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UK marriage equality consultation delayed

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  1. I’m so very, very, very annoyed!

    I waited all July for this to start. What is so difficult to set up.

    ““We are at the early stages of this work and will be, from the autumn, looking to discuss with a range of stakeholders how this work can move forward.”

    What the hell does this mean…have they actually done anything at all!!!


      “WASHINGTON – Advocates of marriage equality got a huge boost when the world’s largest and most respected psychology group on Wednesday voted unanimously to support same-sex marriage.

      The American Psychological Association (APA) policy-making panel voted 157-0 to approve a resolution to support marriage equality, citing an abundance of new studies that show that same-sex couples share the same goals as opposite-sex couples in building “stable, long-lasting and committed intimate relationships and are successful in doing so.”

    2. LibDems have made a solemn promise to introduce marriage for gay people by 2015. People voted for them in the May local elections on that basis, They must now keep it.

  2. Can they give no more specific start time than early Autumn?
    Will the consultation ask if there is any other point to separate legal classification of same sex relationships other than purely for the sake of discrimination.

    1. First of all you need to find out when Winter starts in the UK for 2011 and then subtract 1 day….but instead of starting the consultation on that day we’ll get another one liner announcement from the Equalities Office saying that it will start some time in Winter…and so on until it’s too late to do anything!

      1. “Psychological association calls for legalization of same-sex marriage”
        “The American Psychological Association is calling on state and federal officials to stop anti-gay legal measures and to legalize same-sex marriage.”

        “The scientific and professional organization’s guiding body voted unanimously at its annual meeting this week in Washington to declare its support for “full marriage equality for same-sex couples.”

        “The resolution “clarifies the Association’s support for same-sex marriage” in light of new research, the group said. A similar resolution in 2004 opposed discrimination against same-sex relationships, but refrained from a more formal policy recommendation.”

        “Dr. Clinton Anderson, APA associate executive director, said that the timing of the resolution is an indirect result of several states’ legalization of marriage.”


        1. (Cont’d from previous)
          “We knew that marriage benefits heterosexual people in very significant ways, but we didn’t know if that would be true for same-sex couples,” said Anderson, who is also director of the APA’s Office on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns.”

          “Now that six U.S. states permit same-sex marriage, researchers have been able to conduct studies with those couples.”

          “The research, Anderson said, indicates that marriage “does confer the same sense of security, support, and validation” to same-sex couples as to heterosexual ones.”

          “The resolution also points to evidence that ongoing political debate about marriage creates stress for gay men and lesbians and perpetuates stigmas and prejudice about their communities. This stress can make people physically and psychologically sick, the APA says, calling the link between stress and illness “well established.””

          1. (Cont’d from prvious)
            “The APA also feels that civil unions miss the mark.

            “Anything other than marriage is, in essence, a stigmatization of same-sex couples. Stigma does have negative impacts on people,” Anderson said.

            “That’s the analysis that we’ve come to and why we’ve decided to support full marriage equality — because domestic partnership or civil union will still convey the message that same-sex couples are not as good.””

            Full article here:

    2. Jock S. Trap 5 Aug 2011, 9:57am

      So Mid September to the end of October then.

      If it doesn’t start we need to be on the ball.

      1. I think just waiting until the end of October , just like we waited for the last day of July to come and go, isn’t really good enough!

        We’ve been left done once, we’ve had the warning message already, this is it!

        Stonewall and Delga and Outrage and the other’s who claim they want marriage equality need to get a definite timetable out of the govt. The reply from the equalities office mentions private discussions with stakeholders not an open consultation…The reply mentioned in the article is sufficiently vague to mean anything…The promises of mariage equality by 2015 have come from the lib dems, it’s them that have to push this and LF is the equalities minister and a lib dem. It’s really not very impressive work!

        1. Jock S. Trap 5 Aug 2011, 10:51am

          I agree, it’s not good enough which is why we have to make sure they do as they say.

