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Government ministers ‘discussing’ gay marriage equality

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  1. Peter & Michael 24 Dec 2010, 11:27am

    Not much to discuss!! Just get on with it!!

  2. Religious CPs were part of the coalition agreement, so it’s not surprising to see Lynne proceeding with this while simultaneously looking at going further.

    The position of the Liberal Democrats is that we want equal access to CPs and marriage for all couples; we are pushing for this to become law. This is not the policy of the Tories (or Labour), so some work needs to be done to get them on board with us.

    Better to liaise and discuss now, and get a Bill with broad cross-party support, than bludgeon something through only to see it voted down on a technicality.

  3. Tim Roll-Pickering 24 Dec 2010, 11:51am

    Why do we need opposite sex CPs? What would be wrong with one system of equal marriage for all?

  4. Tim, civil partnerships are a lot more rigorously defined in legal terms (being explicitly laid out in the Civil Partnerships Act) than marriage, which has centuries of case law and interpretation. CPs also have less of the connotations of patriarchy etc. that even civil marriage can retain.

    These are some of the reasons why people might prefer CP to marriage. I suppose the question is – why not have both CPs and marriage available to all, rather than one or the other?

  5. This report is misleading as it doesn’t mention that, according to the Telegraph, the Government Equalities Office denied there were plans to change marriage law. The Telegraph report can’t be trusted either because its ‘source’ could well be David Heath’s (Deputy Leader of the House) response in Parliament. This is a non-story.

    Neither Lynne Featherstone nor any serving LibDem minister has spoken out recently in favour of marriage equality. It’s always CPs – the UK equivalent of DOMA

  6. Barristers Lesbian & Gay Group 24 Dec 2010, 12:50pm

    > Why do we need opposite sex CPs? What would be wrong with one system of equal marriage for all?

    In France, PACS are a popular choice for opposite-sex couples.

  7. It is a bit far fetched perhaps but what I would like to see is CIVIL PARTNERSHIPS/UNION for all.

    The state needs to drop the ‘marriage’ thing.

  8. SamB, that’s all well and good, but if marriage was abolished and replaced with CPs, no country outside of the UK would be compelled to recognise them. I don’t see that becoming a reality anyway, marriage for better or worse, excuse the pun, has and always will be the universal gold standard. Ten countries allows us to marry, a number that will increase. I don’t see that happening for CP’s anywhere in the world. The French PACs aren’t identical to CPs and offer fewer rights. So all we have left is one country, the UK with CPs for gays, Ireland with a watered down version of it and that’s just about it. I don’t see the point enacting varying degrees of legal unions other than marriage across the EU or anywhere else for that matter. The only way to resolve the disparity in equality is to allow civil marriage for all and civil partnerships for those straights who would prefer them. Its worked very well in Holland for the past ten years and there’s absolutey no reason why that can’t work in the UK or anywhere.

    David, I agree with you completely. Wasting time trying to have an religious element in CPs is absurd. Civil marriages have nothing to do with religion whatosever, nor should CPs. Its going to widen even further the disparity in equality for both straights and gays if that were to happen.

    I’ve said this many times before, all of us must keep the pressure on our politicians to make civil marriage equality a reality. We’ll get nothing and we’ll get nowhere if we don’t. Forget about Stonewall, they’re nowhere on the radar, irrelevant in fact. Only we can make it happen.

  9. Steve@GayWebHosting 24 Dec 2010, 1:50pm

    Talk is cheap remember. Lets see some action on the issue.

    I really have to agree that Stonewall is now so out of touch with the majority of lesbian and gay people that it should do us all a favor and close.

    It should certainly stop claiming to speak for us all within government circles/the media etc..

    It does´nt!

  10. Discuss??! What is there to discuss? “Now, about treating LGBT people as equal human beings….” Maybe while they’re there they could also discuss whether interracial marriages are a good idea, eh?

    David, I think you’re right about the religious CPs being anh attempt to fob us off. I think it’s purpose is to further entrench the idea that CPs are ‘what gay people have’. They’ll make it as similar to marriage as possible and then argue there’s no point in giving us acccess to civil marriage – that’s my fear.

  11. Tim Roll-Pickering 24 Dec 2010, 2:18pm

    Dave CPs were officially introduced purely as a same sex alternative to marriage; although many at the time suspected they were part of a back door way of undermining marriage in the long run. The fact that the campaign for opposite sex CPs is primarily focused on “equality” rather than the supposed merits of having a two tier system is very telling. If CPs had never existed and there was equal marriage for all, there would be no need to invent them.

