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Happy fourth anniversary for civil partnerships

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  1. Soooo, does that mean there will never be gay marriage in england?

  2. Simon Murphy 21 Dec 2009, 10:58am

    Harriet would love to hear from you all – her email is harmanh@parliament.uk

  3. Brian Burton 21 Dec 2009, 11:10am

    I am quite happy with me and my Partner’s Civil Patnership in July 2006. As Bette Davis said in ‘Now Voyager,’ “Why reach for the moon, when we have the stars?”

  4. Brian: Same here. It will be three years next week for me and mine.
    What’s in a name, dammit. Haven’t these people got anything important to moan about?

    Oh. They haven’t?

    Oh. OK then. Carry on whinging.

  5. Congratulations – but full rights are a must

  6. A question for the god botherers: So Civil Partnerships have been around for 4 years. Has the sky fallen in yet? The end of society as we know it happened? The family unit “changed forever”? NO. Thought not. And you all protested and whinged and complained and lobbied SO hard to block the legislation and deprive us of our rights. Shame on all of you so called “christians”. Next stop: Marriage equality :)

  7. Gino Meriano 21 Dec 2009, 12:34pm

    how about CONGRATULATIONS to everyone and make today less about politics and enjoy it :-)

  8. Vincent Poffley 21 Dec 2009, 12:46pm

    What’s in a name? Well, apart from the very important issue of international recognition (virtually every country in the world recognises British Marriages, hardly any recognise the noxious apartheid arrangement of civil partnerships) there’s the name itself. Names are important – they carry cultural connotations. They carry social prestige and have an impact on society’s expectations. This is basic sociolinguistic stuff – the Worf-Sapir principle that informs the entire discipline.

    “Marriage” is a word replete with positive connotations. It is associated with tradition, with significance, with commitment. It is an established, honoured and respected part of our basic cultural fabric, and it has acquired these connotations over many centuries if not millennia.

    “Civil partnership” is among the most anodyne and anaemic bureaucratic terms imaginable. It sounds like the sort of thing one does to get a dog license or a small business loan. Indeed, the very blandness of the term stands starkly in contrast to the passion, love and deep commitment of the relationships it is currently used to put an official seal upon. If the two terms were in fact of equivalent cultural weight, we would expect a significant number of heterosexuals using “civil partnership” to describe their marriages. We do not. Indeed, it is entirely the other way around. Many thousands of gay couples DO use the term “Marriage” to describe their civil partnerships, because of its cultural significance. This is proof positive of the vast linguistic chasm that separates the two terms.

    I have said it before and I will say it again. Were this kind of “separate but equal” (the very definition of apartheid) institution introduced in any other context or for any other minority group, there would be outrage. We would be up in arms if interracial unions had to be called “civil unions” while mono-racial unions were still “marriages”. By the lights of those who disparage the important linguistic differences, this should be okay too. Would we accept it is ginger-haired people had to call their driving licenses “civil vehicle operation licenses” instead? What if left-handed people weren’t allowed to call their children “children”, but instead had to use the legal term “civil offspring” and instead of birth certificates they were issued with “civil spawning” certificates? What if black people weren’t allowed to vote, but had their own separate-but-equal “civil government selection” forms, which were counted separately and added on to the real “votes” of everyone else at the end?

    We would think all these things utterly unacceptable and beyond the pale. There would be justified outrage were any of these things introduced. But because it’s the gays here, suddenly it’s all right. Suddenly it’s okay to do this sort of thing, because everyone knows that our relationships aren’t actually as special or important or justified as straight relationships don’t they?

    I find it utterly astonishing that anybody can’t see this, much less gay people themselves and even less gay people in an actual relationship. If I ever manage to get a relationship, I suspect I will find the constant nagging inequality of having to put up with a civil partnership second-best utterly unacceptable. It astounds me that many others do not.

