Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Today could have been the day I became married

It is not beyond the realm of possibility that today could have been the day that I got married.

While I was over in Scotland there was a serious relationship with another man the talk did get towards the stage of should we look towards a civil partnership. In the end our lives took over and we ended up not having enough time for each other and drifting apart, on this occasion it actually wasn't me in an election year that led to the lack of time.

So it is possible that in some alternative universe he and I could today be converting our Scottish civil partnership into a marriage. It would seem appropriate for someone who campaigned to get equal marriage as a policy for the Scottish Liberal Democrats including the conversion of CPs to do so on the first day. As it is I am sitting here in Northern Ireland single and knowing that my friends here who are in civil partnerships will not be able to convert them. Worse I know that all those recently converted CPs into marriages, and those in England and Wales already and those from Scotland from 15 days time who were never in a CP but married will find themselves in a civil partnership if they come over here.

The fight for equal marriage in the UK is not yet complete.

First the recognition of same sex marriage is still not being recognised by the politicians that represent about half the electorate in Northern Ireland. It is almost as if protestant, unionist and loyalist LGBT people do not exist. Tell that to Julie-Anne Corr.

But then we do have to expand it so that humanists can have a tailor made wedding ceremony to fit them if they desire, rather than the bland heavily regulated and scripted prescribed civil ceremony that town halls offer.

We need to deal with the issues facing Transgender people, ending the spousal veto, restoring lost years from the forced dissolution of marriages and civil partnerships before transitioning was allowed to take place.

There is also the fact that civil partnerships remain and make equality skewed. If we are to keep them we need to open them up to mixed sex couples who do not want to have a marriage for whatever reason, but have the protections and rights under laws that other long term committed relationships have both in live and death.

Today's news in Scotland is welcome and I look forward to the first marriages without conversion on Hogmaney. But there is still work to do and some in this great country of ours to make all things equal.

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