Gay rights

Series Title
Series Details Vol.7, No.31, 01.08.01, p11 (editorial)
Publication Date 01/08/2001
Content Type

Date: 01/08/01

MEP Sarah Ludford is to be congratulated for raising the issue of how the Council of Ministers treats gay staff.

The idea that an official should not be entitled to the same allowances as a married counterpart, simply because his companion is of the same sex, is not acceptable in this day and age.

Nor is it acceptable for the Council to hide behind the fig-leaf of its staff regulations to treat this man as a second-class citizen. The staff unions and Council secretariat should be urging Neil Kinnock to change them.

The Court of Justice cannot be criticised for ruling in favour of the Council: it merely interpreted the regulations as they stand and reflected the status quo.

However, it is surely reasonable to expect the Council to practise what it preaches on equality and recognise the moral obligation placed on it by the Charter of Fundamental Rights agreed at last December's Nice summit.

Ludford has called on Guy Verhofstadt, the Belgian prime minister who is currently president of the Council, to intervene in this issue. He should - even at the risk of upsetting those prejudiced few who fear anything that isn't 'normal' in their eyes.

British MEP Sarah Ludford has called on the Council of the European Union to treat its employees equally after a ruling of the European Court of Justice on 31 May 2001 denied a civil servant household allowance on grounds that his registered partnership did not constitue an equivalent to marriage.

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European Court of Justice: 31.05.01: Judgment on Joined Cases C-122/99 P and C-125/99 P;jsessionid=9ea7d2dc30d56d212dfadd404f819de3ec0c5f987b7d.e34KaxiLc3qMb40Rch0SaxyKbxz0?text=&docid=46555&pageIndex=0&doclang=EN&mode=lst&dir=&occ=first&part=1&cid=324698

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