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Equality North East

Peter Tatchell: The Equality Bill is less than equal

Way back in 1983, when I stood as the Labour candidate in the Bermondsey by-election, I proposed the idea of a single, comprehensive anti-discrimination law, to guarantee equal treatment and protection for everyone. At the time, this proposal was dismissed as "ultra left," as too radical and daring. Three decades later, however, it is close to reality.

The Equality Bill is continuing its passage this week through parliament and, barring sabotage in the House of Lords, will become law in 2010. One of its key aims is to remedy the uneven, variable patchwork of equality legislation. The separate laws on gender, race, disabilty, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and religion or belief, will be replaced by an all-inclusive legal framework. This will harmonise and standardise equality law, so that everyone has the same rights and protection.

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December 8, 2009

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