Saturday, 6 April 2013

Greg Mulholland's Amendments To The Same-Sex Marriage Bill Might Be Just What We Need

I'm very wary of amendments to LGBT rights related bills. During the civil partnership debates we saw a lot of "wrecking" amendments that were unhelpful at best. But I am of the opinion that the Same-Sex Marriage Bill very much needs amending.

Greg Mulholland, North Leeds' Lib Dem MP, is proposing to take legal marriage away from the religious organisations. I haven't seen the full details yet so my support is currently lukewarm, but it would seem the proposals would mean religious couples would have a civil ceremony followed (or preceded by I suppose!) a religious one (which is how I understand most Muslim couples do it at the moment anyway). And he is also proposing to repeal the Civil Partnership Act which would at least make sense even if that might prove a little controversial among LGBT folks.

Sure these things wouldn't solve all the issues I have but it would certainly help this bill start to make a lot more sense and improve our marriage law by removing the concepts of adultery and consummation.

I doubt these amendments will get anywhere but it is nice to see someone offering sensible amendments and perhaps beginning an open debate on the flaws of the bill that we are being offered.


Anonymous said...

Greg's amendments repeal both the CP and marriage act and create a new type of partnership for all called civil unions. Ceremonies can be performed by churches if they want. There would also be no concept of adultery and consummation. Is that what you want?

Do you really think Greg's amendments are a genuine attempt at equality or a tactic to scupper the SSM? I know what I think !

Jae Kay said...

I'd turn that around. Is gay marriage, as opposed to equal marriage, what I want? Do I want civil partnerships only open to same-sex couples? Do I want marriages that don't solve pension rights issues nor reinstate dissolved marriages involving transgendered people? I'm not sure I want that, thus any attempt to improve this bill should be welcomed.

Do I think Greg Mulholland is trying to scupper this bill? No I don't. Do I think this amendment is bad politics and might play into the hands of those who do want to scupper it? Yes.

However just a couple of posts a go I said there is more benefit to those of us who support equal marriage in someone scuppering this bill than there is to our opponents who should be embracing this Same-Sex Marriage bill with open arms as it plays right into their hands. Same same but different and all that.