EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS: GRADY AND SMITH v UK - (`GAYS IN THE MILITARY' CASE)
Liberty's Legal Officer Di Luping, who is solicitor for Graeme Grady and Jeanette Smith, said:
"The judgment is wonderful news. For Liberty's clients Graeme Grady and Jeanette Smith this is a personal victory which marks a successful conclusion to what has been a long and difficult process that neither should have had to endure."
But it has much wider implications, not only for our clients and for lesbians and gay men serving in the armed forces in this country, but for those discriminated against by any public authority and for other countries which continue to enforce such an offensive and outdated policy.
It's not just European countries which will be affected by this decision. There are already questions being asked as to whether the ban in the United States should similarly be lifted as a result of this decision.
The Court expressly raised questions about the validity of a "don't ask, don't tell" policy which applies in the US.
All arbitrary discrimination is always wrong. In this country alone, thousands of innocent people are treated unfairly because of their sexuality, their race, their disability or a host of other reasons. I hope the courage and persistence of our clients will inspire others to stand up for their rights and react against both institutional prejudice and individual bigotry."
Jeanette Smith said:
"Through all the court cases I never gave up believing that we would get a positive result in the end and that the European Court would have validated our rights and arguments in their verdict. The Government and the MOD should act on this judgment immediately to lift the ban."
Graeme Grady said:
"I always told myself that I would only fight something if I believed I was right. I am delighted that I have been vindicated by the Court of Human Rights. The ban is over and it should be lifted immediately."
SOURCE Liberty -The Human Rights Organisation
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