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Liberal Democrats to vote on gay marriage

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  1. Quote: ‘There will undoubtedly be some people that will speak against it, especially from the various religious groups.’
    Yes, well we’re used to that aren’t we?
    What has religion got to do with civil marriage?
    The religious bigots should not be given a platform to speak.
    This is a civil issue.

  2. Tim Hopkins 9 Aug 2010, 1:05pm

    It sounds like the proposed policy is very similar to the policy adopted by the Scottish Lib Dems at their conference in March – an excellently inclusive policy. See here for the Scottish Lib Dem policy.

  3. the religious groups that support homophobia and all homophobes should be told where to stick their homophobia! plus when did hetero marriage get voted on? as it doesn’t why should same-sex marriage?

  4. As far as I know, people have been marrying the person they love since the beginning of time; therefore, gender neutral marriage is hardly a new phenomena.

  5. Religious bigots can rant all they want, civil marriage is totally different to religious marriage. They have NO argument or rationale to weigh in on this. Not one of the ten countries where same-sex civil marriage is legal requires any religious cult to recognise or officiate at a gay marriage ceremony , in fact their laws maintain that civil marriage is gender neutral, nothing more. Their argument is lame and flawed either way. I’m glad I voted for the Liberal Democrats, the first party to endorse same-sex civil marriage! Meanwhile, the Tories remain silent.

  6. Robert, I think you’ve missed the point. This is about marriage equality- not just given same sex couples access to only one form of marriage (i.e. civil) and banning them from religious marriage. There are lots of religious gay couples who are married by their churches but have no legal recognition for that. Therefore marriage equality needs to embrace all forms of marriage otherwise it’s not really equality, is it?

  7. Peter & Michael 9 Aug 2010, 2:12pm

    Hooray!! at least the Same-Sex Civil Marriage issue has now come to the forefront of the LibDem political stage. Will the Conservative Party now follow suit now they agree on Equality for all.

  8. “Love is the same, straight or gay, so the civil institution should be the same too. All couples should be able to make that commitment to one another.” I think Clegg puts it very well, hopefully equality is near.

  9. “It adds that transgender people should be allowed to remain married after changing sex.”


  10. What’s this obsession with civil marriage? The whole point is equality. Religions can pick and choose who they marry. Some want to marry same sex couples. Some don’t. We must be after full marriage equality, not just a “I can’t believe it’s not marriage equality”. Sounds more like New Labour pandering to the “big” (homophobic) religions again, and we don’t want that.

    Anyway well done Lib Dems, hopefully this will pass at conference. Concerned about the “upgrading” of those who have chosen civil partnerships. I think that should be done on a voluntary basis. Also concerned this may be a proposal for a new law, rather than a removal of the relevant gender specific parts of the relevant acts but that’s just me quibbling. ;)

  11. Dromio, my point is that there is a distinction between civil and religious marriage, a big one when it comes to religious cults trying to dictate as to who should and should not be married if a couple happens to be gay. Nobody is forcing them to marry us or recognise our marriages but if they so choose to do it, then fine, I have no quarrel with that. It is they who miss the point. I agree that religious cults should be allowed to marry us if they so choose but from what I can see, there aren’t that many who would with the exception of the Quakers and reformed Judaism and probably the Unitarians, but that option should be available to them by choice. Personally, I don’t care if a religious doesn’t want to recognise my marriage. In France, a civil marriage is the only valid marriage recognised by the state, the religious ceremony isn’t mandatory nor is it recognised alone. Nobody is losing any sleep over that either.

  12. AND … ANY change in the legislation MUST apply throughout the United Kingdom … a situation where marriage equality was valid in England Scotland and Wales but not in Northern Ireland because of narrow-minded DUP [Peter Robinson’s party] bigotry would be utterly and totally unacceptable. The DUP is already trying to exclude sexual orientation from local equality legislation!
    If I am to be taxed as prescribed by Westminster then I’ll have a right to the same standards of citizenship as my fellow citizens!

  13. This will hopefully put pressure on the coalition to legalise same-sex marriage.

  14. Don’t be fooled by this. Read the resolution wording carefully. Will it actually commit them to anything meaningful?

  15. Tim Hopkins 9 Aug 2010, 9:46pm

    Have a look at the live link in my comment 2 to see the Scottish Lib Dem resolution, before you become too cynical. Of course the UK party may not pass the same policy, but it shows that it is possible for a party to get it right.

