Thursday, 16 February 2012

Did someone mention marriage?

Unless you've been living in a cave, you can't have missed the various same-sex marriage stories in recent days.  I continue to be snowed under with other projects, and lacking something terribly original to say, I've left it to others to provide a commentary.

That said, if you are looking for a great site to see the latest on the important US decision relating to the Perry case - and the legacy of proposition 8, I continue to recommend the Prop 8 Trial Tracker website run by the Courage Campaign.  Check it out here.   For what it's worth, I'm not sure we've yet heard the end of the Perry case.  More broadly, states in the US continue to grapple with the question of same-sex marriage, all of which is putting fuel in the furnace of right-wing GOP Presidential hopeful, Rick Santorum.

Closer to home, Stonewall published their draft marriage bill.  It's actually been incredibly well put together and seems ready for enacting as is.  In fact, I'd be amazed if parliamentary draughtsmen could do much better.  Stonewall address one of my questions about what would happen to Civil Partnerships.

Clearly under the the Stonewall bill, Civil Partnerships would continue to exist.  What is unclear - and what might be addressed in a Government bill - is the question of whether civil partnerships will still be available - and if so whether they will remain restricted to same-sex partners.  They could - and I would suggest should - extend Civil Partnerships to different-sex couples and allow both to operate.  We could yet have some of the most progressive partnership laws in the world, although clearly further reform would be ideal.  Stonewall are pushing for the marriage bill to be included in the next parliamentary session and I have a hunch that they'll get what they want.

Check out the excellent Stonewall bill in full here.

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