Sunday, July 09, 2006

Equality statement

Judging by some of the questions that are being put to me by individual members of the Labour Party who are working out how to cast their votes, my commitment to Equality and Diversity is not clear. I think this is because I have said that I am a member of the Christian Socialist Movement. For some people this would seem to equate to being intolerant and even worse, others think this means I support their fight to hold back progress.

For the avoidance of any doubt, and to prevent any homophobes from imagining that I might be a good person for them to vote for, let me put the record straight.

I am a strong supporter of the rights of gay, lesbian and transexual people. I shed a few tears when I saw the first couples joining together in civil partnership, I was so pleased for them to finally have the chance to celebrate their love for each other, although would have preferred it if they could have been offered a full marriage like their straight counterparts.

I am totally in favour of equal pension rights, equal adoption and fostering rights, equal death-bed rights, equal everything.

Incidentally, I am positive that Jesus never took sides, whatever the Church of England or the Roman Catholic church might think!

I was proud to work for Kali Mountford MP when she introduced the bill to bring about the abolition of clause 28 and for Meg Munn MP who introduced the Act to allow for civil partnerships in her capacity as Equalities Minister.

I was proud too when, as the Women's Officer for Stockton South CLP in 1995, we agreed to an all-women short-list in our constituency, by 7 votes to nil (all the principal officers of the GC).

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