GFM Archive - Workshop Reports from the IGA Conference in 1981 - Part 1


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GFM Archive - Workshop Reports from the IGA Conference in 1981 - Part 1
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Caribbean Area   ( lcsh )
IGA Conference Turin 1981


These are reports from various workshops which were held at the IGA Conference in 1981. The reports included in this batch are from the Women Workshop; Youth; Political Parties;Third World engagement;
Support for the development of the technical infrastructure and partner training provided by the United States Department of Education TICFIA program.

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Caribbean IRN
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P'O'K uHOP 1 Structure

In light of the ILIS breakaway, provisions were mnde for a
Women's Secretariat in Amsterdam. IGA women are to have
autonomy to vote on exclusive women's i sues. The concept
of gender parity was also introduced to rc-tre4h the imbalance
in number of women to men. Therefore, one of a member organ-
izations votes must go to the women to cast as they see fit.

In decision-mriking, IGA used to achieve consensus due to its
small numbers. With a larger number of delegates now this is
not so feasible, so an 80% mrniority is required.

An I'Emergency Action Committee hoas been set up to monitor and
protest emergency events in the name of IGA between confer-
ences. The Committee elected are:
national Coalition of Black Gays (mixed/USA)
(,LAL (lesbian/Spain)
i~v Lega.l Rights Coalition (mixed/Australia)

A number of proposals were accepted to reduce the cost of
future confe 'ences so that more women, youth and delegates
from poorer countries could attend. Low cost accommodation,
a sliding sca le of r-egi.-tration fees and location in an
economical setting were all suL.ested. '':-inning between
orgi nizations was also encouraged. A F:in-nc:i:l Assistance
Committee is also to be set to to help poorer countries in
their domestic operations and expansion.

'me Financial Secretariat has been transferred to F-48, Den-
mark from COC, Amst-rdam.

1981 IGA Summer Confe ence is to be held in Sweden
1982 iGA Annual Conference in ia.fhiinton LC4C$
19"53 IGA Annual Conference in Vienna, Austria instead of
the original bidder Fr--ince.

'jORKSHOP 2/3 Political Actions

There was a discussion of support from the International
Socialists. Members were urged to encour~,.e socialist
youth groups} in their countries A~tatding the International
Union of Socialist Youth (tULY) in Vienna in July this year
to support a gay rights resolution.

The workshop also discussed the World Health Orgcniz.:ation
(WHO) and re-classification of homose-xu..lity; Amnesty Inter-
national and its :.ositi n on horosexulis as prisoners of

------ ----- .*-*qatt ia.p;.--* n i-


:.,.'I':iaHOP 1 Structure

In lic'ht of the ILIS bre.hkr-.ray, provisions were mr!=de for
i ,-im'n's Seciretariat in Amsterdam. IGK women are to have
.t;l-.i-nom t vote on exclusive worsG.'s iZ;3ues, ,

-: '-

..i ',+ -"- ^ K .- '. -'. I^



conscience; the position of gays in Eastern Europ.e; pae-
dophilia and ages of consent; proposed legislation in Ingl-
and on Artificial Insemination by i.onor (AID) and its
possible effects on single women and gay couples; the case
of John Saunders of oc,)tland who was dismissed from his job
at a school camp; the case of Jeff DdJ eon of LIorthern ire-
land at the European Cour of Human Rights; the David
Norriss case in ireland

conference Toere PalLice'Turir Eister 1981

Workshop 1: Worki.,:l of IGA
DE '3. i P, PN A IlG. I r I
Lon1st L tLucii n.-i Proposals on Voting and related Matters submitted by
the Workshop

The workh!c.p :igre.d o) the following clause relating to-voting at
IGA Conferences. This clause was agreed after representatives were
received from lesbians and gay women in IGA and it represents the
overwhelming majority view of the Workshop.

