Gay rights activists have expressed concern that one of the most popular petitions on the Prime Minister’s official website is anti-gay.
The website hosts a facility for members of the public to create a petition topic and invite others to sign up.
One such petition calling on the government to rescind the Sexual Orientation Regulations in Northern Ireland has attracted more than 8,000 signatures.
The national co-ordinator of the Gay Police Association contacted PinkNews.co.uk to express his concern about the anti-gay petition, and to urge gay people to go onto the No 10 website and sign an alternative one.
Vic Codling told PinkNews.co.uk, “the GPA view is we would urge the LGBT community to actively support the government regardless of what other religions or beliefs want. This is a basic human rights issue.
“It is a disgrace that the government publishes equality legislation but then actually allows discrimination. Please support the alternative petition.”
A second petition on the No 10 website reads:
“Exemptions for religious organisations from the goods, services and facilities regulations, are of great concern and entirely unjust.
“The use of services, goods and facilities that heterosexuals take for granted, should be allowed to those from the lesbian, gay and bisexual communities.
“The protections that minorities and religious groups have in law should be granted to the lesbian gay and bisexual communities also; the end of a two-tier system which denies justice in the provision of goods, services and facilities to the lesbian, gay and bisexual communities should be implemented with no further delay and at the earliest point possible throughout the entirety of the UK.”
The Sexual Orientation Regulations were introduced in Northern Ireland on January 1st and are due for introduction in the rest of the UK in April.
They were delayed by the Department for Communities and Local Government because thousands of people made representations to the government about the new rules, which outlaw discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation in the provision of goods and services.
As reported by PinkNews.co.uk yesterday, another popular petition on the Prime Minister’s official site is one calling on him to sack controversial Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly.
Petitions can be viewed, and signed, by following this link: http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/GSFRegs/