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PM: I will ‘listen carefully’ to the idea of allowing civil partnerships for heterosexuals — but I am a ‘marriage man’

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  1. Personally, I can’t see a case for creating new civil partnerships at all once equal marriage is enacted.

    But if someone has a good case for them being retained (which I haven’t yet heard), there can’t surely be a case for denying straight couples access to them.

  2. You don’t want to get married? Fine, shack up, then. There’s no need for the official recognition of something “less than marriage”. If you aren’t willing to make a commitment, then there’s no real reason for society to take any special official steps to “recognize” your unwillingness to commit, is there.

    this is why I am against civil partnerships for anyone. there is no need for a diluted, 2nd class, “poor man’s version” of marriage.

    1. Some people may see marriage as an anachronism and prefer a CP. I know I do

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Feb 2013, 1:50pm

        That’s all well and good, James, but the larger picture is being overlooked. If you and your partner had to move to another country,your CP wouldn’t benefit from all of the rights in those countries where there is equal marriage, no full reciprocity or portability. There is no universal standard for civil unions/partnerships, PACs anywhere. They are all different and unequal.

      2. It’s a good thing to question marriage.

        But do be careful with relying on Civil Partnerships. They are lacking some of the protections marriages offer.

        For example, if you travelled with your civil partner to one of these EU countries – http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/family/couple/registered-partners/index_en.htm – you would find yourself in a stressful situation should your partner be taken ill. You would not have the same right to dictate his medical care as you would if married (even a same sex marriage).

        Of course the way in which relationships are formalised should be down to you and your partner – but please, make sure that all your interests, including the unthinkable ones, are covered.

      3. Spanner1960 6 Feb 2013, 2:38pm

        An anachronism of what?
        Haven’t we been banging on for the last three years pointing out that marriage was around long before religion?

        If you can’t go with the flow, don’t bother at all.

        1. Agreed. Civil marriage is the modern, non-religious, non-traditional, non-anachronistic form of civil union that should be open to everyone, and hopefully will be when EM is sorted out.

          If anyone’s against the idea of marriage, then a CP isn’t suitable anyway as it’s a ‘marriage in all but name so as not to offend’. I have two straight friends who are vehemently anti-marriage (largely because they think they should remain as individuals as I understand it). The idea that they’d get a CP instead then is something they sneer at. It’s the idea of marriage that they object to – not the mere letters of the word.

  3. Beware Christopher Chope-no friend of gay people.

    1. It’s nothing to do with Mr Chope. It’s to do with equality and consistent with what many of us said as part of the consultation last March.

      I have some sympathy with those that liked the equal rights of CPs but who didn’t/don’t want to buy into the full coach and horses of ‘traditional’ marriage. In reality though a civil marriage or civil partnership can be pared down to a short affirmation of vows and signing of papers if you don’t want the whole shebang. So why keep CPs for anyone other than those who already have them, who should of course be respected.

      1. Quite right. A civil marriage can be over in less than five minutes if you just do the legal stuff. Even if you want to do more than that, it’s up to the couple how much and what they do. Nothing is obligatory except the legal bits.

  4. Shouldn’t they scrap Civil Partnerships when equal marriage is enacted

    1. Its a process that I think will lead to Civil Partnerships being transitioned to marriage over time such that Civil Partnership would be seen as “out dated” and a “means to an end”. One cannot scrap civil partnerships merely either change them to marriage or cease performing new partnerships but allowing the legal framework to remain on statute.

  5. “Rather than looking at any other way of weakening it.”

    Not the best choice of words Mr PM.

  6. I support marriage and civil partnerships. Why not.

  7. Civil partnerships should be available to any straight people foolish enough to choose them.

    Remember, Civil Partnerships are NOT Civil Marriage, they are something entirely different. If straight people want to have a CP, then who are we to stop them?

    There are many reasons why CPs are not as ‘good’ as marriage, but not least, the fact that Civil Partnerships are not recognised by many countries round the world. When you are husband and wife, and something goes wrong on holiday, there is no doubt that the married partner should dictate medical care.

    This isn’t the case with Civil Partnerships. In fact, there are 9 countries in Europe that would recognise the rights of a same-sex marriage, but not of civil partners (of either the straight or gay variety).

    I would urge heterosexuals to simply have a marriage in a civil setting than pursue civil partnerships.

  8. “…. I would pay tribute to all those people who have made this case for many, many years, saying they want their love to count as much as love for man and woman counts.”

    Quite right, Mr Cameron.

