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Tory MP’s bill calls for partners of gay knights to receive honorary titles

Stephen Gray July 2, 2012
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A Private Member’s Bill is to be tabled at the House of Commons this week calling for honorary titles to be bestowed on the partners of gay knights and peers.

Tory MP Oliver Colvile’s Honours (Equality of Titles for Partners) Bill would amend the current system in which the wives of men who receive honours are able to use the honorary title ‘Lady’.

Gay partners and the husbands of women who are made dames are not currently able to use a title, unless they hold one in their own right.

Mr Colvile, Conservative MP for Plymouth South and Devonport, will table the 10-minute rule bill this week in a bid to ensure gay partners and husbands are allowed a similar honour.

Mr Colvile said: “The current system is uneven and rather outdated.

“If you are made a peer or a knight, your wife automatically gets the title lady, but if you are gay or are a woman and become a dame your partner gets nothing.

“I just think it’s an anomaly which needs to be put right.

“In a lot of marriages the other half ends up playing a very significant role in their career. I think we have got to make sure it’s recognised in the same way for men and women, and in civil partnerships.

“It’s important that there’s equality in this things and I think this is something which needs to be sorted out.”

The provisions in Mr Colvile’s bill would apply to civil partners and are distinct from issues of equal marriage currently under discussion.

Labour MP Angela Eagle told the Sunday Times: “I’m not a great fan of the honours system but, if you are going to have one, it ought to confer equal honours on everyone who is awarded one.”

More: backbench, Conservative, Gay, honour, honours list, knight, Lord, mp, Sir, Tory

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