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Government will consider religious civil partnerships

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  1. What twaddle. They vote down Equality issues and then say it’s ok for us to hold a civil ceremony in the local church? Never heard such nonsense.

  2. why not just extend marriage, you twerps? its getting ridiculous and embaressing…

  3. ‘Baroness O’Cathain, who tabled the successful amendments, said that forcing churches to practise non-discrimination could result in rape centres being forced to employ men.’

    How can that possibly be the same thing. What twaddle people get away with saying.

  4. the baroness makes comments like that to scare people
    it would be better to make people equal and so that the religious aren’t immune or above the law but that’s too rational
    the bible says to obey the laws of the land yet many ignore that

  5. I agree with Xaria. When they extend marriage to us, I will feel like I am actually equal.

  6. Simon Murphy 26 Jan 2010, 2:06pm

    The government and Stonewall can go f*** right off with their miserable, pathetic efforts to allow discriminatory civil partnerships be held in churches. Do they expect gratitude for creating even more discriminatory legislation?

    If this new law is passed can someone please advise me where my male partner and I can go to have a civil marriage?

    Oh yeah. Nowhere.

    Gay folk are still denied access to the legal contract of civil marriage because of our sexual orientation.

    If civil marriage equality was extended to LGBT couples then those cults willing to do so would then also be able to offer religious ceremonies; and those of us with no interest in religion would be allowed to get a civil marriage on the same basis as a heterosexual couple can.

    Civil partnerships are discriminatory and are a matter of great shame for Britain

  7. Simon Murphy 26 Jan 2010, 2:14pm

    “Faiths such as the Quakers, Liberal Judaism, the Metropolitan Community Churches and the Unitarian Church have all expressed their wishes to carry out civil partnerships.”

    This sentence above is proof (if any were needed) about what a waste of time and effort this absurd attempt to allow cults to officiate civil partnerships actually are.

    What are the largest churches in Britain? They are the Church of England, The Catholic Church and Islam. None of those cults allow Civil Partnerships to be held in them.

    So the government is changing the law to allow tiny little churches with tiny little congregagations to perform discriminatory ceremonies.

    Mean not a single LGBT person is allowed to enter a civil marriage with their same sex partner.

    And that group of utterly ineffectuall, ‘professional’ gays in Stonewall are happy to acquiesce to this discrimination.

  8. Just call it marriage and let the churches (which most people avoid) do their own thing.

  9. Robert, ex pat Brit 26 Jan 2010, 2:56pm

    I’m in synch with all of you. Open civil marriage to gay couples and allow straights who don’t want to marry to enter into a civil partnerships. Result: FULL EQUALITY for all. Why is that so difficult for either a Labour or Tory government? Cameron can prove his support for equality by doing just that, but we all know he won’t for fear of upsetting the bigots and cultists in the unelected, undemocratic House of Lords who have no right to cast votes against anyone. Get rid of that and we’d have better, purer democracy.

  10. Tim Hopkins 26 Jan 2010, 3:34pm

    Full equality would mean opening up civil marriage to same-sex couples, _and_ opening up religious marriage, by those organisations that want to do them such as the Quakers, Pagans, MCC and (here in Scotland) Humanists. While those organisations would see being able to conduct a religious CP jointly with a registrar as a step forward, what they really want is full marriage equality – they’ve all written to the Scottish Parliament to say that.

    A good thing about the progress on the Stonewall / Lord Alli amendment last night is that the LibDems and Labour at UK level committed to consult LGBT people and religious groups about this. That gives those of us who believe that equality demands equal marriage rather than a half-way house, the opportunity to make that case.

    It’s less clear whether the Tories are committed to consulting on this.

  11. Simon Murphy 26 Jan 2010, 3:49pm

    No 10: Tim Hopkins: you say: “A good thing about the progress on the Stonewall / Lord Alli amendment last night is that the LibDems and Labour at UK level committed to consult LGBT people and religious groups about this. That gives those of us who believe that equality demands equal marriage rather than a half-way house, the opportunity to make that case.”