  9. James Knox 21 Dec 2009, 2:13pm

    It’s great that CP are four years old. However nowhere in the article was Northern Ireland mentioned. And yet CP were allowed here from the 19th of December 2005. It is annoying that in some cases our advances are overlooked by Pinknews.

    Our hate crimes legislation and our goods, facilities and services legislation all have advances that other parts of the UK can only dream off and yet it never seems to get a mention in the articles on Pinknews. we’ve had an Equality Commission and a Human Rights Commission since 1998 including a positive duty on all public authorities to promote equality and yet we never hear of these.

    Hopefully the new year will bring with it a new “inclusive” approach from Pinknews.

  10. Robert, ex pat Brit 21 Dec 2009, 2:29pm

    Vincent, exactly right!

    Harriet Harman needs to check her facts. Civil Partnerships or unions in other countries are nothing radical as they currently stand. Denmark was the first country followed by Holland, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, Canada. The UK took quite a long time to get on board with some semblance of equality only to be trumped by seven countries that went for the gold standard, marriage, the only universally recognised legal union. Civil Partnerships will NEVER amount to that. Portugal has now figured that out by proposing full civil same sex marriage rights. Truly amazing that no British politician worth his or her salt wants to touch it, not even Brown or Cameron who supposedly claim their parties support FULL equality, since when?

    Jessica Green, please stop saying “tied the knot”. These are NOT marriages, show me where that is written in the law? If they’re so equal, why can’t straights who don’t want to marry, form them? Why shouldn’t they?

  11. “I’m proud that we were one of the first countries to introduce civil partnerships”

    What rubbish. Denmark introduced registered partnerships in 1989, Norway did the same in 1993 and so did Sweden in 1994.

    Of course Norway and Sweden don’t have partnerships any more because they’ve since introduced marriage equality. And Denmark is likely to do the same once they get a change in government.

    So get your facts right Harman.

  12. Robert, ex pat Brit 21 Dec 2009, 3:58pm

    moamaom….exactly my point in my previous post! At the time Denmark introduced them, it was considered radical, only to be overshadowed by Holland eleven years later becoming the first country legalise same-sex marriage. Amazing progress though, now seven countries have it and possibly an eighth if Portugal gets it passed. What a disgrace for our own country. You’d think we would have been one of the leaders, not the lazy trailers. At least America has five states and will probably get more and we’re sitting back doing nothing lulled into a false sense of feeling we have our full equality because of these partnerships. I think a lot of it has to do with denial by the marriage haters, StonewallUK included, who are really outnumbered and that will continue to grow.

  13. Gino Meriano 21 Dec 2009, 4:46pm

    Why cant people just let it be, for those in a relationship I can assure you its full of meaning, love and we have our legal rights

    I have been around people that have lost everything, if it were not for the CP people would still be losing everything – how can ANYONE deny these rights to us – its always different when you cant see both sides of the coin

    Im up for “equal marriage” if its about the word

    For me, Im very happy to be in love with my partner, to have my Civil Partnership and enjoy the legal benefits – so its not second class in my eyes its not less than or more than, its just real and means alot

  14. “I’m proud that we were one of the first countries to introduce civil partnerships and that our new Equality Bill will provide important new protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans people, creating a fairer and more inclusive society.”

    Sorry Mrs Harman but your equality bill reduces our right and removes all rights for cross dressers and transvestites. Peoples concerns over the equality bill was not debated or voted on because the pitiful amount of time you allocate to debate the bill.

    Still you found the time to protect the rights of religious bigots like Steven Green, you must be so proud Mrs Harman!

  15. Tim Hopkins 21 Dec 2009, 5:05pm

    Hi James, I was going to post a comment about Dec 19th and Northern Ireland, but since Pink News did mention Scotland being different this time I thought I shouldn’t complain!

  16. Happy fourth anniversairy of marriage inequality everyone!

  17. Gino Meriano 21 Dec 2009, 5:15pm

    you know, no matter what I think its a real shame that people just cant be polite and wish those who have entered into a Civil Partnership all the best

    Paul, I hope you can one day move from your deep rooted hatred and anger towards your own community

    Its people like you and others that are so full of hate that makes our communitity have such a bad name

    Spreading joy and happiness to everyone that SUPPORTS LEGAL RIGHTS AND SNOW

    Paul, how long have you and your partner been together ?

