Saturday, 25 February 2012

Marriage: The Queen's Speech

"This Government is promoting a fair society where people respect each other.
"I believe that if a couple love each other and want to commit to a life together, they should have the option of a civil marriage, irrespective of whether they are gay or straight. We are not changing religious marriage, or requiring religious groups to go against their traditions."

Lynne Featherstone, the Equalities Minister and Lib Dem MP, speaking to The Independent.
The paper speculates; "There will now be a furious battle ahead of this spring's Queen's Speech, in which proposals could be announced, with the aim of the first gay weddings taking place by 2015 at the latest."
I wouldn't hold your breath - though it would be fun to see if the Queen mentions gay marriage in her speech.
Featherstone has also written a piece for the Daily Telegraph (who are rather obsessed with this issue); 'This is not gay rights versus religious beliefs'.
"Who owns marriage? It’s an interesting question and a pressing one in the debate around equal civil marriage. It is owned by neither the state nor the church, as the former Archbishop Lord Carey rightly said. So it is owned by the people.
"The fierce debate over the past few weeks has shown people feel very strongly about marriage. Some believe the Government has no right to change it at all; they want to leave tradition alone. I want to challenge that view – it is the Government’s fundamental job to reflect society and to shape the future, not stay silent where it has the power to act and change things for the better..."
NB She mentions no possible timescale.
The Independent also - for reasons best known to themselves - quote Julian Clary; "Lord Carey's comments [opposing gay marriage] are very predictable. All these comments seems to come out of fear. In 10 years, when gay marriage is normal, we'll have forgotten all about this. He should have one of his pills and shut up."
There's a nutty piece by Amanda Patell in the Mail (natch) today on how Lord Carey and the Archbishop of York have been 'Vilified for daring to fight for marriage'.
And she actually points out that some of here best friends are "gays".
"I fear that Mr Cameron’s position is just another typically cynical exercise to try to rebrand the Tory Party.
"He is not driven by belief, but simply by an opportunistic attempt to spin himself as a modern, liberal kind of guy..."
At least she got that bit right - well, Platell did used to be a Tory spin doctor.

PS With its usual duplicity today's Mail also includes a glowing interview with Julian Clary where he talks about having thought about entering a civil partnership.
"Claridge’s would be an ideal setting. But we may change our minds. Sometimes when I think of a reception and speeches and referring to my husband, I don’t think I can face it."

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