LibLink: Christine Jardine: The EU champions LGBT rights. Will Brexit Britain?

Christine Jardine has used her column in the Scotsman to highlight the difference that the EU has made in LGBT rights. Lest we get complacent and think that the work is done, she reminds us how Roe v Wade, the landmark decision on abortion in the US that everyone thought was settled could well unravel.

And we aren’t as far on as we thought we were, either:

As a society we have travelled a long way, but this is not the time to relax and assume the work is done. I have LGBT constituents who are still not comfortable holding their partners hand in public, or displaying any kind of affection, in case they draw attention to themselves.

She highlights how the EU and its human rights charter have been such a driver of rights:

It has been used by the Court of Justice to outlaw homophobia, and to make it clear that the sort of incidents we have seen particularly in eastern Europe are unacceptable. Yes, the UK has gone beyond what has been required by EU law, but without the measures adopted by the EU, the encouragement that offered and the legislative background it provided, would we be where we are now? While the Tory government seeks to argue that the protections enshrined in the Charter already exist in British law or will be incorporated through other EU directives, there is really no coherent argument for scrapping it. The Charter is the only international human rights document that contains a provision specifically outlawing discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.

She went on to talk about Theresa May dancing her way round Africa but not bringing up the subject of human rights in countries where same sex relationships are punishable by lengthy prison terms or worse.

I thought about the fear that must come with it for them, and their parents, if that sexuality will not be respected in their society the way it is here. In Nigeria, same sex couples are denied the same rights and opportunities as their heterosexual peers. They face persecution, ridicule and prison. That’s not what I would want for my child, or anyone’s. It saddens me that I couldn’t find a reference to human rights conditions in any of Mrs May’s speeches.

And she made an observation about those who voted for Brexit:

I know and respect that there were many reasons why people voted for Brexit in 2016. But I don’t believe that anyone who cherishes freedom voted to diminish their rights, their childrens’ rights or to make people feel less safe in their own country.

You can read the whole article here.

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