(i) Decisions mny only be tcaden in Plenary Sessions of the IGA
(ii) ;Whenever possible the Annual Conference shall seek a consensus
but if a vote is necessary, only Full Members, which have
paid their current subscriptions and which have representatives
present at Conference may vote. No "person may represent more
than one full member 00). Each full member may cast two votes.
(iii) When a. Plenary Session does not reach a consensus on a specific
issue, there shall be a discussion on whether the issue shall
be voted upon. If a simple majority of Full Members votes,
that the issue should be voted upon, there shall be a vote.
This vote on the main issue shall only be carried by a majority
of 8E,.
If the vote on whether there should be a vote fails, or if the
vote on the main issue fails, the issue shall be referred back
to members for discussion and may be discussed at the next
Annual Conference
The main reasons behind thick clause are based on the
following principles:
1. Gender Parity within the IGA (related to the nomination of dele-
2.. Protection of minority views at Conference ( in relation to the
high percentage majority required for decision making).
3. Thr~ need for IGA to seek a consensus view on all its policies
( in relation to the high percentg',-- majority required for
decision making)
b)However on the question of gender parity although all but two of
the workshop -,,reed the principles above, and as another proposal
was presenteB~'this issue, the workshop therefore repeats this
minority viewpoint and -cnuests Conference to decide the issue:

"That IGA reaffirm its adhearance to democratic principles; in
particular, the principle of one person one vote or, .as it
were, oe organisation two vote-s; that IGA s.hal.l respect th.e.
sovereignty of each member organisation to select its voting
delegates as it sees fit; that therefore so-called "gender parity"
be rejected as being in violation of foregoing principles."

(prpposed by John Lauritsen GALA)

00) There was no consensus reached in the Workshop on the principle:
"Uo person may represent more than one Full Member."
The workshop therefore requests discussion on this issue at the
Plenary Session.


WORKPSHOP 2: IIIrd WORLD (Report from Saturdayl's Workshop)

Reporter: lan Dunn, SHRG

At first, we met as 2 separate sessions: a siill english-speaking group
to hear about experiences in BRAZIL, PUERTO RICO, JAMAICA and 3rd World
activity in the USA. A larger spanish-speaking group considered Spain
and the Spanish-speaking countries. This is a summary of the points we
covered, and our first recommendations to Conference:
1. It is quite clear that experiences vary widely between the so-called
3rd World countries and their peoples but oppression is indivisibl
2. In the discussion.about IGA's future involvement in the 3rd World,
we state that IGA should not institute actions unless requests or
approaches are made by the 3rd World Groups themselves. And then they
should be assisted only to assist themselves.
3. The JA.MAICA-SCOTLAND "twinning" experiment was put forward (by the
Jamaican delegate) as an example to be copied by the better off IGA
members. (This is also SHRG's proposal No. 2 printed in Conference Pape

L 4. The main desire (.naninously voiced) was for INFORMATION in summary
form and in a langi-:.rge other than english. We agreed to ask Confer-
ence to approve the setting up of an IGA TIFORMTATION OFFICE to communic-
ate with Spanish-speaking countries. LMexico is a possibility, but the
location is still to be discussed. (SHRRi; proposal 2)

S. We noted the importance of impact of WHO and r[iESCO statements in th
3rd World, and we hope that WHO will now remove homosexuality from
their classification as "sickness" (mental, physical, or whatever). CUBA

\e 6. In relation to the location of the 1982 IGA Conference, we recommend
to Conference that the National Coalition of Black Gays' suggestion
of a black meetingplace in Washington DC be taken up, provided costs are
flexible. NCBG are hosting a large 3rd World Conference in November 198:
to which all representatives from the 3rd 'World are invited.

7. The Spanish groups described their experiences and the recent "Crisi
of Militancy" in Spain. There was much interesting and valuable

The Workshop has still to hear from the groups from 'E.ITEZ-uELA, MEXICO,
EL SALVADOR and from the CHINESE COMC.liniITY in HONG T:OTTG and will make
further recommendations.

We reconvene at 2.3Crpm in "OMEGA", for a 4 hours' meeting.

17-20 APRIL 1981

workshop 2 Part 1 Chair: Jan Olav Brynjulfsen
DNF 48 Norway
1 Lifelines
Deferred, since F48 were not present.

2 Socialist International
COC had little to report. Thrc-.'-h tks secretary of the NL
Socialst Party CO had discussed '1-_ coaching the socialist
international about gay r-ih-ts. COC felt it important socialist youth
organizations in various countries, and later find out which politics
ans to approach from socialist parties. COC would like a report from
all IGA re:tbers on what socialist parties have done concerning homo-
sexuals, both good and bad.
(See also IUSY resolution '. _,t )
SOskI^^A -^ HOSI felt it best not to be negative wheb talking about
(what socialist p- ies have done til now, but rather to note the po
positive things. For example, Finnish Social Democrat l,? Tarja
Halonen supports gay rights and is chairwoman of SETA;.
Workshop noted support from the French Socialist Party. CHE reported
British Labour Party had recently published a discussion o:-r,' on
gay caucuses.
Short reports were given on what communist parties have done for gay
rights. IGA conference 1981 has two official delegates: PSUC Cata-
lunya (Jordi Petit) and CP Tetherlands (Dik), VPK Sweden had strcnly
supported gay rights. See also political parties workshop.

