TAP – I haven’t done anything much on gay marriage as it’s so heavily covered in the MSM. However many comments and emails have shown reader interest, this from Stephen.
Sent: 08 February 2013 07:51
To: Chris Woodward
Cc: Vanessa Lee; UKIP LUDLOW; Tony Roberjot; Sarah Walker; Roger Hipkiss; Rod Evans; Philip Gutteridge; Maurice Alton; Margaret Shaw; Kevin Stokes; John Gill; John Davies; Derek Armstrong; Chris Woodward
Subject: EU politics: gay marriage – required by “Europe”, by Richard North
Same-sex marriage has already been legalisedthe Netherlands, by Norway and in Germany, where the constitutional court has recently strengthened the rights of homosexual couples, giving them a same tax benefit as heterosexual married couples. That country, rather like Britain, is currently “mired in an escalating debate on the status of homosexual partnerships”.
The clue is in the tidied-up screen grab above, where the Home Office tells us of the Council of Europe and its work, which “includes promoting gender equality and more recently lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGB&T) equality”.
There also we find that United Kingdom assumed the Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe for six months from 7 November 2011 to 14 May 2012, whence we cut to thestatement of priorities for the UK chairmanship, in which Minister for Europe David Lidington declares:
Meanwhile, things had already been warming up in Strasbourg, which now has its own dedicated LGBT project which on 31 March 2010 got accepted Recommendation CM/Rec(2010)5 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on measures to combat discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity”.
This, amongst other things, referred to ECHR and “other international jurisdictions”, which “consider sexual orientation a prohibited ground for discrimination and have contributed to the advancement of the protection of the rights of transgender persons”, and then recommended members (including the UK) to:
2. ensure that legislative and other measures are adopted and effectively implemented to combat discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity, to ensure respect for the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons and to promote tolerance towards them;
24. Where national legislation recognises registered same-sex partnerships, member states should seek to ensure that their legal status and their rights and obligations are equivalent to those of heterosexual couples in a comparable situation.
2 No one shall be discriminated against by any public authority on any ground such as those mentioned in paragraph 1.
On the UK front, in anticipation of the UK’s Chairmanship of the CoE in November 2011, HM Government in March 2011 published a report, “Working for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equality: Moving Forward”.
Work towards the full implementation in the UK and across Europe of the Council of Europe’s recommendations ‘Measures to combat discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity’ including by using our Chairmanship of the Council of Europe from November 2011 to review progress.
This, naked in tooth and claw (to coin a phrase) is Recommendation CM/Rec(2010)5 and the timetable set for “full implementation” in June 2013, with responsibility delegated jointly to the Foreign Office and Government Equalities Offices (see below). And why is the FCO involved? That is because it involves international commitments.