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British government looks towards introducing gay marriage equality

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  1. Patrick-0-01 17 Feb 2011, 12:38am

    At last, same-sex marriage is on the agenda in the UK, and it appears the PM is in favour. Excellent.

  2. I think it’s fantastic that the Lib Dems, the only major party to support equal marriage, have got Lynne Featherstone as minister for equalities.

    She’s a tireless champion for LGBT equality, and I’m sure whatever comes out of the Government tomorrow will bear her stamp.

  3. Considering the equal but separate Institution of civil partnerships for same sex couples I am reminded of what Masrtin Luther King wrote

    “An unjust law is a code that a majority inflicts on a minority that is not binding on itself.
    This is difference made legal.

    On the other hand a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow that it is willing to follow itself.
    This is sameness made legal. . . .”

  4. “No religious group will be forced to host a civil partnership registration”

    Will they be force to host marriage? If no then why force them marry black people?

  5. “The official government press release …”

    Where is it?

    I found the article a little bit disjointed……Are they or are they not starting a consultation process on marriage equality or are we still in the dark and there’s a bit of spin going on here?

    I think it’s back to google…

  6. I think this is the press release

    http://nds.coi.gov.uk/content/detail.aspx?NewsAreaId=2&ReleaseID=418069&SubjectId=2

    Slightly disappointed about the further legislation and consultation before we can get even religious CPs – what was all that duff consultation about last summer?

    Agree with BS on this and he knows what it’s like being slow off the start line and being very unpopular as a result of that – they’ve got to move faster on the marriage equality thing if they want to get there before 2015 – who knows lab may make it party policy by then (that’s if they can manage to get it into their top 5 priority list!!), the economy may still be crap and the gay vote will be up for grabs again!

  7. So … nothing new …
    Dave Scameron and gay marriage…
    “we will consider” … 2011
    “we will consider” … 2012
    “we will consider” … 2013
    “we will consider” … 2014
    “we will consider” … 2015 …
    as promised …

  8. … in the meantime …
    Scameron is still trying to push his BS, and of course no one is buying, neither himself …

  9. Stonewall dragged their feet forever until a determined campaign from several different groups forced their hand.

    The Government, and I say this as a Lib Dem party member who should be more forgiving, will do the same. Unless we all push hard for movement we simply won’t get any. It’ll be consultation after consultation until Labour get back in. And then they’ll push it back because “there are more important things” (Ed Miliband’s complete reluctance to pick a side on marriage equality until the very end does not bode well). We must fight NOW to get something solid before the next election.

  10. Patrick-0-001 17 Feb 2011, 7:28am

    Beberts! I was waiting for you to come out and say something. Ok, so you are saying this consultation will be dragged out and never happen.

    So tell me, Beberts, did your heroes, the Labour party, ever hold a consultation?

    No – actually, they fought against same-sex marriage both here in the UK courts and in the European courts.

    Oh, and they deported LGBT asylum seekers as well.

    You, Beberts, truly are an idiot. The Lib Dems are doing more for same-sex marriage than your precious Labour ever did.

    To anyone who complains about the consultation being a prolonged process – how about, instead of complaining, being constructive and taking part in the consultation, and encouraging your friends to take part. The more people that do, the more likely it will happen!

  11. Patrick-0-001 17 Feb 2011, 7:29am

    Beberts – what does that article your posted a link to have to do with same-sex marriage?

    You really are a mole.

  12. Patrick – The only problem is we, the only truly concerned, are never quite sure when the consultation is happenning, whether it’s behind closed doors in private meetings , who the interested parties are or what is being discussed on our behalf….

    Usually the first we know of a consultation is an artilce on PN eg like the duff one on religious CPs last summer, where it takes another year to get this far and then we discover that when all of us thought the we were going to be told what hymns, symbols and music we were going to be able to use,, we are told that the Approved premises regulations need to be changed with yet another consultation after that…heaven forbid!

    C’mon it’s not that hard to believe that some of us are a bit sceptical about all these consultations with interested bodies…

    Look I’ve written to mps, govt, whatever, what else can the public do… there is no real public campaign from Stonewall etc encouraging people, all the general public ,to get involved with marriage equality…it seems to be a totally private affair between a few gay campaingers , the church and lynne!

    C’mon we want to get involved but what do we do! Where’s the campaign!!!!!

  13. Jock S. Trap 17 Feb 2011, 8:05am

    This is excellent news. Definitely a step forward for progress. Fingers crossed.

    It’s good to see a Tory government supporting this on one of the last steps to full equailty.

    I have no doubt we can expect a few nasty Christians who can’t see further than their own nose to crank up the crazy but just as they won’t be forced to perform such ceremonies they have no right stopping those that want to. That I’m afraid it what all this is really about.

