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Lynne Featherstone: I support opposite-sex civil partnerships but the amendment may be a ‘cynical trap’

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  1. I find myself agreeing with Lynn, which usually surprises me. These people proposing these amendments have never given a damn about fairness, equality etc before and carry a record of utter homophobia as well. I find it unlikely they’ve suddenly been moved by the plight of straight folks rather than the chance to hurt us some more

  2. Craig Nelson 19 May 2013, 7:29pm

    The issue of civil partnerships for opposite sex couples is an important one (that I want to see accepted) but in this bill it is being pushed as a wrecking amendment, designed to slow or derail the bill’s passage as a parliamentary tactic/manouvre.

    The clue is to look at who the main proponents of the amendment are and then look at their voting record.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 19 May 2013, 8:44pm

      Loughton was pushing this during the CP legislation and believes that the current bill for equal marriage doesn’t provide any more equality for gay people because of CPs. He bleats about an inequality for heterosexuals being excluded from them, knowing that it could derail the legislation which is what it’s all about. I strongly believe back in 2004/5 when the legislation was going through that his support had to more to do with making CPs so commonplace among straights that it would quash any chance of equal marriage for gays ever gaining acceptance among the public. Even then, it was a sinister move on his part.

      Lynne is absolutely right, it’s a trap. If those who voted yes on 5th February support this amendment, then that is what will happen. The bill will go down in flames. Loughton and Burrowes are voting no to the bill regardless. There is no evidence or assurances from those MPs who voted no that they would vote yes if the amendment were carried.

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 19 May 2013, 8:51pm

      It’s an ill-intentioned spiteful move by Loughton. His support of CPs for straights is bogus. It was in 2004/5 and again in 2013. He’s voting no on Tuesday, regardless. He told me that excluding heteros from CPs is an inequality that needs to be removed and that equal marriage conveys no further equality for gays which would imply that he is justified to vote no the bill. He’s one nasty sick man and a loon.

      Openly gay Liberal Democrat Stephen Williams is supporting this amendment, one of the six who are tabling it I might add. I received no response from him in two emails I sent letting him know why I think this is wrong and the reasons why which Lynne has outlined. I’m hoping this is raised in the debate tomorrow and on tuesday. It needs to be said.

  3. Let’s hope that Tim Loughton’s tactics turn out to be a massive own goal when the legislation is passed with the equal civil partnerships amendment too and full equality is achieved at a stroke. Surely that isn’t too much to hope for?

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 19 May 2013, 9:24pm

      Loughton isn’t doing it out of genuine concern for heterosexuals not having access to CPs. These people want all of the amendments carried including a referendum. If this one amendment is carried while others aren’t, all of those who are feigning support for straight CPs will be given a golden opportunity to do exactly what Lynne suspects, filibuster, block delay and hopefully kill the bill altogether assuming that many who voted yes to the second reading suddenly do a u-turn and vote no on tuesday because of this ill-conceived, spiteful amendment. That is their goal. No thank you.

      1. Yes, exactly. So I hope for an *own* goal, which means that they inadvertently “score” for those striving for equality.

  4. Why does anyone need civil partnerships, gay/straight, once equal marriage is enacted? Phase them out I say. They are an anachronism.

  5. Their duplicity is obvious. On the one hand they are saying that there is no need for same sex marriage because Civil Partnership is enough, then they are saying that we need opposite sex CP. They can’t have it both ways.

  6. Civil partnerships should be reviewed and changed or abolished in another bill all together. MPs like David Burrowes have been pretty outspoken about wanting to ruin this this bill with amendments. Don’t let a few bigots ruin this.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 20 May 2013, 12:35am

      Quite right. I don’t think they will succeed in wrecking anything. They didn’t in Committee after having all of their absurd nonsense shot down one by one. They went into Committee thinking they stood a chance. I think the same will happen tomorrow and Tuesday. If people like Phillip Hammond can concede that the bill will probably pass, then Loughton and Burrowes will be what they’ve always been, delusional but hateful religious loons.

  7. GulliverUK 20 May 2013, 8:52am

    Keep this Same-Sex marriage bill going – no amendments from Loughty as he’s rabidly homophobic and his only purpose is a wrecking amendment – Tories tried this same tactic with the Civil Partnerships bill, and lost. Have a new bill to extend CPs to heterosexual couples – and that will go through with almost no parliamentary effort or time because everybody agrees with it, apparently. Nothing must derail this bill, nor weaken it – those homophobes like Loughton also want opt-outs for registrars – which is never going to happen.

    This is their new Section 28 — nobody is going to forgive them or forget what they’ve attempted here, it will be a millstone around the necks of all Tories for a lifetime.

    Labour must absolutely not support these wrecking amendments, or they will lose my support, same for LibDems.

    House of Commons starts 3-4pm today, the first debate

    1. GulliverUK 20 May 2013, 9:01am

      Brief note on this £3 to £4bn. No calculated were provided, and it’s absurd to claim this is a cost to the tax-payer – if these cohabiting couples married it would still cost the treasury. The loss is inheritance tax – when people die, but it is balanced out by a reduction in welfare costs during the couples lifetime. So the calculation becomes zero over time. I’d be surprised if cohabiting couples didn’t want to get a Civil Partnership given that it should give them plenty of rights including inheritance tax benefits for the surviving partner. Surely the government want more people to get CPs and married because it helps to strengthen society, so to claim that they don’t want CPs because cohabiting heterosexuals WILL get them, is absurd. They should be encouraging all avenues to formalising relationships (i.e. getting your rights and benefits) and any extra pension costs would be only those which would happen if these people got married.

  8. All MP’s supporting equal marriage must – absolutely must – make an effort to attend and vote to ensure this wrecking tactic fails. It could be closer than we imagine as the proposal sounds very attractive at first glance. So no abstentions and no excuses from our MP’s this time. Labour and LibDems in particular should take note, we’ll be watching to see IF you vote and how you vote.

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