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Peter Tatchell: ‘MPs should vote for heterosexual civil partnerships’

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  1. GulliverUK 20 May 2013, 1:56pm

    Yes, they should, but not in this bill, because that amendment is a wrecking one. Separate it out, go forward with OUR equal rights, and then we’ll work hand-in-hand with heterosexuals to get Civil Partnerships extended.

    The Labour amendment, a second bill, to extend Civil Partnerships, would ensure the equal marriage bill is not wrecked, watered down, scuppered, etc.

    1. Here, here, Gulliver!

    2. Gulliver

      Bless you! I was in the middle of writing almost exactly the same thing, when your comment popped up! :)

      There is no reason why we can’t support the (I suspect very small) number of straight couples for whom this is a desirable option. But one thing at a time: the right bill for the right job

    3. Here, here. I support the principal but a vote now in this bill is not a vote for equality, it is just a mask for the bigoted and selfish opposition to marriage equality.

    4. Robert in S. Kensington 20 May 2013, 3:20pm

      I second that! Thankfully have abandoned Loughton’s amendment. I bet he wasn’t expecting that today. It will probably fail now.

  2. Beelzeebub 20 May 2013, 1:59pm

    F\/ck off Peter.

    Let those who desire it lobby for it as we did for equal marriage.

    Stop trying to scupper this for the rest of us you tw@t.

  3. Waterflower 20 May 2013, 2:04pm

    Peter will never be satisfied, he always has to be in the limelight and waving a flag for something. He’s a bloody nuisance and he should get a proper job.

    Civil Marriage for all, scrap CPs and deal with the religious options separately. No need to make it so complicated.

  4. I am very disappointed with this intervention by Peter Tatchell, whom I have previously supported. He is allowing himself to be used by people who are opposed to marriage equality. The question of civil unions is separate from the question of marriage equality. Fight that fight on another day after marriage equality has been achieved.

  5. Get this bill through first !!!!!

  6. Paul Halsall 20 May 2013, 2:45pm

    Peter, you are right in principle, but let’s keep a distinction between tactics and strategy.

    We want the same-sex marriage to go through more than we need equal access for civil partnerships.

    1. GulliverUK 20 May 2013, 4:11pm

      Everybody’s rights are important, but we’ve been waiting for decades. Some heterosexuals want Civil Partnerships — actually I bet it’s a lot, just looks at PACs in France, over 100,000 heterosexuals have those, which are like CPs Lite. The correct way is to separate the two, go forward with both, it may even be that Civil Partnerships could be opened up to heterosexual couples before marriage is open to gay couples.

      Now, surely the Catholic Herald is missing you? OR … meet me, face to face, and we can discuss your concerns, rather than you constantly posting here. I’m up for a meet – are you? I’m in London, where are you Keith? Don’t you want to meet a real live homosexual face to face? I don’t bite ….usually ! :-p

      1. But PACs are not the same, Gulliver. And they’re popular because they’re a kind of marriage-lite. If you want PACs, campaign for them. CPs are nothing but second-class marriages: same rights and responsibilities in a second-class wrapper.

  7. Keith are you one of those strange people i see on here who pretend to be appalled and disgusted by homosexuality but spend lots of time hanging out on gay websites? Denial is so sad.
    But to answer your question straight people already have civil marriage equality. And if you are referring to civil partnerships as I am sure any homophobe worth his salt will tell you – it isnt civil marriage, thats the whole point.
    As for Mr Tatchell, he needs to remember he isnt The Gay Community and he isnt required to comment on everything.

  8. This may be highly desirable- but in this bill it is a wrecking amendment designed to get the government to drop the Equal Marriage bill. Naïve to think otherewise.

  9. It’s not about equality of access to civil partnerships which are considered a lesser recognition of commitment to a union of two people than what marriage is. It’s about being able to have our relationships recognised in an equal manner.
    It is an attempt to wreck the bill and for the life of me I can’t see why someone who purports to be a spokes person for the LGBT community could promote such a damaging proposal.
    Let’s get equality in marriage, if necessary civil partnership access for all can follow though I think it will be phased out for recognition of one term for legal unions.

  10. Robert in S. Kensington 20 May 2013, 3:18pm

    Peter, we’ve heard from David Cameron himself, Nick Clegg, Yvette Cooper, Maria Miller, Gary Freer, and others. This bill tabled by Loughton is a wrecking amendment, no question about it. Loughton has NO intention of supporting the marriage bill in any way, shape or form in spite of it.

    This is not the bill to advocate for this spiteful, manipulative amendment. If Loughton were so concerned about hetero CPs nine years later, he should have championed a separate bill for them immediately after the legislation passed in 2004. Labour didn’t bother and nor did the Tories until now. How can you not see this is an wrecking amendment?

