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UK equalities minister Lynne Featherstone officially announces gay marriage policy

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  1. Oh my deity, this all seems so unreal. Can’t believe it’s finally happening…

    1. Oh My Goddess indeed, perhaps in another four years time it’s happening, you’ve got more than enough time to get over the surprised shock michael.

    2. Maybe RATZI will drop dead on this one. The snowball rolls faster and faster, at the bottom is the vatican – in more ways then one.

      I hear there is a pkg shortage in Rome, and a 110 acre parking garage would prob hold about 20000 cars per floor.

      JUst save all the vatican archives so we can find all the crimes they hid for millenia.

      Guess who kept great records of his crimes against humanity – the worst murderer in history, born and baptised catholic in very cath austria.in 1888. May his name forever be the worst of the worse curses in our common language

      And given other things happening, I presume this will include Scotland and wales.

      1. Scotland has already begun consulting on same sex civil and religious marriage and planning to legislate by 2013

  2. Praise the Lord. Jesus loves us after all.

    1. Of course He does. Miracles happen everyday, hun :-)

    2. Civil marriage like civil partnership can have no religious content. So I’m afraid the message to young LGBT people growing up in our society will still be the same: Jesus doesn’t love you and society doesn’t think you’re good enough to be accepted by any religion – in spite of whatever the religions themselves might say.

  3. Hodge Podge 17 Sep 2011, 6:29pm

    There’s no reason to ban churches from having gay marriages. Just a weird Tory red line. I don’t want to burst any bubbles, but for me, the symbolism that same sex marriage has gained is that it finally abolishes homophobia in the law. This is not that.

    Still, I’ll probably party when the time comes.

    1. There is certainly no reason to ban churches from performing same sex marriages. There may be churches who could argue they do not wish to host them – but if all marriages were civil with the optional additional religious ceremony or religious extension of the ceremony, then there would be equal value of all civil marriages. To respect those who have religious views (right or wrong, and I categorically believe they are wrong) that same sex marriages should not be conducted in church then if the marriage is primarily civil then inequality is minimised and LGBT people who regard a religious aspect to their wedding as important to them are likely to gravitate to more tolerant and accepting churches who engage in the additional or extended ceremonies.

      1. I do believe you’ve missed the point. Religious freedom means that those denominations that wish to solemnize same-sex marriages are permitted to do so. It’s not about requiring any religious institution to perform a same-sex wedding; it’s about the loss of freedom for those denominations that aren’t permitted to marry same-sex couples when they want to.

        1. Jock S. Trap 18 Sep 2011, 8:20am

          Indeed SFM. It seems religious freedoms are only supposed to be a one bigotted size fits all but we all know thats not true.

      2. Jock S. Trap 18 Sep 2011, 8:11am

        It’s all about timing.

        Just as they said we’ll never get to celebrate our relationships in a union, in 2005 we got Civil Partnerships.

        Just as they said we’ll never have religious Civil Partnerships we have them from the end of the year.

        Just as they said we’ll never get marriage we get Civil marriage from 2015. (Though yes I do question why so long. Surely it doesn’t take 3 years to arrange how we marry!)

        So logic dictates that just as they say we’ll never get religious marriages…. We will! Remember there are religious already calling to perform such ceremonies.

      3. Jock S. Trap 18 Sep 2011, 8:19am

        There will be no religious freedom lost because there are religious groups who wish to perform such ceremonies, just as there will be those who refuse. Why should the Quakers, the Unitarians, the Reform Jews, the Liberal Jews, etc (the list goes on) have their religious freedom denied just to satisfy the bigotted religions who wish to stay in the Dark Ages?

      4. @James Park

        Part of my rationale is that only some churches currently have the ability to self register marriages, others either have to have a separate civil ceremony or get a civil registrar in to be present to carry out the formalities for the state. Given this is the case and there are tensions between some in the religious organisations and same sex marriages, if we have a broad brush approach where all faith organisations are treated equally and thus have their ability to self register marriages removed then the marriage itself is largely civil in all cases and the additional or follow ceremony is a matter for the marrying couple and the faith organisation they are connected to.
        Tolerance (hopefully acceptance) does work two ways I agree – and I find the unequal approach to registration an area that requires clarification. If we move in this direction then religious organisations are free to hold the additional or follow ceremonies whether they choose to, or not.

    2. Jock S. Trap 18 Sep 2011, 8:05am

      True but we have to start somewhere and this is a great start.

  4. Jamie Hakim 17 Sep 2011, 6:32pm

    What about us who’ve already entered into Cps? Will we have to do it again……?!

