beaten, imprisoned and killed by their own governments simply for engaging in homosexual acts. Those suspected of being LGB are also routinely the victims of harassment, discrimination and violence. Today, around 80 countries in the world still criminalise homosexuality and condemn consensual same sex acts with imprisonment. Of these nine (Afghanistan, Iran, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates and Yemen) still have the death penalty. Discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity is still not recognised formally by the member states of the United Nations (even though human rights mechanisms such as the Human Rights Committee have repeatedly condemned discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity). 38
Today homosexuality is illegal in the following countries, with varying punishments... To find out more go to www.ilga.org Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Botswana Brunei, Cameroon, Chechen Republic (Russia), Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Djibouti, Democratic Republic of Congo, Dominica, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gambia, Gaza (Palestine), Ghana, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nauru, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Niue (New Zealand), Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi-Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Tanzania, Togo, Tokelau (New Zealand), Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Western Samoa, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe. 39
SCHOOLS: HOMOPHOBIA AND SEXUAL ORIENTATION
Schools need to promote equality of opportunity for all students and staff regardless of their sexual orientation, and include this in their policies on equal opportunities, behaviour and the curriculum. Regulations, in force since December 2003, make it unlawful to discriminate directly or indirectly, or harass or victimise anyone because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation. The regulations apply to all facets of employment including recruitment, terms and conditions, promotions, transfers, training and dismissals. Note that Section 28 was repealed in July 2003. Section 28 is the common name for Section 2a of the Local Government Act 1986. This section prohibited local authorities in England and Wales from 'promoting' homosexuality. It also labelled gay family relationships as 'pretend'. Schools must conform to the repeal and may not discriminate against homosexual teachers and pupils. Read more about Section 28 on page 15 of this guide. 40
“Simply dealing with homophobic bullying isn’t enough. LGB people need to be included within the school curriculum, not just dealt with after an incidence of homophobic bullying.” On 29 December 2006 the Home Office launched a campaign promoting effective ways of reporting and stopping homophobic crime, which includes using schools to teach against homophobia. The guidance, titled “Tackling Homophobic Hate Crime,” highlights good practice from around England and Wales, and stresses the best way for crime reduction agencies, including the police, to do more to crackdown on crime motivated by prejudice or hate. The Home Office Guidelines are online at www.crimereduction.gov.uk/sexual028.htm However simply dealing with homophobic bullying is not enough. Lesbian, gay and bisexual people need to be included within the school curriculum, not just dealt with after an incidence of homophobic bullying. In late 2006, a three year Manchester initiative aimed at ending homophobia through education called ‘Exceeding Expectations’ was launched to support schools with appropriate interventions, resources, training and advice on homophobia and sexuality. The project which is an unprecedented collaboration between the Lesbian and Gay Foundation, Manchester City Council Children’s Services, Manchester Healthy Schools Partnership and Hope Theatre Company launched a newsletter to be distributed to all adults working at secondary schools, reaching more than 12,000 education professionals across the city. For more information E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org 41
HOUSING: YOUNGER LGBT PEOPLE
