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Straight couple want civil partnership

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  1. FAN-BLOODY TANTASTIC!!!! I swear I’m psychic, I was having this conversation with my partner yesterday about it being wrong that straights are banned from civil partnerships. How fabulous is this couple. I wish them all the luck in the world and hope they can civilly wed. If by any chance the couple in question is reading, where’s my bloody invite? I look fabulous in a hat!

  2. Aussie Gay Activist Paul Mitchell 12 Nov 2009, 11:49am

    So true, I welcome straights to civil unions or civil partnerships with open arms (also can I swap for your marriage and you have my civil union for a day???) – then they will see for themselves just how “unequal” it is to civil marriage!!!!!

  3. The Halcyon 12 Nov 2009, 12:11pm

    The only differences between a marriage and a civil partnership (other than the name) is that the CP ceremony cannot have any religious context and that you can’t dissolve the CP on the grounds of adultery.

    Heterosexuals don’t need civil partnerships – they can marry along religious lines or have a civic official conduct it at any registry office or wherever else is licenced.

  4. Victoria Barnes 12 Nov 2009, 12:20pm

    Aw, I love this couple. I really hope they have a happy big day. :)

  5. Halcyon: So what you are saying is a conventional registry office marriage (which has no religious or spiritual connotations) and a civil partnership are identical bar that one caveat?

    What the hell are people screaming on about equality for then?
    Change that ruling, and we can all get married in registry offices.
    If churches wish to opt out, that’s their choice.

    I’m beginning to realise this is all just another queenie hissy-fit by the lefty equality brigade again.

  6. RobN – seeking equality isn’t a hissy fit

  7. Sarah Brown 12 Nov 2009, 12:33pm

    Hey! I had my civil partnership in a big white dress. Leave the dress out of this!

  8. Its nice they have the choice of marriage or civil partnerships! Shame we don’t!

  9. Brian Burton 12 Nov 2009, 12:47pm

    I had my Civil Partnership in a Registras Office and I saw no marked difference between my Partnership cerimony than when I have seen streight couples marry. So, my conclusion is the stright couple are just playing ‘chicken pluckers!’

  10. The government should add a late amendment to its Equality Bill which would make civil partnerships and marriage available to gay and straight couples. I wonder what the Conservative attitude would be.

  11. Harvey – actually, heterosexuals don’t have the choice of civil partnerships.

    I think it is great that heterosexuals are waking up to the idea of marriage equality as this will improve the chances of a push for allowing same-sex couples to marry being successful.

    I believe in Sweden they still have civil unions as an alternative option to marriage, for both heterosexual and same-sex couples. But interestingly, marriage is still far more popular than civil unions.

  12. Thats my point of debate Andrew – we don’t have a choice about getting marriage. Maybe both should be opened up for everyone to decide! I support this couple but fairs fair!

  13. Do we want straight people having civil partnerships we all know how unfaithful they all are. Would it cheapen civil partnerships and send the rates of civil partnership divorces soaring. :D

  14. Just get married – you dopes!

  15. Simon Murphy 12 Nov 2009, 1:05pm

    My preference would be to move towards the French system ie remove ALL legal recognition for marriages performed in a church. If you want to be legally married you have to go to the town hall.

    That would mean the cults can be happy but also that it would mean that gay or straight people can get a civil marriage in a registry office the same way as a straight couple.

    Removing the legality of religious marriages is an ideal solution I think.

    The idea of Civil Unions is flawed from the outset. They were created simply to placate the religious cults in their obsession with homosexuality. Removing the legality of their marriages would sort all the problems out.

  16. I’m ambivalent about this story. If this couple’s motivation is to highlight the inequality in gay people not being allowed to marry, all well and good. But the points they make aren’t correct.Marriage in a registry office isn’t ‘patriarchal’; you’re not obliged to take your spouse’s name; and you don’t have to wear a big white dress! (Although I agree with Sarah Brown above :D)

    I also don’t see why we should concede marraige to the religious people who didn’t invent it (although they like to say they did at every bloody opportunity). I like gay MARRIAGE. Why not just copy Sweden and make marriage gender-neutral?

    “The idea of Civil Unions is flawed from the outset. They were created simply to placate the religious cults in their obsession with homosexuality. Removing the legality of their marriages would sort all the problems out”

    I tend to agree with that, Simon Murphy. Good idea!

  17. This totally undermines the meaning of Civil Parnerships and will only lead to a complete and utter downfall of civilisation in this country ;-)

  18. Note that they are doing it in protest against the fact that marriage doesn’t include same-sex couples – read the article properly!

    I know several heterosexuals who feel that marriage is an invalid institution because it doesn’t include same-sex couples.

