Equal Love: Marriage law fit for the 21st century

October 29, 2010 10:31 am

Author:

Share this Article

loveBy Cat Smith / @cateysmith

The launch of the Equal Love campaign this week got me thinking about marriage, what it means as a religious institution, what it means as a civil institution and how the church and state work together.

The campaign aims to challenge the twin bans on gay marriages and heterosexual civil partnerships, with eight couples filing applications at registry offices and then, when they are refused, bringing a joint legal action in the courts to secure a change in the law. The Equal Love campaign is being organised by the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender human rights organisation OutRage! and is being coordinated by Peter Tatchell.

Civil marriage open to same-sex couples is the growing trend all over the world. It exists in Canada, Argentina and South Africa, as well as seven of our European neighbours: Portugal, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway and Iceland. Political support for ending the ban on gay marriage is growing, from Boris Johnson to Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg.

I support the Equal Love campaign, our country’s marriage laws are outdated and I believe in the need to bring them into the 21st century. I propose merging the civil marriage and civil partnership legislation into one, a civil marriage which is a public statement of commitment and a merging for tax purposes. The current rights attached to civil marriage and civil partnership are identical anyway, especially with regard to adoption of children, donor insemination, and surrogacy.

In a democracy, gay and straight couples should be equal before the law, civil marriage should be open to all citizens regardless of the gender of either partner.

Comments are closed

Latest

  • Comment Labour should be proud of Tony Blair’s record in Africa – and we should say so

    Labour should be proud of Tony Blair’s record in Africa – and we should say so

    This weeks attacks on Tony Blair have been the most outrageous yet. Those who disagree with Mr Blair’s decision to go to war in 2003, now use every opportunity or headline to attack his foreign affairs record and discredit his Government. But on this, they’re wrong – and we should say so. Those who have signed the petition against Blair’s acceptance of the Save the Children award simply cannot do so based on his record for international development, which the […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Will Lib Dem MPs vote for a policy that will help to close the gender pay gap?

    Will Lib Dem MPs vote for a policy that will help to close the gender pay gap?

    Today I asked Equalities Minister Jo Swinson in House of Commons whether she would vote with Labour on the 16th December on our proposal to require big companies to publish their gender pay gap. She refused to do so. Given that one of the first things the Lib Dems and Tories did after 2010 was ditch Section 78 of Labour’s Equality Act, which provided the power to require big companies to do this, this may not surprise you. But the […]

    Read more →
  • Comment East Coast – a case of too much ideology, not enough evidence from both government and unions

    East Coast – a case of too much ideology, not enough evidence from both government and unions

    So, with some surprise, the East Coast franchise has not been won by a foreign public sector operator but by a private sector operator: a Virgin/Stagecoach joint venture. Mick Cash of the RMT has called it “an act of utter betrayal”. It’s certainly true that the government wants this franchise bid done and dusted before the general election and that the Tories have an ideological commitment to private sector operation. However, that commitment is identical to the ideological dogma coming […]

    Read more →
  • News Labour will reform the water industry to help those who can’t afford to pay their bills

    Labour will reform the water industry to help those who can’t afford to pay their bills

    Today marks 25 years since the water industry was privatised. In aide of this Labour have announced that they would introduce reforms that would mean people get a better deal from water companies. These announcements will be made by Shadow Environment Secretary Maria Eagle MP at a speech in  Thurrock, Essex. Where she’ll outline that under the Coalition water bills are increasing – she’ll point out that household water bills have risen by 12.5% since 2010 – and that nothing […]

    Read more →
  • News Tory MP favourites graphic porn tweet

    Tory MP favourites graphic porn tweet

    Karl McCartney, the Tory MP for Lincoln, has left himself a little red-faced today after his Labour opponent Lucy Rigby highlighted that his recent Twitter favourites included a rather graphic pornographic photo. McCartney has now deleted all of his favourited tweets, but we still have (heavily censored) screengrab for posterity: Lincoln changed from Labour to Tory at the last election, and McCartney has a slim majority of 1,058 – it’s number 18 on Labour’s target list. A reliable bellwether, it […]

    Read more →