    It calls for marriage and cp both to be open to all couples regardless of gender, an end to the divorce requirement for gender recognition, religious bodies that want to to be able to conduct marriage or cp, and voluntary option to convert existing cp to marriage.

  16. Simon Murphy 9 Aug 2010, 10:48pm

    Fantastic news.

    Have those pathetic losers at Stonewall spoken in favour of marriage equality yet?

    Stonewall are ridiculous self-hating gay Uncle Toms for their refusal to support LGBT equality.

    Stonewall should disband.

  17. I like this , when will labour now introduce it into their official party policy and when will Stonewall endorse gay marriage?

    I like the fact that CPs will be made available to straights, I’d really like a straight CP/PACSed couple from France to sue the UK for not recognising their partnership while recognising gay French CP/PACSed couples. At the moment they have no rights in the UK if they have to live and work here and would be subject to 40% iht on all worldwide assets if they made their home here. The only way they would get rights is to divorce/dissolve their CP/PACS in France and get married in the UK. What a ridiculous sitution not to recognise foreign CPs which in other countries are open to non gay couples.

    Equality goes both ways!

  18. Simon Murphy 10 Aug 2010, 11:57am

    “I like this , when will labour now introduce it into their official party policy and when will Stonewall endorse gay marriage?”

    I reckon it will be part of the Labour Party policy pretty soon.

    Unless they adapt and start supporting equality, then they will certainly alienate their LGBT vote, which is a considerable number of people.

    As for Stonewall – well I think it’s too late for them. They have steadfastly refused to support LGBT marriage equality. If they were to jump on board now then they are merely proving that they are opportunists. They need to disband. They have rendered themselves utterly irrelevant and totally delegitimised themselves through their support of homophobic CP legislation.

  19. @Robert: There are two reasons why connecting marriage equality and the separation of religious and civil weddings is problematic for the marriage equality argument and should not pass unchallenged.

    Firstly, for couples whose religion is willing to conduct same-sex weddings, it is an important right that a wedding in their church should create a marriage in the same way it would for an opposite-sex couple. I married my wife in a legally valid religious ceremony (in the US), and I would have found it deeply offensive to have been required to participate in an additional civil ceremony if an opposite-sex couple would not have been.

    Secondly, suggesting the UK switch to the French system (in which religious weddings do not produce a legally valid marriage) gives the opponents of marriage equality the opportunity to introduce a dangerous untruth into the debate. The truth is that no such change is necessary, since the UK has never attempted to compel religions to perform wedding ceremonies. This arrangement worked perfectly well when divorce was legalised, and it will work perfectly well once same-sex marriage is legalised too. In the conduct of their rites and dissemination of their doctrine, religious bodies are permitted to discriminate on all sorts of grounds on which discrimination is usually prohibited, including divorce status and (most obivously) religion. There is no serious political challenge to the view that religions should retain these rights over their rites (!) for the foreseeable future, and hence marriage equality is irrelevant to this legal right to discriminate.

    The lie which distorts public debate on this issue is the claim by homophobic religions that marriage equality will jeopardise their ability to conduct religious ceremonies at all, as they may be sued if they refuse to marry same-sex couples. This is legal nonsense, but the debate in the US shows how readily this myth takes root in the public imagination.

    Arguing for the separation of religious and civil weddings may seem like a good strategy for supporters of marriage equality, but actually this plays into the hands of opponents by implying that a problem exists for anti-gay churches. In fact anti-gay religious groups will be unaffected.

  20. Jenny Bliss 10 Aug 2010, 3:02pm

    just need to correct somthing there hehe in the uk, religious marriage is NOT legaly reconised however religious leaders can also become marriage registas themselves as a civil ceremony must be held also but to make it fairer they were given this ability so both the religious and civil ceremonies could happen at the same time by signing the register whilst there these said ceremonies could happen seperatly if 1 so wished but it doesnt have to in the words of hte law ‘If the civil element of the religious ceremony is omitted, the marriage is not recognized by government under the law.’

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