Friday, 16 September 2011

When equal marriage emphatically isn't equal

The announcement has been made, in time I suspect for Lynne Featherstone's speech at conference tomorrow at 15:55, that David Cameron is 'emphatically' behind a consultation into 'how' not if to bring about equal civil marriage.

Yup that is what he is emphatic about.

It fails to acknowledge there there are LGB people of faith who want to have a religious ceremony and there are faith groups that want to provide it. It fails to expand civil partnership to heterosexual couples, something that Labour backed out of when they brought in civil partnerships in the first place and something that some heterosexual couples want to partake it. Where is the religious freedom for those that wish to offer like the Quakers, Unitarians and liberal Jews and those that wish to partake?

Without the detail it still leaves some room over those seeking gender reassignment. Do they still have to annul a civil partnership or divorce a marriage to then 'remarry' in their new gender or will they, if they wish to stay to stay together not have to part. What if they are of faith and want to get married again but in a religious ceremony?

David Cameron may be emphatic, the Tories are jumping up and down about how they are achieving equality, yet the consultation that they are letting go ahead doesn't cover over half the issues. Cameron is emphatic about a damp squib that will fizzle out without the full impact of what he could achieve. I pity Lynne Featherstone getting to announce this tomorrow at conference before a hall that last year passed a policy and more inclusive way forward than is even being offered to consultation next May.

The Tories are still lagging when it comes to LGBT equality. Time to catch up once again.

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