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Human Rights Incorporated Into British Law

Women, immigrants, lesbians and gays applauded the adoption of the European Convention on Human Rights in Great Britain this week. Touted as the greatest advance for personal liberty supporters believe that for the first time enshrined in English law is a right to fair trial, asylum, privacy, education, family life, religion and equality particularly for minorities including lesbians and gays, and freedom from torture, slavery and forced labour.

Conservative opponents fear that too much power will be given to interest groups representing homosexuals, minorities, and women at the expense of government authority. Before acceptance of the act, Great Britain was forced by the European Convention to discard its policy of banning homosexuals from serving in the armed forces. Conservatives argue the act will encourage lesbian and gay sexuality in schools which would criminalize teacher efforts to prohibit this behavior.

Sources:

The British Council, The Electronic Telegraph 2 October, 2000, The Electronic Telegraph 7 August 2000, The Times 2 October, 2000, The New York Times 2 October, 2000