Saturday, 8 March 2008

Disability and the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill

A much under-discussed angle on the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill is the issue of disability. It's an issue that the campaign group 'Outsiders' has made its own and for which I should have given more mention than I have to date. The group has four core aims:

  • Work together to campaign for the acceptance of disabled people as sexual partners

  • Run a self-help club for people with physical and social disabilities to find love. If you feel isolated, dejected, rejected, or afraid to make that initial move, Outsiders can offer support and opportunities. Our members rarely look back!

  • Reach out to offer help and advice to the disabled community and health professionals

  • Work with other disability groups to increase understanding and work towards solving personal problems faced by people with disabilities

You can view their website at:

Late last month they protested against the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill in London. 50 people turned up to protest on Westminster Bridge. Placards included "Don't Disable My Libido" and "It's Hard Enough as it Is". Photos of the event can be viewed at: The group also wrote what I believe to be a compelling letter to the Ministry of Justice this week. The letter can be read in full at:

I believe this group gives a fresh perspective on what is clearly a complex area. I hope these arguments receive greater publicity so that more balanced and informed debate can take place.

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