Friday, 27 April 2012
Anyone in a loving relationship should be able to get married
Introduced by Labour, Civil Partnerships were introduced through the 2004 Civil Partnership Act which enabled same-sex couples to have the same rights as married couples on a wide range of legal matters including property and financial arrangements, social security, children, housing and tenancies, employment and pension benefits, and tax treatment.
On 15th March 2012 the Government also launched a 12-week public consultation on their proposal to equalise civil marriage for same-sex couples. The Government had announced their intention to hold this consultation in September 2011 and intend to equalise same-sex marriages by the end of this Parliament.
Civil Partnerships were a significant step towards equality but I would like Parliament to go further and extend marriage equality to same-sex couples who want it. I fully support same-sex marriage and I believe this is the right way for the state and society to recognise and respect commitment.
I know there is some opposition to this proposal - particularly from some religious groups - and I think it is important to emphasise that the proposals included in the Government's consultation do not in any way compel or require religious groups to carry out same-sex marriages, rather it permits same-sex couples who want to make a long-term commitment to have their relationship recognised as marriage in a civil ceremony and by the state.
The campaign's Facebook page is now online.