    I think that both marriage and civil partnership should be open to all who wish to get hitched. Also, Pagan handfastings should gain legal recognition (Pagan celebrants perform same-sex handfastings as well as heterosexual ones). And same-sex marriages in churches should be made available – there are plenty of churches who want to do them, and the Newington Green and Islington Unitarians have refused to do legal weddings until the unfair ban on religious content in civil partnership registrations is lifted. Thus, they will perform blessings of both marriages and Civil Partnerships but will not include the portion of a wedding ceremony where the marriage is legally registered. They are very happy to bless the previously established legal unions for all couples.

  19. Robert, ex pat Brit 12 Nov 2009, 2:58pm

    This is great, a straight couple demanding their equality. Make no mistake, no British government has the guts or the common deceny to extend civil partnerships for straights who don’t want to marry. If they’re the same, why call them by different names? Clearly the two are NOT. How many times do we have to keep hammering away at this. The goverment has declared that civil partnerships are NOT marriages. If they are, where is it written? Why are same-sex marriages performed overseas for British gay couples not recognised as marriages upon return to the UK?

  20. Mumbo Jumbo 12 Nov 2009, 3:02pm

    For many years I have advocated a system whereby all couples (straight, LGBT, religious or not) must attend the local town hall to register their legal partnership with the state. Not a wedding – just a registration.

    Having performed this simple non-ceremonial document signing, they can then, if they choose, go on to have the ceremony of their choice, whether this be of a religious nature in a church (before the eyes of their preferred imaginary space buddy), a secular knees-up at a hotel, or something more unauthodox on the centre circle of the Britannia Stadium, roared on by the crowd just before kick-off.

    Either way, this ceremony is just that – a ceremony – and would add no additional rights or obligations – these all being contained within the document signed at the town hall.


    PS. As for Tom and Katherine, we love you and all the very best for your future together.

  21. Paul Brownsey 12 Nov 2009, 5:21pm

    If mixed-sex couples get to be able to enter civil partnerships this may well reduce the chance for full marriage equality for same-sex couples. Most mixed-sex couples who opt for civil partnerships will do so because they ‘don’t believe in marriage’ (i.e. err in thinking that in entering a civil marriage they are buying into the full joined-by-God-while-the-bride-wears-white-and-is-given-away-by-her-fatherscenario) and so in time a majority of couples in civil partnerships are likely not to want marriage. So thwe government of the day will be able to say, “We have surveyed couples in civil partnerships and most don’t want marriage.” In short, allowing straights to enter into civil partnerships is inmporting a whole load of people who will be treated as being against marriage equality (notwithstanding the views of the couple in the present case).

  22. Brian Burton 12 Nov 2009, 6:34pm

    Robert, Ex-pat Brit,
    You are talking out of your silly-ass Mr.Ex pat Brit. How do you know what the British Governmens workins are? you don’t want to live here so your opinions on my own Civil Partnership for instance, are most inacurate and plain silly. There was no Religious overtones at our Registrars Office. My Church Minister Blest our union. What atheist simpltons dont realise in a Religious Marrage is that God joins the couple, the Minister is just the instrement.

  23. Tim Hopkins 12 Nov 2009, 7:03pm

    Andrew (#11): I think Sweden are getting rid of civil partnerships now that they have same-sex marriage. In contrast to the Netherlands, where both CP and marriage are available to all couples and have been since 2001.

    In the Netherlands, around 10% of mixed-sex couples who register choose civil partnership, and 90% choose marriage. About 25% of same-sex couples choose civil partnership and 75% choose marriage.

    I don’t agree with the “when we have same-sex marriage we can get rid of civil partnership” position. Even if only a minority want it, why take it away from them? Who are we to say “no we’re taking that option away”.

    As far as I can see, if you want same-sex marriage, it makes sense to build the broadest campaign possible. If you take a position against keeping civil partnership, you immediately lose the support of the minority of LGBT people who don’t want to marry but do want a civil partnership, as well as losing the support of all those mixed-sex couples (8000 a year in the Netherlands) who would prefer a CP to a marriage.

    We can’t succeed in a campaign by alienating a whole bunch of potential supporters right at the start.

  24. Imagine if the Civil Rights movement in America had just won the right for blacks to have their own buses to ride in – exactly the same as the buses for whites, just a different colour and ‘whites not allowed’. So blacks have black buses, whites have white buses. In practical terms – ‘equality of opportunity to get on a bus’ – everyone would have ‘equal rights’. Would anyone here who thinks Civil Partnerships for gays and marriage for straights is ok also think that was ok?

  25. Keira Anderson 12 Nov 2009, 7:23pm

    This is fantastic. As a bisexual, in a “lesbian” relationship, I have always said that I have no intention of getting married – marriage is a religious institution that is so linked to issues such as male inheritance and ultimately the control of women that I always felt for me to marry a man would be incredibly hypocritical. And the term “Civil Marriage” for heterosexual couples is frankly just insulting to everyone. Until it is completely possible for me to have a Civil Partnership with my partner, regardless of sex, I have no intention of making any such commitment. I wish them luck! And hope that both the LGBT community and straight community get behind them and help them in their cause!