    I have always wanted equal marriage, and that means supporting both words, not undermining them. If people have objections to the basic concept of marriage then frank tough sh*t, don’t get one. Don’t go trying to have one’s cake and eat it or try to piggyback campaign.

  12. Tim Hopkins 24 Dec 2010, 3:27pm

    ” If people have objections to the basic concept of marriage then frank tough sh*t, don’t get one.”

    That’s the whole point isn’t it. With CP available as an alternative, people with that view can have a CP instead. And why not? You may not like the idea of CP yourself Tim, but many others do.

    And as Robert pointed out, a system of both marriage and CP, both open to same-sex and mixed-sex couples, has worked well in the Netherlands for 10 years now.

    Also, from a practical campaign point of view, If the campaign here turns into “open marriage to same-sex couples and abolish CP” it will lose a lot of supporters, both within the LGBT communities and elsewhere. It can’t afford to do that.

  13. David Page – if we are at the stage of bringing in relgious CPs then surely we are at the stage of debatinge gay mariage at parliament and preparing a private bill – CP equality doesn’t necessarily have to coincide with that…afterall Stonwall and others like small changes, don’t they and not big ones…If the lib dems and greens dither much longer there won’t be much time for anything and your reputation will go down the drain. Discussions have already been taking place in Scotland , take their esperience and use it….

    Marriage equality hasn’t been mentioned at all in govt, David Heath’s response to Gilbert’s
    question on it was:
    “. I cannot give my hon. Friend an answer on civil partnerships, other than to say that the matter is being discussed actively by Home Office Ministers, as I think he knows. We hope to come to a conclusion soon.”

    He is probably referring to relgious CPs and NOT marriage equality..I’ve asked Heath’s lib dem neighbour a question on mariage equality months ago and have received nothing.My friend in Bristol has also contacted Stephen Williams, lib dem mp on the issue, still nothing!. I’m sure others have as well. WE HAVE HAD NO DEFINITIVE REPLY FROM A LIB DEM MP saying they will raise a prvate bill for marriage equality in the near future!!!! Relgious CPs are the only thing on the cards at the moment,,,,full stop!

  14. I agree that religious CP’s are a side issue from the main path but not a side track; if we accept that there are people who will not want to be labelled as “married” with all the associations that go wth that, then we must accept that there may be some of them who might still want to have a religious element to their CP ceremony.

    Governments should not make things illegal without good reason and there is no good reason why mentioning god in a cp ceremony should be outlawed by parliament – to do so only perpetuates the evil theory that God despises homosexuality.

    It is a fundamental problem in UK that the CofE is the “established” church, with the head of state also head of that church and the bishops sitting in Parliament as of right. And yet the CofE won’t move forward on equality because the Archbishop has to propitiate his overseas power base who hate homosexuality. At a time when we are supposed to be getting enthused about our future king getting married by the archbishop I find I have very mixed feelings.

    I feel it is inevitable that the C of E must be dis-established. The state and the CofE have no business in 2011 making laws about what individuals of any or no religion can or cannot be allowed to do on th basis of medieval traditions.

    So religious CP’s & marriages are a necessary reform.

    I agree with the general view that no non-established churches should be made to conduct CP’s/marriages if they do not want to do so. However, if the CofE is to remain our national church I do not see that it is tenable for it to be exempt from national equality laws in defiance of the will of the people

  15. As for straight CPs or getting rid of them completely then let’s not forget that we are in the EU, we have a free movement directive, the EU are pushing to recognise ALL civil documents (these aren’t LGBT issues!!!). Straight foregin CP (which are common and popular in th EU and around the world) are not recognised here but gay ones are…we can’t discriminate against these nor would it be popular to upgrade them to marriages in the UK in the same way as we downgrade gay marriages to CPs. I think there is a good chance that he EU will sort out the CP problem and force the UK to recognise straight ones so I really hope the concentration is on gay marriage …

  16. Gay Activist Paul Mitchell 25 Dec 2010, 12:21am

    Why create a new system called civil unions that is expensive in the longer term and promotes second-class status to same sex partners, when you already have civil marriage that will be good for the ecomomy and promote one humdred percent equality and effeciency????

