On Friday, the Merchant Shipping (Homosexual Conduct) Bill passed it’s second reading. The Private Member’s Bill has had relatively little attention in the media although it’s sponsoring MP – Jon Glen – did write this piece for Politics Home.
The Bill is beautifully simple, amending the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 to omit sections 146(4) and 147(3). These sections allow for homosexual acts as grounds for dismissal from the crew of merchant ships. Many may be surprised by this continuing anomaly but the Bill would remove this discriminatory provision.
As a Private members Bill, the Bill will only become law if the Government gives the Bill some Parliamentary time, and that needs people to know about the Bill in order to bring pressure on the Uk Government. It’s been pretty low key so now is the time to share the news of the Bill and for pressure to be brought for this Bill to pass. John Glen’s own website doesn’t even seem to mention the Bill at present although he has tweeted about it. Every nudge helps.