Thursday, 9 September 2010

Marriage Equality: Maybe, Just Maybe, I Was Wrong

Yes, I confidently (if reluctantly) predicted marriage equality was a distant dream and that whilst the fight would go on, results would be slow in coming.

Well, in recent months, I think things have started to pick up and the dialogue has changed from people saying "civil partnerships are enough" to people such as Labour leadership candidate Diane Abbott saying:

"Firstly, it was a mistake of us to only offer civil partnerships to same-sex partners, when full marriage equality was what was needed."

That is progress. Thanks to Ben Cohen and his Pink News, Sunny Hundal on Liberal Conspiracy, and many individuals writing letters and leaving comments, the message that marriage equality is the next big step legislatively (but that there are also other pressing issues such as homophobic bullying and the blood donation ban) is finally getting through.

We have MPs such as Ed Miliband and Stephen Gilbert acknowledging the time has come. We have LabourList stating marriage equality is the next step for Labour's equality agenda. We have the Liberal Democrats upcoming conference where marriage equality might just become policy of one of the big three parties.We have all but one of the groups and individuals called to the Government's ongoing religious civil partnership consultation stating that marriage equality is the gold standard and is what they want. And even Stonewall, the reluctant party who didn't, is under increasing pressure to change their position.

So... it might not happen soon. But the dialogue has changed. The shrill "we don't want marriage equality" types from both sides are on the run. It might still not happen any time soon. But I'm confident that the ball has begun to roll. We just need to keep it rolling, and on course, so it reaches it's destination.

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

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