Sunday, 8 August 2010

Lib Dems Equal Marriage Proposal "Test Of Coalition"?

The Independent today reports on the proposals, to be debated at the upcoming Liberal Democrat conference, (as reported by me here) to make marriage equality party policy. They suggest that it might "highlight the divisions between the members of the coalition". Hmm.. is that really the case? I mean, we are DIFFERENT parties with DIFFERENT policies so how it will highlight, any further than now, that we are DIFFERENT I really don't know.

Is it me or are the media totally obsessed by fictional Coalition wobbles?

Anyway, I'm (as you can imagine) very much in favour of the proposals although I am concerned by this bit:
a motion backed by the leadership will advocate civil partnerships being "converted" into full marriage. It would also allow couples to remain legally married when one partner undergoes a sex change.
I'm not so keen on forcing conversion from civil partnerships to marriage (rather prefer an "optional upgrade" as carried out in New Hampshire before they too made it compulsory). The civil partnership deal has been done and we can't start upgrading people's relationships without their consent. Some heterosexuals want civil partnerships to avoid the "marriage" word. So I support making both gender neutral. But it's a minor quibble and something that can be ironed out at legislation stage when we get to that point (I feel it's still a long road to get there).

Anyway, fingers crossed that this proposal is adopted at conference and that we can make movement on the blood donation ban on MSMs as soon as possible.

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

1 comment:

Paul Brownsey said...

Most of the time I think heterosexuals who won't get married but want CPs because they don't like the m-word are just plain silly, and I'm not sure the law should accommodate such silliness. (Should the state offer Gone to Glory Certificates for those who don't like the connotations of "death" in the phrase "Death Certificate"?) When I've talked about this with them they usually say that marriage is all about whom-God-hath-joined plus all the paraphernalia (bridesmaids, favours, given-away-by, etc) of the traditional ceremony. They seem weirdly resistant to the idea that none of that is essential part of civil marriage.

"Doesn't that work both ways? If that's silly, isn't it equally silly to be hung up on the *phrase* 'civil partnership' when CPs are pretty well legally equivalent, in the UK, to marriage?" I don't think it does work both ways, for the sorts of reasons you give.

PS "it's a minor quibble": er - what would a major quibble be? Quibbles are necessarily minor; if they're not minor they ain't quibbles.