[Osmf-talk] Should OSMF adopt a policy about State of the Map conference in places that are LGBTQ*/etc unsafe?

Amanda McCann amanda.mccann at osmfoundation.org
Wed Oct 6 21:09:02 UTC 2021

Hello OSM friends,

So here's an idea... I've previously complained when an organisation holds an event in a place where it's “illegal to be gay” and claim that the event is a “safe space”. Since I'm on the OSMF Board, I would be wrong for me to continue to complain about other organisations and not try to suggest such a policy for the OSMF.

The OSMF grants a trademark licence (for the “State of the Map” trademark which the OSMF legally owns) to regional event conferences, and legally, the OSMF runs the annual State of the Map conference.

There are several different wordings of this policy possible. My initial idea of a policy is: “you can't have a SotM for [REGION] in a venue if same-sex sexual activity is illegal (& that's being enforced) there, *and* there is a place in [REGION] where that is legal (or illegal & not enforced)”. This covers bi/pan/queer/etc people.

I can't easily think of a simple rule for trans/gender identity issues that's as clear cut for the very basic level (e.g. many countries have required gender segregated toilets for a long time and the laws requiring ”birth sex” are new and uncommon, legal gender recognition might not be so relevant for a visitor, etc) so I'll stick to this for now. I am OK with “State of the Map [COUNTRY]” happening in a country where it's illegal everywhere. My goal is to prevent anyone having a *legal downgrade* with “State of the Map”.

Many in OSM have spent a long time improving things for minoritized groups, and maybe this is just another step in that process. I am only mentioning “illegal to be gay” because it's a simple, clear standard. I think it could be benefitial to include other standards too (e.g. I believe some countries forbid women from driving). I am focussing on LGBTQ+ issues because that affects me personally, and I know a lot about it. I encourage other minoritized people to speak up if they want.

So what do yous, the wider OSM(F) community think about the OSMF adopting this policy (or something like it, or not adopting anything new policy)?

(P.S.: I recently changed my name)

A. McCann
OpenStreetMap Foundation

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