OutRage! agenda for gay law reform

Letter to Tony Blair on assuming office

The Rt. Hon. Tony Blair, MP,
Prime Minister,
10, Downing Street,
London SW1

Dear Mr. Blair,

Greetings, and congratulations on Labour’s election victory and on your appointment as Prime Minister.

While we appreciate that you have many important social problems to deal with, we hope your government will take swift action to ensure homosexual equality.

We have drafted a six-point programme for lesbian and gay law reform, which sets out our priorities. As you will see, many of our proposals, such as the Unmarried Partners Act, would also benefit heterosexuals. We ask Labour to legislate for:

The repeal of all victimless, gay-only offences for which there is no heterosexual equivalent, such as gross indecency, procuring, soliciting, and the ‘no more than two men’ rule.

An Unmarried Partners Act, giving rights to all unwed couples, both gay and straight.

Equalisation of the age of consent at 14 for both heterosexual and homosexual relations, to reduce the criminalisation of young people involved in consenting sex, and to remove the legal obstacles to earlier, more explicit and effective sex education in schools.

An Equal Rights Act, prohibiting discrimination, harassment, and incitement to hatred on any grounds, including sexual orientation.

The replacement of Section 28 with new legislation, requiring schools to stamp out homophobic bullying in schools, to promote pupils’ understanding and acceptance of gay people, and to ensure that AIDS awareness lessons encompass information about safer sex for lesbians and gay men.

An end to the ban on homosexuals in the armed forces, as part of a package of democratic reforms to enhance the civil rights of all service personnel.

The enactment of these reforms would win you the admiration and affection of the lesbian and gay community, and ensure your recognition as one of the great reforming Prime Ministers of this country.

Yours sincerely

Alastair Williams