Consultation on this issue is nothing short of insulting. That’s the Tory way. They’ll spend their days in power consulting about civil and gay rights, while dismantling and diluting existent rights, and privitising prisons without any consultation:
“Bring in the troops”. They won’t shy away from using the publicly funded army to suppress any dissent:
What has preparing the military to deal with a potential prison service strike got to do with marriage equality and civil partnerships?
I can guess why they are consulting – they want to appear to be both listening and preparing the legislation as fairly as possible and give all sides of the debate the opportunity to make any points they feel are legitimate.
However, its a simple question of equality – can’t see why that requires any significant (if any) consultation exercise.
You keep banging on and on and on and on and on…. about how bad the Tories are but we had none of this for Equal marriage under the last Labour government. As I recall Gordon Brown said he thought Civil Partnerships were enough.
So in effect on the subject of Equal Marriage the Tory/Lib Coalition has done more in progressing on the matter.
Weither you like it or not it’s a fact.
@Jock S Trap
I have to agree
Whilst the labour government did some great work on LGBT issues (not everything was good but a lot was!), in terms of marriage the coalition certainly has done more – hate to admit it, but its factually true.
I do wonder why we need a consultation on making things equal though
Hmm, it may be true that Labour failed to make headway on the Marriage Equality idea, and that sucks.
However please remember all the amazing things that the previous 13 years of a Labour Government did. And if we had had a Tory Government for the last 13 years we wouldn’t be fighting Marriage Equality but we’d still have no rights at all!
& To be frank, the only real reason our Government is making some steps to recognise Civil Marriage for gays is because of the Lib Dems.
If we had a Tory majority Government Marriage Equality would be off the agenda. And if hopefully the Government makes moves of the Civil Marriage question, dont’t be shocked by the Tory Right backlash!
That might well be true and for that I am grateful the Lib Dems are in there too.
However both David Cameron and Nick Clegg are in favour of Equal Marriage and Equal Civil Partnerships so I think it is only a formality to hussle all legal rambling against the Church. It will be here.
And if Labour/Brown was still in this wouldn’t even be on the cards let alone a consultation.
Why are the government wasting taxpayer’s money on this nonsense?
I don’t care if the quakers or jews or treehugging alliance are allowed to hold religious civil partnerships (not the contradiction in the title).
There is NOTHING to consult on.
The ONLY acceptable change is to allow same sex couples to enter a civil marriage if they wih; and an opposite sex couple enter into a civil partnership if they wish.
What the cults do is their own business.
The number of cults that will allow religious civil partnerships is so tiny that this consuitation is offensive and irrelevant.
The government simply wants to give the impression that it is is doing something when in fact they are doing nothing.
The next time Lynne Featherstone pops up spouting nonsense about reltigious civil partnerships I would like the journalistt to insist that she address the issue that people give a damn about ie why a tax-paying citizen’s sexual orientation precludes him/her from entering a civil marriage
Me too!! What is there to discuss?
I’m thinking two words here: “White”, “Wash”
I do agree with you David but I also think the government has to cover it’s own ass otherwise we’ll end up with the same situation as in California with the constant legal battle between state and church.
We already know both Nick Clegg and David Cameron are supports of Equal marriage but lets give them a chance to get this right so that when the Church does whinge after this consultation there won’t be a thing they can do about it.
We’ll have the rights and they will do there usual thing of playing the victim.
This was all ready to go under the last government. No more consultation needed.
The only thing left to consult on is what to do with Civil Partnerships when same-sex marriage is introduced.
Featherstone has a bit of explaining to do.
Yeah if a consultation is necessary … which I doubt … didnt the last government do it?
For the same reason they never gave us gay marriage in the first place: to appease the religious right.
OK but they have already agreed it. They just need to do it so the Church has its opt out, ya know their usual victim acting worthy only of a Raspberry Award. They have already said it is most likely to be in place by the end of the year.
However Equal Marriage was Never on the agenda with the last government. I doubt it would even be considered now if Brown had remained as be had already said he opposed it. So this government is progressing more on this subject.
Quite right, Jock. Equal marriage was never on the agenda (partly due to the influence on Laboor of the dreadful Zeroskills) – but the religious CP legistation was.