3, WVorld Council of Churches (700)
A brief summary was given, there being i- aparate workshops
on religion and churches. Gay issues will be discussed at the
WCC meeting in November 1981. Participants warned of the danger of
letting priests raise gay issues all alone, they being often very

4 Third World & Eastern Europe
Third World has its own workshop.
It was noted that the countries of Eastern Europe, and the
situation of gays in their are ve ., different. ':- discussed what we
could do. One s1. -stion was to have '. stern European delegates
raise the gay question at international Communist congresses in
Eastern Europe. This has been done by delegates from CP Netherlands
and VPK Sweden.
Information pool: on account of Austria's geographical and political
situation, HOSI offered to gather information about gays in Eastern
Euror-r, and asked all IGA members to send any such information to them.
RFSL Sweden reported that -'7L had got basic information by s-king
the Swedish Embassies to find out about the situation of gays in
various countries. A side benefit of this is that it makes many
diplomats deal with gay questions. It was pointed out that actions
regarding '-.'.te.n Europe could be linked with those directed to
Amnesty. National Communist parties should be encouraged to take
a pro-gay stand.

IGA IiiTER:I TIC'i T-W A: '1CI r T C F. 0 E:" E --i.Ei

Workshop 2 -2'
Int-rnational Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY)

In Jul..- 1981 there will be a hi., festival of the IUSY in Vienna, to
celehbrf.te its 75th anniversary. This will 1.- a splendid occasion on
which to urge IUSY to pass a resolution on gay rights, especially
in_ relation to young people. The workshop resolved:to move that
The third annual general conference of
IGA the international Association of Gay -i:' and :!-n, with member
org;-Lni-iztions in 60 countries, urges the IUSY, meeting in Vienna, to
take tge following stand publicly:
"- Every discrimination and ppression on t:- ;:iiIou. of sexual -n
orientation ought to be fought and abolished, because such is
contrary to human rights and socialist ideals;
Every legal distinction in age of consent between voluntary homo-
sexual and heterosexual acts ought to be abolished, because it
discriminates against gay.':ron and lesbians, and the -r_--- of consent
should be abolished because it denies young people the right to
decide for themselves whom they want to love;
E--ry infringement of the rights of gay men and lesbians to fight
their oppre-- on, such as the denial of the right to form assoc-
iations or to publicize themselves must be condemned and fought
because this takes a'.- v democratic right from ol~p..rssed people;
-The international lesbian and .- movement is an emancipation and
liberation movement .and its struggle against legal, social, economic,
cultural and educational oppression must be supported by socialists;
.- ::iber organizations of IUSY are urged to raise the isandsof gay
liberation in their groups, in their mother parties and thrci..-,gh
their activity in the labour movement. "
And that IUSY be reminded that the many reasons for taking this stand
include: the socialist ideals of equality and equal rights for all
(wo)mankind; the shameful fact that many socialist parties are not
fighting ::.-; oppression, or are even maintaining or worsening it; the
existence :f much legal and social discrimination which hinders gay rime',
and les'-,i-i-..: from living the way th.i-- want, or punishes them for so-called
'crimes' that hurt noone, or even drives them to suicide; the recoll-
ection of the persecution of gays by fascists which has gone on until
now; the recollection of the ;.:...-_-i.i.lg of the socialist youth move-
ment which required sexual liberation as essential for a socialist society.
And that this resolution, i-.'ving been signed by the chairing persons,
shall be ,-,'-sed on by H OSI on behalf of IGA to SJI, the Austrian
socialist yy.--. organization h sting theeconference;
and that HOSI is to ask SJO to report on the outcome of the resolution;
and that other IGA members be asked to do the same with IUSY members in
their countries, asking them to make sure the resolution is discussed,
to Pi.iFport it, and to report on their own and the IUSY stand.

HOSI noted that a seminar on democratic rights was to be -eld at the
IUSY meeting in Vienna, and tho-. -'lt it important that as many IGA
people as possible should att-id.