    1. Just what I was thinking. Will there be a straightforward form to fill in or what?

    2. That should form part of the consultation …

      It also should be a decision for those couples who have already undertaken CPs. Some may prefer CP to marriage and some may prefer marriage. I hope that the legislation recognises that there should be a simple and economic process for those who wish to “transfer” their CPs to marriage. Some, couples may wish an additional ceremony, clearly this will incur costs but the state should minimise the costs of the administration of the CP to marriage status.

      1. I think this is an important point which seems to be overlooked in all this or at least is never raised when statements are made.

        I think there are around 80,000 people who are already in CPs at this time.

        Given a choice then or now, I would go for the option of marriage and would probably want it be something more than a form filling exercise. Though I accept that other people may want this option.

        I just hope the people already in CPs aren’t an afterthought in all this. After all these people are probably heavily made up of couples who had already waited years for some kind of recognition for their relationships. It would be bad if their CPs then became second rate equivalent of the new gay marriages when these couples may have been together 30 or 40 years etc.

        I just think a lot of people took the best that was available at the time and shouldn’t be overlooked in all this.

    3. Obviously I have no idea, but except for possible expense, wouldnt it be nice to say I do, the ultimate thumbing of ones nose at the religious bigots

      I’m American, never been out of north america except for Iceland this past August. Who have gay marriage, voted 49 to 0 in their parliment and their premier married her GF 3 days later.

      A fortuitious event – in 1550 theh catholic bishop of Iceland was murdered. And it appears the right wing evangelicals never took their place

  5. Debrastorr 17 Sep 2011, 6:46pm

    Isn’t it a bit silly to restrict this to CIVIL marriages? Why not let those religious institutions that already conduct religious marriages for hetrosexual couples, if they wish to, do the same for homosexual couples? Just what is the justification?

    1. Jock S. Trap 18 Sep 2011, 8:25am

      I suspect because they just want to get this through so we can have civil marriage. If it went through as religious too I suspect it would stall and possibly fail or at any rate take a lot longer than 2015. This way we have our foot in the door so to speak. Religious marriage will come later, I firmly believe that.

  6. What ‘consultation’ is needed? Why do these things take SO long in the UK? My understanding is it will be 2015 until gay marriage is legal. WHY?

    1. The fact Downing Street are clearly saying that same sex marriage WILL happen and that the consultation is not a question of IF but WHEN and HOW, clearly the consultation is about mechanics and processes, but it will be interesting to see what questions they ask in thconsultation – given that all three major parties are agreed that same sex parties should be able to marry then one would think this should not require a consultation.

      1. If it’s about mechanics and processes there’s no need to consult anyone else but those who will work to implement it. What’s the point of consulting bigoted average people and groups if they’ll not have any input in the implementation mechanics and processes? There’s already a plethora of surveys, enquiries and data about what every bigoted person (under and above the skies) thinks about the subject. Miss Featherstone is playing games.

        1. Jock S. Trap 18 Sep 2011, 8:26am

          You must be gutted that this is happening under a Tory Prime Minister.

          1. Indeed Jock, that’s why he posting negative things.

            Remember, it took Labour years and years to pass civil partnership legislation.

          2. Strangely Beberts criticism is now aimed at Featherstone and seems half hearted – could this be because a Tory Prime Minister has unequivocably said that same sex must happen and must happen whilst he is in power? I would prefer there to be no consultation (partly because I am impatient to see it happen) but given that its NOT a consultation to see IF it should happen (the govt and all mainstream parties accept that) then I am prepared to see a reasonable consultation to reach the right processes.

    2. I know you don’t have a written constitution and have a state religion but there seems little reason for such a delay. The first provincial court of appeals decision was June, 2003, in Ontario. After much hand-ringing (i.e. catholics fretting about what the cardinal might say), the bill was introduced in the House of Commons on February 1, 2005, and received Royal Assent on Juy 20, 2005. What’s to consult? Make it so.

      Thought experiment: Slavery is a human rights abuse. Let’s have a consultation process starting a year from now with the goal of implementing legislation to prohibit slavery by 2015. If human rights are being abused, why would you let slavery continue for 4 years more than necessary? Cameron should pick up the phone and call Paul Martin and ask what he’d have done differently. Hint: transgender community doesn’t have the same rights as gays and lesbians.

      1. Dan Filson 17 Sep 2011, 9:01pm

        Oh ironies, the legislation that did abolish slavery in 1834 did not come into effect until 3-4 years later.

        1. Buit in the USA it took a war to end slavery. And then the bigots put in the poll tax and marriage license requirement.