Some young lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans people who come out, or whose parents find out that they are gay, may find themselves homeless or living in an abusive or hostile environment, rejected by their families and friends. Social Services or homelessness organisations cannot always help with the issues and so the young person can feel even more rejected. Many young people are not believed if they say they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans or it is assumed that LGBT young people have no particular needs. It was against this background that The Albert Kennedy Trust (AKT) was set up. Section 28 has come and gone, the age of consent has been lowered and equalised, â€œgayâ€? images are now commonplace on television and in the media, and young people are coming out younger and younger. But still LGBT young people are forced to leave home, to sleep rough. To find out more go to www.akt.org.uk 42
HOUSING: OLDER LGBT PEOPLE
Older lesbian, gay and bisexual people should have the right to their own separate care homes and sheltered apartments, according to charity Age Concern. It is the first time that a charity for elderly people has actually addressed this rights issue for elderly LGB people. Age Concern believes that one in every 15 of the people who use its services are gay. Age Concern believes that elderly gay people who have to share residential care homes with heterosexuals go through â€œthe very real fear of suffering and discriminationâ€?. There is no gay care housing in the UK. Gay sheltered apartments, however, do exist in Holland. Opening Doors is the umbrella title of Age Concern's developing programme of publications, resources and events for and about older lesbians, gay men and bisexuals in the UK. Check out www.ageconcern.org.uk/openingdoors 43
HOUSING ADVICE SERVICE FOR LGBT COMMUNITY Manchester City Council now runs a housing and homelessness advice surgery for the city's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, in partnership with The Lesbian & Gay Foundation. Following the success of the council's ground breaking housing support service for older LGBT people. This advice surgery is provided right in the heart of Manchester's lesbian and gay village at the Lesbian and Gay Foundation, providing a safe space for LGBT people to come and discuss their housing issues with a dedicated housing support worker. This also helps the city council to get a clear indication of the type of support needed and the level of unmet need within the LGBT community. Help and advice is currently given on a range of issues including homophobic or transphobic harassment, domestic violence, housing benefit problems, health issues affected by housing, landlord difficulties, general homelessness advice and how to register for rehousing. The advice surgery is held every Tuesday evening between 6pm and 8pm at the Lesbian & Gay Foundation, Princess House, 105 â€“ 107 Princess Street, Manchester. No appointment is necessary just come along on the night. 44
POLICE DROP-IN SURGERY The long established Police Drop-in Surgery at The Lesbian and Gay Foundation is every Thursday evening at LGF’s base in Manchester’s Gay Village. Greater Manchester Police have for many years been providing a support service to the LGB community and following research with local LGB people in 2005, The Lesbian and Gay Foundation was successful in campaigning for a dedicated LGB Liason Officer to provide a regular weekly service at the home of the LGF. GMP Community PC’s and Support Officers will be available every Thursday to help with any issues that the LGB community think the police can help with. Hate Crime, domestic violence, bullying, nuisance neighbours, homophobia etc are all areas that this service is specifically designed to deal with. If you have traditionally felt uneasy about calling the police or asking for their support in the past, the Police Drop-In Service at LGF is here to help you. All dates are Thursdays at 6pm-8pm at: The Lesbian and Gay Foundation Princess House 105-107 Princess Street Manchester M1 6DD Telephone: 0161 235 8035 (Office Hours) LGF Helpline: 0845 3 30 30 30 (6pm-10pm) 45
