Tag Archives: civil partnerships

Scottish Government is consulting on the future of civil partnerships – respond by Tuesday

What should happen to civil partnerships now that we have equal marriage? (Yes, I know it’s not properly equal in England because of the spousal veto.)

The Scottish Government simply wants to abolish them and is consulting on that proposal

I have responded to the consultation this morning saying that I think that they should be retained and opened up to all couples. For me, that’s the “liberal max” option. Marriage isn’t for everyone, so it shouldn’t be the only way possible for people to formalise their relationships and benefit from legal protections.

I do respect the view of those who …

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Civil partnerships can now be converted into marriage

As of last week, couples in England and Wales have the choice to convert their civil partnership into marriage, concluding a historic process of changing the law to give same sex couples the right to get married.

The Liberal Democrats were the first party to support same sex marriage and have delivered our promise to couples to allow conversions into marriage to take place. There is now no reason in the law why two people of the same sex cannot be married.

Liberal Democrat Minister for Equalities Jo Swinson said:

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Liberal Democrats support mixed-sex civil partnerships – and Tories don’t. There’s a surprise.

imageFrom yesterday’s Sunday Times (£):

DAVID CAMERON is to veto proposals to give heterosexual couples the same right as gays to enter into civil partnerships, provoking a coalition split with the Liberal Democrats.

Cameron believes that allowing civil partnerships for heterosexuals would undermine the sanctity of marriage and alienate many traditional Tory voters.

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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 …

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Evan Harris writes… Lynne Featherstone delivers on Lib Dem equality pledge – a response to Peter Tatchell

“It’s a Coalition, innit!”

No one would accuse me – I hope – of a lack of commitment to LGBT equality. Nor would anyone  – I fear – of being a cheer-leader for the Government, nor indeed of slavish support for Liberal Democrats in Government. But I can not accept my friend Peter’s criticism of Lynne Featherstone set out in his article. I doubt many readers of Lib Dem Voice would do so either, because his failure to distinguish between “Liberal Democrat policy” and “Government policy” is schoolboy-obvious, and his attack thus falls as flat as a pancake that’s been …

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The Independent View | Peter Tatchell writes… Lib Dems should stick to their principles and urge Lynne not to renege on equality pledge

Bravo to the Liberal Democrat party conference. Two years ago, party members voted overwhelmingly to end the twin legal bans on same-sex civil marriages and opposite-sex civil partnerships. They committed a future Lib Dem government to scrap sexual orientation discrimination in marriage and partnership law. Well done. Thank you

Sadly, the Lib Dem Equality Minister, Lynne Featherstone, apparently with the support of the Lib Dem Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, is now actively backing discrimination. She plans to keep unequal laws, contrary to the Lib Dem’s election pledges.

Specifically, Lynne is vowing to retain the prohibition on heterosexual civil …

Posted in The Independent View | Also tagged , , and | 18 Comments

“In a civil union” now a relationship status option on Facebook

You can now choose Civil Union as your Facebook relationship status
Facebook has updated its list of options for displaying a user’s relationship status.

You can now choose “In a civil union” or “In a domestic partnership” from a list which previously consisted of single, in a relationship, engaged, married, it’s complicated, in an open relationship, widowed, separated and divorced. (And, of course, you can choose not to display a relationship status at all.)

The options appeared from yesterday for users in the UK, as well as in North America, …

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Daily View 2×2: 4 March 2010

Good morning and welcome to Thursday’s Daily View.

There’s a huge chunk of exciting things that happened today in history, so it’s an auspicious day to welcome a baby Cullen. Our technical editor Ryan has been tweeting progress, and as I write this there’s a lot of pushing going on. Best wishes from all at LDV to the Cullen family – I’m sure LDV Towers will soon get used to night feeds. I’m dusting off my copy of Gina Ford as I type.

Male swans from Matthew Bourne's Swan LakeSo, today in history: the US Congress met for the first time in 1789. In 1790, France was divvied into départements. In 1797, John Adams succeeded George Washington, the first ever peaceful transfer of power between elected leaders in modern times. Chicago was founded in 1837; Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake premiered in Moscow in 1877 and in 1882, East London saw Britain’s first electric trams. The first Daimler car was unveiled and in 1933, the first woman joined the US Cabinet.