  18. i must have internalised heterophobia as i have always hated the term marriage and wedding and husband. i prefer partner and civil partnerships. good luck though to those who wish other things. and i will fight for the right to have them…but dont knock what i want!

  19. Robert, ex pat Brit 21 Dec 2009, 7:29pm

    Gino, Dave, I for one most certainly do wish those in civil partnerships much love and happiness, but what I don’t want those of you who prefer them is to give up on full marriage for those of us who want that option. Its not about semantics, this is a serious issue and needs to be addressed by the powers that be. Giving rights to one group and similar rights to another using a different name is definitely not about equality. The best situation would be for civil partnerships to be available for straights who choose not to marry and marriage should be available for gay couples who so choose that route. Why bar one from the other, makes no sense and all it does is separate one group from another? That’s not equality at all, segregation which is what this is, has no place in a true democracy. If civil partnerships are so equal, why call them that, its clear they’re not by definition. Why is it more countries far outnumber those with civil partnerships? Why would Portugal not opt for civil partnerships if they’re so equal just to appease the religious wackos and the rest of that segment of straight society that is anti-gay?

    And Gino, once you leave the UK with a civil partnership, the portability issue comes up. At least if we were able to legally marry, any of the seven countries that now allow us to marry would recognise our marriages for what they are, marriages! A UK couple marrying in any of those countries would have their marriage downgraded to a civil partnership upon return to the UK. I find that incredibly offensive and inhumane. How can a legal marriage certificate issued in a country to a gay couple be construed as a civil partnership in the UK. What it implies is that those marriages performed elsewhere are not valid as marriages in the UK which proves beyond any reasonable doubt that civil partnerships and marriages are two very different things and as such, unequal, deliberately so. Doesn’t get any simpler than that. The UK is on the wrong side of history on this one.

  20. Robert,

    Indeed. What’s important to note is that in Portugal right now the right-wing anti-gay zealots are the ones promoting civil unions as a way to stop gays getting marriage. It’s the same thing in America, where some republicans in the New Jersey senate have announced they’ll vote down marriage equality and instead say they want to “strengthen” the state’s separate and unequal civil union laws. And yet the British government still thinks CPs are radical and progressive.

  21. A two-tier system is not equality. I am in a civil partnership because it is better for me than nothing, but I really do want to be able to get married. If it is good enough for other countries then why should we be denied it here in the UK.

    The painful truth is that there are same-sex married couples who do not want to be in a civil partnership, but want legal recognition for their marriage. These marriages are worth NOTHING but should be given legal recognition.

  22. Thanks a lot -we are really happy

  23. Gino: “You know, no matter what I think its a real shame that people just cant be polite and wish those who have entered into a Civil Partnership all the best.”

    I second that. Whatever you want to call it, it doesn’t affect the relationship if you care about each other, which is really all this is about. Again, I wonder how many of these moaning bastards would actually take the plunge if marriage *was* on offer. Very few I suspect, as it’s not the subject that is important, more that they have some pathetically minor detail that they can still whinge on about. As soon as we have it, it will be some other triviality, like “Why can’t gay men get pregnant?” or “Save the single-parent black lesbian whale”.

  24. David Scott 22 Dec 2009, 1:38am

    It should go without saying that a person should be allowed to marry whomever they choose. Until the right-wing, religious fanatics in this country stop trying to control everybody else and force their “morals” down the throat of the country, there can be no real freedom in the United States. I invite you to my web pages devoted to raising awareness on this puritan attack on our freedom: http://freethegods.blogspot.com/2009/06/san-franciscos-gay-pride-parade.html

  25. Civil partnerships were a step in the right direction, but not good enough I’m afraid. Even Mexico City has today legalised same-sex marriage, yet we’re stuck with marriage inequality in the UK.

