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Deputy Lib Dem leader Simon Hughes says government will allow gay couples to marry

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  1. Well thank you for featuring the Yoosk video based on my question. I encourage everyone to contact their MPs and any Ministers they can to encourage marriage equality. I have been :)

  2. Old ladys gin 19 Jul 2010, 6:23pm

    Ok I understand so far, but, and it’s a big one, what happens to those already in a Civil Partnership?

  3. It’s an interesting point. In some countries/areas civil unions get transferred into marriage when marriage equality is brought in. In other areas the civil unions are opened up to heterosexuals as well and left as a separate institution. I think that might be best as there are already some calls for civil partnerships to be opened up to heterosexuals. Perhaps there would be an option for those who want to “upgrade” to make an application and have their civil partnership turned into marriage (as happened in New Hampshire until they decided to change them all)

  4. Althought I was a little nervous, I’ve thought this coalition government could be a good thing from the start and this just reinforces my belief. If this comes about it will be amazing. I really do think this con/lib coalition is going to surprise us (in good ways hopefully) over the next 5 years.

  5. theotherone 19 Jul 2010, 6:50pm

    I agree JC.

  6. I’ll believe it when I see it.

  7. So what happens to transsexual people, who are already married (but, at present, are required to get divorced before receiving legal gender recognition). Are they included, or still forced to divorce before they can have their ‘human rights’?

  8. Lisa: The whole point of fighting for marriage equality, in my opinion, is to make marriage gender neutral so that transgendered people get the rights they deserve. That’s my number one reason for fighting for it! It’s why I’ve been annoying politicians, such as Simon Hughes here, for weeks to get some momentum.

  9. Blimey – what a positive piece of news – I think a lot of countries which have gay (equal) marriage started with the CP type of thing so I guess we’ll follow their lead. I just hope this guy puts the pressure on after these bold words. I really hope the other parties (greens and lab) and all the gay orgs also take this opportunity to force the issue….I think pinknews and the media seem to be referring to it a lot more???

  10. theotherone 19 Jul 2010, 7:41pm

    Lisa: we only have to divorce because there is no marriage equality – if there was then it would get rid of this rather horrific interference in the lifes of Transpeople

  11. If this happens it will be the death blow to Labour and Labour will have only Labour to blame.

    The Tories would have instant credibility in their disputable claims that their homophobic past is all in the past and that they are now the party of inclusion and justice for gay people.

    I would welcome that, and I’ve NEVER supported a Conservative ANYTHING!

  12. What’s up with the PinkNews homepage, people? It’s showing NOTHING on my computer. I use Firefox. Had to get to an article by a roundabout route.

  13. If this happens it will be the death blow to Labour and Labour will have only Labour to blame.

    Why? Labour brought in civil partnerships, same-sex adoption, anti-discrimination laws in employment and public services, scrapped Section 28 and allowed gays to serve in the military.

    I agree that this is big news and if it happens it will be wonderful, but don’t use this as some pathetic attack against Labour which has always done more for gay rights than any other party.

    More to the point, this bill will need Labour votes to get through the Commons.

  14. Contary to the headline,he doesn’t actually say anywhere that the Govt WILL bring in gay marriage. As much as I would love to see it, I can’t see a Tory Govt bring this in and the Lib Dem whipping boys aren’t going to have a say in the matter. If it did happen (which I doubt), it would be an embarrasment to Lab.

  15. Sister Mary Clarance 19 Jul 2010, 10:20pm

    “Why? Labour brought in civil partnerships, same-sex adoption, anti-discrimination laws in employment and public services, scrapped Section 28 and allowed gays to serve in the military.”

    Why? Because the EU brought all of those things in, Section became untenable under European legislation that the European Court of Human rights forced the Labour government to then the ban on gay soldiers

  16. Given that the front runner for the Labour leadership, David Miliband, hasn’t even got the balls to come out and support marriage equality, I think Labour still has a long way to go before we start worshipping them as heroes of the LGBT rights movement. They’ve dragged their feet every step of the way.

    They have a wonderful attitude in general to our rights, but let’s not pretend they deserve special praise.

  17. Dr Robin Guthrie 19 Jul 2010, 11:17pm

    You know. Having wanted this so called right for so long

    I still do not want the ofference. As it is still a pretence.