IGA 3rd ANNTUAL ( :'.'rGI.S TI .ir 1981 Wor:.--op 2 Part 2 Report

5. V',i LD -E..ALi- OP.T-i- S/.TION W.H.0

Lex "7.tson of C'A.;, Australia, had only received replies to his
questionnaire about WeHcO. Member groups are requested to complete
this questionnaire and send it to Lex as soon as possible.
A meeting of medical experts will take place in corrocco in October 1981
to consider whether homosexuality should still be classified as a
mental illness. This conference cannot change the W.H.0 classification,
but its recommendations -ill have an important influence on the next
re-classification meeting in 1986 (?),
It was agreed to recommend the following resolution to plenary session :
" That IGA members will send letters of protest about the classification
of homosexuality as a mental illness to their "Tinistries of Health,
the ivLorroocan Ministry of Health and the W.H.-O headquarters at
Geneva, Members will also contact their national expert who is attending
this meeting in -iorrocco in October 1981 to review the classification
to try to persuade her/him to support this change."

6. :J,~.TTy T-. i.' IC,.. ; l!'. -)SEXUAL PRISONERS A :-C';CY (HPA)

DNP48 reported that it was unlikely that Amnesty International would
declare its position on homosexuals as prisoners of conscience before
its annual congress in 1982, Whatever Amnesty International decides,
it was considered that there was a need for HPA. However, this was a big
undertaking which needed greater discussion within member groups.
It was a-peed to recommend deferring this topic until the informal
meeting in-Summer 1981 when member group will have had time to discuss
it and they should be ready to declare their position on this project
If they r .ort it, member groups should be prepared to discuss it in
depth at the informal meeting and name their individual members who are
prepared to operate it.


The il, applicatio.i had been withdrawn for the time being. As there is no
time limit on re-submitt:-* the application; it : ri-.j to defer
this topic until the 1982 4th Annual Congress in Washington.


It was not known how much progress Lex '..Itson had made with this project.
SHRG reported that the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUJ) will
consider a resolution at its annual conference in 1982 on
non-discrimination at work on grounds of sexual orientation. If this
is passed, SHRG will ask STUT to raise the issue at ILO.
The COC reported that the Dutch gay teachers caucus had been officially
recognized by the Dutch Teachers Union, so they-will liase with SHRG
on approaches to !LO. together with Le: Watson.

9. EDUCATI(.;':

RFSL circulated a report on an international seminar on homosexuality
and education which had been held as part of the Swedish Gay Pride Week.

. a 0 /

- 2-

RFSL reported that it had been invited to write the chapter dealing
with homosexuality of the text-book on sex education in S-,< schools,
and this had been widely praised. The Swedish authorities had agreed that
Swedish teac.:L .-: can be openly gay without adverse consequences.
CUARH reported th-it the Z.-;.opean Teachers Trade Union Committee,, at its
congress in 1980, had passed an amendment to its administrative Statute
requirit.g its members to seek non-discrimination for teachers in their
access to, and maintaining of, their employment on gr.:un'ds,a inter alia,
of sexual character. This was intended to cover homosexuality.
FAGO reported that the 'i- Tape/Slide kit had been translated into Spanish
and was successfully used in schools. They -:,.1 applied for a- grant to,
translate it into Catalan;
CO0 reported that a Dutch version of Young, Gay and Proud had been
published and was now on sale in 2 major Dutch bookshop chains.
ITSW AUSTPRALIA see report of workshop p 3 Political actions

As agreed at Barcelona, member groups should continue to send information
on education to RFSL.


