This landed in my inbox from the Peter Tatchell Foundation yesterday: while weddings are lovely and it’s nice to focus on the pretty, some things are too important to be ignored. I implore you: share your thoughts, raise your voice in support of gay marriage and make sure the government hears you before the consultation period comes to an end this week.
I’ve taken the liberty of copying and pasting the email as it came. I wrote about the consultation on gay marriage here on English Wedding Blog a few months ago: for a refresher, read is the wedding industry about to wake up to equal marriage?
from the Peter Tatchell Foundation
In three days time, the government’s public consultation on legalising same-sex civil marriage will close. This Thursday, 14 June, is the end date for submissions to the government website.
Church leaders have mobilised over 500,000 people to sign a petition against UK government plans to allow same-sex couples to marry in civil ceremonies in register offices.
We need to counter their opposition to marriage equality; otherwise the anti-gay lobby may win.
Here’s how you can help:
Using the model submission below, please respond to the government’s public consultation on legalising same-sex marriage here:
Copy and paste the model submission into Question 16 on the government consultation website. Personalise and amend it, if you wish.
Please also email it to the Government Equalities Office:
I support full equality. I urge the government to legalise:
Same-sex civil marriages
Opposite-sex civil partnerships
Religious same-sex marriages by clergy who wish to conduct them.
Civil partnerships should be retained for gay and straight couples who want an alternative to marriage.
Existing civil partners should be given the option to convert their civil partnership into a civil marriage, with a special ceremony if they desire this.
Any individual minister of religion licensed to conduct marriages should be free to conduct a same-sex marriage in their place of worship, if they wish to do so.
Married transgender people should not be required to divorce their spouse before they can receive a gender recognition certificate.
The UK’s twin legal bans on same-sex civil marriages and opposite-sex civil partnerships are unjust discrimination. In a democratic society, everyone should be equal before the law. I urge that both civil marriages and civil partnerships should be open to gay and heterosexual couples, with no discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Peter Tatchell, Director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation, writes:
“The UK government is committed to legalise same-sex civil marriage (not religious marriage) by 2015. But it is refusing to legalise opposite-sex civil partnerships and refusing to legalise same-sex religious marriages by faith organisations and clergy who want to conduct them.
“The government currently has a consultation process where it is seeking the views of the public. The deadline for submissions is 14 June 2012.
“It is very important that we make submissions supporting equality for all, including for LGBT couples who wish to get married, for heterosexual couples who want a civil partnership and for same-sex couples who’d like a religious marriage.
“In a democratic society we should all be equal before the law.
“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that everyone is entitled to equal treatment and protection against discrimination, including the right to marry.
“Legalising same -sex marriage is the recognition that LGBT people are of equal worth, equally part of humanity and have the right to the equal validation of their love.
“The same principle of equality applies in the case of civil partnerships. Heterosexual couples should be able to have a civil partnership if they wish.
“Many heterosexuals have supported the campaigns for LGBT equality. We should reciprocate by supporting their right to a civil partnership.
“By participating in the public consultation we can let the government know that we want equality in both civil marriage and civil partnership law. Help us send a message for universal equal rights,” said Mr Tatchell.
For further information:
Peter Tatchell, Director, Peter Tatchell Foundation