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Gay activists say government is ‘ignoring’ calls for same-sex civil marriage

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  1. “The government’s equalities office is holding a series of private meetings this week with interested parties to discuss the possibility of holding civil partnerships for gay couples in church.”

    Oh for F*** sake. what are those morons playing at.

    A church decides who can and cannot get married in their church.

    A catholic church is NEVER going to marry a same sex couple. They will never marry a divorced, heterosexual couple.

    So quite frankly this attempt to allow a tiny number of churches the abilit y to offer CP’s affects a tiny number of people.

    When is the government going to end the homophobic ban on same sex couples being allowed to enter a civil marriage on the exact same basis as an opposite sex couple.

    That is what expected.

    Not this crap about allowing CP’s to be held in churches.

    When marriage is equalised then churches will automatically be able to offer same sex marriages if they wish to.

    So this attempt is a waste of time, effort and money.

  2. Not much point having a consultation if they’re going to ignore what people say.

    And I still don’t get why the Government’s not confident enough to allow equal marriage. Who’s going to ? Some religions? Fine, they’re entitled to their opinions but CIVIL marriage is none of their business – hence the fact that divorcees refused a marriage in a church can marry in a civil ceremony. If the Government’s going to let the C of E interfere in civil marriages, then logically they should stop the marriages of ANYONE not approved by the church. That’d put registrars out of business! No divorcees, no atheists, no non-Christians?

    Has David Cameron ever given a reason why he won’t open civil marriage to LGBT people??

  3. “Recently, Ms Featherstone, a Liberal Democrat MP, acknowledged that any consultation would take into account the views of those who are vehemently opposed to equal marriage.”

    So, when they look at racial discrimination laws, do they consult with the BNP, the KKK, the National Front and all the other groups who are vehemently opposed to racial equality? When they look at gender discrimination laws, do they make a point of consulting with patriarchal bigots who see women as second-class citizens? When they’re looking at disability discrimination laws, do they take earnest steps to accommodate the views of people who think the disabled are being punished for their iniquity and hence deserve to suffer?

  4. Sorry “Who’s going to object? Some religions…”

  5. So when Lynne Featherstone said she heard me in answer to my plea for marriage equality what she meant was “Go f*** yourself”. This is one very, very angry Lib Dem.

  6. “A Stonewall spokesman confirmed that Mr Summerskill attended the meeting but said it was Stonewall policy not to discuss private talks with ministers.”

    Why not?

    Who is Stonewall’s constituency? If they claim to represent the LGB community then they damned well should make their position on same sex marriage clear.

    Can Peter Tatchell be contacted to discclose the position Stonewall took in this discussion.

    If Stonewall are refusing to support marriage equality for same sex couples then this is in the LGB public interest.

    If Stonewall are opposed to marriage equality, then as a group they are both homophobic and not fit for purpose and should disband.

  7. Peter T – what have human rights got to do with public opinion? On that basis gays would be locked up or executed in some African or Muslim countries.

  8. Jae – are you seriously saying that Stonewall are homophobic because Ben Summerskill was asked to attend a private meeting and chose to respect that privacy rather than use the meeting to shamelessly promote himself in the media?

    You really need to get a grip.

  9. Sorry, that was directed at Stephen C, not Jae – misread the comment heading.

  10. Classic sensationalist hijack.

    The agenda of the meeting was to discuss the possibility of holding civil partnerships for gay couples in church.

    The agenda was not to discuss gay marriage, neither was it about the man in the moon or whether police should carry guns, both equally irrelevant to a meeting about a completely different subject.

    The majority of those present may support gay marriage but that is not what the meeting was supposed to be about and Tatchell has no right to hijack the agenda for his own purposes.

  11. @Vulpus_Rex actually the Govt. has not been very clear on what the agenda was, in or outside of Parliament simply saying it’s a consultation on the future of civil partnerships which is open to interpretation.

  12. vulpus – If you can’t see how a discussion on civil partnerships in church may lead to a discussion on marriage (instead of a man on the moon or police carrying guns????) then you’re either more stupid than I thought or just homophobic and devisive in your comments. Marriage is not a different subject to civil partnerships. And Tatchell had every right to say whatever he said.