    Here’s hoping for success with progress.

  14. Wasn’t someone in the Gov talking about “consulting” ages ago. How long does it take to consult? As long as you want is my cynical answer. So the Gov will be busy doing something, yet with no result for us.

    I don’t see why they need to consult anyway. Do they consult about other equality issues? Was there a consultation when divorcees were allowed to marry in a civil marriage? (that’s a genuine question, by the way).

  15. Announcing a consultation is perfect for the coalition. They can say they are progrssive without actually DOING anything – don’t want to do anything to annoy those dinosaur backbench Tory MPs

  16. Somehow Theresa May’s assurance that the government is “committed to … advancing equality for LGB and T people” is not convincing. This is the same Theresa May who “voted against equalising the age of consent, the repeal of Section 28, against gay couples jointly adopting” as reported by PN last Summer. Until she is actively working for FULL equality for LGBT people her name should not be mentioned in an article without pointing out her voting history.

  17. Patrick-0-02 17 Feb 2011, 8:59am

    The consultation will be launched in May. Check the Guardian. It is all there. A little bit of research and you could have found this out. Now stop complaining and prepare to start contributing as soon as the consultation starts.

  18. Lynne is a tireless campaigner for equality Dave but not so tireless that she managed to secure a single mention of marriage in her party’s LGBT manifesto last May (just 9 months ago) http://www.delga.org.uk/en/page/manifesto2010

  19. Tim Hopkins 17 Feb 2011, 9:38am

    john, if you happen to live in Scotland, there’s a broad campaign for equal marriage here – email me to join the mailing list!

  20. Jock S. Trap 17 Feb 2011, 9:47am

    Don’t see the point in harping on about what was or wasn’t in election manifestos. You either want equal marriage or you don’t.

    The Lib Dems only made supporting Equal marriage party policy last September (5 months ago) and as yet are the only party to do so.

    I think this is massive step forward the fact this is happening under a Tory government. I don’t see the point in criticizing this government when Labour refused to support Equal Marriage when Brown was in and still have not made any party policy commitments regarding this subject.

    What is interesting is the fact we haven’t heard any support over this consultation by Labour. It will be interesting if they support it or make it difficult for the government.

  21. I think the Government is trying to undermine Peter Tatchell’s legal case in the ECHR. Anyone know the deadline for the British Government’s response?

  22. Patrick-0-02 17 Feb 2011, 10:00am

    Jock S. Trap @ 9:47am – very well said.

    People need to realise that this is moving now, which it WAS NOT under Labour, and contribute instead of complaining. Maybe complaining has been the default setting for a lot of people because of the lack of progress up until now – but the consultation starts in May – so this is very real now. So, enough complaining, let’s now get on with it.

  23. Patrick-0-02 17 Feb 2011, 10:02am

    “I think the Government is trying to undermine Peter Tatchell’s legal case in the ECHR. Anyone know the deadline for the British Government’s response?”

    The Lib Dems were preparing to make marriage equality official party policy before Tatchell launched his legal case – so this just isn’t true.

  24. Does anyone know of any opinion polls or consultations being carried out by any other group or campaign in support of this? It would be nice to get involved as much as possible before the “consultation”, just in case the government decides to consult specific groups who tend not to approve of us – maybe we could offset any unfairness by making sure everyone else’s poll or survey or whatever included our opinions. I’d rather not just trust in their appointees to advisory positions, after the whole drugs advisory panel fiasco.

  25. meanwhile the idiot christian institute and others homophobes are already attacking this excellent news

  26. John, LGBT Lib Dems have set up a page for people from all political backgrounds to come together and support the consultation. It’s at http://lgbt.libdems.org.uk/en/page/equal-marriage

  27. @ Patrick-0-02

    Until recently the Lib Dem leadership gave every indication of supporting civil partnerships for all, but not civil marriage for same sex couples. Leadership consistently blocked debates on ssm at their annual party conference. Hence their excuse for it not being in the Lib Dem’s election manifesto was disingenuous.

  28. dave, I’m not sure why you say that the Lib Dem party leadership “blocked debates” on equal marriage, because it’s categorically untrue.

    The LIb Dem leadership doesn’t have the power to block conference debates, because we’re a democratic party. The conference agenda is set by the elected Federal Policy Committee.

    LGBT Lib Dems had been considering submitting equal marriage as a policy motion in 2008, but the matter of LGBT asylum seekers being returned to their countries of origin to face torture and death – even when there was no doubt about their sexuality or gender identity – was more pressing at that time, which is why we submitted (and had approved) that policy.

