On the 23rd of June, Lynne Featherstone answered a question in Parliament noting that the Government would be pursuing religious civil partnerships. On the 3rd of July just before Pride, the Telegraph decides to report it. I've already made my feelings clear here, but was rather more irked by one piece of the Telegraphs article.
The proposals will delight equality campaigners who believe civil partnership is a “second-class” status, but they prompted fierce opposition from mainstream Christian leaders who believe marriage can only take place between a man and a woman.
I would suggest the only equality campaigners excited by this proposal would be those who do not understand the word "equality". It doesn't mean separate but equal. It doesn't mean LGBTs get special rights that heterosexuals don't. Equality needs to be a legal actuality not a mere word used to support any "positive development" in the strive for it.
And that's the problem. The Government thinks equality is about giving extra rights here, there and everywhere. It's not. They've picked up the same wrong end of the stick New Labour had firmly in their grasp over the last 13 years.
Nick Clegg's pride message is welcome, but really is just full of hollow words given the Government he is a member of is pursuing an inequality agenda. And he's not the only one who has bought into this stuff. The Guardian offers a glowing review of the Coalition and Tory LGBT "rights" agenda. Is there anyone in Parliament or in the media willing to say "There is a better way"?
Thankfully... Peter Tatchell is already looking forward to a post-equality agenda (one which is still a long way off based on the current Government's stance, I admit). He's looking beyond gay and straight. That is where I want to be, and that is NOT where this Government wants to take us.
If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist