Exclusive: Home Office website makes equal marriage consultation appear to have closed 24 hours early

James Park June 13, 2012
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The Home Office webpage that used to introduce visitors to the Government’s proposals to introduce same sex marriage has been ‘archived’ and placed into the National Archive during the consultation period and more than 24 hours earlier than had been planned.

Visitors to are instead redirected to a website hosted by the National Archive which retains the webpages of all past, out of date Government content. Visitors who click on the link “Please send us your comments by using our online form” are then presented with an error message “Browse Archive not found”. Only visitors who have a direct link to the survey element of the consultation are able to access the survey.

A Home Office spokesperson confirmed to that the consultation remains active and that responses are being recorded. However, it is not clear why the page has been listed as ‘inactive’ and placed into the National Archive rather than being an active Home Office web page.

In a statement, Out4Marriage said: “While those clicking on the links to the Home Office consultation from the website and our Facebook page are taken to the actual consultation questionnaire, visitors to the Home Office are instead being taken to a page hosted on the National Archive website.

“Most visitors to this page on the Home Office website may wrongly assume that they were simply too late to get involved. It is important that as many people as possible get an opportunity to tell the Government that they support its plans to change the law. We urge the Home Office to fix this error as soon as possible”

Last month, the Home Secretary recorded a video for the Out4Marriage campaign where she said:

“More and more people today are coming Out4Marriage and I’m listening to that, but I recognise that there are strong views on both sides of this argument. And I need to listen to all of those views and that’s why the Government is consulting on this issue.

“But today I wanted to tell you about my own views. I believe in marriage. I believe marriage is a really important institution, it’s one of the most important institutions we have. Marriage binds us together, it brings stability, I think marriage makes us stronger. But I believe also in commitment and in fidelity in marriage, I think these are good things and we should enable them to flourish.

“That’s why I believe if two people care for each other, if they love each other, if they want to commit to each other and spend the rest of their lives together then they should be able to get married, and marriage should be for everyone, and that’s why I’m coming Out4Marriage.”

You can still access the public consultation through this direct link.

More: consultation, equal marriage, gay marriage, Home Office, Out4Marriage, same sex marriage, Theresa May

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