    RobN, sounds like you’re the one who’s moaning here. If gay people want to get married, what’s the problem? What are you afraid of? You seem to be doing the homophobes bidding for them.

  26. Mihangel apYrs 22 Dec 2009, 7:57am

    and today (22/12) it was announced that Mexico had introduced same sex MARRIAGE.

    Soon it will be the UK, Ireland and a few odds and ends that don’t allow gays to marry but have some “equal but different” status (unrecognised by most of the world!)

  27. Mihangel apYrs 22 Dec 2009, 9:39am

    sorry, that should have been Mexico City (though how a city can have marriages that aren’t national I don’t know…0

  28. David: “If gay people want to get married, what’s the problem? What are you afraid of?”

    I’m not afraid of anything, I just think people are missing the point. For years, partners decried the fact they didn’t have the same rights as married couples, (and rightly so) – we now have civil partnerships that do precisely that, and are marriages in everything but name, but yet still people complain.

    I’m sure it will all come out in the wash in years to come, but I do wish people would give it a rest, like it was some major breach of human rights.

  29. Gino Meriano 22 Dec 2009, 10:12am

    RobN – your amazing and not a true word said

    I have dealt with this for years, people cant see the very fact they have legal rights now for the person they love.

    It always surprises me, when people say “yes I am in a Civil Partnership, but I had to do it” even though its seperate but no equal.

    The thing is if they really belive in the fight they do have a choice, live without legal protection or enter into a Civil Partnership – these people DO have choice but they are to scared not to do this because they know that they want to be protected under the law – the very fact they have done this crumbles any real argument they have

    Marraige is not stablibity, not tradition and is certainly not social prestige. People are and no matter what its called its about love. commitment and legal rights

    why is it that the opposite sex market is doen by 4% which is huge, couples no longer seek the religious and forced options available but looking for alternatives in this modern and new society

    For those countries outside of the EU that have “equal Marriage” all I say is fantastic news, lets hope you dont have it removed as fast as you got it – one thing is for sure Civil Partnerships are in and here to stay – can this be said of most countries overseas?

    We are already fighting for global regognition and one day this will happen, but with every small step comes bigger moves – lets not forget how far we have come under the eyes of the law and the amount of legal rights the community has

    but once in, never to be removed – i had a person say to me that they would prefer the community had nothing until “marriage” was on the table – how can anyone say this – unless they have no understanding what its like to lose everything. because of new laws – these self appointed people are full of hate brainwashing our very community into beliveing its marriage or nothing.

    Such a shame – fight the fight but never hurt the community you are supporting

  30. Brian Burton 22 Dec 2009, 1:06pm

    RobN,
    I have always regaurded my Civil Partnership as Marrage. We still have to face a Judge if we seek annulment so whats the difference?

  31. Gino: It’s good to know some people recognise the massive social changes and benefits LGBT people have gained over the last 20-30 years. I suspect these idiots that say “Marriage or nothing” will be the ones that wouldnt commit to such an ordeal in the first place, or if they did, they would still claim to be in an “open relationship”. (ie. farce)

    However politicians, church leaders and gay people and bigots may perceive the difference between one and the other, the most important thing to me is that we are committed to a relationship, and that relationship is recognised in the eyes of the law.

    Brian: The differences are essentially so minor as to not even mention. If people ask “Are you married?” I say yes. When they say “What’s her name?” I say “Er, that’s a different episode of Oprah”. ;)

  32. RobN,

    You’re using the same arguments that the anti-gay side loves to use when trying to deny us marriage. But yes, marriage is a human right. Not simply the ‘rights that come with marriage’ but marriage itself, the right to marry the person of one’s choice. You can’t parse the two. I doubt most would find it acceptable if in 1967 the US Supreme Court decided to uphold Virginia’s ban on inter-racial marriages and instead offered Mr and Mrs Loving a civil partnership. The American experience shows that ‘separate but equal’ is anything but equal.

