22 May 2009
In the run-up to the 4 June European elections, the Green Party's two MEPs, Caroline Lucas (South East England) and Jean Lambert (London), are backing calls for an end to the ban on same-sex marriage in the UK and other EU member states.
Caroline Lucas, the Green Party's leader, said: "The Green Party is the only British political party that opposes the ban on same-sex civil marriage. We want marriage equality for LGBT couples. It is time that same-sex marriage was agreed and recognised by all EU member states."
"Lesbian and gay married couples should be able to move freely around Europe and have their marriages recognised on exactly the same basis as heterosexual married couples."
Her call for EU marriage equality was echoed by Peter Tatchell, gay human rights campaigner, Green Party human rights spokesperson, and the Green parliamentary candidate for Oxford East.
Tatchell said: "At the moment, there is a confusing patchwork of different partnership laws in different European countries, ranging from the PACS system in France to civil partnerships in Britain and to full civil marriage in countries like Spain and the Netherlands."
"The Greens believe it is time these laws were harmonised throughout EU to the best and most universally recognised system of partnership law, civil marriage. Anything less is second class and discrimination."
"Most EU countries do not recognise the different same-sex partnership laws in other member states. For a majority of lesbian and gay couples their legal rights stop at their own borders. This creates lots of problems for same-sex partners who travel or move to other EU countries," noted Mr Tatchell.