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Straight couple denied civil partnership again

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  1. Dandelion 9 Nov 2010, 5:46pm

    Makes me smile, because you know all the anti-gay groups are screaming in horror over this.
    “Oh my god, in our bid to ‘protect’ marriage from the gays, now straight people are moving to not even get married. Blast those gays!”
    When it could of been easily prevented had they never convinced the government that segregation was a good idea…

  2. Red Gosans 9 Nov 2010, 6:06pm

    6 couples left. I’m really hoping that one of them gets their application approved, but I’m realistic enough to know that it probably won’t happen. I’ll be watching for news of the remaining couples and wish them luck.

  3. de Villiers 9 Nov 2010, 6:53pm

    It’s the other way round in France. Everyone – heterosexual and homosexual couples can have a civil partnership. But only heterosexual couples can have a marriage.

    And in France, marriage is strictly a secular, civil marriage and ceremony, held in the town hall by the mayor.

  4. “We don’t like the patriarchal traditions of marriage and don’t want to be called husband and wife….”

    “Tom and I see each other as equal partners. That’s why civil partnerships appeal to us. They are more egalitarian and better reflect our relationship.”

    I like those sentiments. Until this campaign, I had just assumed that civil partnerships were legal regardless of sexuality… that they are not is ridiculous… as is the ban on gay marriage of course.

    I’m following this equal love campaign with interest.

  5. And when exactly are the other main players in this issue going to start doing something – it’s the lib dems that are in power with the cons, LGBT labour at least have agreed with their policy and now Stonewall have also agreed with marriage equality – We all welcome this campaign but it needs to be backed up by action from the MPs and other gay orgs!!!

    What exactly is in the pipeline, private member’s bills??? parliamentary questions???? more publicity in the mainstream press??? or are we just expected to sit around waiting and congratulating people on their support and inaction!

  6. Well now, if the government abolished civil marriage and only civil partnerships were available to everyone, the majority of straights would be up in arms about it because for the majority of them, marriage is the gold standard around the world and they wouldn’t be recognised in most countries anyway. Civil partnerships will never reach such status. That said, I commend Peter Tatchell, at least he’s doing something about it while StonewallUK hasn’t even started and probably won’t for some time to come even though it said it will campaign for it? When? Nearer election time?

    de Villiers…PACs don’t even carry nearly as many of the rights of British civil partnerships, far fewer in fact. I wouldn’t want them either. A British same-sex civil partnered couple in France wouldn’t enjoy identical rights living in France, but a French same-sex couple who have a PAC would derive far more rights inherent in the British version if they resided in the UK. That’s why these varying degrees of legal unions are so unequal across the spectrum and carry no real portability in terms of recipcrocal rights. Marriage is the only one that does.

  7. de Villiers 9 Nov 2010, 9:57pm

    I did not say otherwise. I said merely that PACS are open to everyone in France but marriage was open only to heterosexuals.

  8. Mihangel apYrs 9 Nov 2010, 10:47pm

    just as a matter of interest, does anyone know how a French PACS is treated in this country?

  9. There are a few differences:
    * In the UK, we tend to see Civil Partnerships (CP’s) as marriages under a different name, as they carry the same rights and obligations. Non-religious folk in the UK tend to turn up to gay people’s “weddings” rather than CP’s.

    * In France the PACS is seen in a much less positive light, not unexpectedly considering it only provides a portion of the rights afforded to married couples.

    * Until April 2009, British CP’s weren’t even recognised in France. Gay Brits were forced to dissolve their CP’s in order to have a PACS.

    * The UK recognises a PACS between a same-sex couple.

    * British CP’s are hard to dissolve, with the same process as divorce, where as PACS are easy to terminate, being considered only a contract between two people.

  10. “In the UK, we tend to see Civil Partnerships (CP’s) as marriages under a different name, as they carry the same rights and obligations.”

    Unless of course, 1 partner dies. CP’s don’t offer the same pension protections as marriage.

    And CP’s are not recognised abroad.

    CP’s are not equality. They should be available to everyone of course.

    But let’s not forget, that they were created with the sole purpose of denying gay people the right to marry.

    Stonewall say they now support equality.

    Where is their equality agenda?

    Should we continue to oppose Stonewall for their opposition to gay equality?

    Is Ben Summerskill still the leader of Stonewall?

    If so, then why?

    Why hasn’t he been sacked yet?

