The National Union of Students LGBT is taking the next steps to push for marriage equality, as the government announces plans to bring forward the legislation in early 2013.
Maria Miller, Culture Secretary, today announced the government’s plans to bring forward marriage equality, and that the intention was for religious institutions to be allowed to ‘opt-in’ to performing same-sex marriages.
The campaign, which aims to tackle the ongoing issue of equal marriage in a fun and festive way, encourages members of the public to come out in support of equal marriage, and to download and send the equal marriage card to David Cameron, to urge him to do the same.
Stephen Fry tweeted his support for the campaign, as well as Caitlin Moran, and the NUS officers involved have gathered over 4,000 Christmas cards, which will be delivered to 10 Downing Street tomorrow.
NUS officers involved say they are now are also taking the next step, to lobby individual MPs, who will be given a free vote on the issue of marriage equality. Finn McGoldrick, NUS LGBT Officer said:
“We were in touch regularly with Downing Street over the past ten days and were pleased with the positive and encouraging response to our campaign.
“We are delighted that David Cameron recognises the urgency and absolute necessity of an equal marriage bill, which thousands of people across the UK joined us in calling for, by sending the PM a Christmas card this year with the simple message ‘make equal marriage happen’”
Sky Yarlett, NUS LGBT Officer, added: “We look forward to working with thousands of people again and lobbying MPs to make equal marriage a reality.”
In order to achieve “equal Marriage and Civil Partnerships for all,” the site recommends that students refer to sites such as Out4Marriage, write to MPs, and sign the petition at the Coalition for Equal Marriage’s website.
Out4Marriage made a statement following Ms Miller’s announcement today:
“We are delighted that the government has agreed with us and is extending plans to allow gay couples to marry in churches and synagogues that wish to hold them. The proposed legislation will turn England and Wales into the one of the fairest and most equal countries to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered.
“It is heartening that these historic changes in the law are supported strongly by David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband. The cross-party alliance to introduce equality demonstrates that this is truly the time to end discrimination of gay people.”
Although the Catholic Church and Church of England are opposed to equal marriage, faith groups such as the Quakers, and Liberal Judaism support marriage rights for gay couples and have also stated they would like to provide the ceremonies