One Week Left to Have Your Say on Equal Marriage
Publish Date: 06/06/2012
Civil partnerships have been legal now for seven years, and already given same-sex couples similar legal rights to married couples, but the government wantssame-sex couples to be legally allowed to make vows and declare they are married before the next general election in 2015.
The consultation was launched on 15th March 2012 and during the past 12 weeks the consultation has produced mixed reactions from various members of parliament and religious figures and has gathered an enormous amount of press interest.
The Coalition government maintain that the right to marriage equality is something that both political parties believe in.
The Liberal Democrats have long campaigned for reform of the marriage laws, and current Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Prime Minister David Cameron have made this important issue one of their main priorities this year.
The Prime Minister has said: “Conservatives believe in the ties that bind us; that society’s stronger when we make vows to each other and we support each other. So I don’t support gay marriage in spite of being a conservative, I support gay marriage because I am a conservative”.
However not everyone has agreed with The Prime Minister positive outlook. Senior members of the clergy have complained that politicians should not be allowed to redefine marriage.
Cardinal Keith O'Brien, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, said the "grotesque" plans would "shame the United Kingdom in the eyes of the world" if implemented.
However in Europe alone same sex civil marriage already exists in: Spain,Portugal,Belgium,Iceland,The Netherlands,Norway,Sweden with many other countries around the world debating the issue.
Opposition groups have also gone to great lengths to stop the proposed Consultation. The Coalition for Marriage (C4M) said it was emailing 175,000 people with a petition against the government's plan to legislate for gay marriage by 2015.
The LGF’s Chief Executive Paul Martin comments “Signatures for the Coalition for Marriage petition greatly outnumber those on the Coalition for Equal Marriage petition. It is therefore vital that we ensure that everyone we know participates in this consultation and ensure that the voices for positive change and for equality are heard.”
The consultation is already complete in Scotland and results are expected soon. But there is still a little over a week to have your say on the proposals for equal civil marriage in England and Wales
So what can you do?
- Take part in the Home Office consultation - http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/equal-civil-marriage
- Sign the Coalition for Equal Marriage Petition - http://www.c4em.org.uk/
- Contact your MP - http://www.c4em.org.uk/
- Spread the message by telling your friends, family and networks.