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British MEPs not signed up to civil partnerships recognition across EU

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  1. So basically, these MEPs express that British subjects/citizens should not have equal rights and protections when travelling in the EU! How anti-British will these MEPs get?

  2. Robert, ex-pat Brit 15 Dec 2008, 6:49pm

    There will be NO recognition for marriages or partnerships across the EU, not in our life time. The fact that most MEP’s don’t think its right to interfere in the internal affairs of member states speaks volumes. What should happen is to mandate that every member state expand civil marriage to same-sex couples while retaining the option for those who want other forms of partnerships for both straight and gay people alike, those who do not want to marry, why limit one form to one group and not another, makes no sense? That would be TRUE equality, but we’ll never see it. Having different non-marriage partnerships in different countries is not the solution though where some will have more rights than others. Marriage is the only one legal partnership universally recognised no matter if most countries don’t yet have same-sex marriage laws in place and which doesn’t need clarification or explanation as to what it implies as well as the rights and privileges it confers automatically. Creating different forms of unions across the EU and elsewhere serves only to further complicate and confuse. To this day, few countries if any really understand what civil unions, partnerships, PACS, domestic partnerships are all about, certainly not on a par with marriage. Why exacerbate the situation and why legislate for regressive segregation anyway?

  3. “14 EU member states do not give full residence and entry rights to gay and lesbian couples.”

    I don’t understand what this means. They don’t give full residence and entry rights “to gay and lesbian couples”. Should I assume we are talking about *European* gay and lesbian couples? If so, if EU citizens enjoy freedom of movement as individuals, how is it that they are denied this right as a couple? It seems hard to believe. Or is it about not granting a visa to the partner of an EU citizen? I just don’t understand what’s being claimed with this sentence.

  4. Valerio – it is about using your marriage to gain residency/entry rights to another EU Country.

    In example, if I were a civilly married Brit – civilly married in Spain, to my husband, whose official residency is elsewhere in the EU. Lack of equality would prevent me from the ability to relocate my husband to England, or me into his country.

    In fact, I am a US American, civilly married to my husband of 13 years (also a US Citizen) in Ontario, Canada, but are denied over 1000 civil rights and protections as US Citizens! We also would not be able to immigrate our spouse, if we were not both already US Citizens. The Federal Government still denies our existance (until tax time of course, when we are taxed double that of our fellow citizens!)

  5. To Robert ex-pat.. i agree with lots of what you say. As far as I can see the whole marriage/civil partnership difference is basically irrelevant within the UK because civil partnerships are by law treated equally to marriage …. but the vocal religious nutters keep banging on and on about their moral authority over ‘marriage’…. as for the the rest of the EU it’s all over the place. Full marriage in some states.. civil partnerships in others and lesser rights but recognition in others and no recognition in many states… why is this? look to religious groups for that answer matey.

  6. Those eastern poor country that joined the EU are having a laugh – they are taking the cash and pick and chose with regulations.
    A poor performance from the EU on that subject – this can change in a second – just stop the cash flowing !!!!
    They are spitting on our faces again!!

  7. Cant we email the British MEPS?

  8. This article has an inaccuracy in so far as it states that Mary Honeyball (Labour) has not signed the declaration. I received this email from her casework assistant yesterday:

    Dear Mr XXX,

    Mary Honeyball MEP has asked me to reply to your email regarding Sharon Bowles’ Written Declaration on reciprocal recognition by member states of the rights of individuals in same-sex partnerships. Ms Honeyball has signed this declaration and supports the principles expressed in the declaration. I will inform you of any further actions that Ms Honeyball takes with regard to this issue and any progress that is made towards reforming legislation in this area.

  9. I believe that it is important to get as many of our MEPs as possible to sign up to the declaration mentioned in this article. The easiest way to do this is via the website . All you do is type in your postcode and you can email all of your MEP’s with one email. On Friday I sent the following to the London MEPs:
    “Could you please let me know, as my MEP, whether or not you have signed Sharon Bowles’ MEP declaration calling for Member States with existing same-sex partnership legislation to recognise the arrangements of other Member States that have also made provisions for same-sex partnerships. It also calls upon the Commission to draw up guidelines for such mutual recognition by Member States with existing same-sex partnership legislation.
    If you have not yet signed this declaration, I would urge you to do so.
    If you feel as though you can’t sign the declaration, I would be grateful if you write back to me with your reasons why.
    Thank you for your assistance on this request.”
    Give it a go and let your MEPs know that they have constituents who care about this issue. It is always best to write your own emails rather than circulars, but if you cut and paste my email above you can write to all of your MEPs and it will take you less than three minutes.

  10. sorry we get gay “marriage” or it’s legal equivalent across the EU before you get gay “MARRIAGE” using that word at federal level in the US. Ofcourse i could be wrong and would actually be quite pleased if i was as one block going first will encourgae the other to follow. But though some of the new member states are pretty backward, they’re not as backward as some of the US states when it comes to gay issues…

  11. Hi Del, thanks for your response. I’m aware of the tricky situation in the US with family law residing at the state level but gay marriages and civil unions not being recognised on a national level (with all the tax and immigration consequences), what I don’t understand is that in the situation you described, ie: if you were a Brit, married in Spain to someone who’s from a different EU country, that you wouldn’t be able to relocate them on the basis of your marriage but what I don’t understand is that (ignoring the fact that the marriage would probably still be recognised in the UK as a civil partnership) your partner wouldn’t need any proof of marriage to relocate to the UK because EU citizens enjoy (or should) freedom of movement within the EU and don’t need a visa to up and move to a different country, which is why I don’t understand what residency rights are being denied here.

  12. Because of the immigration bar against same sex couples in the US…and the fact that Ireland also does not recognize our partnership we moved to the UK under EU law. Some of us are lucky enough to be able to do even that, however there are others from the US that will struggle for years for a way to just LIVE in the same country as their loved one…


    try this to get meps and email address – click on country , person etc, they generally have an email address –

  14. Valerio, it’s about residency/working rights for non-EU partners of EU citizens..I’m British civil-partnered to an American, and on that basis he can live, work in the uk, but not in other european countries, except spain, which has recognised british civil partnerships as the equivalent of their gay marriage. However because the british civil partnership law is SO DAMN GOOD! as of last week his application for british citizenship was acccepted so come the new year he will have a british passport and so we would then settle in any european union country. That’s why i’m so sceptical about the US state by state “marriage” initiatives, some people claim that they are somehow superior to british civil partnerhsips becuase they use the magic word “marriage”, but for mixed nationality couyples like me and my american partner, they offer absolutely NOTHING…there’s no way i could live or work or build any kind of life even in the 2 US states that have full gay marriage. No wonder i’m unimpresssed with a “magic” word, whicch in reality not only fails to offer equality but actually offers nothing at all, I’d just be another illegal immigrant!

  15. Andy, thank you for your reply to this issue that I find a little confusing in terms of how it’s phrased. I still find it odd that the list doesn’t include a country like Lithuania which is openly homophobic.
    For your case specifically, there’s good hope that Obama will scrap DOMA effectively opening the door for access to federal rights for same-sex couples. Good luck.

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