Government denies that marriage is a dirty word
The government have denied allegations made today in a national newspaper claiming that the words “marriage” and “weddings” will be consigned to the dustbin of history in order to avoid offending gay couples.
The Daily Mail reported that the Department of Trade and Industry’s Women and Equality Unit together with the Treasury and local authorities have sent a checklist of changes to registry offices following the introduction of the Civil Partnerships Act last year.
It also claimed that registry offices were being forced to include “civil partnership registration” alongside the other services listed in their signs such as marriage registration and deaths.
Speaking to PinkNews.co.uk today, a spokeswoman for the Minister for Women, Tessa Jowell, denied that a checklist had been sent out. She claimed that any changes were being implemented at a local level and not as a result of any pressure from Whitehall. She branded the Daily Mail’s report as: “inaccurate and wrong”
The Daily Mail claimed that Town halls have been asked: “Is your signage correct? Have you considered changing the name of your marriage room to something that will be suitable for both?”
Although they are colloquially termed as “gay marriages”, civil partnership ceremonies are not in the eyes of the law considered as marriages. Any changes to signage are therefore likely to reflect the fact that two types of ceremonies will be taking place inside; marriages and civil partnerships.
Why is the Daily Mail getting its knickers in a twist over signs?
It’s simply reflecting that registry offices will be offering a new service: civil partnerships alongside its other roles as a register for births, deaths and marriages.
What’s the big deal?
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