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Geoffrey Howe’s wife Baroness Howe demands government provides equal survivor benefits for gay couples

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Reader comments

  1. I don’t understand why equal survivor benefits are not included as a matter of course. There will hardly be moral arguments against this legislative detail.

    1. Tim Chapman 10 Jul 2013, 9:19pm

      And nobody I’ve asked knows, either, including my MP, Theresa May! The real question is why survivor benefits were not equalised in the Civil Partnership Act, and since they weren’t, why the opportunity to put this right in the Mariage (Same Sex Couples) Bill has not been seized. Come on, somebody in government, tell us the reason.

      1. It may have no legal reason but just some bigotery based on believe that gays just don’t deserve the same as heterosexual.

        1. I suspect it’s a lot to do with coffers being empty, and the govt and others being unwilling to commit to writing cheques nobody can cash.

          It’s unequal, it’s demeaning and it’s bloody typical of the powers that be.

  2. Tim Chapman 10 Jul 2013, 7:46pm

    Perfect. She totally gets it. And she chose exactly the right word to describe it – demeaning.

  3. Colin (London) 10 Jul 2013, 7:48pm

    Thank you good lady. Baroness Howe

  4. Shame she’s described first and foremostly as Mrs Howe and not as Elspeth, a Baroness in her own right.

    Elspeth Howe served as deputy chairman of the Equal Opportunities Commission from 1975 to 1979, and in various other capacities from 1980. She was later made Chair of the Broadcasting Standards Commission. In 2001, at the age of 69, she was made a life peer, as Baroness Howe of Idlicote, of Shipston-on-Stour in the County of Warwickshire, in her own right, becoming one of the first People’s Peers. She and her husband are one of the few couples each of whom hold a noble title in their own right.

    1. I’m glad I wasn’t the only one. To be honest I find the headline misogynist BS. Rarely are men defined by their spouses.

      1. She was always the better ‘man’ of the two of them anyway. It is said Geoffrey’s famous speech that led to Maggie’s downfall took Elspeth 10 minutes to write and him 10 years to have the balls to deliver.

  5. Being a Yank I am entirely unknowledgeable on the subject of etiquette when meeting a titled person so forgive any inappropriateness in my suggestion but I want to gave that kindly woman a huge smooch because she’s just a spectacular human being.

  6. Wow! I’m impressed. What a wonderful, good woman!

  7. Robert in S. Kensington 10 Jul 2013, 10:23pm

    I think Baroness Howe’s statement may well embarrass the government to actually do something about it. Not in the Marriage Bill but after is has passed. At least the government have now indicated it will look into it after the fact. Better than refusing to doing nothing at all. Just get this bill passed first and foremost.

  8. That There Other David 10 Jul 2013, 11:45pm

    Well done her. The message has gotten through loud and clear. I predict this will be corrected, not in this Bill, but in the Pensions Bill that will follow later this year.

  9. Excellent. Thankyou Baroness Howe.

    Saw it live, Impressed.

  10. This was the poison pill inserted into the Civil partnerships Act by the Treasury at the behest of the then Chancellor Gordon Brown.Brown had fought tooth & nail in the cabinet against civil partnerships which he held would devalue marriage.He has never voted for any item of gay rights legislation in his entire parliamentary career but does not have the guts to come out as the homophobe he is.He knows that would lose him any support in the Labour Party.Reflect that the Labour Equal Rights team guiding the Civil Partnerships Act through Parliament in late 2004 were not told by the Treasury (ie Brown) until 48 hours before the final Parliamentary debate on the Bill in November 2004 ,that Inheritance Tax Exemption and ANY pension rights would be granted by HMRC at all.

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