Friday, 15 December 2006

Sexual Orientation Regulations - A Letter to Ruth Kelly

If you feel you want to do something in support of the proposed new legislation but are not sure how to, here is the copy of an email from journalist and gay activist Simon Fanshawe including the template of a letter to Ruth Kelly (the minister in charge of the regulations).

Feel free to use it and to let your contacts know. The Christians fundies are being very active against the new regulastions and we need to do just as well.

Previous posts on the subject:
* Anti-Gay Christians Strike Again
* Anti-Gay Christians Strike Again - part 2
* Sexual Orientation Regulations - The Saga Continues

See also

Thanks

------ Forwarded Message
From: Simon Fanshawe
Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2006 09:42:53 +0000
To: ""

Dear All

Apologies for a round robin but I am sure that you will want to make your views known on this. It will affect the lives of many of your friends.
The Government has proposed, as part of their commitment to equal treatment for all citizens,legislation to outlaw discrimination against lesbian and gay people in the "provision of good and services". It is designed to tackle the kind of discrimination that lesbians and gays experience on a daily basis. We have made so much progress on equality but while discrimination is no longer and all day event it is often an every day event. The Government recognises that it is an important statement about our society that we treat people equally and fairly.

The Christian Congress for Traditional Values (along with a number of Catholic and Anglican bishops and clergy) has written to Ruth Kelly the Minister responsible for the legislation. She is receiving a large number of letters from them and not enough from people like yourself who believe that fairness and equality is the sign of a decent society. She is committed to carrying through the provisions but she needs our support.

Here is a letter you might like to send (adapted if you wish)


Thanks

Simon

******************************************************************************

To:
The Rt Hon Ruth Kelly MP - Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Minister for Women

E-mail addresses:
Contactus@communities.gsi.gov.uk or kellyr@parliament.uk



Dear Ruth Kelly

I am writing to you to express my support for the government's proposed Sexual Orientation Regulations.

It is quite right for the Government to seek to outlaw discrimination in our society. No one should live their life in fear of being denied equal treatment on the basis of who they are, whether they be black, white, a member of a religion, old or young or gay or lesbian.

I know that there has been some unreasonable attacks on this principle, especially from the Churches some of whom have taken out advertisements defending their right to maintain their prejudice. They may disapprove of what they call "gay lifestyles" (whatever that may be) and they have every freedom to express their view. But they do not have a right to act on it. There are indeed conflicting freedoms in society. We will have to live with those. But there is an underlying right for people to be protected from being discriminated against. I would not support a catholic being denied a job on the basis of their religious faith and similarly I would not support a gay man or lesbian being denied a job on the basis of their sexuality. This is not to privilege lesbians and gays nor members of religions. it is to offer them the decency of equal treatment. In our society you are free to think prejudiced thoughts, say prejudiced things, but successive Labour Governments have outlawed acting on that prejudice.

Some religious organisations have argued that "homosexuals wanting to promote their rights in priority in to the rights of Christians". In fact it is the reverse. This minority of Christians is seeking to assert the privilege of continuing to act on their prejudice. They should not be allowed to do so in a fair society.

I urge you to maintain your commitment to the Sexual Orientation Discrimination provisions and am delighted that you have said publicly a number of times that you would.

Yours Sincerely






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