    There lies the rub. The religious clinging to their ill educated
    inadequacies.

    This so called right still deniable via some religious idiot in a council department.

    As I see it. It will still be a fight.

    I spent 26 years studying and learning etc.

    I have a PHd in IT.

    I am also a qualified Radiologist.

    I meet these homophobic twats on their death beds.
    but Im a professional and say nothing.

    Already diagnosed with f off cancer.

    At 44 I probably will not be able to legally love and secure my partner.

    It all takes time. Except expenses.

  18. Thomas in FloriDuh, USA 20 Jul 2010, 12:14am

    Great news. Happy for you all! Can’t stop progress!

    It’ll happen in the Talebanical States of America in 25 years (if that soon).

  19. Fantastic, but I’ll believe it when I see it.
    Mary #15, this country is not governed by an EU parliament. It was the labour government who repealed the tory law section 28, brought in civil partnerships, gay adoption, anti discrimination and gay military. If you look at the voting record of the majority of the tory cabinet, they all voted against most of these things. The prime minister, and the home minister included. I know its hard for you to accept that the party you voted for was homophobic, and may still be, but thats the way it is. get over it.

  20. theotherone 20 Jul 2010, 1:49am

    Section 28? Only to replace it with something even worse/

    Employment Protection? Not if you’re Employer has god telling them to sack your Queer ass.

    Civil Partnerships? But said that Marriage is a religious union between a man and a woman?

    Labour’s record is shot through with holes.

  21. Old ladys gin 20 Jul 2010, 3:28am

    Get rid of marriage as an official institution and replace is with Civil Partnership open to any who wish to do so, make it a civil service.
    Then for those that wish to go on and have their union blessed in some religious establishment let them do so.

  22. Bi Lib Dem, gay marriage supporting MP, says it’ll happen in this Parliament is not news!

    Please stop being taken in by this gay fawning. My own Lib Dem happen told me at least seven years ago she supported same-sex marriage, yet I cannot establish one occasion in which she has done anything to publicly promote the cause.

    It’s primarily one big prick tease to woo the gay vote, but more importantly to woo the gay-friendly vote, that is more than likely to come to nothing soon. The fact that anyone’s getting excited by the vague prospect that it might happen sometime in the next five years, but we can’t say when, is proof enough of how badly they’ve had us fooled.

  23. *Lib Dem MP (that should have read)

  24. The political conditions blocking real equality are still very present. So wait and see. Meanwhile, ask Simon Hughes if he thinks interracial faith ceremonies are matters for the faith communities… and if they have to decide what recognition to give. .

  25. The ConDem coalition has given us nothing to date, but a few puffs of very light hot air …

  26. And do not forget … this coalition is chockablock with homophobes, so what goes in or comes out of Simon Hughes orifices don´t really count …

  27. Fantastic news. We are almost there. To those who say “I will believe it when I see it”, I understand your hesitation, however I think you will be nicely surprised soon.

    To those on here who have in the past posted anti-marriage, “civil partnership is the only way for our community” posts, looks like you were all wrong, sorry. Marriage equality is coming, so your negative attitudes are soon to become irrelevant.

    To those who posted articles about how the Tories would wind back gay rights: looks like they are about to introduce the greatest piece of gay equality legislation in this country’s history, so you were also wrong (and I am NOT a conservative fan nor voter, however I do believe they should be given a chance, and don’t believe the hostility shown by some posters here was justified).

    To those who said this would never happen in the UK, I think you will soon be surprised for the right reasons.

  28. Peter & Michael 20 Jul 2010, 8:36am

    We have always stated on this website that having a Civil Partnership was not equal to having Civil Marriage. Being in a Civil Partnership outside of the UK is only recognised in one or two European countries. The task of Civil Marriage should be secular in an equal society, and the church only given the right of a blessing ceremony.

  29. P&M – you’re UK CP does give you quivalent rights to other many EU/world CP/pacs/unions in more that one or 2 countries see website http://www.uklgig.org.uk/phpBB/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2213. In France , however, you’re CP is like a PACS, the Dutch CP is also like a PACS – BUT the Dutch gay marriage is classed as a marriage. The French PACs and dutch CP I think are both open to different sex couples so CPs are not necessarily a “gay” thing, so for those who want to be “special” or “different” by having a seperate thing for gays are NOT special in most other countries, they just have an inferior version of a partnership!