  13. If Mr Summerskill doesn’t want to spend Stonewall money on a same sex marriage campaign, instead spending it on campaigns against homophobic bullying etc, fine.

    However, what gives him the right to oppose the campaign others are running for same sex marriage?

    What an idiot low life.

  14. “Everyone apart from Ben Summerskill was in favour of same-sex civil marriage.”

    Finally – confirmation that Stonewall is a homoophobic organisation, led by a homophobe – Ben Summerskill.

    Being opposed to same sex couples having access to a legal contract solely because they are gay is homophobic.

    Therefore Stonewall is officially a homophobic organisation.

    Stonewall to disband immediately.

    Those homophobes are opposed to equality for LGB people.

    They are a disgrace and an embarrassment.

    Stonewall’s status as a homophobic organisation is the real story here.

    I think their homophobia is worthy of a story in its own right.

    It is in the LGBT public interest to be aware that Stonewall does not believe we deserve equal rights, simply because we are gay.

  15. The first comment from Stephen_C – couldn’t agree with you more. ALL this religious civil partnership stuff is nonsense and a waste of taxpayer’s money. They should just legislate same sex civil marriage and be done with it.

    Politicians love wasting time doing worthless things don’t they? Why not just do the simple thing? I guess because they need something to fill up their time with. Religious civil partnerships – what a load of nonsense.

  16. “The agenda of the meeting was to discuss the possibility of holding civil partnerships for gay couples in church. ”

    Marriage equality would automatically allow churches to offer same sex marriages on the same basis as opposite sex marriages if they want.

    This talk about extending CP’s to churches is time and money wasting bulls***.

    Marriage equality would negate the need to change the law to allow churches to hold CP’s.

  17. Comment number 8 asks: “are you seriously saying that Stonewall are homophobic because Ben Summerskill was asked to attend a private meeting and chose to respect that privacy rather than use the meeting to shamelessly promote himself in the media?”

    No

    I am saying that Ben Summerskill and Stonewall are homophobes because every LGB activist with the exception of Ben Summerskill was in favour of marriage equality.

    The fact that the homophobic Stonewall organisation do not even support marriage equality in their private discussions with government mean that they are damaging the quest for equality.

    They need to disband.

    they should be ashamed of themselves.

  18. I also agree with Stephen_C, this is not only a waste of time, it’s also taking us where we don’t want to go: the government is doing more and more to shape CPs around what marriage is instead of plainly going for marriage equality. I for one don’t want CPs in church. A CP is an administrative document and it doesn’t carry the same symbolic value as marriage. Just register CPs in registry offices and let people get married – then the churches will allow who they want to allow to get married, the rest of us will marry in a secular setting with no obstacles.

  19. Jay I can easily see how that discussion could be hijacked by a discussion of gay marriage, and being deliberately facetious is not the same as being stupid, (unless you yourself are in fact too stupid to see that (oh and please learn how to spell divisive correctly before calling others stupid)).

    However, it is perfectly reasonable for the chair of the meeting to assert that the subject up for discussion is how to bring about civil partnerships in religious settings, not gay marriage, and politely ask those present to stick to the point of the meeting.

    To fail to do so is to be unfair to those who want to have thei CP blessed in a religious context.

  20. “However, it is perfectly reasonable for the chair of the meeting to assert that the subject up for discussion is how to bring about civil partnerships in religious settings”

    A civil marriage or a civil partnership is a non-religious ceremony.

    A church wedding is a religious ceremony.

    The idea of having a CIVIL partnership in a RELIGIOUS setting is contradictory.

    Therefore it would be perfectly acceptable for any attendees to point this glaring discrepancy out to the minister.

    And to point out to her that marriage equality would mean that in the same way as churches can choose which heterosexual couples they will marry, they could also decide which same sex couples they would marry.

    It is only being a good citizen to point out to the minister that attempting to change the law to allow CP’s to held in churches is a waste of time, effort and money which will have an impact on only the tiniest number of people.

    The non-story about religious CP’s is hiding the real story – which is the fact that same sex couples are denied access to the legal contract of civil marriage – AND THAT EVEN IN PRIVATE MEETINGS WITH GOVERNMENT, THE HOMOPHOBIC STONEWALL ORGANISATION REFUSES TO SUPPORT LGB EQUALITY.

