Lords Rennard, Carlile, and Lester, with Lynne Featherstone, defend rules on religious civil partnerships

The House of Lords yesterday dismissed fears surrounding new regulations allowing religious institutions to celebrate same-sex civil partnerships on their premises. Some campaigners hard argued that such rules could force them to do so against their will, an argument that was laid to rest by Peers. In doing so, they gave the green light to liberal religious organisations to allow same-sex couples to register their civil partnerships under their auspices.

The Lords debated Conservative Peer Lady O’Cathain’s motion to have new regulations on civil partnerships delayed because of fears that equality campaigners could use the Equality Act 2010 or the Human Rights Act 1998 to force religious organisations into honouring their civil partnerships against the organisations’ will. These concerns were comprehensively dismissed by, amongst others, Lib Dem peers who gave assurances that nobody would be forced to perform same-sex civil partnerships should they not wish to. The assurances given were enough for the motion to be withdrawn.

Commenting, Lord Rennard said

The debate today made clear that there was no real merit in the argument advanced that religious organisations could be forced against their will into allowing civil partnerships to be conducted on their premises. It is probably not a co-incidence that those peers who tried to construe a legal argument to this effect seemed to be those most opposed to the principles of civil partnerships.

While Lynne Featherstone also welcomed the withdrawal of Lady O’Cathain’s motion, which was restricted to the rules on civil partnerships, she made it clear that she wanted the government to go further:

I look forward to working equally constructively with all interested people and organisations as we move ahead with the Coalition Government’s plan to open up marriage to same-sex couples. Our commitment to equality runs deep, as next year’s consultation on equal marriage will show.

A heartening episode for those interested in the equal treatment of same-sex couples who want to celebrate their love for each other, and another example of Lib Dem Parliamentarians standing up for freedom and equality.

Read more by or more about , , , or .
This entry was posted in News.
Advert

4 Comments

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarBrian Ellis 11th Aug - 9:50pm
    An excellent article. I have voted. But I have to say that some of the comments made by supporters of both candidates caused me some...
  • User AvatarPeter j bodiam 11th Aug - 8:54pm
    if we built houses for rent and then charged a percentage of a person's income as the rent then if a person was out of...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 11th Aug - 8:42pm
    @ Michael BG " The party after 1918 was very anti-socialist,............. Not that surprising given nearly forty one time radical Liberal MP's joined the Labour...
  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 11th Aug - 8:40pm
    It's interesting to wonder where most Lib Dems fit in the freedom vs. equality debate. Clive Lewis, the Labour MP who gave the recent Beveridge...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 11th Aug - 8:22pm
    @ Michael BG It might have been all so very different if ............ The Liberal mine owners and shopkeepers of Lanarkshire had adopted a former...
  • User AvatarRichard Easter 11th Aug - 8:14pm
    With 60,000 dead, unemployment rising and the possible long term implications of the virus not fully understood, it is quite mental that all the fury...