          Blacks, mostly destitute could not vote or marry.

          Now the marriage license reqt is what prevents gays from marrying under civil law in most states

        2. Actually Britain started abolishing slavery throughout the empire in 1807, but didn’t finish the job till the 1830s.

      2. de Villiers 18 Sep 2011, 10:08am

        Yes – that is not a thought experiment. Slavery took many debates before it was abolished and then had four years before the legislation came into effect.

        1. de Villiers 18 Sep 2011, 10:11am

          Although in France, Napoleon on his return abolished it overnight. Still, on the restoration of Louis XVIII it was reintroduced and not abolished for several years. There were agreements to do so, or abolitions in part, in 1818, 1835, 1841, 1848 and 1896.

          1. You’re incredibly bright. I always enjoy your posts.

  7. Yet another perhaps four years to implement this important change is an unacceptably long delay, certainly for some couples who may not survive the wait. You have said you intend to introduce civil marriage equality, so get a move on Cameron.

  8. Let’s hope the current parliament lasts that long.

    1. Of course it will. The Conservative government fear tactical voting to give them the ol’ heave ho.

      1. Jock S. Trap 18 Sep 2011, 8:29am

        Lets hope it does because as Ed Milibore is totally unelectable to the majority of the public and what with the strikes coming there is a case that the Tories might well win outright control next time.

        1. Ed Miliband is a gonna and is totally unelectable, same sex marriage will come without a Labour government. :-)

  9. It is great to see Lynne and David standing up with back bone and spine now and their party, We need them to also continue as Lynne said to do more in establishing even domestic protections and centers for the lgbt youth childrens centers and shelters, and senior citizens gay centers and housing developments , for them and their families, The al forney center in new york is needed in every city and country for the gay teenagers We need adults being concerned about the gay teens and seniors as well,Standing up for humanity and equality is the only honorable thing to do,

    1. Jock S. Trap 18 Sep 2011, 8:30am

      Good comment carrie!

  10. I’m watching BBC news and there’s been no mention of this that I’ve seen. It should be an important news story isn’t it or am I wrong? Perhaps we the 3.6 million gay people in the UK all live in a parallel universe

  11. I’m watching BBC news and there’s been no mention of this. In fact I’ve only seen it on the telegraph website who have printed Featherstone’s speech. I mean, this is a big deal, isn’t it? Do we, the 3.6 million gay people in the UK, all live in some kind of parallel universe?

    1. I don’t think it’s a big deal to the main population, my straight friends thought we already had it years before cps came in, it never occurred to them we weren’t allowed to.

    2. It is on the bbc news website

    3. I was surprised at the low key response of the general media. But I realise that that is probably a good thing.

  12. I thought there had already been consultation planned for this Summer which was delayed until autumn?

    1. Yes, now it is delayed until March next year, meanwhile LGBT’s who would like to marry the person they love will simply have to put their lives on hold until about 2015, that’s if Cameron keeps his word of course.

  13. Peter Tatchell 17 Sep 2011, 8:15pm

    The Equality Minister Lynne Featherstone has said that the consultation will explicitly exclude religious same-sex marriages and heterosexual civil partnerships. She is defending discrimination. Perhaps Lynne should be renamed the Minister for Inequality?

    1. I don’t think the Government can reasonably maintain this stance.

    2. I’d hope those things would follow. It seems sensible to me to do sort equal civil marriage first, then move on to the rest. Why? Because it’ll keep the whinging religions out of it, and then, when we have equal civil marriages and people can see the sky hasn’t fallen in, then they can extend that to religious same sex marriages for those churches who wish to offer them. Sometimes it’s better to take things in steps.

      1. Jock S. Trap 18 Sep 2011, 8:36am

        Totally agree with you Iris. There is a serious flaw in the “All or nothing” approach when we can gain Equiality that leads to better for all. Yes I agree in a fantasy world we shouldn’t have to wait but sadly this is the real world full of bigots and if it means better equality via a ladder then so be it but at least things are moving in the right direction.

        You only have to see how things have progressed over the last 10 years over unions to see how it’s shaping up. This is progress and I for one am please something is happening. Yes we have to work for more but things are looking good.

        1. I agree with Iris too.

          Petter T would prefer to have an all out war with religions, just Christianity because he doesn’t often like criticising extreme homophobia in Islam as he believes it is less homophobic than Christianity. If we went the Peter T way, I doubt same sex marriage would happen any time soon but under the coalitions proposals, civil marriage will become a reality as there is absolutely no real credible argument against same sex marriage.