    And for god’s sake, at a point in time when Mexico City has gay marriage I don’t think it’s too much to ask for it in Britain.

  33. MoanMoan: “But yes, marriage is a human right.”
    Pray tell me where you dug up *that* nugget of wisdom?
    Marriage is something that at one time people themselves decided on, We still have “Common Law Marriages”, and many faiths practice it, all with different variations. So this is our one. You people that are constantly demanding their rights, but do f_ck all to earn them. And as for that “Separate but equal” bollocks, if you want to be equal, why do we have gay bars, gay films. gay media, God help us, gay news websites? We are separate, and trying to equalise, but we will nver get equal billing, get used to it.

  34. Garak Dussein Kobama 22 Dec 2009, 9:55pm

    FOURTH UNIVERSARY OF LEGALISING SICK AND DESTRUCTIVE LIFESTYLE!

  35. Universary? Garak, dear thing, if you are going to troll, at least have the decency to use words that are actually in the dictionary. xx

  36. Tim Hopkins 23 Dec 2009, 12:01pm

    RobN, marriage is a human right, spelled out for example in article 12 (right to marry) of the European Convention on Human Rights. But there’s still dispute about whether the right applies to same-sex couples. I have no doubt that eventually the European Court of Human Rights will rule that it does.

    We don’t have “common law marriage” in the UK, at least not in the sense that most people mean – that you get recognised as if you were married, by cohabiting. You don’t – cohabitants get far fewer legal protections.

    And with respect to your comment “we will never get equal billing, get used to it”, I have no doubt that we will get equal marriage. Your comment reminds me of the well known gay author whom I approached in the 90s to ask him to lobby his MP to support an equal age of consent. He said “there’s no point – we will never get an equal age of consent”! Meanwhile, I and many, many others were doing (and still are doing) a lot more than your claimed “f_ck all” to get first an equal age of consent and subsequently many other equality rights.

  37. Tim Hopkins: Oh, it’s a “Human Right” because the f_cking blood-sucking bunch of leftie bureaucrats like the EU say so?

    Oh F_CK RIGHT OFF!

    Excuse my Anglo-Saxon, but crap like that really infuriates me.
    My comment on ‘equal billing’ is in regard to social acceptance. As an example, the sex equality act has been around for probably 40 years (I’m old enough to remember when they had ads in the paper for £X for Men, and £Y for women, for the same job) – However, legislation does not change opinion, all it does is railroad what people actually do.

    If I don’t want employ a Pakistani, I won’t – making laws to try and stop me are pointless, and everyone knows it. If I don’t like queers, I’m not going to take you on, and I make some other lame excuse, – prove otherwise.

    Homosexuality will never be universally accepted. We have been around as long as man himself, and we are still viewed at best as “different”, and usually much worse. That’s the way of the world. We have to make the best of it as we can, but it’s never going to be perfect, because neither is humanity; Anyone who thinks otherwise is just naive beyond words.

  38. RobN, your language that you choose to use is incredible. I’ve seen gay-haters use less inflammatory language than you.

    I’m sure everyone recognises that civil partnerships were a step forward, but like I said, if some gay couples wish to have a full marriage then I don’t see why you have a problem.

    The only one who seems to be moaning here is you. If you’re happy with civil partnerships then fine, but then if other gay couples wish to have full marriage then that should be up to them, should it not?

    Let me ask you, do you even support the right for gay couples to get married, even if you choose not to get married yourself?

  39. David: I totally support the opportunity for gays to be on a par and have marriage. My only argument is that I feel so many people are really splitting hairs over semantics, when there are far more important issues to worry about.

    Who said I didn’t choose to? I will be celebrating my third anniversary of Civil Partnership next week.

  40. Oh, and David, in retrospect, having re-read my post, I apologise for my rather colourful outburst, but I just get very annoyed when socialist twats come out with statements about a bunch of unelected foreigners on free lunches that suddenly decide what rights we should all have.

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