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Scotland: Review on civil partnerships for hetrosexual couples to be announced next week

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  1. GulliverUK 21 Jun 2013, 2:01pm

    Am I gonna get a neg for even mentioning this?

    I just commented on a Glasgow newspaper about this issue…

    “One thing tho., currently Civil Partners don’t have equal pension rights, surviving partner benefits only go from 2005, and thus regardless of however long you’ve been paying in to pensions, you will get only a fraction of what a heterosexual married couple would. In the recent Walker case his surviving partner was offered £500pa, not the £41,000 his partner would have received if he had been a women. It would cost the pensions industry £18m to put this right, which is something like 0.0001% of their £350bn assets under management. How would heterosexual couples be offered equal pensions in Civil Partnerships if gay couples continue to be discriminated against ? Where is the fairness?”

    How could they possibly give heterosexual couples in CPs equal surviving partner benefits to married heterosexual couples, but not us?

    Glad this is all moving forward.

  2. Robert in S. Kensington 21 Jun 2013, 2:04pm

    interesting that Scotland is following the same path as England and Wales. I suspect there has been an exchange of information between MSPs and MPs in all this too. I was under the impression Scotland was ahead of England regarding the equal marriage debate looking at last year’s PN articles, but now seems to be foot-dragging.

    1. I also thought Scotland was ahead but this same story in either the Scotsman or Herald mentioned that the vote on same sex marriage in the Scottish Parliament won’t take place until the end of 2014 and that (assuming it gets passed) it will be the middle of 2015 before it becomes law in Scotland. When it was first launched in Scotland in September 2011, I seem to remember the date given at that time for it to become law was 2013 or 2014.

      But at least it’s still moving forward and there’s also this news of looking at heterosexual civil partnerships in Scotland too. Good news overall.

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 21 Jun 2013, 4:30pm

        Yes, Bennie, I too thought it was going to be this year, not even 2014. It was probably all hype. But good this is proceeding. I think after the consultation for hetero CPs south of the border begins in the autumn, Scotland will do whatever London will do, either introduce them or eliminate them.

        1. Well the Scottish government did take longer to analyse and respond to the first consultation than originally thought, and then there was the second consultation on the draft Bill which wasn’t (to my knowledge) part of the process from the beginning, so that explains why it’s taking longer than was originally said.

          I can’t say I’m overly concerned that it won’t be law until 2015 in Scotland, I’m happy enough that it’s happening (assuming it passes, and there’s no reason to think it won’t given a majority of MSPs have pledged their support). Although it would be worrying if was held up any longer than this for any reason.

          As for CPs, it would be good if both the UK and Scottish governments dealt with them as soon as they can, either by opening them to straight couples or abolishing them altogether. I don’t have a strong view on them either way, personally, but I know there are people who don’t like marriage at all, so opening them to straight couples seems most appropriate to me.

      2. Equality Network 21 Jun 2013, 4:35pm

        Hi Bennie, When the first Scottish Govt consultation was launched in Sept 2011, we hoped the bill could pass by the end of 2013. Three months was lost, this time last year, when it took longer than we thought it would for the Scottish Govt to agree and draft the bill for the second consultation.

        As a result, it now looks like the bill is more likely to pass by March 2014. It would not come into effect immediately though, as secondary legislation is needed. That’s why people are now talking about the end of 2014. The process is frustratingly consultative!

        But it will only pass the Parliament by March 2014 if we all let our MSPs know we support it!

        1. Thanks for the info! It is frustrating that it’s taking so long, but at least it’s happening, and that’s the main thing! I’m not particularly worried that it’s taking a wee bit longer than first thought.

          I know it’s not a done deal and we can’t be complacent just because a majority of MSPs have pledged to support it (who can forget the Lib Dems pledging to vote against tuition fees!), although I think any MSP who backtracks on it now would be committing political suicide.

          I’ve written to all my MSPs long ago about it, and I think 6 of the 8 who represent me support it – Cunninghame South and West Scotland. The couple who haven’t made their intentions clear said that they will do so when the Bill is published, so hopefully they’ll support it too in the end. It would be great if we got as many MSPs supporting and voting for marriage equality as possible, to show that Scotland overwhelmingly backs it.

          Btw, thanks to the Equality Network for all your hard work on equal marriage!

  3. I’m confused. Don’t heterosexuals already HAVE civil partnerships? Aren’t they called ‘Registry Office’ ceremonies? Isn’t that what gay people ALSO have – a registry office CIVIL ceremony?

    1. Please do not feed the troll. Thanks!

  4. Civil partnerships weaken marriage – the same privileges and rights without the commitment and propriety commanded and conferred by marriage. If your civil union if going though a tough spot, f**k it, dissolve it, who cares? But marriage, a special, historical and cultural institution, I feel, provides an extra incentive to make it work, right? Scrap civil unions – they’re just marriage lite.

    1. GulliverUK 21 Jun 2013, 7:09pm

      No, they are not. They are a new form of partnership registration and one which many people have an interest in. Marriage has been badly damaged by links to religion and tradition, and completely wrong, ideas about gender roles, where women were expected to spread their legs, bear children and maintain the home, whilst today couples, regardless of orientation, operate a far more equal role-sharing relationship. Because there were no defined gender roles in gay relationships we had to work out who was going out to work, who would cook, etc., and it was great, because we were not constrained by “conventional wisdom”. Modern heterosexual couples also seek to define for themselves who does what, or to share the roles, without conforming to historical stereotypes which don’t really work for modern couples. Civil Partnerships don’t have that baggage, but they have all the rights. A pretty good combination.

      1. Diana Hodson 22 Jun 2013, 4:19pm

        yes, i feel similar to views expressed by UKGulliver, above, Personally, the whole issue of Civil Partnerships in UK, sounds one whole lot better than any form of “Traditional” marriage, whether that be gay, bi, straight variety, (But then this is probably just due to my independent personality ?) In any case this alternative partnership should be available to everyone

  5. “Opening up civil partnership to mixed-sex couples has always been a key aim of the equal marriage campaign in Scotland and is supported by the majority of Scots.”

    I don’t believe this is a key aim of the equal marriage campaign. Rather it has been marriage for homosexuals first, and civil partnership for heterosexuals second. As such there would not be equality, homosexuals having two options but heterosexuals only one. Let two consenting adults have whatever they feel is appropriate to them.

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