07/09/2013

Peter Purton

peter purton_0003.jpgPeter Purton (TUC, United Kingdom)

Doctorate in history from Oxford University. Appointed the TUC’s disability and LGBT officer in 1998.  Previously worked for the education  union NATFHE in its equality department, and before that, a number of jobs in the voluntary sector. “Came out” 1976 and immediately joined the Campaign for Homosexual Equality (Oxford), and took part in a national campaign to defend the paper Gay News against attempts to criminalise it for “blasphemous libel”. After this trial, helped transform this campaign into the Gay Activists Alliance, setting up local groups around the country and taking up many issues. 1981, joined the Labour Campaign for Lesbian and Gay Rights, became member of its national committee 1982 and helped organise many campaigns, including campaigns to get the Labour Party to adopt LGBT equality policies – successfully, although it took many years.

TUC and LGBT Pride

In the LGBT half of the TUC job, helped achieve the removal of discriminatory laws and the establishment of equal rights under Labour governments 1997-2010, working through the TUC and its LGBT structures, and as co-Chair of LCLGR (until 2005). In Britain, I have coordinated trade union engagement with the (London) LGBT Pride festival every year, encouraging trade union support and involvement and promoting trade unionism to LGBT communities.
Moved the resolution that committed the (then) largest British trade union (Transport & General Workers Union) to LGBT equality at its 1989 conference. Actively involved in my current union’s LGBT structures (GMB). Support and advise unions on taking up LGBT issues and write and publish advice on LGBT workplace issues. Worked with ETUC to encourage promotion of LGBT equality work throughout the European trade union movement and taken part in many international conferences.

Peter Purton participates in panel 5

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