Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Discriminatory Planned Legislation - Please Help.

The DfES is in the process of consulting the public for the introduction of a bill on barring people from working with children and vulnerable adults.

They are considering a series of offences which would automatically disqualify an individual without a chance of appeal. Among these offences it is surprising to find references to the Sexual Offences Act 1956, notably with the offences of buggery and indecency between men. Both these offences, which were aimed directly at gay men, have now been repealed from the statute books and should therefore not be considered any more.

This would means that some people (older gay men) who might have been convicted of these offences several decades ago would be disqualified while other people who would not have been convicted for the same acts (because no longer an offence) would not be rejected.

There is also an implicit suggestion that gay men are not suitable to work with children and vulnerable adults.

These elements of the consultation seems to have been kept very quiet by the DfES as major gay rights campaigning organisations (Stonewall, Schools Out and others) have not been unaware of them until now. The consultation process closes this Friday. Please try and make a submission to the consultation before then if you can.

Consultation documents:
www.dcsf.gov.uk/consultations/conDetails.cfm?consultationId=1476

Schools Out's submission to the consultation:
http://blog.schools-out.org.uk/blog/_archives/2007/9/11/3221862.html


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