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Same-sex marriage bans lead to Day Without A Gay protests

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  1. Robert, ex-pat Brit 9 Dec 2008, 3:05pm

    Personally, I think its a waste time.

    To digress somewhat, read what the UK government is doing in regard to civil partnerships in the EU, extracted from an article in The Guardian.

    UK challenged the right to civil partnerships of gay couples abroad• EU court urged not to force Austria to comply
    • Opposition to legal claim later abandonedAfua Hirsch, legal affairs correspondent The Guardian, Tuesday December 9 2008 Article historyThe government attempted to prevent same-sex couples in other countries from gaining the right to enter into civil partnerships, the Guardian has learned.

    Despite the fact that civil partnerships are recognised under UK law, the government made legal submissions to the European court of human rights arguing that Austria should not have an obligation to provide the same rights to same-sex couples there. The move is at odds with its own professed commitment to equality for lesbians, gay and bisexual people, which saw the UK become one of only three European countries to recognise same-sex relationships under the 2004 Civil Partnership Act.

    The government was challenging the claim of an Austrian couple, Horst Schalk and Johann Kopf, that Austria has violated their right to a private and family life, the right not to suffer discrimination, and the right to marry. It argued that the UK’s civil partnership legislation was “a natural progression towards its goal of developing a more inclusive society”, but defended the right of other European countries not to follow suit.

    “There is no positive obligation to create a structure for legal recognition or registration of same-sex relationships,” it said, claiming that in other countries any such obligation may be out of keeping with the social, cultural and religious norms and traditions.

    “This was a very peculiar intervention for the UK to make,” said Nuala Mole, director of the Aire Centre, a human rights group also intervening in the case.

    “Given that the UK recognises civil partnerships and has given civil partners practically all the advantage of marriage, it is strange that they should be intervening to prevent another country from doing the same.”

    The government has now abandoned its challenge to the Austrians’ claim that they are entitled to legal recognition for their relationship, after coming under pressure from questions raised in the House of Lords. Lord Lester, who opposed the government’s intervention in the Austrian case, said: “I am delighted that the government is clarifying its position with the Strasbourg court. This means that the UK is advising the court not to feel inhibited in developing its case law on protection for same-sex relationships.”

    However, the government is still arguing that the court should not require European states to allow marriage for same-sex couples. It has told the court that the right to marry refers to “the traditional marriage between persons of the opposite biological sex … There is not an evolving convergence to the effect that persons in a same-sex relationship should be allowed to contract a marriage.”

    UK law on civil partnerships provides legal recognition that is “very similar” to marriage, Lord Bach told the House of Lords last month, “but [the law] did not call those partnerships marriage, and that remains government policy”.
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  2. If it worked – I think it would be a fantastic way of showing all the bigots out there that gay people are among their colleagues, friends, service providers & open their eyes a bit!

  3. This is such a waste of time. I like the idea, but in this economy calling in gay could mean, not having a job anymore. Also Robert, you couldn’t just link to the article, you had to include the full text?

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