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Liberal Democrats back marriage equality for gay couples

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  1. PatrickC01 21 Sep 2010, 1:34pm

    At last, one of the 3 major parties makes it official policy. Labour and the Tories, when will they?

  2. Fantastic! If I’m honest, I don’t think it will come fully into fruition until the next time Labour is in power, but well done to Lib Dem’s regardless!

  3. Patrick, I’ve no doubt Labour will be next, five of them already support it including two contenders for the leadership. The Tories may not have any choice but to follow suit if they think they’ll ever be re-elected and want to gain a few more gay votes. Pragmatism may take precedence.

  4. PatrickC01 21 Sep 2010, 1:43pm

    Brian – I hope we don’t have to wait until Labour is next in power – that is going to be at least 5, probably 10 years away. I think this will happen in 2011. The Tories are do determined to show themselves to be modern that I think they will go for it.

  5. Richie, liverpool 21 Sep 2010, 1:45pm

    Great news, and even more proud that this took place in my home town of Liverpool. A little bit of gay history took place here today and things will only go forwards…

  6. PatrickC01 21 Sep 2010, 1:47pm

    Richie – indeed, this is a little bit of history

  7. Brilliant news! :D Now I hope they can persuade their coalition partners.

  8. Another reason to be a proud Liberal Democrat voter. As soon as Labour are out of power, all of their leadership candidates suddenly support equal marriage – thirteen years too late. The Liberals on the other hand make equal marriage official policy whilst they are in government. Now to see if the Tories have changed as much as Dave likes to make out…

  9. Thank heavens – a very good piece of news.

    Agree with comment 4 – labour may not get into power for a very long time – don’t want to have to wait until then for somehting to happen and that’s assuming labour adopts marriage equality and also assumes they would actually get around to bringing in marriage equality, it took them a long time to get around to giving us CPs – so please don’t put your hopes on hold for marriage equality until the next labour govt!!!!

    I prefer to lib dems to bring in a change themselves with lab support and some cons lib myself in this parliament!!

  10. Labour, through no one’s fault but their own, has now handed over the mantle of being the party of gay rights.

    If this government passes marriage equality, it will mark the end of the Labour/gay shotgun marriage that has kept gays intensely loyal to Labour for so many years.

    If a Tory/Liberal government passes marriage equality the gay vote will be completely up for grabs for whoever produces results, AS IT SHOULD BE.

    Too bad we in America don’t have ANY good options. We have the choice between do nothing Democrats and hostile Republicans which means NOTHING gets done in the area of gay rights.

    I predict that the UK will have marriage equality under the current government. The movement is definitely picking up steam and moving quickly, like an unstoppable train, toward justice and equality. Labour better jump on board or they will be run over.

    And how disgusting is Stonewall in all of this? Our HRC sucks ass but Stonewall makes them look good. Why do you continue to fund this group that actively works AGAINST gay civil equality? Someone is funding them very well or they wouldn’t be so healthy and active. You need to follow the money and find out who is pulling the strings at Stonewall. I would bet money that when you find out who’s funding them you’ll find out that it isn’t gay people and that the people funding them don’t have gay people’s best interest at heart. They have another agenda. I seriously encourage you to have the organization, and its funding, investigated.

  11. Well done Lib Dems… Up Yours Summerskill!!

  12. Old ladys gin 21 Sep 2010, 4:40pm

    I’m a little confused should this go ahead. I welcome it but wonder about a couple of things:
    Will the two be run in tandem ie You may choose either a marriage or a partnership, or will there be only marriage as in Spain?
    Those already in partnerships, will they be able to switch it to a marriage? If they should wish to.
    It seems, to me, pointless as well to go ahead with a system that would not be recognised immediately in other countries, notably within the EU. At the moment UK partnerships are not recognised by all EU members and even those that do impose limitations.

  13. Well done Clegg, very impressed with his viewpoints in a liberal like society with no bias for religion what so ever, with important figures such as Clegg via politics and the progression of science with people like Dawkins, society will continue to progress and work away from religious nonsense and bigotry which has blighted the lives of many gay people.

  14. @ comment 12: What’s been passed is simply Lib Dem party policy. It gives Lib Dem ministers/MPs stronger grounds on which to lobby for the issue to be addressed in Parliament, but a parliamentary bill would likely be very different wording to the LD policy that’s been adopted here.

    I imagine the type of thing that would get enacted in Westminster would be to equalise marriage and CPs into just gender-neutral marriage, rather than maintain an arguably more ‘radical’ two-tier system for all genders/sexualities. The latter would take broader minds, I suspect, not to mention fiddlier work/more effort from MPs.

    Labour kinda wrote itself into a corner by making the CP laws just *slightly* different to marriage, in more than just name. Makes it a lot harder to move forward from now… I expect the UK would follow Norway’s lead and neutralise the gender language, then auto-convert all CPs to marriages.

  15. Tim Hopkins 21 Sep 2010, 5:18pm

    The policy agreed by the Lib Dems today is to retain marriage and CP, and open them both to all couples regardless of gender. It includes that there would be a simple way to convert your CP to a marriage if you want, without losing any benefits.