    If this coalition govt are true to their words and also get rid of this archaic non elected house of lords, made up of old lab and tory grandads and grannies and old fart peers and bishops then I don’t see any reason why gay marriage won’t get passed.

    As for labour it’s absolutely disgusting that they are still sitting on the fence about gay marriage and they won’t get any more voes from the LGBT community for past glories – how condensending to think that we should be grateful to them after 13 yrs of them for some LGBT rights, they were always due to us in the first place and we deserved full equality always not a half baked attempt…

    As for Stonewall why the hell haven’t they pulled their finger out and supported gay marriage , CPs ARE NOT ADEQUATE! Haven’t you got the message yet, gay marriage is an issue that is important to the British gay community….

  30. This will be fantastic if it happens.

    If it does happen I will be the 1st to accept that the Tories are no longer the bigotted homophobic scumbags they have always been, and I will finally believe David Cameron when he says that his party has changed.

    Although I want to see some action and not just words.

    The Tories have not done anything for LGBT rights so far into this government. It’s still very early in the government so that perhaps understandable.

    And yes Nick Herbert has trotted over to Warsaw like an obedient poodle to try to convinve us that the Tory alliance with the neo-fascist Law and Justice Party is not some sick, offensive joke.

    But that’s been it.

    I want a timetable for marriage equality – not some vague commitment from the LibDems.

  31. “As for labour it’s absolutely disgusting that they are still sitting on the fence about gay marriage and they won’t get any more voes from the LGBT community for past glories ”

    indeed. If the Labour Party does not get behind marriage equality immediately then they are basically telling the LGBT population to f*** off.

    And that will be remembered at the next election.

    “As for Stonewall why the hell haven’t they pulled their finger out and supported gay marriage”

    If marriage equality comes to Britain it will have been introduced without any input from Stonewall.

    Which would be good. As it highlights how irrelevant and unrepresentative that shower of ‘professional gays’ are. I expect their group to dissolve in the near future.

    Their opposition to marriage equality for same sex couples utterly delegitmises them.

  32. Proper civil marriage is a fine thing to have, and you won’t find a more ardent supporter of it than me. But it doesn’t go far enough. Religious groups should be forced to offer equal marriage rights as well. We don’t legally allow religious groups to refuse to marry disabled people or mixed-race couples, even if there is a cultural tradition of racism or anti-disability sentiment in their dogmas. We don’t allow political parties to discriminate on their memberships. We don’t allow employers to discriminate by citing conscientious homophobia.

    Because that’s all religion is – individuals’ personal prejudices. It doesn’t deserve any kind of respect, much less legal exemptions from important human rights law. Personal prejudice is not recognised as a legitimate legal defense for anyone else, and coupling one’s prejudice to a sincere belief in blatantly counter-evidential fairytale stupidities should make it LESS legitimate, not more so.

    What is truly unacceptable, however, is that many religious ceremonies are still considered proper legal marriages in the UK, on a par with state civil marriages. And make the churches money. Civil marriage should be the only legally recognised form of marriage – state recognised religious marriage is a quaint anachronism unsuited to the equality of modern societies.

  33. “Religious groups should be forced to offer equal marriage rights as well.”

    That’s never going to happen.

    If you are a divorced heterosexual then you will never be allowed to marry in a cstholic church.

  34. Look my partner is quaker, I’m not relgious – no relgion has a right to interfer in our affairs and stopping equality taking place . If you’ve got an issue with your particular relgion then take it up with them, it should have nothing to do with marriage law ….leave relgion out of this particular issue please it should have no relevance ……… Forcing the pope and extremists etc to accept gay marriage is a losing battle and in any case they don’t represent all regiouns and they don’t represent all those people in their relgion…..

  35. Ooh, it’s soooo difficult to reach a position of equality, so many “discussions” and so much privileged “conscience” to consider…that’s all bollocks!

    How many meanings does the word EQUALITY have I wonder? …and why do some persons feel they naturally deserve privileged rights they deny to others and pretend a need to wrack their “consciences” over dispensing equality, they don’t feel the need to search their consciences over their own privileged rights they take for granted.