          I am in favour of same sex marriage, civilly and religiously but if we have to wait a bit longer for same sex religious marriage then I am prepared for that so we can have civil marriage first. Like Iris says, it shuts the religions up for a bit.

          1. “civil marriage will become a reality as there is absolutely no real credible argument against same sex marriage”… from the religions I mean. Of course I believe there is NO crediable argument at all against same sex marriage.

    3. Have just a little patience, Peter. I realize we’ve waited a long time for this, but do you not see how delicate it is? Just take a glance at the comments on the daily mail website to see how unpopular this move is with some people. If we can spend just a little bit of time persuading them that this isn’t going to lead to marrying animals or bigamy, perhaps it will make the whole country more tolerant. And a consultation on how to implement such a big change is obviously necessary – what happens to CPs, how to change existing law, how to change immigration law, etc etc. It’s a complicated business.

      I applaud our courageous prime minister for this. It makes me proud to be british.

    4. Sister Mary Clarence 19 Sep 2011, 5:53pm

      Peter, you more than anyone know that change is progressive. Public opinion and legislation have to change in unison to avoid friction.

      Civil partnerships have provided a means to an end. Most of the heterosexual public think we already have gay marriage in civil partnerships, so for them this introduction will be no issue. Without civil partnerships the change would have been greater with more scope for friction.

      Once we have gay civil marriage, we can then take the next step, and so the journey to full equality progresses.

      I appreciate all that you have done for me, and other gay people across the world, but you know the score, this is fantastic news and lets all enjoy it.

  14. This is an enormous sideways move that will mean slim to no advancement for LGBT people in the UK. It’s half-baked, tokenistic point-scoring. The Tories are desperate to prove that they are LGBT-friendly because they want your votes. Look in depth at what legal difference this will make for LGBT people before you start thinking ‘maybe the Tories have changed after all.’

    1. Some people here appear to think that you are biting the hand that teasingly promises, perhaps in few years time, to feed you but still hasn’t yet.

    2. Jock S. Trap 18 Sep 2011, 8:39am

      So should we cancel all rights just so you can have a “I told you” approach? But then who would be the right person, the right party?

      Personally I think we should be happy that things are moving, finally and yes under a Tory Prime Minister.

      I’m not particularly bother which party provides better Equality, if it means progress.

      1. We have a Tory PM pushing forward the idea of legalised same sex marriage and all you can do is say its not enough or its some cover up to pretend LGBT rights are moving forward. As the saying goes, you simply can’t please some people!

        Really nice to see post people really about about this! :-D

  15. Dan Filson 17 Sep 2011, 9:09pm

    It’s a bit rich for a minority part of the coalition to say “We are a world leader for gay rights” when the majority part of the coalition has opposed and undermined gay rights at just about every opportunity going back – at least – to the 1967 Sexual Offences Act that decriminalised homosexual behaviour in certain circumstances and every measure thereafter.

    And it was a Liberal M.P. Henry Labouchere who in the 1880s brought in the amendment that made illegal a far wider group of activities than had been illegal hitherto.

    1. A former conservative MP, Margaret Thatcher, voted to decriminalize homosexuality in 1967.

      1. Now I really feel dirty…However wasn’t Thatcher quite Libertarian?

      2. And then she went on to approve Section 28 with merely a cursory nod to Jill Knight. She’s has no worthwhile principles.

    2. Dan Filson, another one who is bitter about this great news. Our Prime Minister, a Tory, is the first to ever support same sex marriage. Labour’s Brown and Blair were against it. You need to stop talking about political parties as a collective, the Conservative party for instance has had a homosexual reform wing within for decades now and the party has finally modernised, but you don’t seem to want to recognise this but to harp on about the past.

      Most of the country has traditionally been horrendously homophobic but is now moving pragmatically in the right direction and so is the Conservative party.

      Cameron has stated he is in favour of marriage equality and you still moan.,You’re one of those where the Tories can not win with you despite what they do. I reckon it’s cos Labour did’t get this far in government. Fail. I am sure Labour will support this in Parliament so enough with the bitterness!

      1. Luke, I agree. People need to take party politics aside an welcome the news. No matter what Cameron does he will forever be ridiculed by people still stuck in the closet of the 1980’s.

      2. In their 18 years in power from 1979 did the Conservatives do anything at all for LGBT rights? Thought not. Did they bring in civil partnerships? – oh no, that was Labour. Did they lower the age of consent to equality at 16? – oh no, that was Labour. And while the voting record of Mrs T back in 1967 is being wheeled out once again, may I ask why did she not propose any measure previously in the years before 1964 when the Conservatives were in power, but instead leave it until Labour was in power? Did she vote for Humphry Berkeley’s bill or Leo Abse’s bill? And how did she vote in the various amendments in the course of the 1967 bill which watered it down? It really is a bit rich for commenters to say “Labour did’t get this far in government” when under the Tories sod all happened.

