Lesbian and gay electors are being urged to “Queer The Vote” in the European elections, on Thursday, 10th June 1999.
The call comes from OutRage!, who are urging gay people to vote against parties that support homophobic discrimination, and in favour of those that promote equality.
“The parties should judged by their actions, not their words”, says Stephen Kristian of OutRage!. “Labour professes support for gay equality, but has repeatedly blocked attempts to end antigay discrimination.
“If you want to keep homophobic laws, vote Labour. People who want gay equality should vote for a party that matches its progay sentiments with parliamentary action.
“The Labour Government is the main obstacle to gay equality. Tony Blair has the power to legislate homosexual human rights, but he is refusing to so.
“Ten per cent of the electorate is lesbian, gay or bisexual. Queer votes could influence the outcome of the European elections. It is important that the gay community uses its political power to secure the election of gay-friendly MEPs to the European Parliament”, said Kristian.
LABOUR IS BLOCKING EQUALITY
According to Peter Tatchell of Outrage!: “On eight occasions since its election in May 1997, Labour has torpedoed measures to remedy homophobic discrimination.
“Labour is enforcing the ban on lesbians and gays in the military, and has twice killed off proposals to protect homosexuals against discrimination in employment.
“Last year, the Government vetoed action against homophobic hate crimes, and it blocked a ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation and HIV status.
“Jack Straw scuppered attempts to scrap the offence of gross indecency and the criminalisation of gay sex involving the presence of more than two people.
“Labour is refusing to give the new Greater London Authority the power to pursue equal opportunities policies, including for gays and lesbians”, said Tatchell.
Straw has hitherto refused even to consult with the LGBT community, apart from secret negotiations with Stonewall, who do not claim to be democratic or representative.