First Published: Before August 2002
       This is an OutUK Archive Item and so some of the links and information may be out of date.


Whilst the Labour Party is sadly lacking when it comes to committing itself to complete and unequivocal gay equality, parties on the political fringes aren't afraid to fully support gay rights.

The bravest of the smaller parties is the Green Party. The Greens are the only political party offering to "extend the right to civil marriage to same-sex couples". And not only are the Greens pledging to scrap Section 28, the party's manifesto goes as far to promise to impose a legal duty on teachers to discuss homosexuality in schools. The Green manifesto also states a commitment to strengthening existing discrimination legislation on various grounds, including sexuality.


"The SNP is a democratic left-of-centre political party committed to Scottish independence. It aims to create a just, caring and enterprising society in the mainstream of modern Europe by releasing Scotland's full potential as an independent nation."

So begins their manifesto, and it's probably one of the most disappointing of all of the political parties. It has no reference to gay rights or any issue on the gay agenda. The SNP claims it's in the mainstream, and claims it's on the left-of-centre but shame on them for a substantial omission, and a lost opportunity.


In stark contrast, whilst not going quite as far as the altar, Plaid Cymru`s manifesto supports "the right for unmarried partners to register their partnership and have property, pension and inheritance rights."

Although not mentioning gay couples specifically, the Welsh party's manifesto also demands "a comprehensive review of all equality legislation to ensure consistency, changes of sex discrimination law to make positive action easier, and the early extension of equality legislation to meet the requirements of the Amsterdam Treaty." The Amsterdam Treaty calls for the elimination of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Plaid Cymru also backs the Human Rights Act and asks for the European Union's Charter of Fundamental Rights to be incorporated into the European Treaty. The EU charter contains provisos granting all individuals the right to be protected from discrimination of any kind.


The Socialist Alliance Party manifesto promises to repeal Section 28 "without delay" and argues for equal rights for lesbians, gay men and bisexuals in all legal matters; including partnership and parenting rights, protection from discrimination at work or in the community and, bizarrely, the age of consent. Unbeknown to them, the age of consent became 16 for all earlier this year. The Socialist Alliance also promises to act to stamp out homophobic violence.


You can find out more about the party manifestos on their websites:


OutUK's coverage of election 2001 will continue to update you on aspects of the campaign that affect gay men. Stonewall are also encouraging us all to vote tactically and you can find out more about their excellent website using the link below.

We also have more on the other main party manifestos, and the issues contained in them.

   OutUK Election 2001
   Stonewall's Political Campaign
        Liberal Democrats


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