Brighton & Hove Green Party

Peter Tatchell endorses Brighton and Hove's 'Gay' Greens

18 April 2005

18 April 2005

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people deserve equal protection from discrimination and hate crime, alongside other groups such as religious minorities, says out gay Green Party parliamentary candidate Councillor Simon Williams.




No compromise on equality: human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell with Simon Williams on Hove sea-front on the launch of the Greens' ten election pledges to the LGBT community

Simon, who is the only out gay candidate standing in Brighton Kemp Town constituency in the May 5 election, made his comments after international human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell launched the Greens? National LGBT manifesto at Hove?s Old Market on Friday evening 15 April alongside the LGBT Green candidate for Hove Anthea Ballam.

Simon said; ?Tony Blair has consistently put LGBT people at the back of the 'equality queue' compared to other minorities - especially faith groups.

"In contrast, Greens have launched a LGBT manifesto with 10 pledges which put LGBT rights at the heart of our equality programme - including those which Labour have refused to enact such as equal protection from discrimination in supplying goods and services, full marriage rights and protection from incitement to hatred.?

He added: ?I?m really pleased that Peter Tatchell has taken time out of his busy schedule and come down to Brighton to back our campaign. Peter is a historic figure in the campaign for LGBT equality and human rights and his endorsement of our manifesto carries enormous significance.

?A Green vote is a LGBT vote. I hope we send Labour?s Tony Blair a message that putting LGBT people at the back of the equality queue is simply not acceptable. We want equality now on equal terms with everyone else,?
Simon added.

Peter Tatchell said: ?I?m voting Green and I urge everyone who supports gay human rights to vote for their local Green candidate. A big pink vote for the Greens will encourage the grey parties to adopt more gay-friendly policies.? (1)

Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Geoffrey Bowden Brighton and Hove Green Party Communications Officer on 07958 682 683.

The full text of the Green Manifesto for LGBT People appears below:

(1) Peter Tatchell resigned from the Labour Party in 2000, after 22 years membership, in protest at Labour's abandonment of socialism and internal party democracy. He was Labour's candidate in the 1983 Bermondsey by-election - widely regarded as the dirtiest and most violent election mpaign in Britain. He joined the Green Party in 2004.

Green Party LGBT Manifesto - General Election 2005

The Green Party has a long and proud history of campaigning for social justice. Our Manifesto for a Sustainable Society opens with a clear, philosophical commitment to tackling all forms of discrimination:

'A healthy society is based on voluntary co-operation between empowered individuals in a democratic society, free from discrimination whether based on race, colour, gender, sexual orientation, religion, social origin or any other prejudice.'

Our General Election Promises to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community:

1) Ensure the proposed Commission for Equality and Human Rights address homophobia and transphobia on a par with all other forms of discrimination.

2) Extend employment protection legislation to include workers with religious employers.

3) Introduce legislation to protect LGBT people from discrimination in the provision of goods and services.

4) Open up full civil marriage to same sex partners and lobby other governments to recognise UK-registered same sex partnerships and marriages.

5) Ensure all schools provide an adequate sex education which will include information on the different forms of sexual behaviour,including heterosexuality, homosexuality, and chastity and should be free to make their own moral choices. Young people should be brought up to understand that they may experience heterosexual or homosexual feelings or both, and taught not to discriminate against others because of their sexuality or gender identity.

6) Increase funding for sexual health clinics and targeted health promotion work, to combat the spread of HIV and other STIs.

7) Withdraw charitable status from organisations refusing to abandon discriminatory policies.

8) Grant asylum to LGBT people fleeing homophobic or transphobic ersecution - including imprisonment, rape and torture - in other countries.

9) Harmonise hate crimes legislation so that homophobic and transphobic crimes are dealt with on a par with racist crimes. In particular, this would outlaw the performance, sale, promotion and broadcasting of music
and other arts which incite hatred and violence towards any oppressed group.

10) Require police forces to adopt and implement action plans on
homophobic and transphobic hate crimes.

___________________________


Visit Simon's campaign blog at:
http://www.simonwilliamsforwestminster.com

[ENDS]



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