    Who will Labour and the LibDems be consulting however.

    If it is Stonewall then remember that Stonewall are opposed to marriage equality for LGBT people.

    How can LGBT people who are in favour of full legal equality for LGBT people ensure that the opponent of LGBT equality at Stonewall don’t try to deny us equality as they have done since 2004?

  12. To me this is just rubbing salt in the wounds. I’m denied a civil marriage because of some religion(s)and now, if I choose, I can creep around humbly trying to find a little church that’ll deign to perform my non-equal CP. No thanks.

    Discrimination like this against any other group wouldn’t be tolerated.

  13. Tim Hopkins 26 Jan 2010, 4:05pm

    All I can say in answer to Simon’s question is something about our experience in Scotland. Stonewall Scotland are not currently working on equal marriage, and it’s entirely their right to choose to prioritise other things. But that has not stopped other groups in Scotland, including the Equality Network, the LGBT Network, NUS Scotland, and LGBT Youth Scotland getting an equal marriage campaign off the ground, and engaging with the Scottish Parliament and Government.

    The fact that some other organisation takes a different view is no reason not to get a campaign together for what you believe in. If lots of LGBT people in other parts of the UK believe in marriage equality and believe it’s important enough, one would hope there would be the commitment available to run a campaign?

    I am firmly of the view that complete agreement on priorities, between LGBT groups, is not possible or needed, in order to make progress on equality. But you only make progress on the issues that matter to you if you focus on positively campaigning for those, rather than attacking groups that also work for equality but have different priorities.

  14. Simon Murphy 26 Jan 2010, 5:00pm

    No 13: Tim Hopkins: you say: “I am firmly of the view that complete agreement on priorities, between LGBT groups, is not possible or needed, in order to make progress on equality. But you only make progress on the issues that matter to you if you focus on positively campaigning for those, rather than attacking groups that also work for equality but have different priorities. ”

    You’re avoiding the fact that Stonewall does NOT work for equality. They do not remain neutral on the subject of marriage equality. They are in fact opposed to marriage equality. They are inn fact undermining the efforts of those of us in favour of equality.

    I would imagine that a majority of LGBT people favour marriage equality in principle.

    Is Stonewall crystal clear in their dealings with government that their supporters comprise of only 1% of the LGBT population. If not then why not?

    I am not attacking Stonewall for the sake of it. I am simply in favour of legal equality for gay couples. And I have absolutely no debt of loyalty to any group which deems me unworthy of legal equality – whether that be the catholic cult; the Daily Mail, the Tories or Stonewall.

    Which is appalling considering that Stonewall represent a tiny minority of the LGBT population

    However Stonewall quite

  15. Tim Hopkins 26 Jan 2010, 5:19pm

    One thing I found out 20 years ago, when I had only a few years experience campaigning on LGBT issues (or L&G as we said then) was that one of the most inviting mis-steps for LGBT activists is to waste energy attacking other LGBT activists because they have different priorities from us.

    It’s inviting because:

    – the sense of disappointment is greater when another LGBT equality organisation doesn’t support something we think is crucial to equality. We expect that of, say, the Catholic Church, but not of other LGBT campaigners.

    – it’s easy to start to think that somehow the other LGBT group is going to do more harm for LGBT equality than good, by choosing different priorities. In fact it won’t.

    – it’s sometimes easier to attack other LGBT organisations than our real enemies.

    In truth, the only people who benefit when LGBT equality activists attack each other, are our real enemies, the out and out homophobes and transphobes.

    I think we need always to bear in mind, tricky though it sometimes is when another organisation disappoints us on something, that although we may choose different priorities, all the LGBT organisations are going, overall, in the same direction. Our real enemies are going the other way altogether.

    Of course Stonewall work for equality. I disagree with them on the importance of same-sex marriage. But that doesn’t stop me recognising that they are the most effective UK lesbian and gay equality group that we have ever had. Or that their work on bullying in schools, workplace equality, good practice in public services, and legislation such as the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act, for example, is excellent.