  21. vulpus_rex 28 Jul 2010, 1:16pm

    Smurph you are doing the same as Tatchell, hijacking one agenda to fulfil your own.

    Whilst I do not completely understand your desire to heteronormalise your relationship, I recognise it should be your right should you so wish. I therefore do not oppose the introduction of gay marriage and would not want to see time allocated to this process hijacked by another.

    I therefore think the courtesy should be returned the other way, as should I ever have a CP I would quite like it in a church.

    May I also correct your point about being a good citizen? You may well be a citizen of the republic of Ireland, however I and all other British nationals, whether we like it or not, are subjects of HM QE2 and not citizens at all.

  22. Pink News – I urge you to contact Stonewall for a 1 question interview.

    The question they absolutely MUST be asked is:

    ‘Does Stonewall support, in principle, the right of a same sex couple to enter the legal contract of civil marriage on the exact same basis as an opposite sex couple?’

    If they answer ‘no’ or refuse to give a clear answer then you’ve got the ‘gay news exclusive’ of the year – that Stonewall are a homophobic organisation who are opposed to gay equality.

    This is a MASSIVE public interest story for the LGBT community.

    Call them and ask them that question!

  23. “I therefore do not oppose the introduction of gay marriage and would not want to see time allocated to this process hijacked by another.”

    So you oppose the government’s attempts to hijack the marriage equality debate by introducing an unnecessary, uncalled for amendment to allow churches to hold CIVIL partnerships.

    You do accept that even if churches are allowed to hold CP’s they will NEVER be required to.

    Campaigning for churches to be allowed to hold CP’s is about as pointless an exercise as I can think of.

    They may as well start campaigning to allow catholic divorces to get married in a catholic church.

    It ain’t EVER going to happen, even if the government allows it to happen.

  24. vulpus_rex: “Whilst I do not completely understand your desire to heteronormalise your relationship”

    “Heteronormalise”. What is that supposed to mean?

    You appear to be implying that heterosexuality is bad. Do you think heterophobia is justified?

  25. vulpus_rex 28 Jul 2010, 1:41pm

    “unnecessary, uncalled for amendment to allow churches to hold CIVIL partnerships.”

    Prior to their invention, most things are unnecessary and uncalled for, but that doesn’t make them unwelcome or unpleasant, and although no church will be required to hold CPs I can think of at least two denominations that have already said they will.

    Whatever your thoughts on Gay marriage, allowing someone to have their CP take place in a church is hardly a bad thing, provided of course one doesn’t view this as some sinister plot to kill off the marriage agenda, which I don’t.

  26. vulpus_rex 28 Jul 2010, 1:49pm

    @24 – Heteronormalise I understand to mean to deliberately bring non-heterosexual experience in line with heterosexual experience, in this instance marriage.

    There is nothing inately pejorative about the process of heteronormalisation, but then there is nothing inately desirable either which is why I feel no need to copy what the hetties do when describing my relationship.

  27. It’s time Stonewall were held to account.

    I urge everyone reading this to contact them to ask them a simple question.

    Their email address is info@stonewall.org.uk

    Feel free to copy and paste the below:

    “Dear Stonewall,

    Please confirm whether Stonewall UK supports, in principle, the right of same sex couples to enter the legal contract of civil marriage on the exact same basis as opposite sex couples?
    Yours”

    That’s quite simple really.

    It is a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. If they avoid answering such a simple question (or indeed answer ‘No’) they should be regarded as homophobes and encouraged to disband.

  28. Stephen_C, why on earth do you keep going on about civil marriage? You want to exclude same sex couples from religious marriage? Spare a thought for equality here, please. There is an increasing number of faith groups offering same sex marriage that want legal recognition for the marriages they conduct.

    We will not get marriage equality if we only have partial access to marriage. We will only get marriage equality when same sex marriage is open for both civil marriage and religious marriage (for those faith groups that support it).

    Are you ignorant of the existance of pro-gay faith groups?

  29. “Heteronormalise I understand to mean to deliberately bring non-heterosexual experience in line with heterosexual experience, in this instance marriage. There is nothing inately pejorative about the process of heteronormalisation, but then there is nothing inately desirable either which is why I feel no need to copy what the hetties do when describing my relationship.”