  29. The slow speed can be frustrating, but this is how major policy change works. Without a thorough consultation changes can be challenged and reversed because incorrect procedure has been followed. This announcement of support for mariage equality is a great thing to be celebrated and it will lead to marriage equality.

  30. Jock S. Trap 17 Feb 2011, 11:36am

    Yep your right Dromio.

    For all those whinging about the time, think about it it’s not even a year since the election. This is quick.

    Let them do their consultation probably because lets not be naive here, surely we all know that when Equal marriage it finally proposed, even though religious groups won’t be forced there will be Christian groups that take badly to it and try to go through the courts to overturn any positive outcome.

    So better do this consultation thoroughly than end up with whats going on in California with the constant moving of dates and hearings.

    Lets not give them the chance and in turn give ourselves a better chance of success.

  31. @ Dave Page

    I meant a few years ago that was the case. I was told by a gay Lib Dem candidate who wanted to speak in favour of ssm at Conference.

  32. Jock S. Trap 17 Feb 2011, 11:37am

    oops

    meant do the consultation properly, well probably…

  33. Jock S. Trap 17 Feb 2011, 11:39am

    “I meant a few years ago”

    Hi….

    …..welcome to 2011!!

    :)

  34. dave, I’ve been on the exec of LGBT Lib Dems for “a few years”, and have never heard of the party leadership trying to block debate on SSM. Like I say, under the Lib Dems’ constitution, they don’t have the power to do so.

  35. Interesting discussions in the Broadsheets and other media

    . . . . . . . . . .

    THE BUZZ

    Which also includes the idea of extending civil partnerships to heterosexual couples.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2011/feb/17/civil-partnerships-marriage

    “The removal of the ban on civil partnerships in churches and other religious premises was agreed on a free vote in both houses of parliament in a late amendment to Labour’s Equality Act 2010 before the coalition government came to power.”

    . . . . . . . . . .

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/17/gay-marriage-civil-partnerships

    “Any practical differences in the ceremonies?

    Until now it has been banned for civil partnership ceremonies to include religious readings, music or symbols and forbidden for them to take place in religious venues, regardless of the views of the building’s owners. In Scotland, which has its own legislation, some church parishes offer blessing ceremonies for same-sex couples.

    Any other practical differences?

    Civil partners of male peers or knights do not receive a courtesy title to which the spouse of a peer or knight would be entitled.”

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    THE HYSTERIA

    Yep, you guessed from the Christians .

    http://www.christian.org.uk/news/govt-to-consult-on-same-sex-marriage/

    “We are also concerned about the effect of declaring that the institution in which children are raised does not require both a mother and a father.

    “For all these reasons we, and many others, would firmly oppose any efforts to eradicate the definition of marriage and impose a new definition on everyone in order to satisfy the demands of gay rights groups.”

    . . . . . . . . . .

    http://www.thisisplymouth.co.uk/features/gay-church-marriages-end-courtroom/article-3234285-detail/article.html

    “Will gay church marriages end up in the courtroom?

    According to the law of this country, marriage is the union of one man with one woman, voluntarily entered into for life, to the exclusion of all others. You will hear those words in any Christian marriage service. You will also hear them in any Civil Ceremony as well, which is hardly surprising because the origin of the definition lies not in statute law, but in the Gospel according to Matthew 19:4-6 and Mark 10:7-9.”

  36. Religious civil partnership is still not marriage.

  37. @ Dave Page

    As I recall the candidate had a speech prepared for Conference, but was told by the platform that there was insufficient time to debate the issue.

  38. dave, that’s not in any way even remotely the same thing as the leadership blocking debate on an issue! There is a finite amount of time for debate at Lib Dem conferences, and an elected body which oversees how that time is allocated.

  39. LOL… not enough time… what excuse … short for … go to the back of queue…

  40. LGBT Lib Dems had been considering submitting equal marriage as a policy motion in 2008, but the matter of LGBT asylum seekers being returned to their countries of origin to face torture and death – even when there was no doubt about their sexuality or gender identity – was more pressing at that time, which is why we submitted (and had approved) that policy.

    People knew from the get-go that civil partnerships are discriminatory. Are LGBT debates limited to one per Lib Dem conference?

  41. Excellent news! This will only propel Labour to adopt same-sex marriage as official party policy if it wants to be a viable force in the next general election. I hope the coalition government makes it happen, my gut feeling is, it will, hopefully before 2015.

