Stockport Town Hall debates Bisexuality

Stockport Town Hall will discuss bisexuality tonight at the monthly main (“full”) council meeting.

A motion put forward by opposition councillor Lisa Smart highlights the health and work inequalities bis face as well as championing local bi support organisation BiPhoria and urging the council to follow the lead of Leeds and light up the Town Hall in purple for Bi Visibility Day on September 23rd each year.

While the motion is moved by an opposition Lib Dem councillor the motion is seconded by a member of the ruling Labour group, suggesting it may have the cross-party support needed to pass.

We look forward to hearing news of the debate – may the motion pass by a mile!

 

Full text of the motion to be discussed by the council:

Bisexual Awareness

This council meeting notes:

·         the recent 50th anniversary of the change in law which partially decriminalised male homosexuality;

·         the great strides our society has taken towards accepting and supporting the needs and rights of the LGBT+ community, including the recognition of sexuality as a protected characteristic under equalities legislation; and

·         that there are still huge challenges to be faced, including over a third of LGBT+ employees having experienced harassment or bullying at work.

 

This council meeting further notes the specific challenges faced by those who identify as bisexual, including:

·         more than one in four bisexual employees hiding their sexuality at work, compared with one in six among gay and lesbian employees;

·         being subjected to specific abuse over unreliability, promiscuity or confusion about their sexuality, including from some who identify as gay and lesbian;

·         being more likely to experience mental health problems in general (43% compared to 25% in the wider population); and

·         being twice as likely to experience depression and/or anxiety (34% compared to 17% in the wider population).

 

This council meeting welcomes:

·         the support provided by local organisations such as BiPhoria in Manchester, the UK’s longest running bisexual support project;

·         the support given locally and nationally to IDAHOBIT day;

·         the growing success of Bi Visibility Day, held each year on 23rd September since 1999; and

·         the support given to this event by many councils, including flying the bisexual pride flag or light up civic buildings in the flag’s pink, purple and blue colours.

 

This council meeting believes

·         that, as a responsible employer, the council should do all it can to ensure that all employees feel safe and confident to be open about their sexuality; and

·         that, as a commissioner and provider of general and specialist services, this council should do all it can to ensure that service users are treated with dignity that takes account of the wide variety of sexuality they may have and the different needs they may have as a result.

 

This council meeting therefore resolves

·         to ensure that all staff receive mandatory training on equality in the workplace that is refreshed at appropriate intervals;

·         to ensure all staff involved in service delivery receive additional training on equality;

·         that such training includes specific information relevant to bisexuality; and

·         that this council adds Bi Visibility Day to the calendar of events it marks, lighting up the town hall in pink, purple and blue and flying the bisexual pride flag.