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Same-sex partners of police officers to get survivor benefits

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  1. For all of you who slam me and others for insisting that Civil Partnerships are NOT the same or equivalent to Marriage, I would like for you to explain this story to me.

    Why, after a year or two of Civil Partnerships, is the Home Office and the Police force just now offering a benefit to the partners of gay officers that is, and always has been, AUTOMATICALLY extended to the spouses of straight officers?

    Civil Partnerships will always be a second class status to REAL marriage. There will be no equality until ALL Civil Partnerships are Marriages, or ALL Marriages of Civil Partnerships. There should be EQUAL ACCESS to ALL civil institutions, period!

    For gay people to accept this “separate but so-called equal” status is to let it be known that they are comfortable with being second class citizens and that they feel that they are not deserving of equal status.

  2. Robert, ex-pat Brit 26 Aug 2008, 5:58pm

    Zeke, I think you missed the point. Currently, UNMARRIED straight partners of police officers as well as gay partners who aren’t in a civil partnership are ineligible to receive survivor benefits. On the other hand, you’re right, civil partnerships are not equal to marriage, if they were, they would be called marriages which the government insists they are not. I’ve been told by many who’ve posted here that British gays don’t want marriage or want it equated with marriage since they consider it a straight institution and don’t want any association with it because of what some here say has “negative connotations”. The British gay population is probably the only one that does not want marriage, but its going to have repercussions later on and will become more apparent as more countries begin to abandon civil unions/partnerships/PACS for marriage. Full equality will be achieved when both straight and gay couples can opt to marry or form any other legal union, no matter if they are opposite sex or same-sex couples. Having said that and I’m not defending civil partnerships, but they do extend to the entire UK and are portable within its borders, whereas marriage equality in both California and Massachusetts is confined within their state borders and are not recognised at the national (federal) level, with many of the rights inherent in marriage denied them, that’s a huge difference when compared to the UK model for gay couples. I don’t see marriage equality being a realisation in all 50 states for decades to come, maybe a century, nor do I think federal recognition will come any time soon in those states where we can marry. As for the UK, my gut feeling about civil partnerships is that one day and not too far off, they will eventually be merged into the marriage act as more western countries extend marriage to gay couples, I think it is inevitable. It will happen long before marriage for American gays is available in all 50 states. For the UK it will be an easier thing to execute since it will be just a change in terminology as all the rights of marriage are already embodied in the civil partnership act.

  3. I wasn’t consulted about whether I wanted to be married or civil partnered, the “usual suspects” were asked for their opinion. What we have now IS second class (e.g. for “survivor” pension rights my partner of 34 years will be treated worse than if I married someone two days before I die – despite me compulsorily contributing ALL my working life). Our CPs are widely unrecognised even in the EU.

    All would have been clear if the govt had grasped the “marriage” nettle, rather than pander to Xian and other religious bigots. Even US states are recognising gay marriage, again we’ll be the last bastion in the secular western world with “special” (i.e. different) provision

  4. Robert, ex-pat Brit 27 Aug 2008, 5:03pm

    apYrs I totally concur. As far as I know it was Stonewall who bargained away our right to marry as some of us wanted, instead, it chose to avoid a showdown with the church and country at large by opting for something inferior. Yes, I’ll admit its better than nothing but to settle for it and not consider those of us who wanted the basic civil right to marry….wasn’t serving the interests of full equality very well. Stonewall too has abandoned any chance of marriage I might add. Separate but “equal” is NEVER equal. In a democracy, all people should have the same rights, not segregate an entire group from the rest of society by giving them similar rights under a different name to shut them up and hope they won’t come back for more. Sooner or later its going to come back and haunt them when they realise they can’t leave the UK for whatever reason, maybe to emigrate, job posting oversease, whatever, and have their unions recognised unless they’re married. Yet another tier in the stifling class structure we have in the U.K.

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