Yesterday that long-awaited day final arrived, and the Westminster Government's consultation on marriage equality began.
There were no surprises in the consultation and it has been made clear it's not really about if but how the Government introduces civil marriage equality. You can have a read of the proposals and find out how to respond here.
There are two important reasons why those of us in favour of full marriage equality should respond:
1) most importantly to confirm our support for this step forward. As I've said before on civil partnerships as long as one in clear it's not ideal then we can hold our noses and agree this is a positive move forward if only a small one rather than the leap some of us were looking for.
We must make sure our support is clear and we can do that most forcefully by responding to this consultation.
2) the second reason is for constructive criticism. This consultation is far, far from perfect and is at times downright insulting. The nonsense on banning religious ceremonies is highlighted very well in this blogpost by Emma. There are still some unresolved ramifications for transgendered individuals. The ban on heterosexuals getting civil partnerships is indefensible if civil partnerships are to continue at all. There is a lot that needs to be brought up so that the Government knows that this is not the end of the story. There's a website set up by the Lib Dems here offering a guide to the arguments and suggestions on how to respond constructively.
If we don't make our voices heard no one else is going to do it for us. The anti-marriage equality folks will shepherd their flocks into responding on mass, and the status quo elite will rubber stamp this with little thought for the further issues that it pointlessly but clearly avoids. Speak up, and remember to also sign the Campaign for Marriage Equality's petition too.
If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist