24 February 2010
Green Party celebrates strongest UK policy on LGBT marriage – Peter Tatchell and Caroline Lucas to speak at launch
18.30, Friday 26th February The Brighton Tavern, 100 Gloucester Road, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 4AP
The Green Party is to launch what it claims is the best manifesto on offer for LGBTIQ people (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer) in the coming general election (1).
The launch will be held in Brighton, which has one of Britain’s biggest LGBTIQ communities, and is where the Greens hope to win their first parliamentary seat – Brighton Pavilion, where party leader Caroline Lucas has been tipped by bookies and most opinion polls to be on course for victory.
And the launch will be held during the Conservative Party’s Brighton conference – to draw attention to the Conservatives’ poor track record on LGBT issues.
Greens are the only party to officially support gay marriage
Phelim Mac Cafferty, national chair of the LGBTIQ Greens said today:
“Fresh from our Spring conference where the Green Party became the first and only political party to officially support gay marriage and an end to the ban on civil partnerships being conducted in places of worship, we are announcing our key campaigning policies for the General Election.
“There are 6 core areas which we view as key cornerstones of our LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans) General Election manifesto:
(1) Open up civil marriages and civil partnerships, without discrimination, to both same-sex and opposite sex couples.
(2) Require all police forces to have LGBT Liaison Officers with paid time allocated within their work schedules to tackle homophobic and transphobic hate crime.
(3) End the blanket, lifetime ban on gay and bisexual blood donors.
(4) Amend the Equality Bill/Act to provide explicit protection against harassment to LGBT people.
(5) Refuse visas and work permits to "murder music" singers and others who incite homophobic and transphobic violence.
(6) Ensure safe haven and refugee status for LGBT people fleeing persecution in violently homophobic and transphobic countries.
“Leading human rights activist, Peter Tatchell and Green Party Leader, Caroline Lucas MEP, along with local and national LGBT activists and supporters will address some of these key areas of the manifesto."
Conservatives’ "continuous failure to commit"
Phelim Mac Cafferty added:
“Our launch will coincide with the Conservatives’ Spring conference which is also in Brighton – we will highlight the Tories’ continuous failure to commit to LGBT equality, whether that’s over the Shadow Cabinet’s votes against access to fertility treatment for lesbian and bi women or David Cameron’s own vote against gay adoption. Some 85 per cent of those eligible in the Conservative Shadow Cabinet voted for the hated homophobic Section 28 while 90% voted against an equal age of consent and today Tories continue to oppose the Equalities Bill in the House of Lords.
“While the Conservatives voted against Clause 61 of the Coroners & Justice Bill, (outlawing homophobic hate speech), Greens are using the general election period and our specific LGBT manifesto to send out a clear call that homophobic and transphobic crimes need, urgently, to be dealt with on a par with racist crimes.
“On education policy, a core part of Conservative policy is to allow any group of parents who wish to set up a school to receive state funding. This despite figures from the National Secular Society who warn that there is a large rise in religious fundamentalist schools when this happens which in turn means a large increase in homophobic bullying – which is 10 per cent worse in faith schools. This stands in sharp contrast to the Green Party’s position in our manifesto to remove special treatment allowing faith schools to promote homophobia on the grounds of religion.
“The Conservative Party are distinctly quiet on what happens to the subject of law and order and LGBT people - despite a large increase of attacks on LGBTs in the last year. The Greens are using the general election period to call for all police forces to have equality and diversity liaison officers whose remit is to tackle, and take preventive action on crimes against LGBT people.
Peter Tatchell and Caroline Lucas
Leading campaigner and Green Party spokesperson on human rights Peter Tatchell commented on the launch:
“The Green Party will go into the general election as the only party campaigning for marriage and partnership equality. We are calling for civil marriages and civil partnerships to be open to both same-sex and opposite-sex couples, without discrimination. We reaffirm our opposition to the blanket, lifetime ban on gay and bisexual men donating blood. Our manifesto commitments show up the shortcomings of the other parties.”
Caroline Lucas, Leader of the Green Party, stated:
“We are delighted to be proudly launching a specific manifesto which will put on centre stage the Green Party’s firm commitment to LGBT equality. We will use the period up to the manifesto to promote re-writing of the Mental Health Act to remove trans people from the Psychiatric Disorder Register and lobby for training for head teachers to create safe environments for LGBT staff and students.”
The Green Party's LGBTIQ manifesto
The Green Party aims to treat everyone equally and fairly. We will work to ensure respect for everyone whatever their ethnicity, gender and gender identity, age, religious belief or non-belief, sexual orientation, class, size, disability or other status.