Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Why Religious Civil Partnerships Are An Insult

As I said last month, religious civil partnerships are muddlesome. However following on from today's release of information on yesterday's civil partnership consultation, it looks like the Government is very committed to introducing them whatever people tell them in the consultation.

Well let's look at why that's pretty insulting.

So who has been asking for religious civil partnerships? Well, of course, religious people and those who support their rights (supposedly although, as far as I can see, it's more from Labour MPs and Lords than any cry from the general population). Now last I checked the reason Labour didn't support marriage equality was on religious grounds. Gordon Brown said:

So the provision of ‘marriage’ as opposed to the provision of same-sex or heterosexual civil unions, is intimately bound up with questions of religious freedom."

So I'm sorry if I'm a little sceptical of their motives. Personally I think what is a matter of religious freedom is that religious organisations and religious individuals have no choice over what sort of civil ceremony is carried out as part of their religious ceremony. Even if civil partnerships are allowed religious readings, music and symbols, the religious organisations can't carry out a marriage ceremony on their premises. So this isn't about giving anyone religious freedom. It's about the Government getting the LGBT "community", and those who support it, to shut up.

What problem does this solve? Civil marriages are NOT allowed to have these readings, music etc. So why should LGBT people get that special right (I support everyone getting it, don't get me wrong just not one group over another)? These are scraps thrown at us by the Tories who don't want us to get equality and by our own Lib Dem Minister's who have no reason to argue.

The introduction of religious civil partnerships would be an insult to the following:

1) to transgender people who have to put up with continuing discrimination whilst we take baby steps towards equality. It's okay though, next year we'll have the results of a Government review of transgender rights. I predict they won't equalise marriage but create a situation where one institution (marriage or civil partnerships) transfers automatically to the other when someone changes their gender. That'll end another pressing reason for equality. Another way to shut us all up.
2) to religious organisations who want to perform same sex marriage on their premises. They still won't be able to do anything more than a commitment ceremony. What laughs!
3) to heterosexual people. Those who are just spiritual but not religious can't have civil marriages with religious texts etc. That's discrimination in favour of LGBT people. It's unfair and unjust.
4) to LGB people who must accept their second class status being reinforced rather than equalised.

So sorry if I'm not settling for religious civil partnerships. They don't solve equality issues, they don't solve religious freedom issues, they don't solve international recognition issues and they throw transgender rights under a bus. What an insult.

If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist

1 comment:

earwicga said...

Excellent post. I've linked to it.