Thursday, February 17, 2011

Scotland lags behind on marriage equality

It's great to see that Lynne Featherstone, Liberal Democrat minister for Equalities in the UK Government is bringing in measures to allow religious organisations to conduct civil partnerships. For Daily Mail journalists, that's allow, not compel, ok?

This means that England and Wales will be way ahead of Scotland where nobody seems to be showing enough will to advance the cause of equal marriage.

I think that true equality is good for the whole of society, not just the groups of people it benefits. What can be better than tolerance and mutual respect? Having one system of legalised partnerships for heterosexual and same sex couples just tend to reinforce discrimination.

That's why I was glad to see that Lynne's plans are a staging post rather than a journey's end.

We have also identified a real desire to move forwards to equal civil marriage and parnerships, and will be consulting further as to how legislation can develop, working with all those who have an interest in the area.
Over recent months I have spoken to many LGB&T people and campaign groups, and it quickly became clear that there is a real desire to address the differences between civil marriage and civil partnerships.
My friend Kelvin Holdsworth, Provost of St Mary's Cathedral in Glasgow,although speaking in a personal capacity on this,  was on Newsnight Scotland the other night making the point that what gay couples wanted was to get married. He struck exactly the right tone, I thought. You can watch him here.  I did cringe a bit when the reporter called him Kevin. I know the pain of being called Carol at numerous points in my life. Having an unusual name is fabulous - but people get it wrong all the time.

The Scottish Liberal Democrats have policy on equal marriage which I hope finds its way into our manifesto. It's time progress was made up here.


Michael Carchrie Campbell said...

This is similar to the post that I have on my blog about how Northern Ireland lags behind too. Perhaps we need a coordinated effort?

Jim said...

" For Daily Mail journalists, that's allow, not compel, ok?"

Ok. I'll bet you 10 quid we'll have an anti discrimination case against a church withing a year.
And after the case is thrown out in the Scottish court it will be taken to the UK Supreme Court. When they're too feeble to decide and throw out the case it will go to the ECHR where they will win and the said church will pay lots of compensation.
We know this will happen because it has already happened repeatedly in other cases where 'allow' has become 'compel' after a ruling from the ECHR.
Although a small minority, the gay lobby are very powerful and will push this all the way to get their 'rights'.
It's a strange way to start your married life. Knowing that the vows you take are totally meaningless according to the bible.


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