Amendments to equal marriage bill on transgender rights withdrawn at request of Equality Minister
Equality Minister Helen Grant asked for amendments on rights for trans people in same-sex couples to be withdrawn in today’s House of Commons debate on the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Bill.
She stated that the Government could not support an amendment allowing restoration of marriage to trans people who had had their marriage annulled in order to undergo gender reassignment. The Government could not recognise an annulled marriage as continuously valid.
However, she said it would be possible to backdate a marriage to the start of a civil partnership.
She also turned down an amendment proposing to give £1,000 emotional distress compensation to couples who had their marriages annulled after one member underwent gender reassignment, as “we have to take the law as it comes”.
An amendment to the bill concerning Humanist marriage ceremonies was withdrawn earlier today, after the attorney general warned that it would fall foul of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).
MPs also voted against a motion to grant civil registrars the ability to ‘opt-out’ of same-sex marriage for religious reasons. An attempt to regard a rejection of same-sex marriage as a ‘protective characteristic’ under the Equality Act was similarly rejected.
Sir Gerald Howarth said: “I fear the playing field is not being levelled I believe the pendulum is swinging so far the other way, and there are plenty in the aggressive homosexual community who see this [equal marriage] as but a stepping stone to something even further.”
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