Sunday, September 18, 2011

England to legalize same-sex marriage by 2015?

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Lynne Featherstone, England Equalities Minister
Lynne Featherstone

Well, this is interesting. There’s a motion afoot amongst party leaders in England to rectify the currently discriminatory practice of not allowing men and women to marry regardless of gender, a change that may be concretized by 2015:

Ministers are to launch a consultation next spring on how to open up civil marriage to same-sex couples in Eng ahead of the next general election.

Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone told the Lib Dem autumn conference that current laws were "simply not fair".

The leadership of both coalition parties back the move but it is likely to anger some Conservative activists.

And gay rights campaigners have urged the government to act immediately, saying existing laws are discriminatory and a consultation is unnecessary.

At the moment, only men and women are permitted to get married while civil partnerships, which became law in 2005, are limited to same-sex couples.

'Not complacent'

Civil partnerships give same-sex couples the right to the same legal treatment across a range of matters as married couples but the law does not allow such unions to be referred to as marriages.

Ms Featherstone told Lib Dem activists that a public consultation will begin in March 2012 with a view to changing the law ahead of the next general election scheduled for May 2015.

Of course, the fact that this would annoy conservatives is just another indicator that it’s the right thing to do.

(via Joe. My. God.)