UK plans to introduce same-sex marriage

2011-09-17 22:20

Birmingham - The British government has drawn up plans to introduce same-sex civil marriages before the next election in 2015, Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone said on Saturday.

"I am delighted to announce today that in March, this government will begin a formal consultation on how to implement equal civil marriage for same-sex couples," she told her Liberal Democrat party's annual conference in Birmingham, central England.

"And this would allow us to make any legislative changes necessary by the end of this parliament."

Civil partnerships for same-sex couples were introduced in Britain in December 2005, giving them similar rights to married heterosexual couples. However, the partnerships cannot legally be referred to as marriages.

"I believe that to deny one group of people the same opportunities offered to another is not only discrimination, but is not fair," Featherstone said.

The change is expected to win strong support among the Liberal Democrats, the junior partners in Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron's coalition.

But while Cameron is also said to back the plans, he could face opposition from traditionalist Conservatives, who believe marriage should only be between a man and a woman.

Gay rights groups argue that maintaining a separation between marriage and civil partnerships perpetuates the notion that same-sex relationships are not as valid as those involving heterosexual couples.

Although activists welcomed the new proposals, they questioned the delay in the consultation until March.

Rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said: "I am not convinced that there needs to be any consultation at all. The ban on same-sex marriage is homophobic discrimination and should be repealed."

  • BlueTT - 2011-09-17 22:45

    Goodbye society.

      x - 2011-09-17 23:10

      Oh please... Yes 2 people loving each other is societies demise? I would have thought rape, murder, wars, revolution, the planet being stuffed up by us humans, greed by business and the like would mean the end of society. Sille me, clearly it is two people who want the same rights as everyone else thatbis the biggest threat to life on earth.

  • proudandpink - 2011-09-18 00:39

    Viva the civilised world, viva!

      Yar - 2011-09-18 04:13

      Sorry Pink. I have to disagree. I understand the equality issue. Just please don't call it a marriage. Marriage is a basis for a family. This can not be the same.

      zaatheist - 2011-09-18 04:26

      @Yar You obviously have never read the buybull. A marriage shall be considered valid only if the wife is a virgin. If the wife is not a virgin, she shall be executed - Deuteronomy 22:13-21. I guess that eliminates just about every Christian marriage on the planet. You have created a god in your own image and assigned your prejudice to that god, creating a god that shares your prejudice and who, then, sanctions and defends the unjustified harms that bigots like you would cause to "those who are different."

      Yar - 2011-09-18 05:02

      @zaatheist Stop quoting a four thousand year old law. It has no meaning today. It has no useful context in this argument. And you say you don't believe it anyway. After your posts I certainly have read the talkbull.

      Yar - 2011-09-18 05:05

      @zaatheist Don't tell me what I believe or have created, in my mind or elsewhere. You do not have any clue. Go and find a hobby.

      emile.eley - 2011-09-18 10:24

      So same sex marriages are fine, but polygamy is not? Convenient morality if you ask me or is it a case that you support anything White?

      zaatheist - 2011-09-18 11:30

      @Yar I think I am spot on. You are a selective adherent of a ancient book of fiction and are touchy about it.

      x - 2011-09-18 13:21

      Yar how dare you tell me my family is not a 'real' family? Even though I am married to a same-sex partner - we are AS MUCH a family unit as everyone else. Stuff you man.

      negro.please - 2011-09-18 13:33

      X: you must be the girl, the temperament sounds familiar.

      x - 2011-09-18 15:13

      aw now I am sooo insulted.

  • Worker - 2011-09-18 07:19

    I am glad I'm no longer young ! When I was young, homosexuality was forbidden and a crime, then it was ignored, then allowed, now it is legal, I shudder to think that with this progress that one day it will be COMPULSORY! I believe it to unnatural, and I was subjected to various "attacks" by protagonists in my youth. These people firmly believed it was "their right" to "recruit" young boys to their ranks - and this is why I will ALWAYS oppose it. They, more than once, tried to force this odious practice on a young INNOCENT boy, thinking it was right to do so !

      emile.eley - 2011-09-18 10:26

      I have a theory about the extinction of the dinosaurs. Legalised same-sex unions.

      x - 2011-09-18 13:19

      THere is a BIG difference between being a gay man and being a peadophile. In the same way that you can't equate hetero men to peadophiles that rape girls, you cannot do the same to gay men. I am sorry about what happened to you, but the men you are referring to are peadophiles.

      negro.please - 2011-09-18 13:27

      emile.eley: that has to be the most educated opinion i have some accross on any of these forums. i'd sit here and continue clicking the thumbs up icon all day long, just to ensure that your good sense prevails.

      janalbert.vandenberg - 2011-09-18 16:18

      oh, so you walk in the fields and you notice a couple of black sheep on the hillside; and logically conclude that all sheep must necessary be black? your logic is somewhat convoluted, even self-serving. but i get your message, however if you were being mistreated by straight or gay people the best thing to do is let someone you trust know, i.e. your parents, if they are any good, they would try to sort the situation out!

  • umlaut - 2011-09-18 07:55

    Maybe once this law is passed all the cabinet ministers will come out of their closets and get married. They want this law for themselves. This law will make the British society go 'backwards'. To belong to this 'club' of gays could be discriminatory against normal citizens---Imagine people applying for a job in state institutions or private business, and they can only get the job if they are gay. If the state recognises this as 'normal' behaviour then kids will be brought up in a society where they believe it is ok---and it is not--for starters it is very very unhygienic and you can't really shake the hand of a gay person because you don't know where his hand has been --and did he wash it???

      x - 2011-09-18 16:35

      Wow can you be more uneducated. I am suprised you can use a computer.

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