Green is the New Pink
The Green Party is in the forefront of the battle for queer freedom.
The Green Party now leads the way on gay rights. It is the only political party to oppose the ban on same-sex marriage. Greens support the right of gay couples to get married. All the other parties want to exclude us. They believe only heterosexuals should be allowed to enjoy wedded bliss.
The Greens say homophobia is a social evil on a par with racism and sexism, and it must be challenged with equal determination. They reject the way the government has made action against race prejudice a priority over action against homo hatred.
Green Party Euro-MEPs have led the campaign to harmonise European laws to guarantee gay equality and outlaw homophobic discrimination across the entire continent, from Dublin to Moscow and from Oslo to Athens. They want a "Europe without Homophobia".
The Greens were the first party to elect an openly gay leader, Darren Johnson. He was the first politician to promote the idea of a same-sex partnership register and the first to back proposals for a Lesbian and Gay Museum.
These are a few of the reasons I am voting Green on 5 May. A big pink vote for the Greens will shake up the grey parties and encourage them to adopt more gay-friendly policies.
The Greens also have lots of other pioneering policies. Global warming threatens human survival. Rising temperatures will melt the polar ice-caps. This will raise sea levels and cause devastating floods. Food production will plummet. Millions of people will be forced to flee their homes and jobs.
Preventing catastrophic climate change is the precondition for gay life and rights. Without a sustainable planet, there can be no gay community and no gay liberation. Only the Greens have serious, effective policies to avert ecological disaster.
The Greens have the best policies on queer issues too. Second best are the Lib Dems. The Tories have the worst record. Despite Michael Howard's supposed rejection of past Conservative homophobia, his party has no specific policies to tackle the remaining areas of homophobic discrimination.
Contrary to popular perceptions, Labour is not as pro-gay as it claims. Most of the government's gay law reforms, such as the equalisation of the age of consent, were forced by rulings in the European Court of Human Rights. Europe declared Britain's anti-gay discrimination illegal, which compelled the government to act.
Proof of Labour's reluctance to challenge homophobia is the new Equality Bill. It denies gay people protection against discrimination in housing, education and the provision of goods and services, such as insurance. It fails to tackle homophobic harassment and allows public bodies, like local councils, to ignore anti-gay discrimination. This means most homophobia remains lawful by default.
Instead, the new Bill introduces wide-ranging legal protection for religious believers, to the exclusion of queers. People of faith have won priority over gays.
The government says the new legislation is necessary to protect vulnerable religious minorities, especially Muslims. I agree. Anti-Muslim harassment and discrimination requires urgent remedy. But this is no reason to deny gay people the same protection. Why can't the Equality Bill protect both Muslims and gays?
The Equality Bill is just one of ten instances where the government is blocking gay rights. Labour refuses to outlaw incitement to homophobic hatred and it refuses to grant refuge to most gay asylum seekers fleeing homophobic persecution. It also backs the ban on same-sex marriage and has vetoed the inclusion of education against homophobia in the national curriculum guidelines on religious education. Labour says charities should remain free to discriminate against gay people, and it allows homophobic singers to openly advocate the murder of lesbians and gay men. New Labour, old inequalities.
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