As a strong supporter of equal rights, I am delighted that Liberal Democrat Islington Council's insistence that all registrars must carry out civil partnership ceremonies for gay & lesbian couples has been upheld by the High Court.
This contrasts with the Labour's betrayal of the gay & lesbian community by failing to deliver protection from discrimination at work in accordance with European law. This government has given faith bodies like church schools wide latitude to discriminate against gay employees, using religious doctrine hostile to homosexuality as a pretext.
Active in campaigning on equality for 2 decades, first as councillor for Clerkenwell and then as a Euro-MP, I welcome the European Commission's decision to use its watchdog powers to step in and bring the UK into line with European human rights law.
While Labour indulges prejudice despite fine talk about equality, Tory MEPs refuse to condemn 'Section 28' style anti-gay laws elsewhere in Europe. So when it comes to removing discrimination against gay people, only the Liberal Democrats can be relied on to be staunch and unwavering, as voters in Islington are increasingly aware.
Baroness Sarah Ludford MEP
(This letter was published in the Islington Gazette on Monday 21 December 2009.)
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