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Equality North East

A marriage of equals

Equality minister Lynne Featherstone has announced that the government's consultation on gay marriage is postponed until March, and that its terms of reference will explicitly exclude same-sex religious marriages and opposite-sex civil partnerships.

It is perplexing that the minister for equality wants to maintain discriminatory laws that prohibit gay couples from having a religious marriage and heterosexual couples from having a civil partnership.

Given that the government has no plans to scrap civil partnerships, Featherstone is wrong to rule out in advance any discussion on opening them up to opposite-sex couples. Many heterosexuals would like a civil partnership. Denying them this option is unfair and illegal under human rights law. How can the equality minister support this?

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September 20, 2011

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