    Or recognising that, although I think it’s the wrong solution to CP/marriage segregation, their amendment that Lord Alli proposed has usefully opened up the discussion on the issue at UK level.

    If you disagree with Stonewall’s position on marriage, and are fired up about it, how about getting together with some like-minded people and starting a campaign for equal marriage? Those of us campaigning for equal marriage in Scotland would welcome such a campaign down south that we could liaise with.

  16. Robert, ex pat Brit 26 Jan 2010, 6:13pm

    Tim, I agree with your points. However, StonewallUK refuses to get involved with same-sex marriage claiming that civil partnerships are sufficient and are “equal” and what most British gays want. I disagree. I can accept that some organisations have different priorities but to refuse to acknowledge that same-sex marriage is important to some should not be ignored by any organisation for whatever reasons. It doesn’t even acknowledge that straight couples deserve their full equality by being allowed to opt out of marriage and form a civil partnership, and why shouldn’t they?

    I’m sure there are many people in the UK who would love to start a marriage equality campaign. If I returned to live in the UK I would be the first to start it. I can’t believe that of 60 million people in the UK, only one gay person, Peter Tatchell, has had the guts and the courage to demand full marriage equality, among other things. He actually accompanied a straight gay supportive couple in their application to form a civil partnership, but of course, it was turned down. This couple’s MP said that she would raise the issue in the House, but I’ve not heard any more. That’s the key to full equality, getting support from our straight allies and forming a union to lobby for equality for both straights and gays when it comes to formalising relationships.

    Your point about StonewallUK though not supportive of same-sex marriage illustrates the need for people with differing views to put them aside and support people like Peter Tatchell who has risked his life at times for gay causes. All he gets is a bashing from the conservative gays and others for standing up for what is a very basic human right, apologists who think that British gay couples shouldn’t have the right to marry. Who do they think they are? They don’t speak for me and thousands of others, nor does Stonewall for that matter.

  17. Tim Hopkins 26 Jan 2010, 6:27pm

    I agree that straight allies are vital in the campaign for equal marriage, and that Peter’s work on it is excellent.

    One pleasant thing about the campaign for equal marriage here in Scotland is that the reaction so far has been mostly positive, with many people understanding that that’s equality, and feeling that it’s a relatively small step to take, in terms of adding to what we already have,

    Politically though we don’t expect this to be a quick campaign. And it’s complicated by the fact that although marriage law is devolved to the Scottish Parliament, most tax and benefits law, pension regulation and immigration rules can only be set in London. So there’s an excuse for the Scottish Govt to say “we have to wait for the UK Govt to decide what to do on those things”

    Of course they don’t have to wait, and we are making that point, but it’s another reason why it would be good to see a strong campaign for equal marriage in the rest of the UK too.

  18. Justin Hafey 27 Jan 2010, 8:12am

    I think the reality is that religion, in general, is in it’s death throes, how many real people do you know that actually believe their twaddle?? The reality is that it is a tiny minority with all the power. More and more of the mainstream masses are seeing people of faith as the crackpots they truly are. Change is on the horizon. The inequality, hate and persecutions of the faiths days are numbered.

  19. Simon Murphy 27 Jan 2010, 3:35pm

    I do appreciate the point that it is not beneficial for LGBT Groups to start bashing each other. Then again this is an LGBT news website. Stonewall absolutely deserve every condemnation for their opposition to LGBT equality (this opposition to equality would be called ‘homophobia’ were it to be uttered by the Tories) and it does no-one any favours to avoid stating how Stonewall have failed the LGBT population by their opposition to LGBT equality.

    Stonewall’s complete refusal to even acknowledge that marriage equality (and indeed CP equality) is the goal for a majority of LGBT people is a massive failure on their part.

    They do not support marriage equality. Not even in principle. Fair enough if they do not want to actively campaign for it. Leave that to other groups. However their failure to even support it in principle puts Stonewall in direct conflict with those of use who do support equality.

    I would love if Stonewall got off the comfortable fence they find themselves occupying and actually start representing the views of the population they claim to represent (but in fact do not represent thanks to their opposition to LGBT equality).

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