PinkNews.co.uk has discovered that Prime Minister Tony Blair’s own website is currently running a petition calling on him to remove Ruth Kelly from her role as Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Minister for Women and Equality.
The Petition at pm.gov.uk asks members of the public to support the motion that, “Ruth Kelly is incompatible with this position as she holds views about homosexuality (and other issues) which are contrary to the equality agenda which it is her ministerial duty to promote. She has voted for motions to deny homosexuals rights to adoption, hurting chances of equality for homosexuality.”
Liat Norris who initiated the petition added: “The government would not find it acceptable to have a minister with a non-existent record of opposing racism in Kelly’s position, and it should not be acceptable for Kelly to be in her position with a non-existent record of opposing discrimination against homosexuality.”
The public was first alerted to the discrepancies between Ms Kelly’s religious views and her role as Minister with responsibility for gay rights following an investigation last year by PinkNews.co.uk.
On 22nd June 1998, she did not turn up to Parliament to vote for the Crime and Disorder Bill to reduce the age of consent, as she was on the 1st March 1999 and the 10th February when the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill sought to achieve the same goal (the first having been rejected by the Lords).
On the 24th October 2001, she was absent from the voting on the Relationships (Civil Registration) motion that was the catalyst for introducing the Civil Partnerships bill in Parliament.
On the 29th October 2001, she was absent from the third reading of the Adoption and Children Bill (Programme), to allow gay couples to adopt, as she was on further votes on the same subject on 16th May 2002, 20th May 2002 and the 4th November 2002.
On the 10th March 2003, she was absent from the vote to repeal section 28 which banned local authorities from promoting homosexuality as a valid lifestyle.
On the 12th October 2004, she was absent from the vote on the Civil Partnerships Bill, as she was on the 9th November 2004.
Members of the public can add their signature to the petition by visiting petitions.pm.gov.uk
You may reproduce/ use the information within this article free of charge providing you credit PinkNews.co.uk within the body of any coverage