Great to see the way in which this is reported, with the quotations from the pastor. Equal marriage rights is a religious issue as well as a sexuality issue. Civil partnership discriminates gainst gay people who want religious marriages. The UK has been too smug in thinking of America as backwards on human rights, as these states giving full marriage rights are going one better than the UK. Hopefully we in the UK will catch up at some point, but there appears to be little drive to push for full marriage equality now that we have been fobbed off with the half-measure of civil partnership.
Good news, but I unfortunately read that there are county registrars who think it’s their right to refuse their professional duties on the basis that their religious conscience tells them its wrong. Thankfully, the attorney general threatened legal action, seeing as the country’s secular foundations allow people freedom from others’ religion – especially when they’re only trying to do something allowed by the law!
This is really good news and I hope it’s not long before other states follow.
“It has been reported that committed gay and lesbian couples are travelling from neighbouring states such as Illinois and Chicago to legally tie the knot.” – Just an FYI, Chicago isn’t a state, it’s a city within Illinois.
Tony, the argument for marriage equality anywhere is for civil marriage which is different from religious marriage. In a civil marriage, there is no invocation of any deity, at least at the civil weddings I’ve attended in both the U.S. and the U.K.
The reason why the UK didn’t go for marriage is that there would have been fierce intervention by the C of E and RC cults. Instead, Stonewall and others agreed to to for most of the rights and privileges of marriage under a different name, otherwise they claim they would have received nothing. Arguable at best. As I look at how Spain, a fiercely catholic country managed to do it, then our argument in the UK looks pretty lame. But you’re right, they are unequal and you’ll get hate mail here about the semantics. As more western European countries abandon unions, partnerships, PACs, and American states gradually allow full marriage, its going to become increasingly difficult for the UK and others to stay out of the loop in regard to business and employment in those countries that allow marriage. At least in America, gay couples can marry in those four states and that will grow. A British gay couple can’t even do that in their own country if they so choose. Civil partnerships are not likely to have any reciprocal arrangement with any of those countries that offer marriage with the exception of Spain right now, though I believe in Spain, there is no written legislation addressing that.