        1. Whilst I think we should constructively welcome this development and cautiously welcome Cameron as a supporter of LGBT rights, I do think any attempt to suggest Thatcher was genuinely gay friendly is frankly disingenuous.

          1. @Stu, no one is pretending Thatcher was the beacon of LGBT rights but the fact is she did vote to decriminalise homosexuality at the end of the 1960s, she also supported legalising abortion too.

        2. No one is suggesting the Conservatives have the greatest LGBT rights record, in fact, it’s pretty bad! Labour did some great things but the fact is, Labour did not propose civil marriage, this Conservative led government has. That is a fact but instead of focusing on the fact we’re getting civil marriage you have moaned and groaned talking about how homophobic Tories whilst ignoring this great step forward proposed by a Tory PM! As people can change their views on LGBT rights, so can political parties and we should be encouraging them but appears you don’t want to do that, just score political points. As for the 1980s, homosexuality was legalised in Northern Ireland and Scotland, LGBT people were freely allowed to serve in the police (1990), the age of consent was lowered to 18 in 1994, although a Conservative MPs amendment to 16 was defeated by around 30 votes unfortunately. Sec. 28 was a disgusting piece of legislation but many of the labour front bench voted in favour of it too.

          1. I am very much on your side of the argument, Luke. I probably have a greater sense of caution about Cameron and his demonstration of commitment to LGBT issues, although I am pleased with what I have seen so far – but the actions need to happen as we both have said. That said, I think you weaken your argument when you ask people not to overly politicize the issue when on the same thread you make comments such as “Milliband is unelectable”. Pot, kettle, black? I am not a current Labour supporter. I am warming to Conservatives more than I ever thought possible, although I do have issues with hsitoric evidence of acceptance and tolerance, and some economic decisions. If we avoid politics on an issue – all of them?

          2. Indeed it is hypocritical of me to say someone is being political when i just do that some way down the thread. I just get a bit wound up when LGBT people were calling on Cameron to back same sex marriage and he does that but his past is still brought up time and time again without acknowledging, at all, the progress the party and Cameron have made. Of course more needs to be done, followed by action. That is a perfect criticise, when you Stu often make and it’s right that you do that.

            I suppose I should not criticise people bringing party politics into it the debate when I do that and it is inevitable it will happen considering these are political decisions. I will stop that now and just put an opposing argument to things I disagree with.

          3. @Luke

            It is sometimes difficult not to bring politics into some situations … we are all guilty of voicing our own philosophies etc … I do think your overriding message that achieving equal marriage should be non-partisan is right, and I think we should encourage Cameron and the government to demonstrate their words are real with determined action. Its encouraging what happened this weekend, but understandably many will still not be enthused until they see it happen. Personally, the unambiguous words used enthuse me more than I thought I could be without equal marriage being a true right in England.

          4. “but understandably many will still not be enthused until they see it happen”….

            I have sympathy for this, I really do so it’s time for the Conservatives to delivery more now, the party has changed for the better, indeed its still going through this process and now it must make same sex marriage legal. If they can do that, we can be sure the Tories are finally on the right side of history and we can all be proud that our three major parties support same sex marriage, something we can be proud of internationally.

        3. Furthermore, a majority of Conservatives voted in favour of civil partnerships and vocal minorities voted for all of Labour’s pro gay legislation. It was more difficult to be out in favour of LGBT rights in the Conservative party for some time but now it isn’t. The Conservatives took longer than most other parties but now they’re here we should be welcoming it and to have a Conservative led government propose same sex marriage is surely progression by anyone’s definition.

    3. If we look back at the Labour partys approach since 1880 then I am sure we can find numerous policies (including some on LGBT rights) that would not be as positive and LGBT friendly as would be associated by some people with Labour

  16. I don’t understand why Christians are against gay marriage. Jesus had two dads, he turned out alright.

    1. cute.. :)

    2. Fantastic line – you really made me chuckle!

  17. jessiepeace 17 Sep 2011, 11:53pm

    I would love to see gay marriage soon.

  18. luke from canada 18 Sep 2011, 1:56am

    this makes me wonder about the states and how long they can ignore the progress the rest of the world (most of it anyways, minus africa and eastern europe), is making in gay rights from marriage to non-discrimination to even gays being in the military. I know about the end of dadt but several want it reinstated. When will they catch up?

