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Battle for UK gay marriage equality continues

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  1. And not a word from Ben Summerskill who right now is doing NOTHING to become proactive for full civil marriage equality. He needs to go and be replaced by someone who is.

  2. What a pair of weirdo’s.
    No wonder nobody takes us seriously.

  3. “The campaign’s leader, Mr Tatchell, said that both straight and gay couples should be able to access either institution.”

    What a fcukwit. We don’t want two institutions for the government to fudge the issues and skirt round the obvious facts.

    We just want marriage for everyone.
    CP is simply a bullsh!t compromise, and should be done away with immediately.

  4. Meanwhile in USA, same issue.
    David Boies & Chad Griffin On Prop 8 Hearing In Federal Appeals Court

  5. Mihangel apYrs 8 Dec 2010, 9:07pm

    if “straight” CP is necessary for same-sex marriage to come off, then it’s a price worth paying.

    Let them knock themselves out!

  6. Spanner, who is this “us” and “we”? Who are you speaking for exactly?

  7. I see lord avebury(lib dem) is going to ask the govt some LGBT issues in the house of lord but why or why isn’t he going to braoch the gay
    marriage ….

    ans by 21/12

    Lord Avebury to ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to implement their commitment to gay rights. HL4991

    Lord Avebury to ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to promote international recognition of United Kingdom civil partnerships. HL4992

    Lord Avebury to ask Her Majesty’s Government how many asylum claims based on sexual orientation have been made by (a) men, and (b) women, in the United Kingdom in each of the last five years; and what steps they are taking to improve the accuracy of UK Border Agency Operational Guidance Notes and Country of Origin Information with regard to the persecution of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

  8. Peter Tatchell is doing a great job.

  9. Without Thatchel the issue would be dead!!!

    What are the politicians and Stonewall doing – ans – NOTHING!

  10. Jock S. Trap 9 Dec 2010, 7:29am

    Focusing on how people look is just a bigotted an opinion as what religious people use against someone for being gay. It doesn’t matter how they look, the fact they’ve stood up and are willing to publicly challenge Equal rights particularly with regards to love, shows great these eight couples are. To stand up and try to make a difference.

    I’m thinking Stonewall only decided to support Equal marriage so that people didn’t protest when they had their awards ceremony.

  11. john(derbyshire) 9 Dec 2010, 10:32am

    Christian organisations continue to discriminate against us based on the fact that we cannot marry. (See story about Christian B&B Owners refusing to accept unmarried couple).Therefore we must plug this loophole as soon as possible-so we are equal to everyone else.

  12. Stonewall need to disband.

    Their claim that they now support LGBT equality was clearly a barefaced lie designed to avoid controversy at their pathetic awards ceremony.

    Why has the homophobic bigot Ben Summerskill not been sacked yet,.

    Summerskill is the bigot who claimed not to have an opinion on marriage equality, yet at the Lib Dem party conference he was actively campaigning against marriage equality.

    A so-called equal rights charity headed by a bigot who believes that LGBT people should be 2nd class citizens is not fit for purpose.
    Stonewall is not fit for purpose.

  13. The Government should be asked to provide a reason (one that is not nonsense), why same sex couples are banned from marriage and why opposite sex couples are barred from civil partnerships.
    Will Stonewall ask the question and demand they provide an answer? will Peter Tatchell? will Pink News?

  14. Jock S. Trap 9 Dec 2010, 11:34am

    Maybe they should be asking in the view of the cuts in particular, would it be justified to cut what Lesbian and Gay people contribute in tax to the equivalent of the equal right we recieve?

    Answer… No it wouldn’t be workable.

    Therefore if you expect people to pay the same then the government has a duty to treat all the same!

  15. Its up to all of us to keep the pressure on Summerskill and call his bluff. Its clear he’s not going to move. Check StonewallUK’s website,you’ll see NOTHING about it. He said it will be part of its agenda, so where is it Summerskill? Why the foot dragging? Why is he wasting precious time trying to get religious denominations to recognise or officiate CPs? Straight married couples who marry in a registry office don’t have religion involved with their ceremonies so neither should we. As for that other nonsense having CPs internationally recognised, another exercise in futility. Its NOT going to happen, arrogant of our government to even think it when most of the civilised world doesn’t even have any semblance of legal unions for gay couples. There are now ten countries allowing us to marry. Where are there ten countries offering identical British CPs and Lord Avebury expects the rest of the world to recognise paltry CPs? Its delusional.

  16. The only possible reason to deny same-sex couples the right to marry when they were provided all the rights and benefits of marriage through civil partnership was to convey that same-sex relationships were not as good as those that different-sex couples form and that same-sex couples, and lesbian and gay people generally, deserve to be treated worse.

