lgbtq rights

8 petitions

Started 4 days ago

Petition to Amber Rudd MP, Paul Blomfield MP, , , , Brandon Lewis MP

Urgent: End the Detention of Patricia Simeon

Patricia Simeon, a Sierra Leonean lesbian asylum seeker was detained at Yarls Wood Immigration Detention Centre on 18th October 2017. She was informed that she was detained in order to meet with the Sierra Leonean embassy despite the fact that she is currently in the process of submitting a fresh asylum claim. Patricia has been battling the asylum process since her arrival in the UK on the 31st May 2012 and was initially refused asylum in October 2015. Since then she has been working on submitting a fresh asylum claim due to her sexuality, as well as being a victim of trafficking, sexual exploitation, forced child prostitution, torture and a continued risk of FGM. Under the Home Office’s own detention policies Patricia should have never been detained in the first place due to being a victim of torture. The UN Recommended Principles and Guidelines on Human Rights and Human Trafficking, Principle 7 and Guideline 4 (5) states ‘trafficked persons shall not be detained, charged or prosecuted for the illegality of their entry into or residence in countries of transit and destination or for their involvement in unlawful activities to the extent that such involvement is a direct consequence of their situation as trafficked persons’. She is currently applying for a Rule 35 certifying that she is an At Risk Adult. Patricia was previously detained in Yarls Wood when she first claimed asylum and was released due to receiving a Rule 35 so we are shocked to find she has been detained once again. LGBT+ asylum seekers also face increased and specific risks when they are detained. Research conducted by Stonewall and UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group (UKLGIG) found LGBT+ detainees experienced homophobic and transphobic harassment, discrimination and violence from other detainees and members of staff. As a result of this and due to the abhorrent treatment of LGBT+ people in her home country, the state’s decision to detain her is incredibly irresponsible and concerning. Patricia is an active member of both the local and the national LGBT+ community. She is a founding member and chair of LASS (Lesbian Asylum Support Sheffield). She has attended multiple LGBT+ Pride events throughout the summer and has been incredibly committed to the ongoing success of LASS. In Sheffield, she is also a member of the Out Aloud LGBT+ Choir. Alongside this she is also an active member of LISG (Lesbian Immigration Support Group) and African Rainbow Family in Manchester and has campaigned closely with UKLGIG (United Kingdom Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group) and LGSM (Lesbian and Gays Support the Migrants) Patricia has an appointment to submit her fresh asylum claim on the 7th November and she has a right to submit this claim. We are seriously concerned about Patricia’s safety and welfare should attempts be made to forcibly return her to Sierra Leone. Please urge the UK Home Office to release Patricia from detention with immediate effect. 