HIV: CRIMINALISATION OF TRANSMISSION The legal situation regarding HIV transmission is confusing and rapidly changing. Since 2003, four (heterosexual) men have been tried in England and Wales for infecting someone with HIV, causing them ‘grievous bodily harm’ under the Offences Against the Person Act 1861. In none of the cases was transmission found to be deliberate, but ‘reckless’ and ‘unreasonable’. These convictions seem to go against government policy. In 2000, the Home Office published a consultation paper on the law relating to manslaughter, which stated that "only the intentional transmission of ‘disease’ should be a criminal offence. Although the situation is unclear, it would appear that a person living with HIV would only be likely to face a prosecution if: Their HIV+ status was not known by their sexual partner; They do not tell the partner; Condoms are not used during sex; The partner becomes infected as a direct result; The partner decides to make a complaint to the police. Anyone needing more information should seek out professional legal advice. For more information go to www.ght.org.uk or www.tht.org.uk 46
USEFUL CONTACTS General LGB rights and support The Lesbian & Gay Foundation (LGF) Supporting lesbian, gay and bisexual people in the North West. www.lgf.org.uk LGF Helpline 0845 3 30 30 30 (6pm –10pm, 7 nights a week). Email: email@example.com
Largest UK network of adviceproviding organisations. www.adviceuk.org.uk Citizen's Advice The online CAB service that provides independent advice on your rights. www.adviceguide.org.uk
Stonewall UK’s national campaigning organisation for LGB rights. www.stonewall.org.uk
Biphoria Bisexual support for those over 18 years. Tel: 07941 811124. www.biphoria.org.uk
Bi-org Serving the world’s bisexual community http://bi.org/
Adoption UK www.adoptionuk.org British Association for Adoption and Fostering www.baaf.org.uk Lesbian & Gay Fostering and Adoptive Parents Network E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org PACE Family Support Service www.pacehealth.org.uk Pink Parents UK www.pinkparents.org.uk
Black and Minority Ethnic Al-Fatiha Foundation International community dedicated to Muslims who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, their allies, families and friends. www.al-fatiha.org Black Health Agency Tel: 0161 226 9145 Black LGBT Group (Manchester) Call LGF Helpline: 0845 3 03 30 30 Jewish Lesbian & Gay Group The longest established Jewish gay 47
group in the world. www.jglg.org.uk
Carers Alzheimerâ€™s Society Gay and Lesbian Carers Network Telephone helpline service staffed by gay men and lesbian women offering a listening ear to gay and lesbian. Tel: 0845 300 0336
Civil Partnerships Women & Equality Unit Information about whatâ€™s involved in registering a civil partnership, or the rights and responsibilities which follow on from it. www.womenandequalityunit.gov.uk/civi lpartnership.htm
Criminal Injuries Criminal Injuries Compensation www.cica.gov.uk
Domestic Violence Broken Rainbow Supporting people who have suffered/are suffering lgbt domestic abuse. www.lgbt-dv.org
Disability Deaf Gay UK Lesbian and gay deaf online community. wwww.deafgayuk.com 48
Outsiders A club for people of all sexualities and ages who feel isolated because of any kind of disability. www.outsiders.org.uk
Education Exceeding Expectations Ending homophobia through education. E-mail: exceedingexpectations.org.uk
Employment Amicus (The Union) Tel: 0161 798 8976. www.amicustheunion.org Employment Tribunals Tel: 08457 959 775. www.employmenttribunals.gov.uk Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) Provides advice and information on employment legislation, good practice and procedures in employee relations. Tel:08457 474747
Families and Children Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (FFLAG) FFLAG is dedicated to supporting parents and their gay, lesbian and bisexual sons and daughters. www.fflag.org.uk Pink Parents Aiming to reduce the isolation and discrimination that LGBT families and
families to be face. www.pinkparents.org.uk Rainbow Families c/o Lesbian Community Project. Tel: 0161 273 7128
Government Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR) The CEHRâ€™s task is to champion equality, diversity and human rights and promote good relations between communities. Women & Equality Unit www.womenandequalityunit.gov.uk
Hate Crime True Vision Police funded website designed to provide information about and help to tackle hate crime. www.report-it.org.uk Victim Support A national charity which helps people affected by crime. They provide free and confidential support to help deal with your experience, whether or not you report the crime. www.victimsupport.org.uk
Housing Albert Kennedy Trust Providing safe, supportive homes for young homeless people.Tel: 0161 228 3308. www.akt.org.uk