  17. If we are only fighting over a word “marriage” and otherwise no substantive differences at the civil level, aren’t we essentially creating a subclass with civil partnerships?

    Same-sex couples procreate, not in the old-fashioned way, but the point is that the UK now doesn’t discourage LGBT people from being parents, or treat them differently [than parents with other family structures].

    If the word “marriage” is the institution, then the argument is just that gays and lesbians would ‘“stain’” the institution . This is classification for its own sake.

  18. Yes, Pavlos. It’s saying that we’ll never be quite as good as straight people; that are relationships aren’t as real; that we don’t deserve to be treated as equal to ‘normal’ people.

    There’s no genuine reason that I can think of to deny us access to marriage. I’d really, really like to know what the government’s excuse was. As for Stonewall, I didn’t trust them when they suddenly made that announcement and I don’t trust them now. What are they doing to forward equal marriage? Nothing – they’re not even bothering to pretend to do anything. Peter Tatchell’s the only one pushing on our behalf and I’m very grateful to him.

  19. Iris, I borrowed & adapted a little from the proceedings at the Prop 8 trial in my previous 2 posts. The issue they are dealing with there is much the same.

    Democratic Governments should not be enforcing prejudiced religious-based moral disapproval but that is all that seems to be behind the UK bar on same sex couples being given equal access to civil marriage, there is no rational secular reason for the bar and religion should not have any influence on this civil issue.

    When the Government sanctions religious disapproval & prejudice this way it gives legitimacy to gay bashing and bullying of gay kids in school because it is saying that gays and lesbians are a sub class, inferior and not worthy of equal civil rights and protections.

    The ban on marriage equality disadvantages same sex couples and any children they may be caring for, while it benefits nobody.
    (other than spiteful bigots who must derive some satisfaction)

  20. 19/10 Stephen Gilbert – To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities if she will assess the likely level of take-up of provision in legislation for civil partnerships for heterosexual couples.

    Lynee Featherstone – have not been any assessments on the likely take up by heterosexual couples seeking a civil partnership, were it to be provided for in legislation.

    The Civil Partnership Act 2004 was designed to give same-sex relationships parity of treatment with civil marriage. To enter into a civil partnership, two people must be of the same sex.

    Stephen Gilbert: To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities if she will assess the likely level of take-up of provision in legislation for same-sex marriage. [18111]

    Lynne Featherstone: There have not been any assessments of the likely take up of same-sex marriage, were it to be provided for in legislation.

    YES – so what about expanding on this now that you have an answer!!!

    Keep asking questions!!! and what about a private bill!!!!


    This is an interesting doc – it’s only 3 months old from the home office and asks questions like – it’s factual but I wonder why this report exist and why these questions were being asked in July 2010?????

    7 How does civil partnership differ from marriage? 6
    7.1 Technical differences under the CPA 2004 6
    7.2 Social differences 7

    8 The impact of the Human Rights Act 1998 7
    8.1 Background 7
    8.2 Should marriage be an option for same-sex couples? 8
    8.3 Should civil partnerships be an option for heterosexual couples?

    9 The impact of the Equality Act 2010 9
    9.1 Civil partnerships on religious premises 9
    9.2 A right to marry for same-sex couples

  22. Regarding 8.2
    The legal definition of marriaqe being a car bumper slogan that it is between a man and a woman…self evidently untrue today when we have several Eurpoean countries with marriage equality.
    A now obviously out of date definition of marriage is a tenuous reason for barring gay and lesbian couples from marriage, it must be amended to a gender neutral definition.

  23. Mihangel apYrs: “if “straight” CP is necessary for same-sex marriage to come off, then it’s a price worth paying.”

    I disagree. CP’s were set up as an fudged alternative to marriage for same-sex couples. Giving straights equality to us is pointless. We want equality with straights.

    All this does is muddy the waters and dilute our prime directive, CP’s should be scrapped. Period.

  24. Pavlos – exactly. That’s why it really galls me to hear major religious people (rather than loony street-shouters) going on and on about ‘traditional’ views. They INSIST on promulgating the idea that we’re not worth as much. How can I possibly reassure the children in my class that being gay is OK if they’re getting that poisonous message from religious people continually?

    I do wish the government would clamp down on what they’re allowed to say. I know that sounds intolerant, but I bet they wouldn’t let religious people go on about the Curse of Ham and black people ‘being inferior’ in the 21st century. The fact that they tacitly accept it’s OK for us to be denigrated is highly disturbing. Scratch the surface of many seemingly reasonable people and you’ll find a shocking amount of dislike of LGBT people.

    Until society stops this then I despair that we can really progress. You’re quite right about their being no place for religion in civil matters. What’s so pathetic about Prop 8 is that the US Constitution CLEARLY separates Church and State. IT’s also supposed to be protecting the rights of minorities.

