SHOCK NEWS: A bill that wasn’t going to be in the Queen’s Speech isn’t going to be in the Queen’s Speech

The plan wasn’t for an equal marriage Bill to be in this Queen’s Speech, so the news that there will not be an equal marriage Bill in the Queen’s Speech is hardly news – even if some on the Tory right (unenlightened wing)* are trying to turn this into a story about how the government is backing down on the issue.

As Lynne Featherstone, Minister for Equalities, puts it on her blog:

In the aftermath of a tough set of election results for both Conservatives and Liberal Democrats – I couldn’t help but notice a few naysayers popping up in the media and uttering dire warnings about a government that needs to concentrate on core issues rather than same sex civil marriage.

For goodness sake – it’s not either / or.

The economy is clearly the No 1 priority – but the Coalition can multi-task!

There will be no u-turn on equal marriage – we are committed as a government to legislate by 2015


In the meantime, remember to respond to the continuing Home Office consultation on the issue (closes 14 June).

* I’ve been pleasantly surprised over the last year or so to discover how many people I would usually think of as being on the ‘Tory right’ actually range from relaxed to enthusiastic about equal marriage. Sometimes there is a libertarian touch to that view, sometimes it is due to having close friends or relations who are in long-term same-sex relationships. Either way, for all that there is still to do, there has been a big shift and it is particularly welcome because long-lasting social change comes when people’s views shift across the political spectrum.

* Mark Pack is Party President and Co-leader of the party. He is editor of Liberal Democrat Newswire.

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  • Forget the issue of what was never going to be in the Queen’s speech, concentrate on what has been trailed to be in the speech.

    Lord’s reform: today the BBC is suggesting that it will be “put on the back burner”. This is the last thing that Lib Dems need. 2015 will be another election. It is highly likely that the Liberal representation in parliament will be much reduced and that either Conservatives or Labour will have an absolute majority. The Liberals will need to have a lasting and obvious legacy of their years participating in government. This has to be Lord’s reform. Nothing else will do. The Lib Dems need to show that they have achieved significant movement after over 100 years of vacillation and shelving.

  • Richard Dean 6th May '12 - 11:56am

    Mark. How can you be sure? 🙂

  • ………………………..we are committed as a government to legislate by 2015………………….

    As long as we are certain that this ‘we’ includes the Tory majority.

  • Toby MacDonnell 6th May '12 - 2:23pm

    Martain, I concur. I’d collapse the government over the issue: we’ll have to make sure we don’t need to go nuclear.

  • 1) If this bill isn’t passed by 2015 then Labour, who almost certainly will form the next government, will pass it.

    2) What makes you think the Coalition will last until 2015? It strikes me its survival is dependent on Cameron and Clegg remaining as party leaders, and that is far from certain.

  • Matthew Huntbach 6th May '12 - 6:31pm

    According to theTelegraph today, the Tories’ latest plan to win back the votes they’ve lost is to make it easier to sack people. That’s a bit like the LibDems having a plan to win back the votes they’ve lost by moving even more closer to the Tories … er, that was a joke, wasn’t it?

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