OutRage! Amendment to the Human Rights Bill Tabled

OutRage!’s amendment to the Human Rights Bill was tabled on Monday, 18th May, by top Liberal Democrat, Robert Maclennan, MP.

It is now listed as NC (New Clause) 10, and will come up for debate in the first week of June.

The OutRage! amendment was drafted by Peter Tatchell. It is a revised version of an earlier OutRage! amendment, also drafted by Tatchell.

The new version drops the previous explicit reference prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and medical condition. It now guarantees rights and freedoms “without discrimination on any ground”.

“The new wording was necessary to ensure the amendment fell within the scope of the Bill and was not ruled out of order. It will also result in more MPs backing the amendment”, said Tatchell.

“This comprehensive ban on discrimination will have the same effect as my earlier version. It gives protection against discrimination to everyone, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, and people with HIV and AIDS”.

“Because the new amendment guarantees nondiscrimination to all, it will be much harder for MPs to oppose it. They will not be able to claim we are pleading for special rights or privileges. Most MPs won’t want to be seen as sanctioning discrimination. The new draft increases the likelihood that they will support the amendment”, said Tatchell.

The OutRage! amendment, as tabled, reads:

Guarantee of nondiscrimination

Mr. Robert Maclennan, MP

To move the following new Clause: –

‘(1) If a court’s determination of any question arising under this Act concerns an issue of discrimination, it must have particular regard to the guarantee in Article 14 of the Convention that the rights and freedoms set forth in the Convention shall be secured without discrimination on any ground.

(2) In this section, “court” includes a tribunal.’

FURTHER INFORMATION: Peter Tatchell 020-