March 4th birthdays include Vivaldi, in 1678, Sir Patrick Moore, and Nottingham novellist Alan Sillitoe (I was at the meeting of Nottingham City Council that made him an honorary freeman of the city, incidentally)

2 Big Stories

Evil Gays update

Civil partnerships – gay marriages – could soon be registered in places of worship – something currently expressly banned by statute, which is particularly unfair on those faiths which don’t have a problem with gay relationships, including Quakers and Reform Judaism. The Times has one version of the information; the Telegraph on the other hand manages to paint a far more bleak version of the havoc that could be wrought by litigious homos.

Meanwhile, David Cameron has averred that his party’s tax breaks, maternity and paternity rights planned for married couples will also be available to their civilly partnershipped brethren. Not quite sure how this tallies with last month’s pronouncement that would be no new gay rights under the Tories.

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Daily View 2×2: 5 February 2010

Happy birthday to Jo Swinson, Lib Dem MP for East Dunbartonshire!

2 Must-Read Blog Posts

What are other Liberal Democrat bloggers saying? Here are two posts that have caught the eye from the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator:

  • Biometric data
  • How many people have had theirs taken under the Terrorism Act 2000, and how successful have they been at getting the samples destroyed? Lord Eric Avebury has put down a Parliamentary Question.

  • Will libertarian bloggers ever grow up?
  • Jonathan Calder wants libertarian bloggers to widen their repertoire beyond “Get out of my room Mom!”

Spotted any other great posts in the last day from blogs that aren’t on the aggregator? Do post up a comment sharing them with us all.

2 Big Stories

Liberal Democrat MEP celebrates French equality win

Since August 2007, French couples in a Pacte Civil de Solidarité (PAC) have enjoyed the same rights in relation to tax and inheritance laws which had previously only applied to married couples. However, due to a legal anomaly, British civil partnerships were not recognised under French law, meaning couples living in France were liable for a 60% inheritance tax and were treated like any other unmarried couple.

Graham Watson pointed out the ridiculous situation that many people faced: “Up until now, the practicality of French law has meant that British civil partners living in France would have to dissolve their partnership and enter into a PAC in order to secure the same rights as French couples. This violated the idea of European citizenship and equality, and something had to be done.”

Watson asked the European Commission to press the French Government on the issue.
Ministers have now announced that British civil partnerships are recognised as equal to PACs, and reimbursements will be made to individuals who have made undue tax payments since August 2007.

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Daily View 2×2: 15 December 2009


It’s December 15th. It’s 4 years since Latvia amended its constitution so that same-sex couples would not be entitled to marry.

2 Big Stories

Registrar who refused to carry out civil partnership ceremonies loses appeal
Islington Council has won its High Court appeal against a ruling that it had discriminated against a Christian registrar who refused to conduct same-sex civil partnership ceremonies.

From the Islington Tribune:

Lillian Ladele, 48, had hoped to overturn a decision by a top employment tribunal judge who had backed Islington Council in the dispute.
The council said Ms Ladele’s religious beliefs, that same sex unions were “sinful”, clashed with their strict employment codes and meant she was failing to fulfil her duties.

High Court “Master of the Rolls” Lord Justice Dyson dismissed the appeal this morning and ordered Ms Ladele, who was not present in court, to pay costs.
In a 17 page judgement, Lord Dyson said: “Islington wished to ensure that all their registrars were designated to conduct, and did conduct, civil partnerships as they regarded this as consistent with their strong commitment to fighting discrimination, and internally in the sense of relations with and between their employees. I find it very hard to see how this could be challenged.”

Liberal Democrat councillor Ruth Polling (Islington’s cabinet member for Equalities) said,

This is very welcome news. The judgement is the right one as it confirms all public sector employees must carry out their duties without discrimination and Islington was right to insist this of all our staff. We are delighted it provides much-needed clarity for employers across the country.”

You can read more here.

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