White gay male reps ‘not oppressed enough’ to be in LGBT societies, say campaigners
White gay male representatives should be excluded from LGBT+ societies, because they don’t face oppression in their community, student campaigners have said.
The National Union of Students’ LGBT+ Campaign called for those who represent gay men to be removed from LGBT+ societies at their yearly conference in Sheffield this week.
The motion the group passed specifically implies discrimination and prejudice is more likely to happen if white ‘cis’ gay men dominate the society. Cisgender, often abbreviated to ‘cis’, refers to people whose physiology and identity match the gender they were assigned at birth.
NUS LGBT students' union passes motion to continue supporting Safe Spaces and No Platforming at UK universities. pic.twitter.com/9DB8x5G8Vk— Hari (@_har1_) March 21, 2016
The campaign also seeks to push LGBT+ societies into scrapping the position completely.
“The reps system exists to ensure that committees can always have a reserved place for groups which disproportionately face oppression within the LGBT+ community,” the motion said.
“Gay men do not face oppression as gay men within the LGBT+ community and do not need a reserved place on society committees.”
The motion also addresses the contentious “no-platforming” debate, whereby speakers are denied a platform to express their views if they are thought to be “bigoted.”
“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,” it reads.
NUS just passed an appalling motion calling for LGBT societies to drop the role of gay men's rep because "gay men do not face oppression"— Edward Hardy (@EdwardTHardy) March 23, 2016
Speaking to Gay Times (GT) Magazine on Wednesday, a spokesperson for the National Union of Students (NUS) said the motion defending “no platform and safe spaces” was passed at the yearly conference without a single amendment.
“All delegates are free to submit motions for discussion but they do not necessarily represent the views of the NUS if at all. The NUS does not have any committee places solely reserved for men, this is because we recognize 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,” the spokesperson said.
The National Union of Students LGBT+ Campaign says it has played a key role in changing the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) students in Britain. It describes itself as an autonomous wing of the NUS.
The group has been a central player in multiple campaigns that brought about serious legal change, including gender recognition and civil partnerships. Last December, it dispatched more than 4,000 Christmas cards to Prime Minister David Cameron, demanding he support equal marriage rights.