  42. Patrick, currently the ConDemned haven’t delivered anything … they gave us a few “gaffes”, hot air … and managed to insult us as well … go figure …

  43. … and Patrick .. just to remind you … Labour is responsible for most of the advancement of gay rights, and most in the current government tried to block every step of the way … do your maths …

  44. I can’t wait that day!!!!! :D <3 <3 <3 <3

  45. Beberts, that’d be the Labour Government that fought against repealing the ban on LGBT people in the military? Or the Labour Government which introduced the Gender Recognition Act out of fear of prosecution from ECHR? The Labour Government which insisted on forcing married trans people to divorce to gain legal gender recognition, even before civil partnerships were an option, despite the harm this could do to pension arrangments etc.? Or was it the Labour Government who dropped opposite-gender civil partnerships out of their Act – after it had been introduced by the Lib Dems? The Labour Government who insisted on a narrow surgical definition of trans for the Equality Act 2010, ignoring Lib Dem amendments to protect non-op and non-binary-gendered trans people?

    That’s not to deny that some good changes did happen under Labour. But largely they had to be dragged into it; it’s certainly nowhere near as rosy as you’re painting things.

    I hope that Labour as a party decide on equal marriage as policy soon, because the more people campaigning for this, the better.

  46. PATRICK – the May consultation is on this , we don’t know when the consultation of marriage equlaity happens, there are 2 things going on at the same time – or not at the same time more like it- The Gurdian is not the press release from the govt!

    “Section 202 of the Equality Act 2010 Lifts the explicit ban on holding civil partnership registrations in religious premises, which is included in the Approved Premises (Marriage and Civil Partnership) Regulations 2005. Although it was passed by both Houses of Parliament on a free vote, making the necessary changes to the Approved Premises Regulations will require further legislation. The Government Equalities Office will launch a formal consultation on this later in the Spring. “

  47. I don’t want a sodding religious partnership…. Just give us all religious or civil marriage. Or civil partnership if that’s what they want.

    But just give us euality for crying out loud !

    Tere should be no consultation. If religious fanatics don’t like it sod them it’s there fault, this is a basic human right… Marriage isn’t even a religious thing it’s just been hijacked by them. If the govt can’t sort out human rights and work towards equality how can anything they do be fair and just.

  48. Dave, words and deeds are two powerful political instruments. Let’s see what the LibDems manage to do, apart from their shameful u-turn on tuition fees.

  49. Patrick-0-01 17 Feb 2011, 10:20pm

    Beberts – you tell me to do the maths. Ok, lets do that. Lets use a freedom of information request to find out how many LGBT asylum seekers Labour deported to possible torture and death. Shall we do that?

    You are an idiot Beberts. You aren’t objective. You are just anti-Tory, and you are determined to spread your anti-Tory message of hate.

    You are a bigot.

  50. Beberts, the Lib Dems are achieving plenty in Coalition. Stopping the Tories from cutting inheritance and Capital Gains tax (the latter has actually gone up), raising the income tax threshold for low earners… about 60% of the Lib Dem manifesto is now policy.

    Sure, some policies like tuition fees didn’t make it, but it’s idiotic to ignore the many that did – and the compromises the Tories have had to make.

    You’re right that it’s deeds and not words that count. The deeds by Labour I mentioned count as much as their LGBT-friendly words. I’ll be working to make sure that the Government introduces equal marriage – what will you be doing?

  51. Dave, I’ll be watching your political dealings and possible rise to stardom.

  52. WE STILL DON”T KNOW WHEN THE CONSULTATION OF MARRIAGE EQUALITY WILL TAKE PLACE!!!! The May consultation is only on religious CPs!!!!

    as Lynne Featherstone says these are BABY STEPS!!!!!!! and they will take however long they want!!!!!!!

    http://www.churchtimes.co.uk/content.asp?id=108237

    “As a separate stream of activity, the Government was committing to a review of further possible changes to the law to bring civil partnerships and civil marriage more closely in line with each other.

    Ms Featherstone emphasised that this was a matter of “early days and baby steps”. There was as yet no defined plan of activity, but the Government would consult very broadly and very carefully before proceeding further.

    There would be detailed consultations with representatives of all the religious faiths, as well as with all other interested parties. If suggested changes to the civil arrangements impinged on the law relating to marriage in the Church of England, that would have to be taken into account.

    This announcement, said the Minister, was simply a commitment to look further at the relevant issues, which were complex. The consultations were not working to any deadline, and would be allowed to take “whatever time it takes”.

  53. … and Dave, just remember, in a very short time, if this useless consultation exercise doesn’t translate into real social progress, the spotlight will be again on the bizarre ConDemned relationship. The LibDems exchanged their education pledge for a few quid and a place at the table. In the current economic climate, they may need to sell their equality pledge as well … you know that don’t you?

  54. … the holes are huge and the water is pouring in, after broken promises and pointless consultations … that for some, could be the tip to abbandon the sinking ship…

  55. I think that in 1-2 years we will finally have gay marriages in UK. :)

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