Social democrats trade away rights of gay couples

25 November 2009

Social democrats trade away rights of gay couples

SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong has slammed the European Parliament's so-called Socialists and Democrats group, which brings together Labour and other centre-left parties, for their failure to vote in favour of granting gay couples the same rights as other co-habitees. "The SP does not believe that Brussels has the right to decide whether or not EU member states introduce gay marriage,” says De Jong. “This is a matter for national parliaments. Recognising the rights of people who live outside their country in other parts of the European Union, however, is another matter. A Dutch homosexual couple should have the rights granted to them under Dutch law, and they should keep these rights if they go to stay or to reside in another member state. This applies to very many legal contracts and this case should be no exception."

Dennis de JongThis Wednesday in the European Parliament the European Union work programme in the area of Justice and Internal Affairs, the so-called Stockholm Programme, was up for discussion. In the report on this programme, it was proposed that no distinction be made between married couples of the same sex and heterosexual married couples, in relation to freedom of movement between member states. In other words, just like straight couples, gay couples would keep any and all rights recognised in their own countries. In the European Parliamentary Committee which deals which such matters, the Christian Democrats were almost the only Members to vote against this proposal. Instead of voting to confirm this success when the matter came before the plenary session, which brings together the whole of the parliament and has the last word, however, the social democrats made a deal with the right wing, trading away the rights of homosexuals, with all the consequences that will bring. “Once again,” says De Jong, a typical example of horse-trading between the European Parliament's two biggest groups."

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