Thursday, 15 March 2012

Same-sex marriage in sight?

The Home Office's consultation about same-sex civil marriage has gone live this morning.  Please - bisexuals, liberals, friends, partners and allies - head over there and give it both barrels with how important to you, to us, to our friends, this change happening is. It'd be good to balance out the tidal wave of myth and misinformation from the anti- lobby.

The remit is another small but important step forward coming straight after a church in Manchester became the first place in the UK licensed for conducting same-sex civil partnership on religious premises.

The Home Office says,
This consultation sets out the government's proposals to enable same-sex couples to have a civil marriage.
The key proposals of the consultation are:
  • to enable same-sex couples to have a civil marriage i.e. only civil ceremonies in a register office or approved premises (like a hotel)
  • to make no changes to religious marriages. This will continue to only be legally possible between a man and a woman
  • to retain civil partnerships for same-sex couples and allow couples already in a civil partnership to convert this into a marriage
  • civil partnership registrations on religious premises will continue as is currently possible i.e. on a voluntary basis for faith groups and with no religious content
  • individuals will, for the first time, be able legally to change their gender without having to end their marriage
Current legislation allows same-sex couples to enter into a civil partnership, but not civil marriage.

The consultation page is here.

A useful website highlighting some of the issues you might want to talk about is here. (Read through the "What To Say" page).