Lesbian Asylum Support Sheffield
7,370 supporters
Update posted 2 months ago

Petition to Equalities Minister Justine Greening @Govt_Equality, Nicky Morgan MP

Open civil partnerships to all

We’re Rebecca and Charles, we have a toddler called Eden, and we want to cement and celebrate our relationship by having a civil partnership. But we can’t because the Civil Partnership Act 2004 states: ‘Two people are not eligible to register as civil partners of each other if … they are not of the same sex.’ We met in 2010, became engaged in 2013, and together we were involved in the fight for same-sex marriage within our community. It is fantastic social progress that couples can now marry regardless of sex or sexual orientation. We’ve been left, however, with a hangover from this important reform: Marriage is available to both same-sex and mixed-sex couples, but civil partnerships are currently only available to same-sex couples. This limits the choice for mixed-sex couples, like us, who want to form a civil partnership - an institution that would provide the same legal protections as marriage. The current system doesn’t make sense and needs to be brought into line with places such as Holland and New Zealand where couples can choose between marriage and civil partnership. Opening civil partnerships to all would bring the law up to date with the reality of family life: 3 million cohabiting couples with 2 million dependent children, all of whom currently lack the protection of marriage and choice of civil partnership. From a personal perspective, the legacy of marriage – that it treated women as property for centuries, excluded same-sex couples until 2014, and still leaves room only for fathers’ names on marriage certificates – means that marriage is not an option for us. We want to raise our child as equal partners and feel that a civil partnership – a modern, symmetrical institution – sets the best example for her. Sadly, the government has taken a different view. But with your support, we've mounted a legal challenge to their position. Our case was heard in the Court of Appeal in November 2016. Though we lost narrowly in a 2:1 split decision, all three judges were critical of the status quo. They agreed that we are being treated differently because of our sexual orientation, and that this has an impact on our private and family life. They rejected the argument that we could just get married. And, most importantly, they emphasised that the government cannot just wait and see indefinitely, but must make a decision quickly.  So we're continuing to fight for equal civil partnerships. We will continue the legal fight: Unless the government commits to lifting the ban on mixed-sex civil partnerships, we will be appealing this decision to the Supreme Court. We will also continue our political efforts. Together with everyone involved in the campaign for Equal Civil Partnerships, we will build on the positive parliamentary support we’ve already received. Politicians from every major party now back our cause. Conservative MP Tim Loughton’s private members’ bill to give mixed-sex couples the right to a civil partnership has received cross-party backing. The London Assembly unanimously passed a motion supporting mixed-sex civil partnerships, and the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is in favour of opening civil partnerships to all. The forces in favour of reform now significantly outnumber those who remain opposed. The tide turned some time ago and there is only so long that the government can continue to swim against it. We won’t rest until the government recognises that opening civil partnerships to mixed-sex couples is fair and popular, and good for families and children. We are confident that it will, eventually, recognise this clear logic. To help us make #equalcivilpartnerships a reality, we ask you to please do the following: 1.     Please donate: 2.     Please sign and share this petition, telling the Minister for Women and Equalities that you support opening up civil partnerships to all: 3.     Please join the campaign by liking our Facebook page and following us on Twitter @EqualCPs. We'll keep you updated with our progress.  From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for all your support. We literally could never have gotten this far without the incredible support from tens of thousands of people, like you, who, like us, desperately want to see civil partnerships made available to all couples.  Charles Keidan and Rebecca Steinfeld #equalcivilpartnerships #equallove  @charleskeidan & @beccasteinfeld    

Charles Keidan and Rebecca Steinfeld
79,601 supporters
Update posted 3 months ago

Petition to Pietro Grasso (Presidente del Senato della Repubblica) (Presidente del Senato della Repubblica), Paolo Gentiloni, Laura Boldrini, Nico D'Ascola, Donatella Ferranti

Equal adoption eligibility for Italian same-sex couples, equal rights for their children.

Italian law does not recognise equal parenting rights and responsibilities to same-sex couples. Same-sex couples and individuals are not eligible to apply for adoption. Children whose parents are currently in a same-sex relationship have unequal treatment and their non-biological parents are not recognised by the law. These children will then be very vulnerable if their biological parents become sick, get divorced or die. In some cases children that had been adopted in the UK had no parents at all before the law until a judge made a decision. Italian same-sex couples living abroad (and, in particular, in the UK) are often denied a platform in public debate; yet they are particularly vulnerable and their freedom of movement, even within the EU, is impaired as many of them left Italy to find a safer place to adopt children and to raise them; are non-biological parents in same-sex relationships, not legally recognised as parents. Their children cannot easily go back to Italy even for short holidays, and when they do they face high risk in case any of their parents die; became parents while in the UK, without being British citizens. Brexit could force them to leave the UK and will put their children at huge risk, even when their children are British citizens. This restriction of mobility rights also extends to non-Italian partners of Italian LGB people, and to non-Italian children of Italian parents. Think of what would happen to a UK citizen who adopted a British child jointly with an Italian citizen living in the UK, for instance, and have to leave the country due to possible effects of Brexit. This is irrational and unjust. We thus ask the Italian Parliament to promptly introduce: eligibility to adopt for same-sex couples; clear and enforceable rights for children of same-sex couples; recognition of parenthood for non-biological step-parents in same-sex relationships; recognition of parenthood for non-biological parents of surrogate-born children. Please show your support by signing our letter here!

Wake Up Italia London
358 supporters