  19. Can someone take pity on a foreigner and explain why they are talking about “civil” marriage? Where I live at the moment, there is nothing other than civil marriage. Religious marriage has no standing at law.

    Certainly, weddings can take place in churches, but that is not relevant in law. The only thing that gives such a wedding legal standing is the licence held by the vicar, a licence to officiate at weddings. Such licences are held by many and various people, mostly NOT ministers of religion.

    Is this concept of a religious marriage an artifact of having an Established Church? If so, why, then, does it seem to include other Christian sects? Is it, as Hodge Podge suggests, merely some weird Tory red line which they feel cannot be crossed?

    I cannot understand all the contortions and nonsense that have gone on, producing the civil partnerships, and now leading to civil marriage. It’s just marriage – where’s the problem?

    1. You asked quite a question. Marriage law differs slightly in each country of the United Kingdom. Auhtorised celebrants include clerics of religious groups, but are mostly conducted by civil officials. Also civil marriages have only existed since 1836/7, before then the only way to marry was by a cleric. Also by Vicar do you mean local civil offical? In England that is a title for a type of parish priest.

      1. Thank you for replying to my question.

        As I understand your reply, you have separate marriage laws for each country within the UK. To simplify the matter, let’s just consider England. Within England, you have had civil marriage since 1836/7. Before then, it was marriage by cleric only. How did that work for non-Christians? Since then, has England had a dual system of civil and religious marriages, or was the formerly religious marriage replaced entirely by the civil?

        By the way, by “vicar” I meant a priest within the Christian religion.

    2. de Villiers 18 Sep 2011, 10:13am

      As I understand it, it is the same in France and the UK. Religious marriages have no recognition in law. For some reason, English people keep on speaking of “civil marriage” as if it were a new concept. In France, there is only civil marriage – the ceremony must take place in the town hall and is completely secular. Unlike in the UK, it cannot take place in a church. Still, it is open only to heterosexual couples.

      1. The Civil marriage thing is a misnomer – all marriage is civil, it is just that certain religious celebrants are empowered by their office to register marriages. it wasn’t that long ago that C.of E. clergymen could all celebrate legal marriages in church “ex officio” but that ministers of different Christian sects had to wait for the local Registrar to front up to do it for them. My parents attended a Catholic wedding where the Priest held the religious wedding and then they all had to wait 4 hours because the Registrar had been held up before arriving in order to make it “legal”.
        In previous centuries there were many varieties of perfectly legal marriage in different parts of the UK that took place without the incantations of a Druid – so marriage is older, and bigger than any mere religious group.

  20. Jock S. Trap 18 Sep 2011, 8:01am

    Excellent that progress is being made. Shame about the dithering though but certainly happy to see things finally moving.

    OK it’s not totally equal but Civil Marriage is a great step forward and one I know I want when it comes into force for my partner and I.

  21. Good news indeed, Praise the Lord. Let us see it pass through parliament in realtime action and become realtime law.

    1. The Times on Saturday of Lynne Featherstone

      “She will say: “I will continue to push everyone from allies to adversaries to recognise what we know is true: that gay rights are human rights. No excuses, no exceptions,no compromises”

      I don’t know if, in the event, she did actually say that but clearly there are to be no excuses, no exceptions and no compromises except as usual for those still privileged to discriminate by dint of their unpleasant, anti-gay, religious tradition. An institutionally homophobic tradition that is not supported by scripture.

    2. Apologies Wildseas, I hadn’t intended the above as a reply to your post,t, it came up in the wrong place.

  22. The Times on Saturday of Lynne Featherstone

    “She will say: “I will continue to push everyone from allies to adversaries to recognise what we know is true: that gay rights are human rights. No excuses, no exceptions,no compromises”

    I don’t know if, in the event, she did actually say that but clearly there are to be no excuses, no exceptions and no compromises except as usual for those still privileged to discriminate by dint of their unpleasant, anti-gay, religious tradition. An institutionally homophobic tradition that is not supported by scripture.

  23. Surely it can only be equal if both marriage and civil partnerships are open to all irrespective of sexual mix.
    Or, have I missed something, some part of the policy?

    1. I agree, currently heterosexual couples cannot have a Civil Partnership.
      Why does the MSM and some commentators on here refer to “Gay marriage” when what we seek is the same as everyone else. Marriage is marriage and not a matter of who you sleep with.

    2. No, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head: a wee little step is taken, so they can point to it and say ‘But we DID all this for you! Aren’t you HAPPY?!’ (Then they can namedrop ‘equality’ as many times as they like.)

