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Straight couple announce civil partnership engagement as statement supporting full marriage equality

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  1. While I admire their commitment to LGBTi rights, I think this is pointless. CPs will fade away soon as they were only ever introduced as a ‘special’ thing so that same sex couples didn’t ‘taint’ marriage.

    What century are this couple living in? Nobody I know gives a damn about the ‘historical baggage’ of marriage because they know that a marriage is what the two people involved make it. If one partner is determined to treat the other as inferior, then they’ll continue to do so whether they get married or have a CP. A civil marriage has NO baggage. It can be as elaborate or as simple as you want. There’s no patriarchy, no historical baggage – and women aren’t chained to the kitchen sink the minute they walk out the registry office! EVERY straight couple I know who are married consider themselves to be equals. NONE of the straight couples I’ve spoken to over the past year would ever want a CP because most consider it a ‘second-best option’ at worst or pointless at best.

    1. I agree with you Iris. At our civil partnership ceremony a dear friend gushed “this is so lovely – its almost like a real marriage”. She meant it as a compliment, at the time I was quietly offended, but now I think she was spot on. Civil Partnerships have been an interim solution – a very important step towards marriage equality, but only a second class half way house in status terms – not to us – but as viewed by society at large. CPs will be a brief early 21st Century phenomenon and will now wither on the vine as couples in CPs upgrade to the full McCoy (particularly those of us in our 20s-40s, I know some older gay couples are anti-marriage for reasons I don’t understand) and from 2014 gay and lesbian fiancées opt for marriage as a matter of course.

    2. I disagree. I would prefer the title ‘partnership’ as it is the truth (but I make no claim on other people’s rights, of course). I fight for the right to refuse ‘marriage’ for myself.
      I want to see full equalisation of the law on marriage and partnerships, and I gladly fight for this couple’s right to have their relationship recognised in this way.

    3. de Villiers 8 Dec 2013, 5:33pm

      42% of straight marriages in France are actually civil partnerships.

  2. What a lot of seriously miserable wingers read Pink News!

  3. Whatever the relative merits of CPs v marriage this couple’s heart is surely in the right place. Their aim is to promote equality and they are making a personal stand to that end. More power to their elbow.

  4. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Dec 2013, 10:03pm

    Although I favour marriage, I don’t see why CPs shouldn’t be available to couples who would prefer them for whatever reasons. Other countries where equal marriage has been introduced allow straight couples to form a different union, so why not British heteros? I just don’t understand why there needs to be another consultation for this either, so bloody bureaucratic, incredibly slow and so unnecessary. This should have been sorted during the equal marriage debate but no, this absurd system we have wouldn’t permit it. Ditto for humanist weddings. I don’t see CPs being scrapped. What about gay couples who don’t want to marry? Should the be in limbo because of that choice? I don’t see why they should be forced to marry. There should be choice and parity between heteros and gay people, end of. The French aren’t going to scrap PACs and neither will other countries, so why should we scrap ours?

    1. The PACS is a much weaker version of marriage – it doesn’t entail many of the financial rights and obligations that marriage does, and is easier to get out of – and it was available to opposite-sex couples from the start. Civil partnership was intended as a near carbon-copy of marriage specifically for same-sex couples, with as many of the rights and obligations of marriage as the government was willing to give us. There is already a lot of confusion about marriage law (with many people under the mistaken impression that long-term cohabiting couples are treated the same as married couples), and giving everyone a choice between two almost-identical arrangements is only going to make things worse. I don’t see why we can’t just merge marriage and civil partnership, and allow people to use whichever terminology they prefer.

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 7 Dec 2013, 1:06pm

        I’m well aware of the inferiority of PACs, but conversely, not allowing straights access to CPs would probably enable the opponents of equal marriage as That There Other David correctly states in his comment. During the marriage bill debate and third reading, Tory MP Tim Loughton feigned support for straights having access to CPs while opposing equal marriage which implied only straights would have two choices. It was an deliberate attempt to wreck the bill and I accused him of it in a heated email exchange. If the government decide to open CPs to straights, it will really shut the likes of the Loughton ilk up once and for all. Not doing so only enables them to traduce same-sex marriages even more.

    2. de Villiers 8 Dec 2013, 5:35pm

      They are not inferior, actually and the rights are not “much weaker”. Why is it English people on this board keep on repeating the same nonsense about French PACS?
      .
      The rights are slightly different – but that is because people want a different collection of rights. That is why 42% of straight marriages in France are actually civil partnerships.

  5. That There Other David 6 Dec 2013, 11:43pm

    If CPs are to remain on the law books they need to be opened up to opposite-sex couples. I don’t want us having anything the straights don’t also have access to. It not only gives fundamentalist anti-gay morons the ammunition to claim we’re after special treatment instead of equality, it also gives future governments the possibility of rolling back our access to something such as marriage because we still have something roughly similar.

  6. For goodness sake. Who cares?

  7. *yawn* Someone tell them that we have achieved equality and that there are better causes for them to espouse. You know, like badger killing, who should we vote this year for Xmas no 1 instead of the X-Factor song or what should the Union Jack look like if Scotland votes for independence. Serious causes like that.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 7 Dec 2013, 1:12pm

      As for the Union Jack, well it would just be red and white, the original colours. Perhaps a new flag would emerge entirely different just as it did in Canada and probably will in Australia and New Zealand once they eventually become independent republics which I think is inevitable.

    2. That There Other David 7 Dec 2013, 11:36pm

      IMO we abolish the religiously inspired cross pattern entirely and go back to something that came from our culture. Red and white dragons, one for England, one for Wales, and none of this Duchy of Normandy Three Lions rubbish.

  8. I would like to say thank you for your support over equal marriage & wish you both the very best in your engagement , be happy .

  9. PantoHorse 7 Dec 2013, 1:27pm

    Isn’t this what the equal love campaign tried to do in 2010/11?

  10. I don’t see how a heterosexual couple getting a civil partnership is going to lend support to marriage equality when CPs for heterosexual couples was one of the things politicians were trying to add to the act in order to derail it.

    …Or have I missed the point?

    1. de Villiers 8 Dec 2013, 5:36pm

      42% of straight marriages in France are actually civil partnerships.

  11. Colin (Queenstown/London) 7 Dec 2013, 7:36pm

    I so applaud this and really hope this is the way forward. Marriage is stuck in the past and full of religious connotations.

    These are the young people who are leading the way. Yes I feel I did my bit for gay marriage but that was about human rights for me.

    This couple are showing that the young have a mind, can let go of the past, create their own way and live on their terms. I so applaud them and hope they are the trend-setters. It will take time yes, but for me is the right way to go in a world that must get over history and create a modern world where conflict is in the past and people learn to share and look after each other and the planet.

  12. Seems a bit confused – supporting the oppressed minority? We already have same sex marriage on the way. If this is just about them wanting civil partnerships then sell it as that, I don’t see how this is supporting gay people.

  13. There are some very ignorant comments on here. You may not understand why some couples would opt for a civil partnership instead of a marriage, but that is no reason for you to judge, and certainly not for you to refuse them the right. Obviously many straight couples DO want civil partnerships, or there wouldn’t be a movement looking for them, and there wouldn’t be the high figures of straight couples getting civil partnerships in countries such as France which do allow them.

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