Tuesday, 26 January 2010

You What? Religious Civil Partnerships?!?

Ok forgive me for being a little confused here but how can a commitment ceremony carried out in a place of worship still be considered a civil co-joining?

Well that is effective what the Government have agreed to last night, in the Equality Bill. It totally throws out any illusion that the Government consider same-sex relationships to be equal but different. Mix sex commitment ceremonies are religious marriage in a place of worship, a civil marriage when carried out elsewhere. Therefore to allow a place of worship to carry out a civil partnership shows that there isn't equality at all. They are just looking at the place and no the far reaching issues of equality.

Nick Clegg got it right earlier this month when he said that all unions should be called marriage. The religious monopoly on such a phrase has long been outmoded through the Marriage Act amendment in 1949 to allow Civil Marriage. Along with the name there is still the essence that a partnership is purely down to the signing of both partners of the partnership agreement, words, oaths and promises do not have to be exchanged.

The being able to carry a same sex union out in a place of worship is a step forward, but it is still different. The term civil partnership was one that was struck upon because of the need to differentiate between the religious and in civil (quasi-religious) perception of the union. Being able to have a same sex-union in a place of worship and still not be able to call it marriage shows up the ludicrous nature of the circular argument that Labour have tied themselves up in.

There is still the issue of gender reassignment that needs to be looked at. But I'll leave that for another day.

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