Labour MEPs praised for supporting Equal Love campaign
Westminster Labour MPs urged to back marriage & partnership equality
Brussels - 19 December 2011
"Huge appreciation to the 13 Labour MEPs for unanimously supporting the Equal Love campaign.
“I hope Labour MPs at Westminster will follow the positive example of Labour MEPs in Europe by also opposing sexual orientation discrimination in marriage and partnership law," said Peter Tatchell, coordinator of the Equal Love campaign and Director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation.
All 13 Labour MEPs have expressed their support for the Equal Love campaign, which seeks to end the twin legal bans on same-sex civil marriages and opposite-sex civil partnerships.
Photos of Labour MEPs with Equal Love signs. Free use (no charge):
But please use this photo credit: Copyright European Union
Leader of the Labour MEPs, Glenis Willmott said: "I am very proud that all thirteen Labour MEPs unanimously supported this campaign.
"The Labour government brought forward civil partnership legislation and a future government should take this legislation to the next stage.
"Same-sex relationships should be on the same legal basis as opposite-sex relationships across the EU."
Former East Enders star Michael Cashman MEP combines the roles of the Chair of Labour's National Executive Committee with jointly co-ordinating the European Parliament's LGBT Intergroup. He added:
"Many MEPs from all political groups support equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. In the UK, this includes ending the ban on same-sex marriage and different-sex partnerships.
"I am proud of my Labour MEP colleagues. It's now up to Labour's Westminster MPs to follow suit," Michael said.
Responding to the Labour MEPs' support for the Equal Love campaign, Peter Tatchell said:
"It's great to have all 13 Labour MEPs backing the campaign for equality. In the European Parliament, they have been steadfast allies and pioneers for LGBT human rights. Political support for our legal case in the European Court of Human Rights is very important and helpful," he added.
In February 2011, eight British couples - four gay and four straight – filed an application in the European Court of Human Rights, in a bid to secure the right of same-sex couples to have a civil marriage and the right of opposite-sex couples to have a civil partnership.
The Green, Liberal Democrat and Plaid Cymru party conferences have previously voted to end the ban on same-sex civil marriages and opposite-sex civil partnerships. The Labour Party conference has, so far, not voted on the issue.
Photos of Labour MEPs with Equal Love signs. Free use:
Please use this photo credit: Copyright European Union
One photo shows: Leader of the Labour MEPs Glenis Willmott with Michael Cashman MEP
The group photos shows: (from Left to Right) MEPs Linda McAvan, Brian Simpson, Derek Vaughan, David Martin, Glenis Willmott, Michael Cashman, Arlene McCarthy, Mary Honeyball and Richard Howitt
For contact with Labour MEPs: David Poyser on +32 479 790 053