I’m hopeful that the Coalition will start the ball rolling on equal marriage too – they certainly have the political opportunity to do so – but as I understand it, this current bit of “consultation” is only about religious CPs, and is, as you point out, mere arse covering.
Too be honest, I firmly believe that the governments have underestimated how many LGBT people there are in this country. This is why we had gotten the Tories sucking up to us because we clearly can make a difference, otherwise why bother.
Therefore I know they will bring in Equal marriage and Yes I do believe that this is mainly due to the Lib Dems being there too.
I can’t be the only one to notice that with this Equal Marriage stories there is a visible lacking of comments from the Labour party. If they were so for it why are they pushing the government on it? To put a positive spin on a negative note, If they worry Equal Marriage would be an unpopular move then why not push it on the people in government now?
Oh and yes I do know it isn’t an unpopular move but look at the arguement. Each party is worried about loosing votes, so why not push this if they thing it will loosing the government votes.
Though I think it will increase them, personally.
Despite not being a Conservative supporter I do agree they appear to be bringing equal marriage forward (I just hope it doesnt get diluted).
The only labour senior politician that I have noticed making any comment on equal marriage that is fairly supportive was Dianne Abbott
LGBT Lib Dems have welcomed this consultation, but look forward to further consultation on full marriage equality in future.
Ideally there should have been a single consultation on marriage equality.
Why is consultation necessary – surely the government supports equality – it “says” it does …
The consultation is on the best way to implement religious civil partnerships. The upcoming further consultation on fully equal marriage will frame the complex legislation which will be required to implement it.
Strictly speaking the consultation is not about religious civil partnerships. It’s about CPs on religious premises. The consultation document makes clear that the CP ceremony must still be completely secular – although on religious premises – and the religious service must happen after the CP ceremony with the registrar is complete.
That’s short for borllocks. I’ll find a job in the LibDem quarters to push for a consultation on the necessity of consultations.
Wasnt that part of the last consultation?
There’s already a blueprint of all that is needed to know about any implementation process in this area. It’s called marriage. Just follow it and you won’t get lost.
Civil partnerships do have certain advantages over marriage, legally speaking – the legislation governing CPs is more clearly defined and less muddied by case law. There are people who prefer CP as an institution to marriage, and people who want to include their faith in their preferred institution.
The other advantage of religious CPs is that they don’t require further legislation. This consultation will determine the best way to implement the existing legislation, and I for one will be sticking my oar in.
Of course, I’m still pushing for equal marriage for all, as quickly as it can be managed – but with the Lib Dems the only major party to support this, and plenty of opposition from institutions which have influence in Government, it can be tricky.
As much as I am a supporter of civil partnerships (for those who want them), I am also a supporter of marriage (for those who want it) – but both lack equality currently. A LGBT couple can’t marry in the UK and a straight couple cant have a civil partnership – if they don’t desire the label of marriage due to its perceived religious connections.
Its quite simple really – not complex – make them equal
If the coalition support equality (they say they do) then making it more complex than it needs to be won’t result in equality
Either they believe in equality – or the don’t
Why bother with CP’s at all. If the spineless Labour government had bitten the bullet and gone for full marriage, do you really think anybody would have demanded a CP process as well? No. It wouldn’t have even occurred to anyone.
CP’s were a bullsh|t cop-out from the outset, and should never have been approved, so as soon as ‘one marriage for all’ comes about, they can scrap that piece of crap to history like they did with Section 28.
A consultation on the necessity of an extra busybody that consults on the possibility of an extra consultation to implement a list of consultations.
However we feel about this, whatever the reasons for it, we’d better respond to the consultation if only to show how important this is to us. Sitting about being insulted or cynical won’t help. I’d hate to think the only responses they have when they review the consultation are the responses from the lunatic religious types.
As if that would change anything. The party in power and the lunatic types are one and the same. They’ve been manipulating this issue since day one, so they can appear to be doing something for the eyes of the gullible.