  36. “Proper civil marriage is a fine thing to have, and you won’t find a more ardent supporter of it than me. But it doesn’t go far enough. Religious groups should be forced to offer equal marriage rights as well”

    Way to goooo NOT! p

  37. It’s this kind of attitude that keeps religious homophobes in their positions of unwarranted power. There is an unspoken assumption, even among many non-religious people, that religious people should be allowed their own conscientious get-out clauses on matters of gay equality, when we wouldn’t even dream of giving people such clauses in any other area of society. Why do so many still think this is legitimate? Why is religion still ring-fenced as something that deserves a special respect above and beyond any other cultural form? In fact it deserves LESS respect, because religion is by definition irrational (if it stood up to rational scrutiny it wouldn’t be religion, it’d be science or philosophy).

    What right have these people to discriminate against us? On what basis is that right constituted, save the mad scribblings of bronze-age goat-herds and fat medieval friars? If their dogmas don’t fit well in a modern, secular, inclusive society, so much the worse for those dogmas. Why should we bend equality to accommodate bigotry, rather than force bigotry to bend to equality?

  38. Well at the very lest it is facing in the right direction now we need that step in the right direction

  39. I can’t help thinking ‘I’ll believe it when I see it’ too. Words are easy, but they’re often not followed by actions. If the government plan to introduce equal marriage then they should just hurry up and do so. All this talk about what might happen in the future can seem like a sop so that we don’t fuss.

    VP: “Why is religion still ring-fenced as something that deserves a special respect above and beyond any other cultural form?”

    Ah, a separate but interesting question :D In my opinion, religions shouldn’t be given any opt-outs, simply because religious beliefs are no more special than any other belief. No doubt racists have strongly held beliefs, but we don’t allow them to discriminate on the basis of those beliefs. Religious beliefs should be the same. Otherwise where will it end? You can use religious beliefs to justify anything – theft, vandalism and even murder. If we allow religions to have opt outs from the law and to duscriminate against, say, women and LGBT people, why don’t we allow them to discriminate against black people? The law’s the law, and religion is no excuse for disobeying it, especially as regards discrimination, because that’s a prejudice agaisnt people because of something unchangeable – ie who they are.

  40. “What right have these people to discriminate against us?”

    They don’t but remember that these people could quite reasonably be classified as mentally ill.

    These people believe, after all, that a work of fiction is the word of some all powerful ‘god’.

    They are utterly irrational.

    Just so long as they keep their crazy beliefs out of the civil and common law then they can believe in whatever hallucinations they like.

    So long as they do not harm others, who cares that they believe that some dead carpenter called Jesus, was the son of god.

  41. But religion has nothing to do with anything that I do , if I want planning permission on a new extension then I don’t have to ask the pope’s et al permission or acceptance – why then should marriage law be linked to relgion – you have a valid point but a completely seperate one – if your relgion is against it then fight that relgion on that and other issues but don’t tell me that relgion has anything to do with marriage rights themself ….The pope and al are against many things, gay marriage is only one issue that they show intolerance to – fight for all these intolerances but don’t link it with marriage!

  42. Merseymike 20 Jul 2010, 1:34pm

    If this happened people in civil partnerships would simply have their status transferred to marriage.

    It really is a case of changing the name, just about all the legal factors are identical – I always felt it would be an incremental thing and I think this would win all party support

  43. HELLO
    IT — SHOULD BE GENDER NEUTRAL MARRIAGE — RIGHT
    THANKS

  44. Merseymike – yes why not and the telegraph has an intriguing one liner which says

    “…… full homosexual marriage. Some lawyers say that would be easier to legislate for than altering existing laws on civil partnership and civil marriage. ”

    But what still worries me is what exacty Featherstone meant on the 3rd July when she said in pinknews

    “Both leaders have made clear they are relaxed about the issue, if not in favour of it.

    “It’s up to the people really. The government will be consulting with all those with a stake.”

    She added this would include anti-gay campaigners and said: “It’s really got to come from other people, then we’ll see where we are.”

    The only people who have a stake in this are those people who want to get married – what other people are there?

  45. But what still worries me is what exacty Featherstone meant on the 3rd July when she said in pinknews

    “Both leaders have made clear they are relaxed about the issue, if not in favour of it.

    “It’s up to the people really. The government will be consulting with all those with a stake.”

    Yes agreed, this is a serious cause for concern.