    In the UK, CPs are a fudge – “Look, you’ve got CPs so you don’t need anything. It’s just the same, right? So why don’t you go away?” They’re an excuse not to do anything about equal marriage. I bet that if you pinned the Gov down and insisted they not mention religion because it was irrelevant, they’d use CPs to ‘prove’ there was no need for marriage equality.

    Spanner, yes, I thought that too. However, some people on here said they preferred CPs and liked having a different thing. Out of fairness for their opinion, I now feel that CPs should be left as they are, but I do hope they’d die a natural death.


    29th March

    Homosexuals (Right to Marriage)
    The Petition of residents of Bristol and others,

    Declares that the Petitioners disapprove of the fact that homosexuals do not have the right to a legal ceremony of marriage.

    The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to bring forward legislation to give homosexuals the right to a legal ceremony of marriage.

    And the Petitioners remain, etc. -[Presented by Stephen Williams , Official Report, 26 January 2010; Vol. 504, c. 780 .]


    Observations from the Secretary of State for Justice , received 26 March 2010 :

    The Government have no plans to legislate for same-sex marriage. It is important to recognise that marriage has particular historical traditions attached to it. The Government strongly believe that no one should be treated less favourably because of their sexual orientation. We feel that civil partnership provides an appropriate, secular approach to giving recognition to same-sex couples.

    The Civil Partnership Act 2004 was introduced to give same-sex couples the right to gain rights and responsibilities equivalent to those of married couples and as a way for lesbian and gay couples to show their commitment to each other in the same way that opposite-sex couples can through marriage.

    The main aim of the Civil Partnership Act was to address the injustices that same-sex couples faced because they had been unable to secure legal recognition of their relationships. Provisions in the Civil Partnership Act comprise both rights and responsibilities, which are on a par with those bestowed by marriage. These include, for example, a duty to provide maintenance to the other partner; compensation under the provisions of the Fatal Accidents Act; and the right to survivor pension benefits, to name a few. The Civil Partnership Act does not apply to opposite-sex couples as they have always had the opportunity to obtain a legal and “socially recognised” status for their relationship through marriage, whether through a religious or civil ceremony.

    The Government have always maintained that marriage itself is only between a man and a woman. This view has been upheld by the UK courts, most recently in the case of Wilkinson and Kitzinger 2006. Wilkinson and Kitzinger are a British lesbian couple who got married in Canada where same-sex marriage is legal. Under UK law, their marriage is recognised as a civil partnership, but they wanted the court to rule that it should be recognised as a marriage. However, the High Court decided in line with case law, that it could not be recognised as a marriage because they are not male and female.

    During the Lords’ Report stage of the Equality Bill on 2 March 2010, an amendment tabled by Lord Alli won a free vote. The effect of this amendment would be to amend the Civil Partnership Act 2004, by removing the express prohibition on civil partnerships taking place in religious premises in England and Wales. The intention of this amendment would be to enable same-sex
    29 Mar 2010 : Column 19P
    couples to register their civil partnership within religious premises assuming that the particular religious institution permitted this.

    This is not same-sex marriage, but would provide the opportunity for same-sex couples to register their civil partnership in a religious setting, accompanied by a
    29 Mar 2010 : Column 20P
    religious service if they so wished. The Government made their position clear during the amendment debate but is currently considering their position in light of this vote, and the further clarifying amendments that have since been tabled by Lord Alli.

  26. John it’s the old car bumper slogan, “marriage is betrween a man and a woman”, a slogan is not a reason.

    Civil marriage doesn’t have much tradition attached to it at all so I guess he is talking about religious marriage which should not be a consideration at all here,
    The lresponse from the s Secretary of State for Justice is waffle and nonsense,

    “The Government strongly believe that no one should be treated less favourably because of their sexual orientation. We feel that civil partnership provides an appropriate, secular approach to giving recognition to same-sex couples.”

    However many gay men and lesbian women feel differently and we percieve that we are being treated less favourably becvause of our sexual orientation, the government needs to respond to this perception appropriately.

    “The Government have always maintained that marriage itself is only between a man and a woman. This view has been upheld by the UK courts.”

    Contrary to what the Government opines today marriage is not only between a man and a woman, seven EU countries now have gay marriage equality…when will UK catch up with those countries and stop making prejudiced nonsense excuses.


  27. “Since 2005’s Civil Partnership Act, same-sex couples have been effectively allowed the same “rights” to marry as their straight counterparts. But marriage itself remains forbidden, something that many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people believe is discriminatory. It is also out of step with the 10 countries to have introduced parity between civil marriage and civil partnership: Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and Sweden.”

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