I do agree whether we agree with the consultation or not, it is better to participate – it might make a difference – and balance some of the more projudiced ignorant comments from the religious right and other bigots of no religion
I dont want to risk a lack of equality just because I dont agree with the need to consult
Lets make our voices heard
You may be right Beberts the consultation may not make any difference (good or bad), but if we don’t participate it certainly won’t make any difference. Your apathy is the sort of comment I would expect from my father (and politically he is far from balanced, astute or in touch with reality)
Totally agree sven
Some sadly would rather whinge about it because they’re frightened this government may actually act on what the last one failed to act on. That would mean less for them to bitch about. That goes against what they believe.
FYI, this government, as if you don’t know… just a few months ago, were promoting the idea that gayness is something bad and to be ashamed of, and were also blocking every single equality measure brought forth by the last government. Who do you think you’re fooling? If this government “acts on what the last one failed to act on”, that’s just their duty, but I’m afraid they’re already failing to “act on what the last one failed to act on”. They’re going round in circles to fool the gullible.
I am very suspicious that (particularly) the Conservatives have changed their spots from some very negative anti LGBT policies. However, they say that they have and I think its reasonable to give them a chance to prove it.
There have been lots of promising signs so far, statement in support of same sex marriage from PM and Dep PM, announcement of plans to expunge “gay sex crimes” from criminal records, public condemnation of comments of govt drugs advisor – to name but three
Lets see how they maintain this … I am sure many of us will be watching
There doesn’t really seem to be much to participate in or respond to though, the consultation does not touch on and is not interested in civil marriage equality… which is the important issue for most LGBT’s… and the questions do not allow for any input other than what is pertinent to religious civil partnerships.
If we don’t throw our weight behind one measure that benefits us, however slightly, then why should we expect someone to come up with a better one? Apathy and disinterest is not likely to get us very far when there are “faith groups” – the main subject of this consultation – trying to resist us every step of the way, and they campaign far more vociferously than we do.
Be the change that you want to see in the world!
Too True Sven. very well put.
Well I have read the consultation questionaire and response form and there isn’t much that I as a gay atheist feel able to comment on, the questions are quite limited and narrow in focus, In my case it is not apathy.
By all means if you feel able to respond then please do.
I will repeat my earler point. As it is worth repeating.
The government (including the LibDems) is WASTING TAXPAYERS MONEY on this consultation.
Civil marriage rights to be extended to same sex couples.
Civil partnership rights to be extended to opposite sex couples (or the institution of CP to be abolished in its entirety).
Let the cults do what they want.
Does that IDIOT Lynne Featherstone really think that allowing religious cults to hold CP’s in a religious setting is going to have any effect on anybody but the tiniest number of people?
If she does then I am afraid she is clearly lacking the intelligence required to be a government minister and she should be sacked.
Perhaps it’s unfair to call Lynne Featherstone an idiot.
Espcecially if she’s been consulting with the homophobic Stonewall organisation.
This pathetic consultation was their idea. It was designed to postpone the day that LGBT people will gain legal equality and thus deem Stonewall utterly unnecessary.
UNfortunately Ben Summerskill’s homophobic campaigning was uncovered and Stonewall rendered themselves utterly useless and unncessary even before we had achieved equality.
I am intrigued, what is your basis for describing Stonewall as homophobic – my experience of Stonewall for example its Workplace Equality index; is that it is a champion of gay rights and equality – sure I disagree with some of its views – but I cant see any reason to call it homophobic. Perhaps you can elucidate.
Perhaps I can help:
“Homophobic” in the sense that Zeroskills
a) actively put out false information (about a £5bn cost) in an attempt to prevent a liberal fringe meeting putting forward an equal marriage proposal to conference
b) refused to campaign for equal marriage, citing a fictitious Stonewall “membership’s” antipathy
c) was forced by a vigorous campaign to “consult” Stonewall supporters with a survey that didn’t even mention equal marriage – but something obscure like “further development of Civil Partnerships”
d) and even since being forced to adopt a pro-equal marriage policy following that campaign and consultation, has failed to take any real positive steps towards campaigning for equal marriage.
Maybe “homophobic” isn’t the right word, but anti-equality would be pretty much on the mark, which is pretty shocking for an organisation which is branded as an equality campaigner.