  11. The French recognised or should I say gave “rights” or potential rights to foreign gay marriages prior to 2009 under conventions signed by France and under private international law. In 2009 they changed their civil law to recognise foreing CPs and allowed various ministers to decide what rights CPs would have under French law in France. They don’t necessarily equate to the same rights as PACS couples but they are most definitely not covered by any conventions signed by France on foreign marriages.

    France and most recently Luxemboury (Nov this yr) both changed their civil law with regards to their PACS to recognise foreign CPs etc under extreme pressure…particularly from Europe and the free movement directive..

    Britain does not recognise different sex couples in a PACS (and remember foreign CPs are quite often open to all) and so like those poor buggers in France who were told that they had to divorce first in the UK in order to do a PACS in France and get any rights in France these different sex unions have to do the same when they move and work in the UK.. they must first dissolve their CPs/PACS etc and get married in the UK….pretty disgraceful!!

    How can the UK justify this, how can Europe approve of this when we are ALL entitiled to move around Europe freely, carrying our civil status with us…!

  12. Tim Hopkins 10 Nov 2010, 9:34am

    John (#5) – other LGBT organisations are campaigning on this issue. In Scotland, there has been an active campaign in the Parliament and elsewhere for two years, involving the Equality Network, LGBT Youth Scotland, the LGBT Network, NUS Scotland and other groups.

    There is an Equal Marriage Scotland campaign email list – if you want to join it, email me at tim at

  13. This is a great campaign highlighting pointless discrimination.

    I’m so looking forward to Stonewall’s marriage equality campaign, what is happening? where can I find some information about it?
    last time I checked the Stonewall website there was nothing to be found about marriage equality posted there.

  14. I for one wish these two pasty faced attention seekers would start using their time for something more productive. They should go back to listening to the smiths.

    On a serious note, and I know many will moan at my above snipe, but marriage should be available regardless of gender, sex or religion. Sadly it isnt. CP should infer the same rights as marriage on same sex couples, sadly they don’t. I just think all this ‘I don’t want to be called his wife as I’m his equal’ semantic crap is making then whole fight seem really petty to the daily mail reading crowd that seems to run this country when actually it’s a massive deal and should be taken seriously.

    I’d best go ‘as I haven’t got a stich to wear’

  15. @14, Well bee, I guess if Tom & Katherine didn’t explain why they do want the right to a civil partnership and why they don’t want to get married people would just tell them to go get married.
    I think they are being true heroes, it takes guts to put yourself in the line of media & legal fire for equality.

  16. “I for one wish these two pasty faced attention seekers would start using their time for something more productive. They should go back to listening to the smiths.

    On a serious note, and I know many will moan at my above snipe, but marriage should be available regardless of gender, sex or religion. Sadly it isnt. CP should infer the same rights as marriage on same sex couples, sadly they don’t. I just think all this ‘I don’t want to be called his wife as I’m his equal’ semantic crap is making then whole fight seem really petty to the daily mail reading crowd that seems to run this country when actually it’s a massive deal and should be taken seriously.”

    Actually, I agree. I read the article and can understand why they’re doing what they’re doing however if Ms Doyle was so anti-patriarchal insitution then why bother with a CP or marriage at all? What a load of twaddle.

    Perhaps they could go back to the retro bar for some jolly old drinks with their middle class, anti-mainstream chums.

    Can you imagine the after celebration buffet? Probably be Vegan.

  17. Louie Mince 10 Nov 2010, 3:34pm

    With you on this one Danny, they seem like total “right-ons”, especially Katherine Doyle’s comments. She’s probably stitched her used sanitary towels together to make blankets for the ‘black babies’ in Africa. I’m only guessing they live in Stoke Newington and at the weekend sell greetings cards made from hemp at the local farmers’ market.

  18. @Danny, who gives a scheise about the Daily Mail reading crowd? Maybe you’re concerned about your parents? Happily, this myho group has had many laws past before its very eyes and is thus a toothless fairytale monster used to please Middle Englanders. What’s necessary is political will, which can only come from pressure on MPs and threats of loss of support to govt.
    Leave these kids alone. It takes guts. Get writing your demands to MPs. Stonewall UK is defunct so one as to go more directly these days. Just like these two lovers.

  19. I still don’t get it. Why would a mixed sex couple want a CP when the secular marriage alternative of a civil marriage is available?

    What would be the benefit? I just do not buy the not wanting the baggage of being husband and wife – sophistic and incredible. I think this is just attention seeking for the sake of a non existent principle (or maybe a manufactured one).

