Letter: Housing rights for gay couples

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The Independent Online
Sir: The Government's determination to oppose Glenda Jackson's amendment to the Housing Bill, which would have given cohabiting same- sex partners a legal right to succession of a tenancy, merely illustrates ministers' steadfast refusal to concede equal legal rights to homosexual couples ("Late deal saves housing bill", 1 May).

The Government must surely know that no form of "guidance" to local authorities can possibly take the place of legal protection for bereaved individuals, who, in the absence of a joint tenancy, will continue to live in fear of eviction in the wake of their partner's death.

One hopes that Michael Brown and Edwina Currie - the two ostensibly "pro- gay" Tory MPs who were seduced by the argument for guidelines instead of legislation on this issue, thus ensuring the amendment's defeat - will now do some serious soul-searching. Come the general election, gay and lesbian voters may wish to punish their complacency.

John Jackson

London SW16

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