Gay Homes in Retirement Ongoing online survey into the potential housing needs of older lesbians and gay men. http://gayretirehomes.homestead.com/ index.html Shelter Specialist housing rights advisers can help you get what you're entitled to. www.shelter.org.uk/knowyourrights
HIV Support and Information George House Trust Tel: 0161 274 4499. www.ght.org.uk Body Positive North West Tel: 0161 882 2200. www.bpnw.org.uk Terrence Higgins Trust Tel: 0845 12 21 200. www.tht.org.uk
Immigration The Home Office www.ind.homeoffice.gov.uk UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group www.uklgig.org.uk For entry clearances or visas www.ukvisas.gov.uk After entry into the UK INDpublicenquiries@ind.homeoffice.gs i.gov.uk
Older lesbian, gay and bisexual Age Concern: Out in the City Tel: 0161 833 3944. Action on Elder Abuse Information and emotional support for anyone concerned about abuse of an older person occurring in any relationship where there is an expectation of trust. www.elderabuse.org.uk
Social Groups outnorthwest For the most up-to-date listings of social groups in the North West and other contacts pick up outnorthwest every month, or download from the website. www.lgf.org.uk
Transgender Beaumont Society Support group for transvestites, transsexuals and cross dressers. www.beaumontsociety.org.uk Gender Trust The UK charity helping with gender issues. www.gendertrust.org.uk Inner Enigma Support for pre and post operative transexuals. Tel: 07891 40709. E-mail: email@example.com Northern Concord Social and self help group P.O. Box 258, Manchester, M60 1LN. www.northernconcord.org.uk 50
Press for Change Political lobbying and educational organisation. www.pfc.org.uk
Young LGBT people Albert Kennedy Trust Providing safe,supportive homes for young homeless people.Tel: 0161 228 3308. www.akt.org.uk 42nd Street Advice for young LGBâ€™s. Tel:0161 832 0170 LGYM LGBT Group for 14-25 year olds. Tel: 0161 273 7838 LiKT Health project for Young Women. 0781 398 1338. E-mail: coordinator@likt. org.uk The Queer Youth Alliance National organisation run by and for LGBT Young People. www.queeryouth.org.uk
Young People Support Brook Advisory Provides free and confidential sexual health advice and contraception to young people up to the age of 25. www.brook.org.uk Connexions Information and advice for 13-19 year olds to help them make the decisions and choices in their lives. www.connexions-direct.com
P A SU D I SI BU ICID BEA ON S E AT PRED D D I N ON EJU ISC UP H DI ES A IV F C M SIO BUS EA I LI NAT N PRED S ED IO E IC BE N JU H SE IDE ATE IV D DE N F SE DIS PR U D C E RE SU RIMSS JU IC IN HI DI IDE C
D L BUD D EP N U ED LIE SCR ESS AB IS RE P SU D IM IO U L L D IE CR SS AB IC BE IN N S I U I EJ UIC D B MIN ION SE DE DATE ATIOP UD ID EA A P D E N N RE IC E D TE TIO REJ DIS PR UP ON JUDE D EP N U N H UD CRI ESS A IC ISC RES P A IV ICE MIN ION H EA IV E B RI S BU FE D A M I BETEN FEA UL IN ON SEDAR BISCRTI L A P E DATE UP R SU IED TIO RE SU ULL IMI EP N U AB IC BE N H JUD ICID IED IS RE P US IDE AT IV IC E CR S AB ED D E F E D D IM SIO U D EP N U EA DI E SU BE IN N SED ISC RE P R D SC A A P BE ICIDATE TIO RE SU RIMSSIO BU ISC A E N N JU IC IN N SE 3 in 5 of us will be beaten up. 4 in 5 of us have been bullied at school. 1 in 10 of us are HIV positive in the major cities. 9 in 10 of us will be verbally abused. 1 in 5 of us will try to commit suicide. 1 in 2 of us will suffer depression and seek the services of a counsellor or therapist.
Are we really going to let this keep happening to us?
Call 0161 235 8035 or visit www.lgf.org.uk to find out what you can do to help support our work
Reg. Charity No. 1070904
Youhave the potential to end homophobia!
AT E U N U CI N N E H D D A D E D
IV CE E D
THINKING OF CIVIL PARTNERSHIP? For everything you need to know to arrange your civil partnership pick up a copy of the revised and updated LGF guide, Civil Partnerships: Everything lesbians and gay men need to know. Ending Homophobia,
www.lgf.org.uk Reg. Charity No. 1070904
Available now across the north west, or download a copy now from www.lgf.org.uk
We believe in a fair and equal society where all lesbian, gay and bisexual people can achieve their full potential. Published in May 2007 by:
The Lesbian & Gay Foundation Princess House, 105-107 Princess Street, Manchester M1 6DD Tel: 0161 235 8035 Fax: 0161 235 8036 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.lgf.org.uk
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