    But surely we have confused the issues here. CP was of course a fudge. It was never really necessary except as a pragmatic compromise, at a time when the House of Lords would not have permitted same sex marriage. Once same sex marriage becomes possible, which I would like to say it inevitably will, what would be the remaining need for CPs.

    Or to put it another way, if we had been offered same sex marriage back then, would any of us have demanded Cs, or indeed would it even have occured to any of us that such a thing might exist?

    Of course not. Those of us religeously inclined would have had a religeous ceremony (to the extent permitted by whatever church we subscribed to) and the rest would have had a civil, registry office marriage.

    If that choice becomes our option, then CPs need not exist; somehow there would need to be a transition, but that would not be difficult in the context.

    Which really, at least to my mind, demonstrates why CPs are otiose for same sex couples!

    My real concern, I suppose, because I really couldn’t care less
    whether mixed sex couples can have a CP, is that their campaign could harm the same sex campaign for marriage equality. I always believe that the simpler a cause, the easier it is to win. I fear “ours” could be harmed here by one which is not (please do not shout at me) strictly necessary

  20. This is a joke. Talk about scoring an own goal.
    I wish this pair and others would just fcuk off and stop interfering. No gay man would choose a CP over a marriage, having two different standards is not only inequitable, it is stupid, it costs extra money and organisation and serves absolutely no purpose whatsoever. Marriage is a world wide accepted standard. All we ask is that we can have it too, and not get fobbed off with substandard alternatives.

  21. She’s probably stitched her used sanitary towels together to make blankets for the ‘black babies’ in Africa” – comedy gold

    Totally agree, I’m all for equality in its true form but my senses with these two states otherwise. I mean I hardly feel they have felt the persecution of having no option to legally enforce their committment to another like the gay community had to until recently. It’s not like they have feared that showing public affection could get their faces smashed in (even if by anti-smiths protesters) like a number of the gay community have and still fear.

    ‘It takes guts to put yourself in media fire’ yes and I’m sure this fight is totally altruistic for them. In our world of fame for 5 seconds. A few sound bites hardly further the cause.

    What is their minor annoyance about titles and patriarch is actually life changing frustration for the gay community.

    I will happily cook them a nut roast if they just do one.

  22. Perhaps some of you commenting so spitefully here have not been following the plot of the Equal Love Campaign.
    4 gay couples & 4 straight couples are compiling evidence of actual discrimination in preparation for a court case to address the double discrimination of same sex couples being barred from marriage while opposite sex couples are barred from civil partnerships…and for no apparent rational reason nor providing benefit to anybody.

  23. Louie Mince 10 Nov 2010, 8:18pm

    Pfft, I’d prefer other peoples’ analysis of the situation on here to be honest with you Pavlos.

  24. Pfft … too much wind Louie?
    The conversation here seems to have degenerated.

  25. I personally don’t care what happens with CPs once we have marriage equality. As far as I can see CPs are the same as marrige more or less, it’s only purpose was to give gays marriage without the name. I don’t know what the intention of the orginal CP bill was since it was supposed to be open to all but somewhere along the lines someone said give CPs to gays only to shut them up and hopefully we’ll nver hear from them again.

    They gave us 2 discriminatory laws, marriage and CPs. Both did the same thing and were meant to make us seperate and different.

    They would have been better to have kept to the original plan of bringing in CP for all and I presume that original CP had different set of rights and obligations. I can see what these guys are trying to prove (it’s been documented many times before!) but I agree with somoeone above that bringing in the current CP for straights may be a problem but then again the problem was created by govt and they are the ones that need to remedy these 2 discrimaintory laws – it not right or equal at the moment and I thought we were supposed to be eliminating all discrimination on sexual orientation…

    They should have done the correct thing in the first place, marriage for all and somekind of domestic partnership for all..

    1. Spanner1960 23 Jul 2011, 9:20am

      John: “I presume that original CP had different set of rights and obligations.”
      You presume wrong. They are all but identical except in name. For “domestic partnership” read “marriage”, they are one and the same, so why run with two parallel processes? Just give us the one everybody else has.

  26. Tim Hopkins 11 Nov 2010, 10:05am

    Spanner (#20) “No gay man would choose a CP over a marriage”. We’ve done the research, and it’s clear you are mistaken on this. The Equality Network’s recent survey of 430 LGBT people in Scotland asked people, if marriage and CP were both available for same-sex couples, which would they choose?