All the evidence of this can be found in the PN archives
A clarification question, where do you get the figure of £5bn from as that is around the budget of the Ministry of Justice and N Ireland office combined … seems a very high cost and unlikely to be one Stonewall could be involved with.
One of the Davids gave me some information about Stonewalls late support for same sex marriage which is disappointing. The additional information you suggest sounds alarming. I will go and read up on this in a moment.
I go along with you (if what you say is accurate and I have no reason to doubt it) that other words such as anti-equality or could I suggest stagnant on equality might be better phrases than homophobic.
I shall go and look both at PN archives and elsewhere – as I missed these stories.
Thanks for your helpful reply (and to David too)
I should have done my research before replying – I see now what you mean by £5bn – I am shocked.
Stonewall rightly deserve criticism for the stance they have taken on this issue.
I don’t believe it makes the organisation homophobic but it does call into question their stances on equality and their ability to understand the feelings of the LGBT communities.
Thanks for your help.
Remember we got this far without the support of Stonewall on Equal Marriage. It’s up to them if they want to finally act and follow suit of others.
I would prefer Lynne Featherstone to be acting on this than many others. At least you know she will fight for our cause as best she can.
Just give us Equal marriage already!!
It’ll happen, don’t really see that it can’t but just please we have this under the current government.
Here’s hoping for soon.
Just an aside, but what is with this “already” Americanism creeping in?
Either you already have it, or you haven’t.
@Stu (different David responding)
I think that Stonewall’s prolonged hesitation before finally backing gay married did their credibility a lot of damage. All the arguments they used to justify their lack of support ignored the core issue – equality. They came across as appeasement of the advocates of homophobia who don’t believe that we are equal at all.
@David (I guess both)
Thanks both for making me think and examine more of what Stonewall say – I hadnt followed their comments on same sex marriage – but I shall look with interest.
The problem is though, that even though Stonewall may have acted unwisely with regards same sex marriage, and I would be the first to condemn that – to then label them as homophobic undermines the good they do in support of the LGBT communities. We can criticise without undermining the good they do. That said, I clearly need to go and do some reading.
I have to agree with you, Jock S. Trap. I think once the consultation for religious ceremonies for CPs has been completed, it will diminish the C of E and other cults’ objection since they will NOT be compelled to recognise or perform them. The same application will be used for the full civil marriage equality consultation, a purely civil matter and which has absolutely NOTHING to do with religion. Civil marriage equality for gays will be identical to what it is in the ten countries that have it, gender neutral and enshrined iin the marriage laws of the respective countries, rightly so. Let the religious nutters whinge and rant, its not going to get them anywhere. The tide is against them and they know it. That said, I still don’t see why we need a consultation for it to happen.
I think the biggest problem is just over the word marriage. The Church of England just want to hijack it regardless of if its religious or not. They will try everything ot prevent us having Equal Marriage at every turn.
They need a slap down.
I totally agree, but what politician, let alone party is going to take on the wrath of the combined forces of The Church of England, the Catholic Church and all the other Muslims, Jews and various sects?
One have to be either very brave, or very stupid.
This is why the State and Religion need to be separated. If people want to chose their religion that should have no barrings on the state and it’s laws.
I think its in part as easy as you say – you make all marriages civil. Remove registration rights from those religious groups that have them (few non Christian religions have the legal right to complete registration of marriage and not all churches). Then there will be the need to use a civil registrar. If those who are religious want to have a ceremony, then that is their affair. Equality by all marriages/partnerships having equal legal status.
This is all about two simple issues as far as I can see:
1 – Equality before the law. Open Civil Marriage to everyone, abolish CPs and convert all existing CPs into CMs. Remove registration rights from religious bodies, French-style, and let them have whatever ceremonies they want separately.
2 – Religious freedom. Let religious groups hold marriage ceremonies or not as they please, and call them what they please. No more laws forbidding events on religious premises simply because some other god-botherers don’t like them.
Let’s consult and smile if it is necessary; but I think these two points are the crux of the issue in a liberal society.
I agree with almost all that you say. Absolutely, lets create equality before the law. Why abolish CPs? Some straight people who could choose to have a civil (or religious) marriage ceremony have chosen not to because of the label marriage. Why not have both CP and CM.
