Monday, 20 May 2013

Gay Marriage: Wrecking Balls

Downing Street issued a stark warning that the bill to legalise gay marriage will run into grave trouble – and cost the taxpayer an extra £4bn – if the Labour party joins forces with Tory opponents to vote in favour of granting civil partnerships to heterosexual couples.
As David Cameron was accused by the Conservative Grassroots group of showing "utter contempt" for party activists by pressing ahead with plans to equalise marriage...

The government warned of three dangers to the bill if an amendment to grant civil partnerships to heterosexual couples is passed. It is being tabled by the former children's minister Tim Loughton who opposes gay marriage. A government source said the Loughton amendment would:

• Come with a price tag of £4bn. Steve Webb, the pensions minister, told parliament's joint committee on human rights last week that the state would be liable for new "survivors'" pension rights.

• Delay the introduction of the entire bill by 18 to 24 months because the government would need to work on the joint implementation of new rights for gay married couples and heterosexual couples in new civil partnerships.

• Complicate the government's argument that the changes are about strengthening the institution of marriage by opening it to all couples. "If you open up civil partnerships to opposite sex couples then the institution of marriage will be weakened," one government source said. "The church will not be happy about that."

Government sources said the warnings were aimed at Ed Miliband, Labour's leader, whose support for the amendment will be decisive...

The Guardian

If you billy-well ask me, the take-up for civil partnerships by straight couples would be tiny, just as gay civil partnerships would fall away if we got equal marriage.
And there's no earthly need to delay implementation by long.
But it seems some people are increasingly concerned/confused - one might even say hysterical - about how much wrecking this "wrecking amendment" could actually do. 

The Times also made today's Marriage Bill debate a big scary front page headline (as opposed to "loongate" more generally).
But said no more about it than a few opening lines.

David Cameron faces another defeat in the Commons today as his leadership comes under unprecedented strain from angry party members and revolts over gay marriage and Europe.

The Prime Minister’s plan to introduce gay marriage is set to be plunged into chaos if Labour MPs join Tory rebels in a key vote today. It comes amid gloomy predictions within Downing Street that the UK Independence Party will win most seats in next year’s European elections...

If you turn to their leader for clarification, the Times - once pro, now not-so - gives this robust advice.

PS Lots of stockphoto cake toppers and hands illustrating stories today, but well done to The Independent who ran a photo of some real people; two good looking young women - natch - kissing under that well-known British landmark, la cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris.
The Indy put Europe on their front page, but gave their lucky readers a cake topper cartoon inside. Inspired!

1 comment:

  1. This idea that we're relatively progressive and liberal country around the world is ludicrous in light of this.
    Many places that are usually characterised snootily as backwards (like certain parts of the U.S. - or all, in some people's minds) seem to be way ahead in this.
    And how many countries around Europe now have equal marriage?
    This will go through in the UK eventually, even if it's cut down today - all this does is makes u look embarrassingly like one of the most pathetically backwards, illiberal and prejudicial countries in the world - and of course, resulting in more years of inequality for gay people here.

    What a fucking country.