GLRC ra. e reported that the State of Victoria had recently passed the
Crimes ( Sexual Offences ) Act 1980 making the age of consent equal for
gay? and non-gays at 16; this Act had introduced a "ladder" of 2 years
so that between the ages of 10 and 16 no offence is committed if both
lovers do not have more than 2 years difference in age.
Body Politic reported that law reform proposals had been made in Canada
to reduce the age of cor.:. lt to 18, with a 3 year "ladder" under that age.
The new Swiss reforms proposed an age of consent of 15, with a ladderr"
of 2(?) yer-.' between the ages of 10 and 15,
The P48 questionnaire on sexual offences and their application had been
circulated to embassies and IGA members. Those who did not have a copy
are asked to-'ob-ain one from F48, and all members are asked to complete
the -questionnaire by the time of the 4th IGA congress in '.'ashington.
Member groups.': had been asked to discuss paedophilia wit:- a view to
forming a position on it at Barcelona. Not all had done this. Fallen Angels
considered that IGA members and other gay group.s are not responsive to the
problems of those under 16. IGA should be open to children and not just
gay adults. Paedophilia was often seen by women as another aspect of male
domination and this created difficulties for women who are paedophile.
GLAL cr:iorted the abolition of +i. .age of consent, provided that there
was legal protection for women and children against sexual violence.
ETli'. considers tha-t it is t,.ttt:,. to first seek an equal age of consent
and secondly the abolition of it.
There was a need for more information-fo.r groups to circulate to their
individi-L;_l members for discussion, It was agreed that miirb:.-r groups
should send their discussion documents on. pl-,liophilia to the Secretariat
and that these should be circulated to members.
FUORI! considered that there is a need for a complete dossier of penal
codes relating to sexual offences for all countries in the world, as well
as law r.-form proposals, so that IGA members could have the most
.comprehensive information a.-. ilable.

- 3


It was agreed to refer this issue to the plenary session.


OHE reported tlb.h-t a report of the debate on the Council of Europe's
Draft Recommendation on Artifioial Insemination of Human Beings (AID)
suggested that Article 2(1) Artificial Insemination can be
administered only when appropriate conditions exist for ensuring the
welfare of the future child." could be used to legally prevent
single women and homose:.u:-il couples from being able to use AID.
Few countries in Western Europe have laws governing AID,: and current
proposals in England would, if enacted, have the effect of preventing
gay women from legally receiving AID; and,if they did receive it,fro
they would lose custody of the child. rHE is fighting these proposals.
Other IGA members in Western Europe should be alert for similar proposals
in their own countries when they seek to iijplenmnt this Recommendation,

.. *0*Ct S. *S 0 00,,,; **@ 0044. .;

I.G,A. 3rd ANNUAL C'FiV.TP i CE, TrURl~,~ITALY. 17-20 APRIL 1981


Reporter: Anthony John Weaver ( England)

We deplore the fact that the representatives of the two sponsoring
organizations of Workshop 8: FUORI and COC, failed to inform those
waiting for the Workshop that in their view it would not take place,
as the representatives of the various religious groups invited had not
turned up.

Despite this frustration,the 7,rkshop did take place and we started by
rejecting the privatization of religion within this Conference:
e.g.Ithe-proposed -h'otto liturgy for Easter Sunday
'2.the failure to establish possible connections between the
theology of liberation and the work of other Workshops.Here we were
thinking particularlyly of those on Third XWorld and Gay Life-Styles.

We feel that it is NOT appropriate at this ti.e for IGA,with only
ONE religious group currently affiliated,to appoint as its official
representatives to the World Council of Churches Mr.Alain BARRAULT
and Rev.Joseph Douce,both of Centre du Christ Liberateur in Paris.
Our reasons are:
I. There are many other gay religious organizations,some of them
representing much larger ,membership bases and with closer links aith
mainstream ("official") churches.
2.The Centre du Christ Libdrateur defines itself as a'pastoral
and psychological information and help service" and its stated aims
ignore a developed gay liberation dimension.
We- recognize the incalculably damaging oppression of gay women and men
by religious institutions and we find the customary distinction
between "institution" and "religious message" too facile.
But IGA must recog'i:i.-- that there are gay believers and also some
gay religious or--ii nations active in a liberation struggle which
also includes racism and class oppression as well as sexism.
We fool inadequate at this time to explore these very complex issues
in greater depth,but we now propose:
l.The creation within IGA of a WORKING GROUP on Religion and
Homosexuality with the brief:
4 a) To make contact with ALL gay religious groups
/b) To decide the format of the 1982 Conference Religious Workshops

Womens workshop.

1 Structure of IGA
Background information was given on
a) the ILIS conference in Torino,
b) the present structure of IGA and its aims, and
c) the proposal for a new voting system..
Decision The fact that ILIS is now a separate organization
makes it important to state that there are still women
S working within the IGA. W e will still need a women secre
tariat. For the time being it will be situated in Amsterdam,
but will be moved io another country as soon as possible.

2 Womens .situation at the conference
It was decided to work out a statement explaining the
difficulties that women participating in the conference

3 Economy
A statement is going to be worked out concerning the costs
of the conference. It is-important that conference costs are
kept as low as possible. Poor organizations are not able to
send delegates if the costs are net kept low.

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