  11. The equal civil partnerships amendment, whilst undoubtedly put forward by people who want to derail the entire bill, is right in principle. So think positively. How many MPs who would have supported equal marriage are likely to vote against the bill with the CP amendment just because they don’t want equal CPs? What sort of a position is that to hold anyway? Go for full equality: it is achievable. Peter Tatchell is quite right.

  12. Not in my name Peter Tatchell. You claim to speak for the LGBT community and yet you are supporting something that will potentially set back the timetable for access for my partner and I to marriage.
    Instead we are supposed to wait until everyone can get access to civil partnerships, a recognition to a union between two people that is considered inferior to marriage!

  13. I think Peter Tatchell’s timing on this disastrous! I understand that he wants to show he is simply asking for equality for ALL. I think he should keep his mouth shut for now and wait for the same-sex marriage Bill to pass first.

    1. GulliverUK 20 May 2013, 4:20pm

      Or at least wait until later tonight, when we have a clearer picture.

      Loughton’s amendment is a wrecking attempt – nobody should go anywhere near it. We’ll get more done by running both requirements, equal marriage, and equal civil partnerships, by running them in parallel.

      To get Civil Partnerships extended to heterosexuals will require, potentially, a new consultation on that, with the churches, with a committee, etc., it will certainly take another year, perhaps two.

      Peter has done excellent work with the case in the ECHR and there is little doubt this has focused the attention of the government, which is intervening before it is forced, and quite sensible. But lumping it all together, and trying to graft on extending CPs to this bill, would be a disaster. Extending it to include religious same-sex marriages has delayed it long enough, and now we are near real progress let’s not move the goalposts once again. Other requirements can enabled in a new bill.

  14. Spanner1960 20 May 2013, 5:32pm

    Tatchell: You are a prat of the highest magnitude.

    NOBODY wants CP’s.
    All you are doing is muddying the waters.
    We should have one single and defined objective: equal marriage for all. Anything else is just a fudge.

  15. Peter Tatchell 20 May 2013, 5:49pm

    Easy solution without any hold up for equal marriage: legalise straight civil partnerships now but delay the implementation of CPs until details are worked out.

    I began the campaign for marriage equality in 1992, so I would not do anything to jeopardise it

    We would have never got any gay law reform without heterosexual support. Shame that some people are unwilling to reciprocate that support.

    1. I see the anti equal marriage voices in parliament are using your views to substantiate their bigotry – well done for giving them ammunition to stop our equality.

    2. GingerlyColors 20 May 2013, 6:48pm

      I think it would be better for marriage equality to supersede Civil Partnerships. Once everybody has the right to get married then CP’s will become obselete.

    3. Even more anti equality voices in parliament using you as a ‘prominent gay man’ to substantiate their bigotry and try to stop marriage equality. Well done tatchell for giving our enemies a voice.

      Next time you speak, you should make sure you make it clear that you do not speak for the gay community.

  16. Tosser.

  17. GingerlyColors 20 May 2013, 6:31pm

    Wouldn’t it be easier to scrap Civil Partnerships altogether once marriage equality is introduced? That way everybody still ends up getting treated equally. As for same-sex couples who are already in Civil Partnerships, their CP’s should automatically be upgraded to marriage.

  18. He’s been saying this for years: “In the Netherlands, civil marriages and civil partnerships are available to all couples” and for years I’ve been pointing out that in the Netherlands, like in France, marriage is very different from “registered partnerships” or PACS. It’s not about people who want to be feminists and have a different name for their unions (I want my union to be called “Bob”), it’s about them being very different institutions. PACS and registered partnerships are very ‘light’ institutions. Registered partnerships can be formed and dissolved writing and co-signing a letter. It’s not the same as getting married. In the UK the difference between marriages and CPs is symbolic and primarily in name only. I say scrap CPs and start a consultation to see if there’s a need for an alternative form of union and what that union should be. Don’t drag on with these CPs that are only the product of homophobia and the desire to keep gay people separate from straights.

    1. Expect many more statistics from Peter Tatchell on the popularity of straight civil partnerships in the Netherlands. But he’s being somewhat disingenuous about what his are motives for using them.
      There has been uptake of registered partnerships in the Netherlands from straight couples (elsewhere, not so much). Uptake from gay couples much higher – a decade after same sex marriage was introduced, about one third of gay couples have opted for registered partnerships instead of marriage. For one reason or another Civil Partnerships are the wedding of choice for a large proportion of gay couples.

      At present civil partnerships are the product of discrimination. Were civil partnerships to be open to both gay and straight couples, the institution would be strengthened, parity would be gained in relation to marriage. The prime movers in the campaign for straight civil partnerships are gay rights activists and it is being done in the interests of the gay community.

  19. johnny33308 20 May 2013, 8:29pm

    The Civil Partnership language should NOT be included in the Marriage Equality bill….it is designed EXCLUSIVELY to derail the implementation of Marriage Equality, or at the very least to delay implementation.

  20. He is rapidly getting past his sell by date. He can never be satisfied with anything. Time to be put him out to grass.

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