  26. Civil partnership is NOT the same as marriage. As Civil Servants this couple should know that they will significantly limit their Civil Service pension benefits if they go down the CP route to benefits gained after 1988, unlike marriage which is not time limited in any way. Some trans couples in the UK dare not have a civil partnership to replace any pre-existing marriage as they would lose too much. The TUC are campaigning for Civil Partners to be equal in the law with married couples but Jacqui Smith and Gordon Brown were set against it as too expensive. Equality would be nice though…but what cost freedom?

  27. Here’s my question. Does the law specify that you can only have a marriage or a CP at any given time? Can a bisexual person marry a person of the opposite sex and have a CP with a person of the same sex, simultaneously? Now that would be interesting. I’d be willing to bet that because they didn’t consider the possibility, that it’s legal to have both at the same time, because, well, they’re not the same thing and no one in the black and white world that is government would every think of anyone involved in this issue as anything other than straight or gay. Does anyone know what the law says in this regard?

  28. Tim Hopkins 12 Nov 2009, 9:08pm

    Clive (#26): You are absolutely right that CP is not the same as marriage, and to highlight the particular iniquity of the law for trans people. A married trans person who wants gender recognition, and their spouse, are the only married couples who the law forces to divorce when they don’t want to, or lose out on crucial human rights.

    However, what you wrote on pensions is not quite correct. You’re right that a civil partner gets a survivor’s pension from a public sector pension scheme based on their partner’s pension contributions since 1988.

    But marriage has restrictions too. A married man whose wife dies also gets a survivor’s pension based only on his wife’s pension contributions since 1988. A married woman whose husband dies gets a survivor’s pension based on her husband’s pension contributions since 1978.

    So there is discrimination in marriage law between men and women, and civil partners get the same as married men, which is less than married women.

  29. Tim Hopkins 12 Nov 2009, 9:11pm

    Krise (#27): In a word, yes. The law does specify that CP and marriage are mutually exclusive – you can have one or the other, but not both at the same time.

    To be exact, the law bans you from registering a CP if you’re currently married, and bans you from marrying if you’re currently in a CP.

  30. Good for them. I wonder if a certain Islington Registrar will be asked to conduct the ceremony…

  31. Good for them- there needs to be more focus on this issue. There are lots of married gay couples in this country whose marriages get no state recognition and who do not want a civil partnership- they just want their marriage to be recognised.

    The law should not be used to invalidate those religions that recognise same-sex marriage.

  32. Brian Burton is wrong – Robert ex pat has a cute arse, and is only a little bit silly.

    I heard these two dopes on Radio 4. Christ that woman sounds like a prat. No wonder the bloke doesn’t want to marry her. Who wants to bet £50 they part within 5 years?
    She was going on about “solidarity with gays” and “sexual apartied”. What a ridiculous, patronising c*nt. So she sprinkles her left-leaning support onto those gays and we will be led to the promised land. get a job (a real one, in the private sector where your taxes might pay for something, not just suck up other people’s money).

    Every gay person should tell these two to shove their solidarity up their own Watford Gaps.

  33. Brian Burton 13 Nov 2009, 12:26pm

    Julian Dear, I did say the couple in question were ‘chicken pluckers!’ I bet Ex-pat talks mainly about ‘Boids eatin’ doydy woyms!’

  34. Julian,
    So someone actually stands up for our rights, yet you bitch, whinge and attack them for it?

    This straight couple is doing far more to highlight the inequality we face than our own hapless self-appointed leaders at Stonewall are.

  35. Although, civil marriage is an option for heterosexual couples and so they are not necessarily forced to marry in a church, many, like this couple, still object to the whole ‘marriage’ thing, with its antiquated notions and connotations.

    Right from the start many in our communities voiced their misgivings at the way the Civil Partnership legislation made a special case of our unions, separate from heterosexual ones. We kept our counsel because the matter was fraught enough, without further muddying the waters, but now this couple has raised it, hear, hear! They should have equal rights to ours!

    Civil Partnerships for all who desire them!

  36. Barry, Northampton 13 Nov 2009, 8:56pm

    I must be thick, I don’t understand why these people don’t just have a registry office wedding. If the civil partnership and civil wedding ceremony’s are the same then it makes no sense.
    I thought that the reason it was called a civil partnership not a wedding was to keep the church and conservative people happy? They need to stop making a fuss and get on with it
    Anyway surely when the registrar interviews them before the ceremony he/she will discover that they are a straight couple and refuse to complete the ceremony which will involve them loosing face and money?

  37. Brian Burton 14 Nov 2009, 11:57am

    Barry, Northampton,
    This stupid couple are attempting to muddy Gay Parnership waters! And we are falling for it hook-line-sinker!

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