  46. If Featherstone’s comments really concern you, please write to her! I did… here and got an acknowledgement if not a proper response. She needs to know how we feel.

  47. Re comment 36: No it would be quite wrong to force religious groups to provide religious marriages for same sex couples, on the other hand it is quite unacceptable and totally contrary to religious freedom to prevent religious groups who wish to provide religious same sex marriage from doing so as is presently the case.
    Personally I will be quite happy with fully equal civil marriage rights, the religious homophobes know where they can shove their woo religious ceremonies, they don’t interest me.

  48. de Villiers 20 Jul 2010, 9:35pm

    > Ah, a separate but interesting question In my opinion, religions shouldn’t be given any opt-outs, simply because religious beliefs are no more special than any other belief. No doubt racists have strongly held beliefs, but we don’t allow them to discriminate on the basis of those beliefs. Religious beliefs should be the same.

    Is that really correct – is there no qualitative difference between religious beliefs of established religions and racists? I see arguments as to the irrationality of religion and their ludicrousness often on this site, but have not stopped to think seriously about this issue.

    Even if belief in god is outside rationality, there are powerful arguments deployed by philosophers such as Kant in his Critique of Pure Reason. Do these deserve respect as rigorous, scholarly works? And even if not, is there a distinction to be drawn between belief in god and religion? Does the latter have weight as a form of tradition and established cultural practice?

    I am unsure – being not sufficiently learned in these schools of thought. I am, however, reluctant to condemn entire philosophies and established societal pillars as having no value without considering this further and more seriously.

    There is, for me at least, the danger that my sexuality, being in conflict with much of religion, becomes the reason for me dismissing such works and practice rather that it being properly considered and weighted argument. Repudiation rather than refutation.

  49. Hi, de Villiers – what I was saying was that religious beliefs shouldn’t receive special treatment. I wasn’t – just in case I didn’t express myself well – implying that all religious beliefs are as offensive as racist beliefs.

    “And even if not, is there a distinction to be drawn between belief in god and religion?”

    Excuse the brevity, but I’m half-asleep so I won’t attempt any long answer to that :D But, in my opinion, yes, there is a difference – to me, at least. I’m an agnostic (used to be a Christian) and while I don’t know for sure that there is or isn’t a god or gods or whatever, I DO know that religion is man-made, and I like it less and less as I get older. However, I accept that many people (including members of my family and my friends) find comfort in it, so, as long as it doesn’t do any harm, then it’s OK. But I see religion as VERY separate from any ‘god’. Just my personal opinion.

    As for civil marriage – I still don’t get how it’s acceptable to discriminate against people because of their sexuality. And I also don’t see why anyone needs to be consulted prior to opening civil marriage to us, particularly anti-gay groups, who aren’t shy about their dislike of us getting rights. Many religions won’t re-marry divorcees, yet we didn’t consult these religions when we allowed divorcees to marry in a civil marriage – quite simply because it’s nothing to do with them.

    Same goes for equal marriage, as far as I’m concerned. It’s a secular thing and nothing to do with any religion.

  50. @49 above Iris wrote:
    “I’m an agnostic (used to be a Christian) and while I don’t know for sure that there is or isn’t a god or gods or whatever, I DO know that religion is man-made.”
    Funnmy that because I bet you aren’t agnostic about fairies at the end of the garden.

  51. Religious groups discriminate all the time, but they are/should be allowed to within their own private practices and ceremonies. ie. liberal Jews will marry two men that are Jewish, but they won’t marry two Christians. I couldn’t care less who they choose to marry or recognize within their own private religious communities, as long as they don’t try to impact the role of the larger civil society. That said, religious groups that open up their property etc. to public accommodation must do so equally. That means that if they run adoption agencies, they have to adopt to all couples. If they own a pavilion on their property that they rent out for marriages from outside of their church, then it must be open to all marriages. In the same way, if my parents don’t want me to bring home my BF because he is a different race, religion, star sign, a ginger, the same gender, a solicitor, left-handed, or whatever reason. That’s fine in their own home, however if they turn their home into a B&B (a public accommodation) then they have to open it up to everyone in the public.

