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Mutual recognition of same-sex partnerships welcome and necessary

January 14, 2009 4:07 PM
Sharon Bowles MEP

Sharon Bowles MEP

Sharon Bowles MEP has welcomed the adoption of a key European Parliament report on fundamental rights which calls for mutual recognition of same-sex partnerships by EU members. Sharon, who is Lib Dem MEP for the South East of England, authored a written declaration in September calling for mutual recognition of same-sex partnerships by EU member states, which has gained cross-party support and closes for signatures on Thursday.

Commenting, Sharon Bowles said: "I am delighted with the inclusion of this important clause into Parliament's report. This situation has been overlooked for too long, to the cost of too many ordinary people. As my own campaign for mutual recognition ends this week, this report is a highly appropriate response to an issue many of us feel very strongly about.

"One of the best things about the EU is the liberty it affords all of us to live and work wherever we like in Europe. This fundamental right should not be conditional on what kind of marital or civil partnership anyone chooses to enter.

"A huge part of the problem has been that many couples simply aren't aware that their partnerships may not be recognised in other member states. Often they only find out after one dies, and a few weeks later the widowed partner finds a five-figure inheritance tax bill hitting the doormat.

"Hopefully with the publicity this issue has gained - and the resolution Parliament adopted today - we can see an end to this situation in the near future."