    But Vulpus – you said you wanted to have a CP in a church!

    Isn’t that even more heteronormative on your part?

  30. No 28: Dromio: “Stephen_C, why on earth do you keep going on about civil marriage? You want to exclude same sex couples from religious marriage? Spare a thought for equality here, please. ”

    I do not want to exclude same sex couples from religious marriage. Where did I EVER say that?

    It marriage equality was introduced then it would AUTOMATICALLY mean that churches could allow same sex couples to use their buildings for their marriages, if the church felt like it.

    So I don’t understand your point.

    Same sex couples do not have marriage equality. Introducing marriage equality would mean that if a same sex couple wanted a wedding in a church then they could ask the church. And the church could answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

    However those of us who are not religious are being told that because of our sexual orientation we cannot get married.

    And even if some church somewhere will allow me to have a religious CP, it STILL means that my sexual orientation precludes me from getting married.

    Just be

  31. Who’s the idiot that thinks having a gay marriage is a step towards heterolisation (assuming that is even a proper word). Haven’t you fallen into the old hetero/discriminatory mistake that marriage IS for “normal” people, between man and woman and CPs are only for “the gays”, something to shut them up and hopefully never hear from them again – But marriage in other countries are open to same sex couples as well and CP in most other countries are not a gay thing but open to both straights and gays. So these countries must have heterolisied gays and gayified straights??

    Can’t old Ben Summerskill move on from his old labour minister relatives’ policy of CPs only for gays – I’m sure old granny Baroness Summerskill and auntie Shirley won’t mind if he has his own ideas now that lab are no longr in power!

    Good to see that pinknews and I suspect most of the other media will report/headline on the gay marriage issue and not the CP with relgious aspect issue. At least the media have grasped the fact that it is gay marriage that is wanted now and CPs with relgious bells ,or whatever the phrase is, is something so few want or are concerned about, that it’s not even worth reporting on. Keep CPs but lets move on to the next stage.

    Was I imagining it but I thought the hughes concept of civil marriage with relgious aspects if anybody was willing to do that had become official lib dem policy??

  32. I don’t know if this blog is legitimate but it appears to be from Lord Alli – even he is now appears to be saying the below. Even the guy proposing this amendment to CPs can see that gay marriage is the way forward!

    http://labour-uncut.co.uk/2010/07/27/full-equality-will-only-be-achieved-when-civil-partnerships-are-recognized-as-marriage-writes-waheed-alli/#more-2015

    “But clearly, full equality will only be achieved when civil partnerships are recognised as marriage. Just as with my amendment to the Equality Bill, we will need to do it in such a way that respects the religious freedoms of others, so that all couples, including gay couples, have the right to choose between a secular marriage and a religious marriage.”

  33. Marriage equality has absolutely ZERO impact on religious freedom.

    Religious people who do not support marriage equality remain free not to marry someone of the same sex as themselves.

    A church will STILL be able to refuse to marry a same-sex couple (just as they are CURRENTLY able to refuse to marry an opposite sex couple who do not fit their requirements)

    Get emailing to Stonewall – the news that they are actively opposing marriage equality is the huge story here.

    It’s time they accounted for themselves. It is time for them to state quite clearly their position on marriage equality.

  34. vulpus_rex 28 Jul 2010, 3:01pm

    “But Vulpus – you said you wanted to have a CP in a church!”

    Putting aside a pedantic discussion about what I have actually said and the claim you make above, wanting to have a ceremony take place in a church and be blessed by my particular preference of great sky pixie would be a religious experience not a heterosexual experience.

  35. Your exact quote was “should I ever have a CP I would quite like it in a church.”

    But because I would like to have my Dutch civil marriage recognised in the country I live in (Britain) for what it actually is i.e. a civil marriage; you think it is I, who is being hetero-normative.

    I disagree.

    Having a civil marriage is not a heterosexual experience. It is a civil contract experience. But because we are gay we are denied access to it.