Not all churches and religious groups have the right to marriage registration and have to call in a registrar to their ceremonies. Thats not equal, either let all religious groups have registration or none and make it a civil affair (as you say like France and many other countries). It would not stop religious groups having a ceremony they chose.
I dont think consultation is necessary but if it gets the right result then lets make sure that the right information is fed into the consultation.
It would be simpler to have a single form and it would avoid encouraging cultural attitudes about ‘second class’ relationships. Perhaps the word ‘marriage’ could be dropped altogether in the single civil form, and people could then be allowed to call their own arrangement whatever they liked.
I concede it would be simpler to have a single form of commitment in law. The fact is though that people of all orientations do not want one or the other type. Some heterosexuals sought CP and many gays seek CM.
If both formats are civil in nature (theres no reason religious ceremonies can not be held in a way that the couple choose or not) than it can be shown legally that both have equal standing.
It could even be an identical civil event – with the choice of descriptor (partnership or marriage being chosen by the couple).
There should be no consultation. This is a human right. We don’t care about religious civil partnerships the thought is an insult.
We want state marriage.
They discuss relies civil partnerships because the condems are idiots and think marriage is religious. When they just hijacked it.
That’s what happens when millionaire private school lot get in power.
I agree the *should* be no consultation, but there is … and I don’t like it, but failure to engage is shooting ourselves in the foot if we are passionate about equality
I don’t think CPs should be abolished at all. They should be available to straight people, not just us, and in turn, civil marriage should be made available to us as an option. For those who don’t like the historical patriarchy of marriage, fine, have a CP instead, but both options should be available to everyone without exception. I don’t believe banning one form to the exclusion of the other is a good thing. A choice of two is better than one to satisfy both sides of the argument, pro or con.
One think I do know, CPS will NEVER be the universal gold standard for gay or straight people.
Althoug I don’t see the need for a consultation to make marriage equality a reality, when the consultation for it begins, I only hope that negative comments by the religious nutters won’t be taken into consideration in what is purely a civil matter. If we were asking for religious marriage for gay couples, then I could understand their argument.
I agree, CPs and Civil Marriages should be open to all who want them. Make it Equal for all not exclusion for some. This is about Love and I always never understood the Churches rights of exclusion if they were, as they keep trying to tell us, all about Love and peace.
No they shouldnt. CP’s were a fudge in the first place and should never have existed. Wipe them and all they represent off the face of the planet and have one rule for everyone. Simpler, cheaper, easier.
Now CPs have been around they have appealed to quite a few straight couple and I think that in itself shows that different forms of partnership should be available for all. Of course having straight CPs should automatically remove those reluctant to put Civil Partnerships on any forms.
Not necessarily simpler cheaper or easier at all
If the issue (which it is for some) is the word marriage or the word partnership – lets have identical civil ceremonies with identical standing where all couple regardless of orientation can choose the word they use to describe it – marriage or partnership. No real complication, no extra cost and no more difficult
Stu, I thoroughly agree. Lets hope the right information dominates the consultation for full marriage equality. I don’t see why the religious bigots in the hierarchy of the state cult should be involved in it since its purely a civil matter. Its none of their business, nobody is going to compel them to recognise civil marriages for gay couples and nobody is going to compel them to perform religious ceremonines. They have NO argument even though they will foam at the mouth once they see the consultation is heading in a positive direction in our favour. In fact, the consultation should exclude them because we know what they’re going to say, makes no sense.
Entirely agree both that CP and CM should be available to any couples who want them (provided there is no legal reason to exclude it such as polygamy).
In that event whether it is a partnership or a marriage it will be civil and of no relevance to any religion.
I’m not sure I would exclude the religious from consultation for two reasons a) freedom of speech but b) because I think we should remove the right of registration from those religious organisations which currently have it. By doing so, we promote the equity of the civil registration of CP or CM – I accept that if proposing removing those registration rights (which unfortunately isn’t happening), there should be a right of reply.
Clegg said a lot of things…
This site should be cased Stu’s News….
No, not my news – but many of my comments … but many many more of other people too
I find this site (and some others) are great for debating views in an intelligent and safe environment
Wake up call for you:- This is the tally this week so far.
