I want to be supportive but find the whole matter confusing. First I do not understand why they want to do that. If you think it is about human rights and there should not be a separation of gay couples and straight couples. That I can understand and good for them. In this case, they should take the case to the European Court of Justice to fight for their right of civil partnership and they should join their action with gay couples who will fight for the right of marriage. That’s how the gay and straight divide can be eliminated. Now they asked for gay couples who were turned down for civil partnership to join their action. And they hope that the case for the gay couples will be simple and not complicated. My question is: Why will the town hall turn down gay couples from having civil partnership if it is a simple and not complicated case.
By the way, I think civil partnership is an inferior version of “marriage” created by politicans to shut the gay people up. Why do straight couples want it? Marriage does not even need to be religious if you do it by simple registration. So it does not matter if you are not religious. As far as legal consequences are concerned, I think civil partership is very similar to marriage. I don’t understand what the attractiveness of civil partnership is. I think some gay couples have chosen to do it because we are not allowed to be married and it is the best we can get (at least for now).
Simon, they’re looking for same-sex couples who tried to apply for marriage, not a civil partnership. You got the rest right, though. Especially that bit about marriage not being religious. Marriage has been around since the dawn of human civilization, organised religion has not. It’s disgraceful that the Church has succeeded in convincing so many people that marriage belongs to them and not the public.
The reason why straights were barred from civil partnerships is that their only alternative is marriage. Since the law does not recognise civil partnerships as marriages, even though they mimic the institution by most of the rights they confer, this separate but supposedly equal status was set up firstly, to give gays rights and privileges that usually come from universally recognised marriage, but more importantly to avoid a confrontation with the established cult, the Church of England, among others. What the government did was to indirectly allow religious interference in civil marriage by banning us from it but giving us something comparable. In all seven countries that allow us to marry and the five states in America, same-sex marriage (civil marriage) does NOT compel religious cults to recognise them or perform them. There is NO religious component in civil marriage, the two are different. This is what needs to be brought up when going to the European Court. Religious cults do NOT own civil marriage, they never have, the government owns it by issuance of a secular marriage license. It is important that a gay couple in the UK applies for a marriage license to contrast the disparity and the discrimination against straights and gays alike. Its how many of the marriage equality cases in America were won, by gays applying for these licenses and then being denied. I strongly urge as many British gay couples to get on board and do just that. The squeaky wheel often yields the best results.
OH HOW silly! just get married and be done with it you silly pair!!!
I hope that gay couples will join with this couple. If we lived in Britain, my hersband and I would happily join the fray. Time to expose this two-tier system for what it is.
Simon, you miss the point.
Even if there was no good reason for straight people to have a civil partnership, they are being discriminated against on the grounds of their sexuality, as are gay couples denied marriage. People have a tendency to say that gay people are frustrated about semantics, since civil partners have substantially the same rights as married couples (although not all, as Mr Tatchell as has pointed out to me). I have two responses to this:
1) Semantics matter:- Marriage is a symbolic institution with a socio-cultural meaning quite distinct from ‘civil parnternship’. So denying marriage to LGBT people is denying a symbolic institution to them, on the assumption that symbolic institution is part of our understanding of the word, ‘marriage’.
2) Institutions should not discriminate on the grounds of sexuality. Someone should not be denied access to an institution or office on the grounds of characteristic such as race, ethnicity, sex or sexuality. This holds however petty the instutitution/office is deemed.
Tom and Katherine contacted me about their objections to the twin bans on same-sex civil marriage and opposite-sex civil partnerships. Together, we devised a plan for them to challenge the ban on heterosexual couples by filing an application at Islington registry office. This they have done. It is part of a bigger, longer OutRage! strategy to expose and overturn the inequalities of civil marriage and civil partnership law. We oppose all discrimination, against LGBTs and straights. We will soon be arranging for a gay couple to do a similar challenge to the prohibition on same-sex civil marriage. This is a continuation of OutRage!’s long fight for marriage equality. Way back in 1992, five OutRage! couples filed for civil marriage at Westminster registry office. It was the first legal challenge to the ban on gay marriage in the UK. They were refused but we are still battling for LGBT equal marriage rights.
Unfortunately the battle will continue for has some time I suspect. Related to which, supporters of same-sex marriage might be interested in this news report, which relates to the same-sex marriage campaign in Scotland, from the launch of the IGLYO conference in Edinburgh this week.
1. Let straight people have civil partnerships;
2. Let gay men and lesbian women have civil marriage;
3. Then “consolidate” them both into full civil marriage by repealing civil partnerships in the end by 2012.
Or, as Aleksandr Orlov would say … (or maybe he hasn’t reached Oz).
I agree with your steps 1 and 2, but not 3. There is a demand in the UK for civil partnerships. A significant minority of same-sex couples in Scotland have consistently told us that they specifically want a civil partnership and not a marriage. Some mixed-sex couples say the same. In the Netherlands, where they have had both available to all couples since 2001, 10% of mixed-sex couples, and 30% of same-sex couples, choose civil partnership rather than marriage.
If we base our campaign for equality on a plan which would also (in your suggested step 3) abolish an option that a significant minority want to use, then I think we will undermine our campaign by losing a significant number of supporters. The availability of different choices is also a good thing in itself I think!
That’s why the campaign in Scotland is to retain both options, CP and marriage, both open to couples regardless of gender.