Log in

No account? Create an account
Today I am feeling very proud to be British. Whatever else is wrong with the country, we have "gay marriage". (In inverted commas because a) not everyone in a same-sex relationship is gay, and b) it's been given a different name to avoid stupid people. Whatever. Everything about it is identical, except the name).

Same-sex couples can now easily obtain all the same rights, benefits and responsiblities as opposite-sex couples. Transsexuals can get their birth certificates changed to reflect their true gender. These are marks of civilisation.

The big issue now in queer politics is prodding the damn Government to remove that stupid clause in the GerBil (Gender Recognition Bill) that makes married transsexuals have to get divorced before they can get their birth certificate changed. It's nothing short of stupid to require that people in long-term, established, loving relationships have to get divorced - even if they can immediately re-register their relationship as a civil partnership, that's not the point. It should be possible just to officially change the name of the relationship without having to break it.

Edit: I was going to link to this anyway, but it's especially appropriate: Out of the mouths of babes., by rivka.

Current Mood: optimistic optimistic

7 comments or Leave a comment
barakta From: barakta Date: 22nd December 2005 00:14 (UTC) (Link)
They could just make civil partnerships open to opposite-sex couples and solve the issue and others entirely.
nmg From: nmg Date: 22nd December 2005 07:28 (UTC) (Link)
Or have amended the existing legislation on civil marriages rather than introducing a parallel set of legislation - but yes, I agree.
m31andy From: m31andy Date: 22nd December 2005 00:48 (UTC) (Link)
Yeesh. Now that's one thing I hadn't heard. It's ridiculous. To be honst (apart from being very impressed at the first couple who do it) I'm looking forward to the first court case against this.

Hopefully it will get something done.
nmg From: nmg Date: 22nd December 2005 07:26 (UTC) (Link)
I'm of two minds about the civil partnerships act. You see, while I recognise that it's about bloody time that same-sex relationships were given recognition in law, I don't like the fact that it has been done by introducing a completely new piece of legislation, rather than by issuing an amendment to the Marriage Act 1949 (to which there are widespread references throughout the rest of the statute books). As far as I can tell, it *is* mostly identical with the provisions of sections I and III of the 1949 Act (being the bits that govern civil marriage), but by giving it a different name and writing a completely new law it is still sending out the message that civil partnerships are not the same as (and in the eyes of some, inferior to) civil marriages.

liadnan made the point in gmh's journal that this provides a way to argue that civil partnership is *not* substantially equivalent to civil marriage, which is something that concerns me. The issue that you mention with the GRB would have been less of an issue had the Marriage Act been amended to allow same-sex civil marriages.

Now I think (seethe) about it more, I'm actually quite disgusted that what should have been a landmark piece of legislation has been flawed because it was thought necessary to pander to the beliefs of reactionary bigots.
sashajwolf From: sashajwolf Date: 22nd December 2005 07:55 (UTC) (Link)
still sending out the message that civil partnerships are not the same as (and in the eyes of some, inferior to) civil marriages.

I agree with you, but it's somewhat counteracted by the fact that (according to the BBC yesterday), same-sex civil marriages in other countries will be automatically recognised as civil partnerships in this country, which sends the message that they are equivalent.
nmg From: nmg Date: 22nd December 2005 08:07 (UTC) (Link)
That is good news - I can only hope that we'll see more legislation in a decade or so to rationalise civil marriage and civil partnership, but I don't see where the impetus for such a move would come from.
36 From: 36 Date: 22nd December 2005 17:58 (UTC) (Link)
I think the best thing about it is how every media outlet I've come across just reports it was a wedding 'Elton gets married' etc, some put 'married' or 'wed' in quotes, but most just make a throw away comment in the article about how it's not legally recognised as the same as a marriage. Seems everyone's equal in the entertainment press at least.
7 comments or Leave a comment