  36. Visit http://www.yoosk.com/labour and vote for my gay marriage question to all Labour Leadership candidates. The questions reads:

    ‘@ The Panel
    All Leadership Candidates

    Do you agree that it’s time Labour came out for gay marriage and stop selling out the LGBT community on this totemic issue? Will you fuse civil partnerships and marriage to make them available on equal terms to all eligible couples?

    Submitted by: rolypolywoly | 4 votes for this..

    0 comments | Topic: Other | Report |’

    Thank you kindly. :)

  37. Did Spanner not read the full article?

    The attendees at the meeting were:

    Peter Tatchell
    Ben Summerskill
    Sharon Ferguson
    Colin Coward
    Paul Martin

    And that “Everyone apart from Ben Summerskill was in favour of same-sex civil marriage”

    That’s hardly Tatchell promoting himself.

    The news story here is the homophobia of that Gay Uncle Tom – Ben Summerskill and the homophobic Stonewall organisation.

  38. vulpus_rex 28 Jul 2010, 3:52pm

    “you said you wanted to have”
    “should I ever have”

    Can you see the difference?

    I.e. I don’t actively want a CP, but should it ever become expedient for me and the boyf to do so then we would. (This would put me in the nauseating position of conceding that Liebour had ever done anything useful).

    A CP is closer to what I would ideally like, i.e. a state recognised union, conferring all the same advantages as marriage, but isn’t a facsimile of the heterosexual position.

    For instance why do you call your partner “Husband”? I don’t object per se but it would suit me better to use a term that identified a partner in a same sex union, rather than adopt the word used to describe the man in a male/female marriage.

  39. Well whether I call him my husband/partner/boyfriend/lover etc etc is largely irrelevant.

    My requirements are quite simple – to be able to access the same legal contracts as my heterosexual sister.

    And at the present time in Britain gay couples are denied access to the contract of civil marriage.

    And there is no excuse or valid explanation for this.

    By allowing some midget churches the right to perform discriminatory unions does not alter the discrimination.

  40. vulpus_rex 28 Jul 2010, 4:23pm

    “whether I call him my husband/partner/boyfriend/lover etc etc is largely irrelevant”

    Surely “Lieveling” will do, and he’ll make you a lovely tulip salad sandwich in return.

  41. Husband is male, wife is female. Male and male = husband and husband, female and female = wife and wife – Married coupes = wife and husband, wife and wife or husband and husband – Vulpus – give up please!!!! what the point’s of your argument ? CP are only gay in the UK and in some other countries, you’re not that special, its just a term for a partnership not a lovely gift to gays!

  42. Peter & Michael 28 Jul 2010, 4:44pm

    We have always campaigned for Same-Sex Marriage on this website, the UK is lagging behind countries that have recognised full equality for all whether it be a religious/secular ceremony. We understand that Peru may be next to have Same-Sex Marriage. Having a Civil Partnership in a church is a backward step in our opinion and still would not be equal to marriage!

  43. Merseymike 28 Jul 2010, 4:45pm

    Give it time. Things don’t happen overnight and I think that it is clear enough that civil partnership will be incorporated into full civil marriage .

    As there are likely to be opponents in all parties I think its unlikely to happen for a couple of years

  44. what r u going on about vulpus? You normally talk a load of sh1te, but you must be on drugs today? Stephen/tatchell/patrick/etc are just protesting for gay equality – in this instance marriage. But as usual, you are trying to stop all those gay rights advocates from protesting for gay equality. Doesn’t that make you homophobic? Or do you think heterosexuals deserve more rights than we do?

  45. vulpus_rex 28 Jul 2010, 4:59pm

    Jay – check your spelling, grammar and what point you are trying to make before you tell anyone else they are talking rubbish.

    Until then stop harassing me, you rambling, incoherent moron.

  46. Mihangel apYrs 28 Jul 2010, 5:07pm

    vulpus rex @21
    while we may be subjects of Brenda, we and she are citizens of the EU.

    And good luck getting a CP in a church, the CoE and RCC are unlikely ever to go that far

  47. Mihangel apYrs 28 Jul 2010, 5:22pm

    The last govt liked to say that CP = marriage, but we know that pension trustees can say get stuffed, and who knows what other anomolies may creep out? It’s no use claiming that the intent was equality if the letter of the law isn’t saying it.

