It has been reported by the Sunday Times, and repeated across bloggersphere that the Liberal Democrat equality minister Lynne Featherstone will announce a proposal to end the ban on same-sex marriage at the same time as the Government announces the timetable for civil partnerships to be held in religious buildings.
If these rumours are confirmed (and the home office currently has refused to deny them) on Thursday, then this will be a fantastic step forward towards equality in this country. This issue has been at the centre of Peter Tatchells “equal love campaign” which has seen heterosexual couples applying for civil partnerships and homosexual couples applying for marriage.
This is an incredibly important step for men and women of faith who wish to join their homosexual relationships in marriage. This is as much a step forward for religious equality as it is for sexual equality.
Commenting on the story Peter Tatchell said, “Gay civil partnerships are not good enough. They are not equality. In a democratic society, everyone should be equal before the law. All couples – gay and heterosexual – should be able to get married in a civil ceremony in a register office.”
Let’s keep our fingers crossed that Lynne is not forced to back down from this position between now and Thursday. We can help by publically backing these plans.
Happy Valentine’s day!