      But it’s not what we’re ASKING you for, government! We want ACTUAL EQUALITY – not these baby steps for justification – which means both marriages and civil partnerships open for all. Follow through with what will REALISTICALLY enhance your goal of creating more stable families!

    3. My personal view is that civil partnerships can now wither away as they were only a substitute for gay marriage to placate the religious lobby. I understand that some (and a powerful lobby within Stonewall) think differently.

      1. @Harry

        Many will share that view, Harry

        However, I know some gay people and some heterosexual people prefer the idea of CP’s to the label marriage. They should be entitled to recognition of their relationship in the way they wish

        1. Tim Hopkins 18 Sep 2011, 3:07pm

          Not only that, but if civil partnership was abolished, that would leave people who come to this country with a French PACS, New Zealand civil union, Dutch registered partnership, etc etc, with no recognition for their relationship at all. At present they are recognised here as if they were in a CP. Abolish CP here and they lose all their rights while here.

          1. Spanner1960 20 Sep 2011, 1:44pm

            No they wouldn’t. Anyone currently in a CP would be upgraded to a marriage, so there is no reason why other foreign equivalents would not be treated in the same manner.

            CP’s always were a fudge. They need to be totally nullified and wiped off the face of the planet. One law, one rule, one marriage.
            No compromises.

  24. Rob McDowall 18 Sep 2011, 10:24am

    Why is PINK NEWS talking about Gay Marriage? Its marriage equality, we are not asking for a gay ceremony or special treatment…

  25. ….. and I wonder what will happen to the current status of the Civil Partnership, and those citizens who have already been through this process. Will this status be automatically converted, or will we need to go through it all again? Mind you, I feel the excuse for a good party coming on!

  26. My initial tongue in cheek response is that the UK economy must be bad if the Tories are trying to distract with gay marriage ;>

    I can’t believe all these commentators who want a church wedding are regular churchgoers (religious weddings are a heterosexual invention, why be like them?) If you’re gay christians, fair enough to ask, but church weddings is just labouring the issue. Surely the point is to attain the same rights in law, etc.

    I hope, as I live in Ireland, that this move, will lead the new Irish govt to bring in civil marriage here, as the civil partnership legislation is rather like the margarine of marriage, with no recognition for same-sex families, children’s rights, etc. as it stands.

    1. Andrew Jones 18 Sep 2011, 1:00pm

      Sean, I hope you guys and gals in Ireland realise Marriage Equality sooner rather than later. I watched the You Tube video called Rory’s Story explaining the current inequalities GLBTI face in Ireland. You deserve better

    2. @Sean

      I agree (for the majority) religious ceremonies are mainly a distraction from achieving equality for the majority. That is not to dilute the importance that a religious ceremony might have for gay christians, gay jews etc …

      I hope the recent strength in both the Irish government and Irish people to stand up to the church (albeit on other issues) has made standing up to the church on other matters of integrity such as equal marriage an easier step to take …

  27. Something no-one has mentioned: this will mean that I do not have to automatically divorce from my gorgeous wife when I get my gender recognition certificate. If it comes soon enough, of course…

  28. Andrew Jones 18 Sep 2011, 1:16pm

    Marriage Equality is the goal. I want to marry my partner … not have a Civil Partnership.

    At least in the UK you can formalise a gay relationship, which is more than can be said for Australia. I’m an Aussie and feel absolutely ashamed our Federal Government has not allowed GBLTI to formalise their relationships. But for a bunch of “redneck farmers” (not the brightest bunch of people you will meet) and vocal religious groups who epitomise hypocrisy and bigotry, oh and rural Queenslanders, the majority of Australians are ready for Marriage Equality!

    No Tory would ever receive my vote because its a party lost in the past, but I salute Mr Cameron for intervening and making this happen. Good job old boy!

  29. Righteous;-)

  30. Does anyone know why the consultation has been postponed for the second time until March 2012? Lynne Featherstone said that it was due to start this autum, having been postponed from late summer. I wonder why a second delay?

  31. Never trust a Tory

  32. God bless the UK for they are setting the example for the world to give equal and Civil rights to gays.

  33. I wonder if France and Germany are paying attention to this?

  34. if the church refuses to hold a marriage ceremony for same sex couples, then the couple should sue the church, just as happens with hotels recently.

    1. Tim Hopkins 18 Sep 2011, 8:40pm

      Can’t happen, because churches and other religious bodies are exempted from the anti-discrimination laws that apply to places like hotels. Churches are allowed to discriminate on grounds of sexual orientation if that is required by their doctrine, or in order to avoid offending the views of a significant number of their followers.

      And that’s not going to change.