    I don’t want a heterosexual-style relationship, I do want a heterosexual-style LEGAL contract.

  48. vulpus – what r u, a junior school english teacher?, this is a blog, not a thesis.

    My point is simple, you are constantly trying to undermine gay rights advocates from trying to gain gay equality. Which make your comments homophobic.

    I’ll ask you again, do you think heterosexuals deserve more rights than homosexuals?

  49. Well done to Sharon and peter for not compromising on this or giving in to government pressure.

    The current two system of gay people being bared from marriage is (obviously!) discriminatory and homophobic.

    And as for consulting religious groups who are opposed …. it’s the equivalent of the bnp being consulted about race discrimiation laws! This is mainly about civil marriages – e.g held in registry offices – and so has NOTHING to do with religion.

  50. Dominick J. 28 Jul 2010, 6:13pm

    The meeting they are attempting to hold is “THE” most assinine meeting ever. And these jokers are suppose to be Intellegent???
    Not everyone wants to get married in a church to begin with and there are already many church denominations who will hold marriage ceremonies and just like str8s many Gays believe in marriage by the Justice of the Peace, which is a CIVIL CEREMNOY!!! Our countries are run by MORONS and I can’t believe we elect ours!!!

  51. I see that the vulgarity of that common, ill-bred, little man Vulgus Regina surfaces again. He is clearly barely half educated!

  52. Vulgus Regina berates Jay for his use of grammar, but Vulgus Regina is so ill educated that he does not know that ‘anyone’ is singular and ‘they’ is plural. Hence his comment ‘before you tell anyone else they are talking rubbish’ is grammatically incorrect, in that there is no agreement in number.

  53. Bill Perdue 29 Jul 2010, 12:01am

    Huzzah for Peter Tatchell and the others who want full equality.

    The question of same sex marriage puts the Thatcherites between a rock and a hard place. If they give in a lot of their more bigoted members and supports will drift towards the BNP and other more openly bigoted parties. And if they don’t they’ll find out that getting ground up and spit out is the fate that awaits those between a rock and a hard place.

    That especially applies to those homosexual Tories who pander to their fellow Tory cousin-brothers Tory bigots who bitterly oppose same sex marriage.

    By the way, Whoppi Goldberg, the real Sister Mary Clarence, is a avid supporter of same sex marriage, unlike her wretched namesake.
    Make sure to watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HR7Vy1Io0U . (You may have to cut and paste. Skip ahead to 2:10 where the real action begins or watch the whole thing. Proposition 8 was on the ballot in 2008 and took away our right to same sex marriage.)

  54. Val:
    > I also agree with Stephen_C, this is not only a waste of
    > time, it’s also taking us where we don’t want to go: the
    > government is doing more and more to shape CPs around what
    > marriage is instead of plainly going for marriage equality. I
    > for one don’t want CPs in church. A CP is an administrative
    > document and it doesn’t carry the same symbolic value as
    > marriage. Just register CPs in registry offices and let people
    > get married – then the churches will allow who they want to
    > allow to get married, the rest of us will marry in a secular
    > setting with no obstacles.

    Too late. Stonewall pushed for that during the passage of the Equality Bill last year and it is in law already. The consultations this week are about how to implement that law.

    Where were you last year?

    But you are absolutely right it is not where we should be going. In fact the whole idea from Stonewall was to go that way in order to remove most of the pressure for equal marriage from those angry at not being able to have any religious aspect of CPs. Just as CPs were to satisfy those influential wealthy people who wanted protection for their common assets in the case of the death of one of them. That took the money away from potential equal marriage campaigns. This is to take the religions – such as the Quakers – away.

  55. Stephen_C:
    > The fact that the homophobic Stonewall organisation do not
    > even support marriage equality in their private discussions
    > with government mean that they are damaging the quest for
    > equality.

    See my comment http://www.pinknews.co.uk/?comments_popup=18543#comment-124835

    They need to disband.

    they should be ashamed of themselves.

