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Peter Tatchell: There are still aspects of discrimination in the equal marriage bill

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  1. Suddenly Last Bummer 17 Jul 2013, 1:09pm

    The glass (like his social calendar) appears half empty for Tatchell again.

    1. and yet I expect each new law that make you as a gay person life easier day by day, you embrace fully, without even a thank you .

  2. A law that demands the written permission of one’s spouse before an individual can be afforded legal recognition smacks of something out of the Victorian age when women were considered the property of their husbands. I guess this was a sop by the government to the extreme reactionary religious right. Obviously then, by cutting us adrift (just like they did the south Wales valleys) our glorious leaders consider trans people to be a conveniently dispensible part of the electorate.

    1. Helge Vladimir Tiller 17 Jul 2013, 7:21pm

      Dear Katie- openminded and bright ! I like Your comments in PinkNews. They are very valuable and important.

  3. Robert in S. Kensington 17 Jul 2013, 1:35pm

    I’ve no doubt all of the anomalies will be addressed and probably resolved in due course. Getting the Bill passed was crucial, at all costs in my view. Nothing in life is perfect, no marriage bill is perfect anywhere in the western world. Yesterday was an historic, truly major step forward to equality, the largest hurdle ever. We should be thankful in spite of the pending issues relevant to this Bill.

    1. Funny, in New Zealand we were able to vote for marriage equality without throwing our trans* brothers and sisters under the bus.

    2. But when they actively refuse to fix the issues given very reasonable compromises (still discriminatory) there isn’t a huge amount of hope.

  4. Superb….its very useful to have all the facts so clearly put.

    Thanks Peter

    1. Stephen Leach 17 Jul 2013, 9:03pm

      Bump +1

  5. Jock S. Trap 17 Jul 2013, 2:18pm

    I think the most important thing is that we actually now have this most important legislation. The rest we can easily work on.

    Let’s not also forget that whilst yes, things like equalising Civil Partnership should have been a part of this bill it wasn’t and suddenly those that had never wanted our community to have CPs were viciously attacking the fact they weren’t given to heterosexuals as a way to wreck the wrong Marriage Bill. This was unacceptable and thankfully most saw through these vile attempts.

    What we have is time to reflect on what could be better but I do think is most important here is that we are allowed to celebrate the fact we have Marriage now equally Before we start tearing it to pieces.

    Let us be proud of the fact that those who were intent on wrecking, using some appalling discriminatory language, Failed!

    Sure the fight goes on but please lets just recognise what we have just won and celebrate how this improves lives for right now.

  6. Common sense 17 Jul 2013, 2:33pm

    one of the reasons for the delay to the bill in scotland is that they were trying to get it right for transexuals. The scottish parliament has also asked Westminster to urgently address pension inequality as it is not something they can legislate for. So potentially the big delays to the legislation in scotland could in the end have a positive outcome.

    1. But the Scottish bill treats trans people in exactly the same way as the England and Wales bill does, as far as I can tell.

  7. Thank you for highlighting the anomaly of pension contributions. My partner will get about £4.50 a year from the NHS because nearly all my contributions were pre- April 1988

  8. Great news thanks to all concerned.
    Highlighting the pensions anomaly is important as those of us in the NHS contributing most before 1988- our pratners will get a pittance on inherited rights

  9. Come on, Peter! Put down your placard for one day and join the celebration.

    The principle is now well in place and the anomalies will get ironed out soon.

  10. All we have left to do now is eliminate homophobia!

  11. I’m getting a bit fed up of trying to correct people every time I hear this, but the Church of England and the Church in Wales are not explicitly banned from performing same-sex marriages. If the Church in Wales decides it wants to do same-sex marriages, the bill provides an order-making power to facilitate this. If the Church of England does, its General Synod can send a church measure to Parliament, as it always does when it wants to change its rules.

    Anyway, the CoE and CiW *don’t* want to provide same-sex marriage services. If they wanted to and were prevented from doing so, then it would be worth making a fuss.

    1. I thought I’d read that James…Was beginning to think I’d been seeing things! lol

  12. Brian Trousers 17 Jul 2013, 6:51pm

    Look, we know the bill isn’t perfect, there are bound to be creases that need to be ironed out, and the fight is never really over, but come on…couldn’t we even have a clear 24 hours of celebration without demanding more? Whilst I appreciate all the things Peter does for our community, things like this are going to give more ammunition to his detractors and to bigots. “Look at that, they got their ****** weddings and they’re still not happy!”

  13. Helge Vladimir Tiller 17 Jul 2013, 7:17pm

    P. Tatchell, you are always full of righteous awareness and fair conscience ! What a good person you are.

  14. I’m glad Tatchell pointed out the shortcomings of the legislation so people don’t give up on seeking full equality. South Africa has a similar problem with “equaliity” when it comes to marriage since the rules are different and easier for straight couples (under the marriage act) than for gay couples (under the speciously-named civil union act). Such as gay couples have to be fingerprinted.

  15. I thought churches could opt in with regards to marrying same sex couples. That was what I read yesterday!

    And don’t get started on this getting permission from spouse before going through operation for trans people..Wrong very very wrong…

    BUT everything listed can and one day will be changed. It took us 20 years to get where we are. In truth it took 3 years once all party leaders showed their support. So I don’t expect it to take another 20 years before all other changes.

    I am very grateful for what we have so far, but am also aware it’s not perfect!

    1. Most churches can opt in through a procedure established in the Act.

      The Church of England and the Church in Wales cannot opt in through this mechanism. If and when those churches wish to conduct same-sex marriages, the legislation will have to be amended.

      The amendments in this case can be done through special procedures as described by James above, and will be comparatively straightforward. The procedure should not prevent either church celebrating same-sex marriages if they one day wish to do so. But it is an example of prima facie discrimination in law as Peter Tatchell points out, even if its practical effect is limited.

  16. Spanner1960 20 Jul 2013, 1:33am

    I was having an argument with a rabid Christian on a forum when he pointed out the non-consummation clause, and to be honest, i was a bit set back by it, because this still makes marriage unequal.

    Non-consummation can be grounds for voiding a marriage (ie: immediate cancellation, unlike a divorce) but there is no such clause in same sex marriage, I suspect because the law prefers not to get into the rather icky subject of penetration, which is really what they are talking about when they talk about sex.

    Any suggestions what needs to be done here?

    1. Richard Gadsden 25 Jul 2013, 7:30am

      Yes, remove non-comsummation from straight marriages

  17. Well you have to give them the benefit of the doubt, it’s a brand new bill and act so there will be a few things that they missed or didn’t think through properly. It’s a brand new concept for most people so there’s going to be a bit of a learning curve so-to-speak.

    I’m sure all the creases in the Act will be ironed out in due time, provided people are pushing for it :)

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