Saturday, October 03, 2009

UK "Equality Bill" is discriminatory and not LGBT inclusive, says gay rights activist, Peter Tatchell

British gay rights activist, Peter Tatchell, is very critical of the new UK Equality Bill. He said: "The Equality Bill is supposed to be a consolidating piece of legislation that brings together all equality laws in one comprehensive statute. It addresses harassment on the grounds of race, gender and disability but not on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity. This is not inclusive at all."

No matter if it's in the U.S. (eg: ENDA) or Great Britian (eg: Equality Bill), the LGBT community is forced to jump over hurdles and through hoops just to be heard, let alone to be included in the decision making process when it comes to their equal rights as citizens.

UK Pink News reports:
Peter Tatchell said he wrote to minister for women and equalities, Harriet Harman, in August to ask why sexual orientation and trans status were not protected from harassment under the bill's clauses while race, gender and disability were. After issuing a press release on Monday calling the lack of correspondence "disrespectful", he received an email from equality minister Maria Eagle, but told the response was "unsatisfactory". Eagle wrote that groups which had been consulted on the clause had not offered evidence that the protection was necessary, saying that LGBT people were already protected under discrimination provisions.

Groups such as Schools Out and GALHA, along with the Liberal Democrats, have also raised concerns about why LGBT people are not included in harassment protections. READ MORE