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Ruth Kelly must stop blocking equality legislation or go

19 October 2006 | last updated: 15 December 2015

Community affairs minister Ruth Kelly must resign if she continues to obstruct equal rights for gays and lesbians, says UCU.

The union, representing 110, 000 lecturers and academic related staff, today added its voice to others criticising the delay of legislation which would make it illegal for organisations and businesses to deny services to gays and lesbians.

Roger Kline, head of equality and employment rights at UCU said: 'Everybody should have the same right to access services, regardless of their sexuality or the prejudices of some individuals. To exempt religious institutions from being obliged to obey a law on this would clearly defeat its object. The government must continue to legislate against discrimination, regardless of objections from the anti-gay rights lobby.

'It is believed by many that Ruth Kelly cannot separate her own personal beliefs from her duty as a minister to promote equal rights. If that is so then she is clearly unfit to steer equality legislation and should resign. It cannot be right for any minister's personal views to prevent millions of lesbians and gays from having the same rights as everybody else. It's time to stop stalling and get this legislation established.'

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