          We do have a stronger voice to make sure we’re heard.

  3. Dr Robin Guthrie 4 Aug 2011, 12:47pm

    For “stakeholders”, read: Catholic Church; CofE, Council of Muslims and any other religious wing-nuts that wish to prevent it from happening.

    Oh, and perhaps some gay people may be permitted to be involved. Perhaps.

    1. I was thinking who do they mean by stake holders. A bit worrying if they are taking the views of these nutjobs over the rights of LGBT people

      1. Jock S. Trap 5 Aug 2011, 9:58am

        Someone needs to start a campaign with polictial, celebrity and all else endorcements. Get the ball rolling.

  4. John, me too!

    Peter is absolutely right. though. Full marriage equality isn’t negotiable and shouldn’t be. If, as some believe, CPs are idential to marriage, then that only emphasises how unnecessary the negotiating of same-sex marriage is and when the consultation starts, it should be made quite clear and emphasised over and over from the outset, that religious denominations would not be required to recognise or officiate same-sex civil marriages, with the emphasis on “civil”. It can’t be said enough. I can already hear them ranting about how this will destroy religious marriage as they know it and society will be heading down the wrong road. Not one denomination has been able to produce the evidence to the contrary now that 10 countries allow it, including 6 states in America, Washington DC and Mexico City.

    1. While religious denominations will not be required to officiate same-sex marriages, it’s important that we fight for those denominations who wish to do so. We cannot let LGBT-friendly, liberal religious voices be drowned out by the conservative majority.

  5. This is certainly disappointing, and I hope we see more details and explanation soon.

    On an incidental note, Stonewall do not support civil partnerships for different-sex couples – that’s where their £umptybillion guesswork “costing” for equal marriage came from in September 2010. The Lib Dem policy supports it, as does Tatchell’s Equal Love campaign.

    In fact, Stonewall refuse to accept that different-sex CP is an LGB issue at all, despite it giving bisexual people the same legal options with any partner regardless of gender. Yet again Stonewall are claiming to represent bisexuals when asking for money, but failing to do so when talking to the Government on their behalf.

    1. No point having a lib dem policy if nothing is going to happen with it!

      Anybody can have a policy, the key is to get it implemented before we all die of old age!

      1. Dave Page 4 Aug 2011, 1:55pm

        Guess what, we’re working on it – we’ve already got 70% of the Lib Dem manifesto going forward in Government, and we’re pushing as hard as we can on this issue.

        It’d be easier if Stonewall had been pushing for equal marriage too, or the Labour party, or even the Tories…

    2. Bloody right it’s disappointing.

      As you seem to be a Lib Dem, Dave, perhaps you could get Lynne Featherstone to explain to us why she has resiled from her comitment to start the consultation in July.

      Now it may happen “from the autimn” (whatever that means) (autumn which year??) and is now not going to be a consultation (with us) but “looking to discuss” (whatever that means) with stakeholders (whoever they are) (probably means Rowan Williams holding the stake and the Cardinal hammering it in)

      The Lib Dems are pathetic

  6. I don’t see why there needs to be any consultation at all. A Civil Marriage is a legal contract with no religious connotations whatsoever. All that’s needed is to make marriage gender neutral.
    I don’t see why LGBT people should be arbitrarily banned from civil marriage just because of the gender of whom we love. It’s just discrimination.
    Hell, why stick to the legal contract of marriage. Why not have a lovely consultation on whether LGBT people should be allowed to make wills, buy a house, own a business? it’d make as much sense.
    There should be no consultation at all. Just do it.

    1. Eddy - the original, from 2007 4 Aug 2011, 2:22pm

      Interesting reflections, Iris.

      In my opinion, the reason why they cannot “just do it” is because it is all about power, and all about the discrimination that actually exists IN OUR GOVERNMENT. In other words, this feeling that they must “consult” equates to “Letting non-heterosexuals be truly married would be an extraordinary gift to give them and maybe we should not do such a thing”!

