The Socialist Unity Network

Celebrations on house of Lords gay rights victory

Green Party press

Following the House of Lord's decision to afford gay couples the same
tenancy rights as heterosexual couples, Martyn Shrewsbury, Green Party
social service spokesperson who also performs wedding ceremonies for gay
couples comments:

"It is good to see the House of Lords finally embrace the Green Party's long
standing recognition that legal equality of same-sex couples is a
fundamental human right."

"Now the government and the EU must also follow the Green lead and commit to full LGBT equality.

At national level this means full partnership recognition. This includes not
only equal pension, employment, and housing rights, but also banning
homophobic and transphobic discrimination in access to goods and services,
such as insurance and mortgages.

"We need to become proactive on gay-friendly policing, ensuring that
homophobic remarks and behaviour by police officers be considered an
explicit offence and banning the prosecution of consenting, victimless gay
offences, such as cruising.

" At EU level, member states must comply with the EU directive outlawing
discrimination against lesbians and gay men in the workplace.

Martyn concludes: "In the wider sense, LGBT culture needs to be fully
integrated into the national culture. This means celebrating lesbian and gay
heritage by establishing local LGBT museums and  introducing a statutory
obligation on local authorities and schools to combat homophobic prejudice,
discrimination and bullying - modelled on the provisions of the Race
Relations (Amendment) Act 2000."

June 2004


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