Jock S. Trap 368
You have more comments than the next four highest commentators put together. You do not debate Stu, you overload this site with your opinion.
You are also entitled to your opinion
I don’t share it
Just a slight off the subject comment.
Does anyone else think PinkNews are using too many of the same ol pics to these stories?
Is is time for PinkNews to get is a selection of pics for stories.
Yes, I’m sick of seeing that old picture of Ian Hislop as the registrar too.
Stu, maybe you’re right about that. Of course we already know what they’re going to say….”marriage is between one man and one woman” and procreation mantra nonsense. I hope that someone at the consultation will rebut them by saying if that’s their reason for denying us marriage, then they should also agree that hetero couples must also be banned from civil marriage if the choose not to or cannot procreate, just to weaken their absurd, risible position.
Robert, I can probably predict most of what they will say. It doesnt mean they shouldnt be entitled to say it especially if we may change registration etc in a way which they perceive as their detriment. I agree their position on marriage is untenable (with the exception of a finite number of denominations and some individuals). Their general premise of what they believe in I fail to see evidence for. However, religion does exist, even if their God does not. None of this though should be a barrier for us getting full equal marriage and widening civil partnerships. The wind is turning in our favour.
Really need to know what is happenning with marriage equality before you could comment on this. If marriage eqality isn’t happenning then this whole thing needs to mimick marriage which it won’t since there is nothing new on offer. The cp registration is still secular. The marrage/cp vows aren’t part of the whole process. If we’re getting marriage equality in a few yrs then that’s ok but if not then this isn’t good enough. Of course marriage equality as LF said is only going to be civil so we’ll never have a proper relgious CP/marriage and that will never be fair and will never be equality!!!!!!
But if we make all registrations of marriage (or partnership registrations) civil and non religious (which does not prevent those who want religious ceremonies to have them) then from a “marriage” perspective things are equal. Any inequality is in terms of acceptance by faith groups – some will accept and some won’t. I think approaching from this perspective will achieve more.
That’s fine but at the moment straight religious marriages merge into one. This won’t happen with CPs. The registration is seperate. LF has said she wants to move on civil marriage equality. Relgious marriages won’t happen for gays despite the fact that Quakers etc want them????. Civil marriages will be different to CP, one could be held in a church the other not???? civil marriages ,the only option for gays ,won’t have the option of relgious elements despite the only option available to gays???? Sorry but the two consultations should happen at the same time, there are so many unanswered questions. This really is one of LF’s “baby steps”. The CP act still prevents registrars being present at the religious ceremony??
This is why there is to be a consultation on Equal Marriage so that these issues can be addressed. So that those religions that do wish to perform religious ceremonies can do so without the Church of England ranting and raving what victims they are and how marriage should be just for them. It all needs to be ironed out legally so these latter group calm down a bit from their temper tantrums. I doubt they every will though so yes I believe even if we get marriage it will remain unequal in the sense there’ll some that will and some that wouldn’t.
Personally I doubt those out dated groups backing down so hope they get flushed and a common sense society wins through. At the end of the day they will fight to discriminate who they wish but it will be, in time, their downfall and their loss.
My point was that the registration of the CP is secular and not part of the service, if we get equal marriage (religious and civil) then who cares but if not then it’s not really adequate and should mimick marriage in every way. That’s why having this before knowing what exactly marriage equality entails is a bit wooly. Basically questions 13 and 14 are pretty symbolic ones and even if the rest of the document is boring stuff then I think we should get these right and all answe these to breakdown the religious arguments later on???
Unless this is an April fools joke then I hope gay groups will pick up some tips from Speaker Bercow in Manhester on howthey can “influence Parliament” and bring in this change quickly and more importantly bring in marriageequality!!!!
This is all just about haggling semantics and wording. Marriage should be available to everyone, and performed by a registrar, priest, rabbi, imam or ship’s captain etc.
However, it should be first and foremost a legal registration of a binding contract. If some places of worship choose not to do gay marriages, that is entirely up to them.
Having religious approval is not a prerequisite.
There should be one process that is seen as legally binding, and accepted in the eyes of the law, not the lord.
Have to say I don’t often agree with everything you say – but on this I do