      The judgement has already been made.

      Nevertheless, this is the way the thing is being handled. Who will be salivating and barking at the consultation table? Why, all the bigoted voices of Churches and the Establishment!

      They are the people who are, clearly, in control in this country.

      Otherwise we would have marriage-equality already.

      1. I agree with your comment about the churches. I kind of expect it of them – in my opinion, they seek to hold onto power by marking out an ‘enemy’ (LGBT people now, other groups before). But why the Government kowtows to them, I don’t understand.
        If I was running the consultation, I’d be very keen to suggest to the Churches that, prior to discussing civil marriage for LGBT people, they might like to set out their plan to ban the marriage of divorcees in civil ceremonies. They wouldn’t dare yet re-marriage of a divorcee is adultery according to them. That proves to me that they only pick on us because they think they can get away with it. They should be disabused of that view asap.
        I’d like the Government to explain who exactly will be in this consultation because I don’t see why it’s any business of any religion at all. NO religion should be represented there, in my opinion.

        1. The “stakeholders” in the previous consultation were as follows and they’ll probably be the same in this one. Like it or not, it will probably include discussing religious marriages..

          April 2011 Tebbit -“.. who were the “stakeholders” to whom they “listened”; how many there were; how they were chosen; and how they define “equal civil marriage and partnerships”.”

          answer. “. Ministers and officials met a range of denominations and groups as part of a listening exercise on the next steps for civil partnerships. Those who attended were representatives of the Church of England, the Roman Catholic Church, the Evangelical Alliance, the Quakers, the Unitarian and Free Christian Churches, Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, as well as representatives of the Jewish, Buddhist and Hindu faiths. Representatives also attended from Stonewall, the LGF, LGC, Changing Attitudes and Outrage…..”

          Note how the Gay organisations come last in the list!!!

          1. Thanks for the info, John. I wonder why the Gov can’t just allow equal marriage rights and then, surely, each church would be allowed to choose whom to marry as they do now in the case of divorcees, etc. I wish it could be arranged so that no religion is involved in the consultation which should be simply about equal civil marriage.

          2. And yes, I note that we come last in that list! Again, I think some people genuinely believe that marriage is a religious thing full stop when clearly only religious marriage is. I think this confusion has been encouraged by some religious people.

          3. Jock S. Trap 5 Aug 2011, 10:08am

            I agree Iris. I think each religious point of view is noted whether it be Christian, Catholic, Muslim, no or Quakers, Liberal and Reform Jews and Unitarians, yes.

            Other than that I do wonder if their participation was to go ahead it would be an unfair why to go.

            Yet again, I do resent being the subject of debate.

    2. Yes Iris, the Gov’t could and should implement civil marriage equality imnmediately, later they could hold consultations to deal with same sex religious marriage and the associated concerns and objections of religious stakeholders, but religious institutions have no legitimate special interest in civil marriage equality and do not need to be consulted on civil marriage equality.

      1. It makes sense, doesn’t it, Pavlos? Clearly delineating religions’ place would make things easier and avoid any delays. I don’t believe that religions can be so stupid as to think they’d be FORCED to marry LGBT people – after all they can refuse to marry divorcees and those of other religions, can they?
        No, I think they know full well there wouldn’t be any compulsion and are just looking for ‘problems’ to try to stymie any progress towards equal marriage.

        1. Should be “can’t they”

  7. I read the comments on the Pink News boards most days, There’s a lot of real passion in the readers here to get things canged for the better, not just of LGBT people but of everyone. If we really want this speeded up we should also be writing to our MPs and local papers. The more that we put our heads above the parapets the more people have to take notice.

    I for one will be writing to my Councillors here in Brighton to insist that the Council submits a paper to the consultation IN FAVOUR.