      1. Sister Mary Clarence 19 Sep 2011, 7:13pm

        Exempt at the moment, but with progressive changes in legislation, I can’t see that lasting

        1. Tim Hopkins 20 Sep 2011, 9:08am

          I can’t forsee any Govt or Parliament deciding to legislate to force the Catholic Church (for example) to conduct same sex marriages! It would be unworkable (and, in my view, wrong).

  35. TEEGB,
    What you suggest will not happen.
    No churches presently are compelled by law to marry any couple if they choose not to do so, this will not change. Churches cannot now and will not in the future be compelled to marry any couple.

  36. Its all propaganda aimed at nfluencing the attitude of the would be voters, especially at a national conference, with mass media interest, they are saying what they know people want to hear. Its been done before….

    They wont actually do it. Remember you can never believe what they say, never trust a Tory. We’ll see come March they’ll have forgot all about this.

    1. “They wont actually do it.”

      I bet you said that about Civil Partnerships, and the SOR…. and when you’re “shocked” at how wrong you are here, come back to me and I’ll remind you where homophobic bigots like you are ending up in this society.

  37. Gay Daily Mail Reader 19 Sep 2011, 12:13am

    Civil Partnerships in the UK are just one short of marriage and basically all that needs changing is the wording. Interestingly actor John Barrowman rejects the word ‘marriage’ as he feels that it belongs to a faith system that hates us. Non-religious people get married so why not gays? I think that this country is ready it. Time we caught up with the Dutch, the Spanish, the South Africans and even the Argies!

    1. I want CP’s to be available to opposite sex couples also.

    2. Marriage is not religious, it is contractual = otherwise people would only be allowed to get married unless they worshipped one particular god.

    3. Spanner1960 20 Sep 2011, 1:48pm

      Barrowman’s an idiot. Millions of people get married every year and never set foot in a church.
      Marriage is ultimately a legal tie, not a religious one. CP’s are surplus to requirements and should be eliminated.

  38. “Speaking earlier today, Mrs Featherstone said: “We are a world leader for gay rights, ”

    No we are not.

    At the present time the UK is not even in the top 10 of countries when it comes to gay rights.

    If Marriage Equality is intrroduced then the UK can finally play catch-up to the many countries which have leapfrogged us.

    Also does anyone know what marriage equality will do to CP’s.

    Will they be abandoned and removed or will they be extended to opposite sex couples.

  39. TEEGB, some churches already refuse to marry heterosexuals who have been divorced. The roman cult is one of them, among others.

    I disagree with your point. No religious cult should be forced to marry us. Religious marriage and civil marriage are entirely different. Since some of them refuse to marry some heterosexuals, I don’t see why we should be the exception in which case marriage equality opponents would charge us with demanding special rights to the exclusion of everyone else. It’s bad enough having any opposition to our marrying, don’t make it worse by asking for something currently denied to straight people. Let’s just get same-sex marriage legalised and then concentrate on the religious component for those who want it. One step at a time.

    As for the future of CPs, I suspect they will remain intact and I doubt if they’ll be abolished. I believe that once same-sex marriage is a reality, CPs will then be granted to hetero couples if there is sufficient demand for them.

  40. Why was the consultation delayed until March next year. Lynne Featherstone said back in August that it would be postponed until the autumn, What’s the reason for a second postponement?

  41. Ashley DICKENSON 10 Oct 2011, 2:14pm

    In response to Dan Filson: when Henry Labouchere introduced his amendment, it was during the days when our once-great Liberal Party was God-fearing. Remember when it was last in power? Until 1922 and a coalition at that.

    Nick Clegg claims that love is the same, whether gay or straight (quote/ unquote). Not so. The love you have for your wife is expressed sexually. The love you have for your brothers and sisters is not. Homosexuals eroticise a love which should be platonic. This is usually because of unmet needs in childhood, by a lack of affirmation from the parent of the same sex as a man or as a woman. It is not pathological to be emotionally a nine-year old at the age of nine. It is at the age of twenty-nine (quote).

    I can vouch for this: when I felt that I was not receiving love from my parents I turned to my best schoolfriend (a boy like myself) in order to have my emotional needs met by him: I would cry if he didn’t play with me. I can now understand why.

    ‘You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination’ (Leviticus Ch 18, verse 22). Jesus loves us but hates our sins, which IS WHY HE CAME TO DIE ON THE CROSS. Four Gospel writers attest to this. I personally know of a born-again Christian who was once gay but allowed Jesus to come into his life: he is now straight. Where do we stand on gays / lesbians who have left this lifestyle and become happily married parents?

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