  17. But it’s not a new system!!! we already have CPs , the intention is to simply open them up to straights – what’s the point of getting rid of them once we’ve already got them ayway , the expenditure of getting them has already gone, the govt is not going to get a refund by dropping them – the govt gave us CPs, people took them up and some like them , it’s not our fault we have them becasue the govt was too feeble to give us marriage in the first place….But since we have them why should some people drop something they like and since we have them they should be open to all and we should recognise straights CP from abroad and not just gay ones…(no discrimination based on sexual orientation in ALL things) – it gives people more choice anyway, people have already voiced the reasons of their dislike of the word marriage and opening up CPs to all is an ideal opportunity to get over this………..unfortuntely there probably will have to be another tpye of registered partnerships created as well at some time becasuse people just don’t want the full committments of either CPs or marriage but do deserve some basic rights as a couple …

    We simply are not all the same are we!

  18. Stan James 26 Dec 2010, 8:06am

    A lot of details but the direction is obvious. Marriage in the UK, and most likely Ireland, who just got full CPs, is coming, sooner rather then later. Leaving only Italy and Greece, no wonder, as the only nations not recognizing gay couples in W. europe

    I truely hate the Pope and the catholic church, who are a major cause of a 9/11 every year in the USA of our gay children, 3000/year.

    But sometimes I remember that having an enemy, especially as it gets castrated more and more in the world, is valuable.

    Every time they open their mouth, the people remember many of their crimes against humanity. Including their hiding the endless molestation of children for centuries.

    They are hanging themselves or is it chopping off their heads in the tower in London.

    For the hundreds of millions murdered by the catholic church. May the maggots have a well deserved meal.

  19. “In an article for PinkNews.co.uk, Mr Cameron wrote: “I believe heart and soul in equality: the whole idea of prejudice towards people on the basis of their sexuality is quite wrong and that’s why I back civil partnerships, why I told the Tory conference that commitment through marriage was equally valid whether between a man and a woman, a man and a man or a woman and a woman – and it’s why a Conservative government will put new rules in place to tackle homophobia and support gay couples.”

    I’m confused, is Cameron saying he backs marriage equality or just civil partnerships?
    Does he recognise the difference and how civil partnerships fall short of marriage equality?

  20. MPs and newspapers love to say we are “married”, when anyone does a CP haven’t you noticed its always referred to as “getting married” – . But as soon as we want the legal word marriage as well it’s seems to be back to the old arguments of relgion and natural order saying that gays should not be allowed marriage…. There must be somekind of psychology going on here!!!

  21. I don’t know about psychology but there is always some kind of irrational mind-fcuk going down whenever the religious and their arbitrary pick’n’choose beliefs are given special consideration over the civil and human rights of the rest of us.

  22. Pavlos: “Does he recognise the difference and how civil partnerships fall short of marriage equality?”

    I don’t know about Cameron but I do get the feeling that a number of politicians (of all parties) aren’t being malicious in not pushing for equal marriage – they simply don’t get it. They can’t put themselves in our shoes and they’ve never had to feel like second-class citizens so they have very little empathy.

    I honestly think many of them can’t see anything wrong with CPs and that’s a big reason why they’re not doing anything. They think the situation’s just fine (“I don’t get it – it’s the same bus. Why’s it matter where you sit?” etc).

    Of course, it doesn’t help that Stonewall are giving them the impression that they’re right…

  23. I suspect you are right Iris… and as you say it’s difficult for them to see any problem when one of the highest profile gay advocacy groups are continuing to assure them that all is well and civil partnerships are sufficient and all we require.
    The reality is that partial equality is not equality at all and we see that when couples who are legally married come to live in UK, the same sex couples have their marriages downgraded to civil partnership while the opposite sex couples are allowed to retain their married status… the reason for this is?

  24. “the reason for this is?”

    There isn’t one. But the government knows that we’d all be off to Spain/Sweden/wherever to get married and thus thwart their divisive policy – hence all same sex marriages must be downgraded the minute we re-enter the UK. Bloody offensive – and clearly discriminatory.

  25. …I agree with the above , it’s also pretty worrying that the govt thinks that the only acceptable relationship between men and women is marriage…..it won’t accpet a straight CP from abroad, it has no worth , how could a man and woman possibly have such a non tradional union, it’s against the natural order, undermines the institution of marriage etc… yet it is perfectly acceptable to recognise a foreign gay CP …

    It’s all so discriminatory….

  26. Just do it!

    Equality for all!

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