    I know the Conservative Party isn’t the most popular political group ion here but if you have a Tory MP it might be good to remind them that Marriage binds people into society and means that there is less need for the state to priovide, for instance, care. That is a very Conservative reason to support Equal Marriage.

  8. I am too, John.

    Peter T is absolutely right though. There should be no negotiating civil marriage equality. What is there to discuss since the advent of CPs? The groundwork has already been done since they were enacted.

    If the Tories want to get re-elected, they’d better deliver. If Labour declares marriage equality official policy, following the Liberal Democrats, Cameron will be pushed into a corner from which there is no way out but to urge his party to support it. His last election result should be a wake up call, especially if he wants more gay voters to support him. Clearly, not many did.

  9. Iris, exactly right. All of the ten countries that allow same-sex civil marriage have enshrined a gender neutral clause into their marriage laws and only applies to civil marriage. This is something that has to be emphasised over and over when the official discussion begins and throughout, so that opposing religious denominations won’t have any real justification to resist it. This is a civil matter and has nothing to do with religion whatsoever.

  10. Gay Activist Paul Mitchell 4 Aug 2011, 1:30pm

    An MP should just introduce a bill called the Civil Marriage Equality Bill and it should be written like this:
    This bill shall be called the Civil Marriage Equality Bill;
    (1) Amends the 1971 law on marriage. Marriage is a civil and secular union between two adults whether or not they are the same or different sex.
    (2) All references under the common law, civil law, statute law or written law of the UK Statutes to ‘man’, ‘boy’, ‘girl’, ‘woman’, ‘husband’, ‘wife’, ‘his’, ‘her’, ‘opposite sex’ ,’same sex’, etc shall be having that same interperataion as the same or different sex.
    (3) No priest, church, mosqe or rabbi, etc shall not be compelled to conduct a marriage that goes against their faith or domination within the United Kingdom – even under Canon law.
    (4) the Civil Partnerships Act 2004 shall be repealed entirly.
    (5) The jurisdictions that come under this law shall include Wales, England, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

    1. Agreed. Except for point 4.

      I’d prefer the Dutch system where civil marriages and CP’s are available to all couples – whether same sex or opposite sex.

      1. Spanner1960 6 Aug 2011, 9:28pm

        What difference does it make to have two identical parallel systems?
        Why settle for margarine when you can have butter?

    2. I simply don’t understand why we’re having a consultation which obviously isn’t happening in a hurry regardless of what artificial timelines they put on it.

      Wasn’t the CP ACT a lib dem private bill brought about by Lord Lester and rubber stamped by Stonewall. Why are we going down this consultation road (or not going down it!) when the lib dems could raise a private bill and force the other 2 major parties to come clean on the issue. My lib dem MP said it would be a titantic struggle to get marriage equality with the Tories in power yet I’ve seen comments on here suggesting they’re all for it. The 2015 deadline for marriage equality is a lib dem promise NOT a coalition govt one…

      1. Dave Page 4 Aug 2011, 1:48pm

        No, the Civil Partnerships Act 2004 was not Lord Lester’s bill. Lord Lester’s bill was more far-reaching, but the Labour government asked him to withdraw it so they could introduce their own. More details at

        1. But why not be the first now to introduce a private bill on marriage equality, they’re now in government as well.

          There is no explanation why we have this delay, in fact no explantion would convince me that they are serious. I was slightly unconvinved when there wasn’t an end date to the consultation , now they can’t even come up with a believable start date to it….

    3. This doesn’t make sense. Civil marriage is non religious so it wouldn’t need to include information on religious marriage. BUT equalising civil marriage only would not provide equality when many gay people also want equal access to the right to have a religious marriage legally recognised. No religious institutions should be forced to provide same sex marriage ceremonies but it is wrong that churches like the Quakers can conduct legally recognised marriages for straight couples and not gay ones.

  11. Tories lied ! Breaking headlines.


  12. This is so disappointing. The LibDems promised consultation in the run-up to the May local elections and are now not delivering it.