    It’s been a long journey getting to this point. Many have died prior to witnessing last night’s historic vote. Many over the years have lost careers, jobs, families and friends solely on the basis of their sexual orientation, which was deemed deviant and undesirable.

    When Myra Hindley abused and killed children and was eventually convicted, she was treated to a free university eduction, free one-to-one guitar lessons, a creative writing course, and having her needs policed by the late Lord Longford.

    When my best friend too his own life unable to continue any longer, we were treated to being labelled as deviant queers with no support or help.

    None of us should ever forget the long road we’ve been on and we should always remember those who are no longer walking our path.

  9. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Feb 2013, 2:00pm

    I find it interesting and surprising that the PM iwould say CPs weaken marriage, the very argument Tories opposed to them used during the legislative debate in 2004. Isn’t that an admission that they are not equal, not regarded in the same manner as marriages in spite of Tory MPs’ opposing views in the debate yesterday, claiming they offer ‘equal’ rights to marriage and by default appeared to be defending. How convenient CPs have suddenly become for the bigots.

    Just wait and hear the reaction from the opposition on this one. They’ll blame this on equal marriage legislation and will exploit the PMs statement that CPs for straights will weaken marriage. They will also leave themselves wide open for criticism and accusations of hypocrisy, defending them to thwart equal marriage on the one hand, while deriding tham as as a threat to marriage on the other.

    Chope I suspect might be using this to foment further resistance to equal marriage in the third and final reading.

  10. CPs should be scrapped they were a stop gap and it was a bit of a disgrace we ever had to have them in the first place.

  11. They will have to do away with them or make them open to all. Sooner or later there will be a legal challenge from a straight couple. Cameron is right. CPs do weaken marriage. They will syphon off non-conformists who want legal protections. If he thinks marriage is the best option he needs to end Cps. I have valued being in a CP but I won’t miss it when I convert to marriage.

    1. The equal love campain has already challenged CPs and why stright couples can’t have them.

      Like you, my CP was a great stepping stone, lets have full marriage now and put them in the history books.

      1. I don’t see why you should be charged £100 for an upgrade though as at the time you had no choice.

        1. I agree and said exactly that in the consulation. I can stomach a small admin charge for issuing a new certificate but £100 is a bit steep.

  12. Kim Berlin 6 Feb 2013, 2:18pm

    Offering both same-sex and opposite-sex couple the option of a Civil Partnership or a Marriage is a great idea.

    There are many opposite-sex couple who do not want to engage with the traditional institution of marriage.

    New Zealand has such a system and despite the announcement of religious organisations, the world did not end as predicted.

    1. Spanner1960 6 Feb 2013, 2:41pm

      it’s a rubbish idea. It is virtually the same as marriage and offers zero benefits, yet a whole heap of paperwork, effort and expense just so you can go around saying “you-are-married-but-not-married.”
      Either go with the rest of society, or choose to opt out. There is no middle ground.

    2. “There are many opposite-sex couple who do not want to engage with the traditional institution of marriage.”

      That’s what civil marriage is for – no traditions at all and over in minutes if you choose to do only the minimum. CPs were only invented because of the pressure to not allow same sex couples the word ‘marriage’. Once that inequality is rectified, then civil marriage will be open to all and CPs will have served their purpose and fade away, I think.

  13. Spanner1960 6 Feb 2013, 2:36pm

    WHAT IS THE POINT!!?

  14. That was only suggested so he could say, its equal now for both gays and straights, leave marriage as it is. I don’t think so!!!

    CPs should be converted to marriage and then scrapped in my opinion. They bang on about saving money, well closing something with administrative overheads will do just that.

  15. Some of us aren’t comfortable with the idea of marriage – personally I would rather they’d just scrap marriage altogether and give us all civil partnerships which provide the protections accorded by marriage with none of outdated bilge that goes with them…

    1. I understand where your soming from but CPs arn’t recognised anywhere else in the world, marriage is.

    2. I want to understand: what is it exactly with which you are “uncomfortable” regarding marriage?

    3. What “outdated bilge”?? You obviously haven’t been to the same civil wedding I have!

  16. Hodge Podge 6 Feb 2013, 5:50pm

    How conservative.

  17. so because he is, we all have to be?

  18. I think the principle of equality needs to be placed at the heart of this issue. As far as I see it, the prejudice inherent in civil partnerships in their current gay-only state can be resolved either by ditching them altogether (which, I think, is maybe what the PM is hinting is his long-term intention) or by opening them up to all couples regardless of sexual orientation. I think the government really does need to do one or t’other in order for the principle of equality to be maintained with full credibility. My preference would be to burn the bridge, the sooner the better.

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