    Keeping CP as well as marriage is crucial – in the Equality Network’s surveys in Scotland, 1 in 4 same-sex couples say they’d want a CP, and 3 in 4 say they’d want a marriage.

    The Netherlands, Belgium and South Africa have both marriage and CP (registered partnership, civil union). In the Netherlands, the ratio of the annual number of same-sex marriages to same-sex registered partnerships is 3 to 1.

    In summary, a significant minority prefer CP, so it should not be abolished. The LibDem motion today got the policy absolutely right.

  16. Hi
    Note, it is a fact that there is a whole gender spectrum.
    Good Luck

  17. Peter Tatchell 21 Sep 2010, 5:43pm

    Congratulations and thanks to the Lib Dems, who have followed the Green Party in voting for same-sex civil marriage and straight civil partnerships. Full equality. Bravo! This makes two UK parties in favour. The Tories and Labour look really backward and out of touch. They still defend the same-sex marriage ban.

    This what the Greens previously said way back in 2004: (

    and their support for gay marriage in the Green Party’s 2010 election manifesto:

  18. Hayden:

    “Labour, through no one’s fault but their own, has now handed over the mantle of being the party of gay rights.”

    They have just passed it at their conference – this doesn’t make it law. So, it is not right to say that a party who have passed no positive LGBT legislation has claimed the mantle of gay rights from the party that has passed ALL the gay rights legislation to date!

    Still, good show lib dems – just hope they can get it passed their intrinsically homophobic bed-fellows, now!

  19. Craig Nelson 21 Sep 2010, 6:26pm

    As a Labour activist I have my differences with Lib Dems, especially on the Coalition’s planned cuts agenda but I am glad of them passing this resolution which makes it easier to get marriage equality passed into law.

    All the 5 Labour leadership candidates supported marriage equality and therefore it is only a matter of time before it gets passed. Whichever way it’s likely to require Labour MP’s to vote in favour. The only real thing in question is whether the Lib Dem’s Tory coalition partners shoot it down in flames or give it enough support to pass in the current Parliament or have to await a Labour government. Personally I doubt the Tories will allow movement – we know their record.

    Either way today’s a good day for equality. It’s something all parties need to support.

  20. Thank you Lib Dems. @ Labour Party, WTF is happening over there? “Stonewall” as become a dictionary definition again… “obstruct or hinder any discussion; “Nixon stonewalled the Watergate investigation”; “When she doesn’t like to face a problem, she simply stonewalls” and “Stonewall stonewalled Equality”.

  21. The Lib Dems should exert big pressure on the Tories with regards to this issue. Though, to be honest, knowing the Tories, I doubt they would ever grant gay people the right to marry.

    They are a disgusting bunch. On the one hand, they hate big state when it involves taxing the rich, yet they use the use the state to deny equal rights to gay people. Hypocritical arseholes!

  22. Ed Johnson 21 Sep 2010, 8:19pm

    But we aren’t equal. We are gay. Not straight. We have civil partnerships, not marriage. Keep it that way. Why should we have marriage? Equally, why should straight people have civil partnerships? They shouldn’t!

  23. By your logic, Ed Johnson, we should also have a different name for marriages between different races (‘we’re not white, we’re black); different names for all other legal contracts like mortgages and leases (yes, most people who have those are straight, so if we have one too we must be copying them) etc etc.

    I personally would never have a CP, but I appreciate there are a number of gay people who prefer them. What I’d like is simple – gender neutral marriage to complete the fairness. I see one’s gender as irrelevant just like one’s race. If you love someone and wish to enter into a civil recognition of that love, then it’s wrong to deny gay people the same as straight people. If I was straight I could have a civil marriage, but because I’m gay I can’t. That’s not fair.

    And, yes, we ARE equal. Being different doesn’t mean we’re not equal.

    1. Raif Healy 14 Feb 2013, 3:00am


  24. Just read this in the ind , a bit provocative, I thought it was going to be civil marriages with the option for a church wedding if poss

    Clegg to discuss same-sex marriages with Cameron

    …Activists overwhelmingly called for same-sex couples to win the same right to a church wedding as heterosexuals, arguing that it was an essential step towards full equality of treatment for gay men and women.

  25. Rhetoric designed to appease to the uninformed. Marriage equality has been a LibDem policy for eons. I doubt this is gonna change anything.

  26. I’ve been engaged for the last 3 years. Maybe we can finally book a wedding date? Civil Partnership isn’t the same and well done to the Lib Dems for finally getting the *ahem* to put their money where their mouth is.

    Let’s hope the rest of the elected representatives now step up to the plate and becomes law.

  27. That’s what they are saying this week! Let’s wait 6 months see what they say ! Promise of another ministers job will change there mind !!

  28. Will the Lib-Dems work toward civil marriage equality throughout the EU? this really needs to be addressed.

  29. Raif Healy 14 Feb 2013, 2:53am

    After the motion was passed on the subject of equality & gay marraige it was unlawfully unsupported,which is against their equal rights policy!!! many people work in institutions where they up hold equal oppertunity and anti discrimination policies,the houses of parliment is one of those institutions regardless of why/whom oppose this!!!

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