LibLink: Nick Clegg – Celebrate the arrival of equal marriage

Nick Clegg Lib Dem leaderNick Clegg, writing in Pink News, said:

We’re almost there. We’ve almost made it. With the Third Reading of the Equal Marriage Bill complete, we’re just a few final steps away from the equal right for gay couples to marry becoming law.

I know you’re saving the champagne for when it actually happens. And that’s right. But it’s also important for us to recognise how much your commitment to this cause has transformed people’s attitudes to equal marriage in this country.

He continued:

That is the kind of open, modern, tolerant and diverse society we want Britain to be in the 21st Century. Civil partnerships were a landmark reform. And not every couple, gay or straight, feels that they need to get married to affirm their commitment to each other. But only the right to marry, if that’s what you so choose, is true equality. It lets every member – young or old – of our LGBT community know that they are recognised and valued, not excluded. It finally ensures that all loving couples have the freedom and right to make that commitment to each other in our society.

You can read the full article here.

* Mary Reid is a contributing editor on Lib Dem Voice. She was a councillor in Kingston upon Thames and is a member of Federal Conference Committee.

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9 Comments

  • Zoe O'connell 16th Jul '13 - 3:50pm

    I would rather he hadn’t called it “Equal Marriage” and used the term “LGBT”. It’s not, it’s same-sex marriage for LG(b) folk. Note the title of the bill itself: Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill.

    We’re still some way from Equal Marriage.

  • richard heathcote 16th Jul '13 - 4:01pm

    personally i think the marriage issue is a complete waste of time.

  • John Roffey 16th Jul '13 - 4:48pm

    @ Zoe O’connell

    Yes I agree – was there any effort to include ‘equal rights for fathers and mothers’ in the case of divorce?

    Fathers4Justice have been campaigning since 2001 for equal parenting – this bill, which does not seem to provide any real practical help for those effected, yet ‘equal parenting’ would have directly benefitted hundreds of thousands, if not millions of children.

    Now there would have been something to celebrate.

  • Not every gay person will want to get married, not every
    gay person will want to conform to a heterosexual model , but every gay should have the option to if they wish.
    The state should not stand in the way. great to see almost all the parliamentary party support such an important principle.
    For those that did not history will prove them wrong. .

  • Helen Dudden 16th Jul '13 - 9:17pm

    I agree with the subject of a more equal parenting. After my meeting today on Family Law, the subject of children and access, I am a little worried. At present, there is also some input from Reunite on the subject of habitual residency, this is the international law type, of child access.

    If there is no reason, and I mean a serious reason for access to not be in place, then, let it be fair.

    Reunite are presenting the issue of habitual residency at the supreme court.

    There are questions being asked about the legal aid situation used within this area of law, I consider it an important area, it is children we are talking about.

  • Iain Not every heterosexual couple wish to get married either.

  • Eddie Sammon 17th Jul '13 - 3:36am

    Equal marriage is an example of a policy where I and others have hugely favoured personally, but politically I’ve wondered whether another half step towards equality should have been taken, or the can kicked down the road until the country was more tolerant.

    Public support for policies matter because if you tried to shout about this in the 1950s you wouldn’t have got elected. I know the country as a whole supports it, but many constituencies don’t.

    The question is then whether it is better to compromise and get elected, or try to influence by shouting on the sidelines. I usually prefer to compromise, but not always.

  • David Wilkinson 17th Jul '13 - 7:12am

    I like the photo of Cleggie with this article, we could have a caption contest,”Oh God, have I been DPM for three years”

  • Richard Wingfield 17th Jul '13 - 11:56am

    John Roffey: This wasn’t a parenting Bill though. It related solely to the issue of marriage between same sex couples (and a few ancillary matters) and did not examine the law on the relationship between parents and children, and nor should it have. There was no consultation on these issues prior to the Bill, and it would have delayed the Bill significantly and stretched it far beyond its purpose. Luckily for you, there is a Bill going through Parliament at the moment – the Children and Families Bill – which does look at parenting, families, and the issues you’re concerned with, and so it would probably be better to lobby and make the arguments in respect of that Bill.

    Eddie Sammon: I’m not really sure what compromise there could have been. Civil partnerships and marriage are the same in practically every way. The issue was about marriage, and in that respect, there is no compromise. Either same-sex couples are allowed to get married or they are not. Personally I think the country is hugely tolerant on this issue. All opinion polls show a majority in favour of same-sex marriage and to make same-sex couples wait another, 5, 10, 20 years until there was more support would have been cruel and unnecessary. In any event, civil rights and equality should not depend on public opinion. Other progressive but controversial legislation such as legalising abortion, prohibiting the death penalty, and legalising homosexuality probably had around the same level of support (and perhaps much less), but it was right for legislators to take action when they did and not wait or compromise. I believe the same is true here. Very proud of the Lib Dems on this issue. This would not have happened without us and will go down as a great social reform.

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