    One in four said they’d choose CP – three in four said they’d choose marriage. The campaign should be about people having the freedom to choose. The campaign will fail if it becomes about one particular part of the LGBT community imposing their view of the value of CP vs marriage, on everyone else.

  27. de Villiers 11 Nov 2010, 10:20am

    PACS in France are popular. Each year since their introduction, save one, the yearly increase in the number of registered PACS has been at least 25% and as high as 50%. Much of it is political – those heterosexual couples on the left are more likely to enter into a PACS than those on the right. It is more modern and without the social and historical connotations of a marriage.

    At first, the rights of people who had entered into a PACS were different from marriage. In June 2006, the rights relating to property and tax were brought into line with civil marriages. PACS partners are treated in the same way as a married couple for tax – that is they are a single unit for income tax.

    The main differences are as follows. It is easier to dissolve a PACS – there is not the same financial obligation to a partner as to a spouse on dissolution. There is no right of adoption or to artificial insemination. On the death of a partner, the other does not have rights of inheritance although this can be addressed by both partners having identical wills.

    In 2007, there was a further amendment to allow a partner in a PACS the power of attorney over the other, say if there were a serious accident or disability.

    A French person may enter into a PACS with a non French person. Also, the law was changed in 2009 (Act No 2009-526) to state that foreign partners can be treated as being in a PACS where there is an equivalent in their home country. There is recognition of foreign same-same marriage pursuant to the Senate Question 20257 at 2829 published on 3.9.06.

    The UK recognises a french homosexual couple in a PACS as being in a civil partnership when living in the UK.

  28. I know from experience that a SS couple from a country without SS marriage or CPs cannot PACS in France thus denying such couples the ability to immigrate to France as a couple. This is not the case in the UK where a foreign resident can enter a CP with a foreign non-resident and immigrate together. I recall a French Minister arguing that marriage inequality is justified in a secular society because straight-only marriage encourages cross-gender understanding thus breaking down sexism. Never underestimate the French’s ability rationalise.

  29. de Villiers, what about portability of PACs outside of France, excluding the UK? PACs and Civil Partnerships will never be universal or equal to each other because of the differences and fewer rights in the French model. Of all the legal same sex unions in the world, the British model is arguably the only one that offers more than the others. Civil marriage equality is the only vehicle which provides all of the rights enjoyed by heterosexuals as a birthright, but not for LGBT people.

    Tim Hopkins, and I daresay fewer straight couples in the UK would choose a CP. In any event, there are of course some people who vavour CPs in place of marriage, but then they’re not looking at the larger picture in terms of portability and recognition in other countries. Everyone knows what marriage is and its significance, whereas not everyone, especially those who aren’t British know what a CP is> What what they do know is, its not a marriage and viewed very differently, less than marriage because they are not the majority anywhere in the world and never will be nor will they be equal.

  30. Tim (and others), CPs did not exist until they were brought in as a political fudge. When we can marry, they will be otiose and can cease to exist (with some transition). There will be no need for a CP. So different sex couples will not be discriminated against.

    My main concern remains that by fighting for different sex CPs, this couple, whether they be well intentioned, or attenton seekers, are doing the marriage equality campaign harm by causing confusion.

    And while I have the very highest regard for Peter Tatchell, I think he is helping this confusion by promoting his particular campaign in this way. It should be a single, simple, issue.

  31. Tim Hopkins: “One in four said they’d choose CP – three in four said they’d choose marriage.”
    That may well be the case, but there should never have been the opportunity to make a choice in the first place. CP’s serve no purpose whatsoever, and were implemented purely to appease gay people whilst not pissing off the Church.
    Had you asked the question “Should gay people be allowed to marry?” without the mention of CP’s, I’m sure the response would be much higher.

  32. de Villiers 11 Nov 2010, 11:47pm

    I understand that as for the portability of PACS – that depends upon the country in which the PACS partners are living. A gay couple in a PACS are treated in the UK as being in a civil partnership. I do not know how a straight couple would be treated. UK civil partnerships confer greater rights than a PACS. A civil partnership is all but marriage.

  33. Spanner1960 23 Jul 2011, 9:16am

    All I can say is “Good”.
    This is a ridiculous farce. CP’s are an inferior fudge created to pacify the churches. We need a single, legal marriage procedure for everybody, gay, straight, secular or religious.
    All these idiots are doing is muddying the waters and pandering to the Christian Right.

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