Green UK MEP, Jean Lambert has welcomed Europe's latest move to increase protection against sexual orientation discrimination, launching a Shadow Directive on Equal Treatment of Persons Irrespective of Sexual Orientation, as a serious contribution to the Year of Equal Opportunities.
The Shadow Directive aims to extend protection against such discrimination to areas outside employment such as social protection, social benefits, education, provisions of goods and services and housing.
Jean, who is a member of the European Parliament's Intergroup on Gay and Lesbian Rights which has launched the Directive in cooperation with ILGA Europe (the Europe Region of the International Lesbian and Gay Association, has continued in her call for equal rights and treatment for all.
As Green MEP for London which is home to a diverse population, Jean commented;"Across the EU some minority groups are more protected than others. In general gender and race discrimination are being eliminated from society but rights of protection over sexual orientation have, until now, been lacking.
"Sexual orientation discrimination across the EU is currently prohibited in employment but gender and race discrimination is banned not only in employment but in other areas of everyday life as well. With 2007 being the European Year of Equal Opportunities we have before us the chance to change this and the Shadow Directive is making extremely positive steps to do so.
"We now need to work with similar proposals from AGE and the European
Disability Forum (EDF) to ensure equal treatment for all."
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Notes to editors:
Jean Lambert: In October 2005 Jean was named MEP 2005 for Justice and Human Rights. Jean was first elected Green Party Member of the European Parliament for London in the 1999 European elections. She was re-elected in 2004. She is one of nine MEPs representing London and one of two UK Green representatives in the European Parliament.