Home Office Minister Mike O’Brien, MP, has expressed support for the idea of a House of Commons Select Committee report on discrimination against lesbians and gay men. He said it would be a helpful way forward, setting out proposals for law reform, which the government would then consider.
Mr. O’Brien made his comments during a 45-minute meeting at the Home Office on the 11th March with OutRage! campaigner Peter Tatchell.
OutRage! is currently pressing the Home Affairs Select Committee to produce a report on antigay discrimination, and sent a proposal for law reform to the Committee’s chair, Chris Mullin MP, on the 2nd March.
“The Minister’s support for a Select Committee enquiry is very encouraging”, commented Peter Tatchell. “Mike O’Brien seemed convinced this would be a useful way to proceed.
“My impression was that the Government will give very serious consideration to a report recommending equality.
“An investigation by the Select Committee could help revive the stalled campaign for lesbian and gay human rights. It would be the most significant report on homosexual issues since the 1957 Wolfenden Report.
“Any recommendation to repeal discrimination would have great authority and impact. It would generate major news coverage and increase pressure on the government to enact law reform.
“We envisage the Select Committee inquiry would be comparable to the Wolfenden Report in its prestige and consequences — although we want its remit to be wider than sexual offences law. It could help set the political agenda and give a new impetus to the campaign for equality”, said Peter Tatchell.
Further Information: PETER TATCHELL, Tel. (+44)-171 403 1790