  13. and you Lynne Featherstone, you do not do consulting, we are in a nation war on bigory and racism out side of the other wars of teerroism, just because we have some bad kids raised evil and wrong by bad parents are bad religions of evil and hate, grew up and became day and night terrours on and in our nation , causing other problems day after day , instead of being good samaritans, and try to do positive thing in our society, and help others , they are the cause of many children deaths and suicides , so you get in your office and network with the rest of the human rights and equal rights agencys, and gay and hetersexual allieances, for humanity and do overhauls wherever they are needed and get programs implemented and delegated into that society, for the families and children equality and fairness and saftey, take serious measures to ensure their equality and fairness and saftey , their rights,

  14. Whilst I am grateful for some (belated) clarification on the lack of current equal marriage consultation from government as the uncertainty was worrying, I remain concerned that there has been no explanation as to why the promised time scale of a summer consultation has not been kept to, whether the delay will have implications on the ability to effectively legislate in the time frame originally proposed by Lynne Featherstone and the process proposed for the consultation

  15. No excuse with the delay, just get on with it.

  16. This looks like an unsatisfactory response to an email I sent the Government a couple of days ago:-

    Dear Government Equalities Office,

    Your document ‘Working for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equality: Moving Forward’ gives a start date of July 2011 for working “with all those who have an interest in equal civil marriage and partnerships, on how legislation can develop.” As I have an interest in equal marriage/civil partnerships, perhaps you could kindly let me know how I may help you best achieve that goal?

    As a first step in helping out, I would very strongly advise the Government to immediately issue a statement confirming that it will not be opposing the Plaintiffs in the European Court of Human Rights case about marriage and civil partnerships equality (Ferguson and Others v United Kingdom)

    I look forward to hearing from you.

  17. It should be simple. Change marriage from “between one man and one woman” to “between two people”.


    1. Yes, and then when my partner transitions, instead of having to dissolve our civil partnership to allow him to get his gender recognition certificate and live as legally male, and then marry, we could just stay as we are. Nothing equal about forcing transgendered people to legally end their relationship before being acknowledged.

  18. Jock S. Trap 5 Aug 2011, 9:55am

    OK I put my letter in an earlier comment page before I saw this news item.

    I’m not impressed I have to say, we have enough going on without them stalling on this piece of Equality too.

    We are starting to look old and haggered when other countries have marriage Equality and this country tries to appease religion.

    Now is the time to sort so get on with it already!

  19. This is scandalous! Such a simple objective. Absolutely no profile by LGBT political groups on this one! Seems that Matthew Sephton and his LGBTory publicity crew are doing nothing as usual to sort their government out


    “.. Chair Adrian Trett said “We are confident that the Govt will deliver on marriage equality, and will keep working with MPs and ministers until this is achieved.”

    Stephen Gilbert…. added “The Government has committed itself to delivering equal marriage. Both the PM, and Deputy PM are committed to it, as is Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone. My understanding is that initial work is already being carried out inside Govt and a public consultation will follow later in the year.

    “We should resist trying to snatch bad news from this important step forward, and focus on ensuring that, when the public consultation happens, we get as many people as possible”

    Stephen G …please explain to us what important work has been done , with who ? where’s the proof that Cameron suports it? If the groundwork has been done then we should have started by now? Where’s the timetable?

    1. Why can nobody give any explanation as to why there has been this delay?

      There hasn’t been any step forward …. we are still waiting for that to happen

  21. If this government were smart they would have fixed this some months ago, as it is zero cost friendly legislation that would have been a good distraction from the cuts. It also would have progressives more on their side. As it stands, we know its the same old Tory nightmare implemented by their lackeys. I thought they might try to hide their plutocratic ways just a wee bit. 2015 cannot come soon enough.

  22. I emailed StonewallUK for a response three days ago, still waiting.

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