  52. A step in the right direction, if it ever happens, but they still bow down to religions and blatantly allow them to prejudice. Force all religious institutions to accept same sex marriage in their places of worship. Simple. There will be lots of hot air and protests for a few years, then it will just become the norm. I’m sick of our laws pandering to homophobic religious institutions. That’s not to say many of us would want to get married in them, but some do and it should be available to them. The sooner that line is crossed, the sooner religions will have no choice but to wake up from their fiction books. Religion is a dinosaur. Pretty much all it has left is tradition, not real belief. Without weddings, christenings, funerals and the one time only ‘look at me I’m on TV’ full congregation on Songs of Praise, they wouldn’t exist. They’d just be empty buildings. Every new generation pays less attention to religion. If the church doesn’t accept their fate soon, as tradition only, they’ll just become museums.

  53. Sister Mary Clarance 21 Jul 2010, 8:50am

    Hang on just a minute there though …. I thought when the Tories got in we were all going to be marched off and interned on the Isle of Sheppy and have electrodes prodded when the sun don’t shine … and yet not there’s talk about letting us get married. How can this be?

    And worse still for us blacks, because the Tories were no different to the BNP, we were simultaneous/subsequently going to get tossed onto the next banana boat and shipped back home (and I don’t mean South London) …. yet the bloody Tories have welcomed a decision by the Supreme Court that says we can stay here if going home means we’ll be tortured and killed.

    Wait … you don’t think …. could it have been …. is it possible that …. maybe …. the Labour trolls were making stuff up.

    I’ve popped a little overnight bag in the Winnebago though just in case we are all off on a road trip though.

  54. I think Featherstone comments are worrying – I think Jae’s advice to write to her is important – there is a lot hidden in these words and my worry is that relgion will raise its ugly head again and it SHOULDN’T…..

  55. Civil Partnerships are not “50%” of the job, as Hughes claimed. They provide exactly the same right as marriage, and calling them CPs was a clever political ploy to make sure that Tory peers in the Lords couldn’t wreck the bill – as they did with every other attempt to extend civil rights to gay people.

    I’ll believe this when I see it, and I’ll take any statement from Simon Hughes – who despite being “bisexual” – ran the most homophobic election campaign in history, with a huge pinch of salt.

  56. Pavlos: “Funnmy that because I bet you aren’t agnostic about fairies at the end of the garden. ”

    As a matter of fact I am :p But then, people who believe in fairies don’t go round trying to impinge on my rights, so I’m not really interested in them (or whether fairies exist – I can’t really say I’d spent much time considering it).

    But – if you’re asking me to expand on my position as regards god/gods – then if I had to pick a side, I’d go for there being no god. However, I wouldn’t presume to know for sure, even if I was 99% convinced there wasn’t one. As for the ‘god’ portrayed in the Bible and other books like it – no, I DEFINITELY don’t think that that god exists. But, again, I wouldn’t take that to mean that there was no….*trying to think of neutral word that’s not god…. instigator? sentient cause? at the start of our world.

    That’s why I draw a distinction between ‘god’ and religion. In my opinion, religion is so obviously made up by men (and, yes, I do mean men rather than human beings in most cases) that it can be laughable.

    No-one can be sure either way, so I would class myself as an agnostic very much on the ‘no god’ end of the scale, if that makes sense. (Oh, and as regards fairies, the same ;))

  57. de Villiers 21 Jul 2010, 11:39am

    > Force all religious institutions to accept same sex marriage in their places of worship. Simple

    Simple? If it were simple then there could not be any opposition to your statement. It may be simple for you. If, however, there is disagreement then it must be because it is not simple for everyone. If it is not simple for everyone then it cannot, by definition, be ‘simple’.

    I find the simplicity of the proposal to be a difficult proposition. Jews and Christians in the recent past have faced death or torture rather than to renounce their faith. Whilst I am in favour of a secularity in the public sphere, I would be very uncomfortable to force it in the home and the private sphere.

    If governments have the power to force us to carry out or accept particular action in private then that would seem to harm severely the concepts of freedom of association, freedom of thought and all notions of privacy.

    Whereas most of can accept that the provision of goods and services to the public in the public sphere should be non-discriminatory and the proper exercise of power by the state in the public realm, I am not sure that the provision of private religious goods and services constitutes something that is available to the “public” at large, rather than being more in the manner of private goods and services for private members.

