Thursday, 17 February 2011

Gay Marriage: The Next Step

Here's the Government Equalities Office statement/press release, so you can see what they've actually said.
In fine:

"As part of its commitment to advancing equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGB and T) people, the government will today announce that religious buildings will be allowed to host civil partnership registrations...
"Ministers have also identified a desire to move towards equal civil marriage and partnerships, and will be consulting further how legislation can develop, working with all those who have an interest in the area."

Fagburn was right, as per, but even an old cynic/sceptic like me has to say the wording is more hopeful than I feared.
I haven't the foggiest what they need to "consult" anyone about though*, if you want to introduce gay marriage then just do it.
And as before, there is far less resistance to same-sex marriage than there is (was?) to allowing religious CP registrations, so the only thing that's really standing in the government's way is the threat of causing a schism in the Conservative Party by alienating the dinosaurs of the Tory hard Right, which would threaten an already very shaky coalition.
I really hope we get marriage equality soon - mainly so I don't have to look at any more articles about gay marriage illustrated with two sodding little groom figurines on top of a wedding cake.
More later...

* In a statement, Stonewall's Ben Summerskill wonders aloud; "If there’s a genuine commitment to making progress in this area, it is painfully slow. Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone has explicitly said she would consult on proposals the government intends to implement in the lifetime of this parliament. If that is to happen by 2015, then consultation should begin now."
Stonewall criticising the government for being "painfully slow" on gay marriage? How painfully ironic!
Update: Peter Tatchell issued a statement on Friday; 'Gay marriage delay "unnecessary and disappointing" - Consultation not needed, public support marriage equality now'. I've posted it in full in the comments section.

** The Daily Mail's spin on this story today; 'Christian backlash after gay couples given right to 'get married' in churches' Snore!

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