The National Union of Students’ LGBT+ Campaign has called for gay men’s representatives to be ‘dropped’ from LGBT+ societies because they “don’t face oppression” in their community.
At their annual conference in Sheffield this week, the LGBT+ Campaign passed motion 408, which implies discrimination is more likely to occur when white cis gay men “dominate” the society.
Section 5 of motion 408 reads: “Misogyny, transphobia, racism and biphobia are often present in LGBT+ societies. This is unfortunately more likely to occur when the society is dominated by white cis gay men.”
As well as referencing the potential issues of having cisgender gay men as representatives, the LGBT+ Campaign also resolved to “encourage” LGBT+ societies to drop the role entirely.
The motion continues: “The reps system exists to ensure that societies committees can always have a reserved place for groups which disproportionately face oppression within the LGBT+ community.
“Gay men do not face oppression as gay men within the LGBT+ community and do not need a reserved place on society committees.”
A spokesperson for the NUS told GT: “The conference motion defending no platform and safe spaces passed at conference with no amendments. All delegates are free to submit motions for discussion but they do not necessarily represent the views of NUS if at all.
“NUS 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 open places where anyone can put themselves forward for nomination.
“We encourage local LGBT+ societies to 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 simply because we believe its fairer practice.
The motion also makes reference to the controversial ‘no-platforming’ debate, where speakers are refused a platform to express their views if they are deemed “bigoted.”
It reads: “Students’ Unions have a choice of who to host as speakers, and denying them that platform is a choice that SUs should feel free to make on ideological and welfare-based grounds.
“We reaffirm our commitment to a policy of no platform for fascists.”
Activist Peter Tatchell is one of those caught up in a debate over ‘no-platforming’ with the NUS, after LGBT representative Fran Cowling accused him of “racist and transphobic” views and refused to share a stage with him.
After hearing motion 408 the conference resolved: “To encourage LGBT+ Societies that have a gay men’s rep to drop the position.”