  56. @33:
    quote
    “Marriage equality has absolutely ZERO impact on religious freedom.”
    Well absolutely, churches are well aware that they are not required by law to marry any couple presently and marriage equality won’t change that, these anti-gay pseudo-religious homophobes are knowingly scaremongering as part of their ongoing bigoted and immoral ploy to oppose equal rights for LGBT people.
    Obviously there is strong opposition to marriage equality and it can only be coming from the religious contingent whose primary concern is always to protect their own institutions, power and dogma above human rights.
    The government must provide access to religious ceremonies for same sex couples where a church wishes to provide them or it remains in breach of religious freedom laws…so this is inevitable anyway.
    What needs to be addressed urgently now is full marriage equality.
    We need to pin down exactly the “reasons” why the Government is resisting providing equal marriage and on whose behalf (as if we don’t know) then we can line these “reasons” up them and shoot them down one by one.
    Certainly the legal definition of marriage must be looked at and amended to a gender neutral one because until that happens same sex marriage cannot be a legal reality.

  57. Same-sex marriage is not legal in the United Kingdom. … this was justified on the grounds of protecting the “traditional” definition of marriage as a “Union between a man and a woman”
    Question 1: How long has this traditional & exclusive definition of marriage actually been the legal definition of marriage in it’s present form?
    Question 2: What can now be done to expand the present definition of marriage to include same sex couples?

  58. But if it’s a civil marriage which is what is being proposed then relgion shouldn’t be an issue, they’re not being forced to do a relgious marriage and afterall the CP with reglion if available is more or less there already.

    I have a horrible feeling though that most people are hung up by the definition of the word marriage being between man and woman – and a lot of these people who think this are not relgious.

    I think you’re right it would be useful to know what people perceive as the neg points and who these interested parties are?

  59. “We need to pin down exactly the “reasons” why the Government is resisting providing equal marriage and on whose behalf (as if we don’t know) then we can line these “reasons” up them and shoot them down one by one.”

    We also need to get our own house in order.

    For starters Stonewall should NOT be speaking on behalf of the LGBT population. Stonewall are enabling the government to deny us full marriage equality.

    Stonewall are a homophobic organisation whose opposition to marriage equality is giving the government a ‘get out of jail free’ card on this issue.

    Have you all mailed Stonewall at info@stonewall.org.uk:

    info@stonewall.org.uk

    “Dear Stonewall,

    Does Stonewall UK support, in principle, the right of same sex couples to enter the legal contract of civil marriage on the exact same basis as opposite sex couples?

    A yes or no answer will suffice.

    Yours”

  60. @oatc: “Where were you last year?”

    I was paying attention :)

    Let me quote to you the first paragraph in this article.

    “The government’s equalities office is holding a series of private meetings this week with interested parties to discuss the possibility of holding civil partnerships for gay couples in church.”

    Possibility. This is a direction we’re going in. What’s been discussed, as far as I understand, is including religious elements in CP ceremonies. Now we keep going in this same direction and ignoring the real issue.

  61. Stephen, someone has already posted an answer to your question in this forum. Please, mate, stop writing it over and over… :)

    What they declared is they support it (i.e. do not oppose it) but won’t campaign for it because they see it as adding no rights to existing CPs.

    I say let’s protest outside Stonewall’s offices to show that their position does not represent us. This would harm their credibility vis-à-vis the government and force them to reconsider their position.

  62. No 61: you say: “Stephen, someone has already posted an answer to your question in this forum. Please, mate, stop writing it over and over…”

    I know they have.

    It’s a standard reply that Stonewall uses.

    I got an exact replica of the same email. Clearly they are well practised in ignoring criticism by the people they pretend to represent (LGB people), and despite their pretence that they seek feedback from LGBT people on their policies.

    “I say let’s protest outside Stonewall’s offices to show that their position does not represent us. ”

    Good idea. However that would not be very widely publicised.

    I’ve asked Pink News to address this issue.

    It’s a MASSIVELY important public interest story for the LGBT population that Britain’s self-proclaimed leading LGB equality group – Stonewall – refuses to support LGB legal equality.

    A 1 question interview by Pink News to get Stonewall to clarify their position would be of huge public interest to Pink News’s readers.

    If Stonewall refuse to support (even in principle) marriage equality, it’s a story which would get cover in the mainstream press and would finally alert the entire LGBT community about how Stonewall is actively damaging the equality campaign; and how they should step aside and focus their entire on the irrelevan things they do so well – like counting the number of minutes gay people appear on TV; or campaign against homophobic number plates.

