Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell says now is the time to email the Culture Secretary and Minister for Equalities Maria Miller, in order to ensure the LGBT community can secure complete marriage equality.
Within the next four weeks, the government is expected to announce its response to the public consultation on legalising same-sex marriage. The consultation resulted in a staggering 228,000 responses; many of them hostile to equal marriage.
While the government’s commitment to legislate same-sex civil marriage is commendable, it is very disappointing that the Equalities Minister, Maria Miller MP, has not yet indicated her support for the legalisation of opposite-sex civil partnerships and of religious same-sex marriages by faith organisations that want to conduct them. Half equality is not good enough.
There are probably only two to four weeks left until the government announces its legislative plans.
It is vital that we keep the government under pressure to honour its pledge to allow same-sex civil marriages and to not cave in to backbench MPs and religious pressure to shelve or dilute its promise of marriage equality by 2015.
Please email Maria Miller. Copy or amend the draft below.
Email Maria Miller at this address: email@example.com
Dear Maria Miller,
Thank you for your commitment to marriage equality.
When you announce the results of the public consultation, we urge you to commit the government to legislate full equality, without exception.
Same-sex civil marriages
Opposite-sex civil partnerships
Religious same-sex marriages by faith organisations that wish to conduct them
In a democratic society, everyone should be equal before the law.
The UK’s twin legal bans on same-sex civil marriages and opposite-sex civil partnerships are unjust discrimination.
I urge that civil marriages and civil partnerships be open to both gay and heterosexual couples, with no discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Moreover, religious organisations should be free to marry same-sex couples, if they want to do so. To deny them this right is not only homophobic, it is also an attack on religious freedom.
Please support full equality in civil marriage and civil partnership law.
Peter Tatchell is director of the London-based human rights organisation, the Peter Tatchell Foundation, and coordinator of the Equal Love campaign.