The Coalition on Sexual Orientation (CoSO) has been established by LGBTT groups in Northern Ireland in order to provide a voice for the LGBTT Community in debates and consultations surrounding the rights of the community.
CoSO aspires to represent the LGBT Community on issues around sexual orientation. CoSO acts as an umbrella body with which public authorities may consult in order to fulfil their statutory duty to promote equal opportunities irrespective of sexual orientation. It will seek to ensure that the concerns of the entire LGBT Community are adequately articulated and acted upon. CoSO strives to be sensitive to the diversity within the LGBT Community and to redress any subsequent inequality within the LGBT Community.
CoSO will exercise this representative function into other areas of immediate concern to the LGBT Community. In particular, it will represent the LGBT Community in consultations with the Equality Commission on matters concerning issues of sexual orientation. It will also enter into a dialogue with the Human Rights Commission on issues of human rights for sexual minorities, such as within the proposed Bill of Rights.
CoSO is a coalition of foundation organisations that represent and provide services to the LGBT Community and is open to any organisation, whether organised across Northern Ireland or in a particular region of it, as well as to individual members of the LGBT Community. The organisations which represent and provide services to the LGBT Community and which are the Foundation Organisations of CoSO include:
Belfast Lesbian Line; Belfast Pride; The Butterfly Club; Cara Friend; Foyle Friend; Foyle LGB Line; LGB Branch of National Union of Students/Union of Students in Ireland; Northern Ireland Gay Rights Association; QueerSpace; The Rainbow Project.
Other LGBT organisations are welcome to join and individuals are welcome to participate in CoSO meetings.
CoSO acts as a body with which public authorities may consult in order to fulfil their statutory duty under S. 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998. It will seek to ensure that the concerns of the entire LGBT Community are adequately articulated and acted upon.