Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Guardian's Liberty Clinic - query about British citizenship
From the Guardian's Liberty Clinic How can I be discriminated against because of my mother's gender? The actual question was: "How can the the Borders, Immigration & Citizenship Bill - with its gender and age discrimination - be legal?" The answer from Emma Norton, a legal officer at Liberty, is quite disappointing and not very helpful or encouraging. And she had the gall to brag about how "Liberty welcomed this change in the law which removed this historic discrimination against those who wished to claim citizenship through their mother." The law has been amended but the discrimination has not been removed! We (the children born abroad to British mothers) finally are eligible to apply for British citizenship but it means we "have a right to register as a British citizen" and we have to pay £540 , and attend a citizenship ceremony before we can claim our British citizenship by descent! Liberty is also known as the National Council for Civil Liberties. Founded in 1934, we are a cross party, non-party membership organisation at the heart of the movement for fundamental rights and freedoms in England and Wales. We promote the values of individual human dignity, equal treatment and fairness as the foundations of a democratic society. Well, I certainly don't consider this very unfair path to citizenship with its conditions (registration, fee and ceremony) to be equal treatment or fair! The comments following Ms Norton's reply are very interesting. I suggest everyone reads the comments if they want to understand exactly why this issue of inequality regarding British citizenship is so very unfair. The MPs are guilty of passing a blatantly discriminatory Bill for passage into law. They should all be very ashamed.