  63. I don’t know how parliamentary questions get raised in the UK butI know in France it’s usually done by an MP/Senator and then some minister replies – Thatchel has said the geens support gay marriage and Caroline Lucas is now a MP. Lord Alli has come out with gay marriages. Hughes has. Some lab potential leaders have. Yet, are there any parliamentary quetions – there’s potentially a lot that could be asked – there’s been phrases used by many ministers now which need further questions …. Surely some of these pro gay marriages lords and mps should be making more noise? There’s not much to work on if no-one in govt says anything…

    It’s ok for us to ask Featherstone what she meant by her vague statement but it would much more useful if an mp asked the qestion ,someone like Caroline Lucas or a lab mp or a lib dem one?

    I wonder how much influence Stonewall has now? I always felt that they were closely linked to lab not the tories/lib dems…

  64. The pragmatism shown by Stonewall in the recent past was helpful in achieving legal recognition in Civil Unions for same sex couples…job done.
    Now that pragmatic approach could be built upon tempered with a principled support for marriage equality. It’s dispiriting being told by Stonewall that Civil Unions are a satisfactory solution. Is Stonewall saying they don’t oppose marriage equality but they just don’t believe marriage equality is achievable in UK?
    If so I don’t believe them because if other countries can manage it then UK can also.
    Legal definitions can be challenged and amended to suit the changing needs of a country’s citizens.

  65. What is most galling about Stonewall is their complete lack of interest in listening to what the community they pretend to represent actually want.

    I received a response from Stonewall where they said they refused to campaign for marriage equality because “Marriage offers no further legal protection”

    I was confused by this response so I replied asking:

    “Please explain what extra legal protection religious civil partnerships offer to same sex couples, that causes Stonewall to actively campaign for religious CP’s?”

    Religious CP’s do not offer ANY extra legal protections to same sex couples?

    But Stonewall wastes time and money campaigning for them?

    But why then does Stonewall refuse to support marriage equality?

    Homophobia?

    Fear of upsetting their political masters.

    Until they get with the equality agenda, they need to disband.

  66. “Is Stonewall saying they don’t oppose marriage equality but they just don’t believe marriage equality is achievable in UK?”

    No.

    They are saying that marriage equality does not offer any further legal protections and that is why they refuse to support them.

    But why then are Stonewall spending time and money on campaigning for religious CP’s?

    After all religious CP’s offer no further legal protections to same sex couples?

    Stonewall is sounding more homophobic by the day.

  67. CP offer Legal protection – not ncessarily if you live and work abroad. With more and more countries moving to gay marriage, the CP will be equated to the countries old type civil union and not marriage.

    Until recenlty the British CP offered no legal protection in France but gay Dutch marriages for non French partners had always been recognised and given legal protection.

    A bit mean to just think of CPs living in the UK – what about those not living there and please don’t say you moved to that new country so stuff you!

  68. Stephen_C, StonewallUK is dead wrong when it says marriage offers not further protection. Obviously it sees it only from a UK position. Civil marriage equality is recognised in 10 countries each recognising each other’s marriage. They do carry a lot more weight and protection than CPs ever will, anywhere in the world. StonewallUK is delusional and just like Labour and Tories alike, bury their heads in the sand. They don’t see the larger picture at all.

    Bill Perdue….I fully agree with your points. The only way Cameron can hang on to power in the next election is to make sure gays get marriage equality siphoning away more votes from Labour, maybe he’d get a majority. I’m just hoping he’s that politically savvy to realise it. That would put Labour on the defencive and vie for marriage equality itself to woo back former supporters. Its going to be interesting to see how this plays out. StonewallUK of course will be out of the picture, totally irrelevant since it was not they who raised the issue but politicians themselves. StonwallUK works against full equality by not taking a firm stand in support of full marriage equality. It should be a priority.

  69. i like the idea of allowing gay couples to have a CP in church, however it should never be forced upon churches and should be the priests decision.

  70. It’s interesting that Peter Tatchell’s comment is “clarified” with something completely different. Presumably that means he wasn’t telling the truth in the first place.

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