    We all want people to be ‘good’. However, where government takes upon itself the responsibility for promoting the ‘good’ and forces all of us to be ‘good’ in public, in our homes, in private places of worship, in the bedroom (mutual mutilation or s&m is an illegal assault), it intrudes from the public space into the private space from which most of us would prefer to exclude most others.

  58. Galadriel1010 21 Jul 2010, 1:50pm

    I’ll be thrilled if this is true, but won’t hold my breath for it. There are still an awful lot of roadblocks to cross.
    As for Labour, I’m going to wait and see what they do once they’ve settled down under a new leader, whoever that may be. The party’s up in the air at the moment, and I suspect that if that weren’t the case, they would probably be backing the Lib Dems in moving towards gay marriage, if only to weaken the Tories position. Then the Tories would have to jump in to keep the Lib Dems on their side rather than Labour’s and Labour could complain that after all the years of being unable to get it passed due to the Tories, the Tories creep into power and do it to look good.
    Or do I play too many strategy games? is that too complicated for politics? Time, and an election within the Labour Party, will tell.

  59. All this posturing by Hughes is hot air. Action speaks louder than words. Like others on here, I’ll believe it when I see it happen. If Cameron wants to get re-elected he should support civil marriage equality without hesitation if his claims that he supports full equality are to be believed. Boris Johnson, Simon Hughes and Nick Clegg should now take this to Cameron and make it happen before the next election. Lets see just how true it is that the Tory party has completely reversed its homophobic attitude towards full equality. If this happens, this will signal the end of Labour as we know it, serves them right. I voted for Nick Clegg but if Cameron gets on board with this one issue, he’ll have gained my vote and many more in the next election. We’ll hear a lot of yelling and screaming from the state cult of course, among others, but every country that has passed full marriage equality has made it quite clear that civil marriage is gender neutral and does not compel any religious cult to recognise or officiate at a same-sex marriage ceremony. The sooner the C of E et al understand that, the better.

  60. Quote: ‘If this happened people in civil partnerships would simply have their status transferred to marriage.’

    That better bloody well not happen. If people want their CP’s renamed Marriage that’s fine, but my partner and I most certainly do not.

    We entered into a Civil Partnership on the first day it was available and that’s what we wanted. We didn’t want to be married.

    For those who do, absolutely fine but for those who had a CP and are happy with it, how dare anyone deny us of that?

  61. Fully equal civil marriage and a gender neutral definition of civil marriage written into the law… no religious consideration nor argument need enter into the discussion at all.

    No church is obliged or forced by law to marry any couple presently whether they are mixed sex couples or same sex couples, giving same sex couples full marriage rights including the use of the name “married” won’t change that.
    There will be the usual lies and scaremongering from the pseudo-religious anti-gay crowd anyway that they will be forced to conduct same sex marriages …untrue, their easily debunked justifications for opposing same sex marriage deserve to be dealt to and brushed aside.

  62. Ian Bower, No. 60, Ian, I don’t think anyone wants to ban civil partnerships. Personally, I would not want one but would rather marry instead. We should and must be allowed to marry and straight couples should also be granted the right to form a civil partnership. Even if marriage equality is passed and civil partnerships were abandoned, I don’t think it would change anything. You would still be in a civil partnership that would probably be recognised as a marriage. At least you’d have more portability outside the country if that were the case, an important factor for those who work for multinational companies. Marriage after all, is the universal gold standard. I don’t see civil partnerships and other forms of same-sex legal unions being the norm for gay couples now that ten countries have abandoned them, a trend that will continue to grow. Both unions should be offered and should be gender neutral just as the same-sex marriage laws are in those ten countries.

  63. Since the Guardian seems to be following the comments parts of this article as seen in their article http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/2010/jul/21/gay-marriage then I think their article should be posted here as well and I like it…

    it headlines

    “as the time come for gay marriage in the UK?Deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats’ comments on gay marriage may be the end of a long and tortuous road for campaigners”

    I’m sticking with this one , if relgion gets excluded then why shouldn’t it be the next stage on from CPs.

    As for keeping your CP then why don’t you just look at some of the countries that have brought in gay marriage, many of them eg Holland still have their CPs around and unlike us they are open to straights – they’re fine for them as well but they are NOT SPECIAL and they are not GAY specific…

  64. http://campaigns.libdems.org.uk/marriagewithoutborders

    From the catholic/gay marriage article – petition for gay marriage

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