Civil Partnerships

Some members of the society, believe that Civil Partnerships are not equality and are illegal.

This is due to:

  • The European Convention on Human Rights (Article 12) states:

"Men and women of marriageable age have the right to marry and to found a family, according to the national laws governing the exercise of this right"

This doesn't state that only heterosexual couples have the right to get married. The European Convention on Human Rights is encorporated in British Law and as such the government is subject to it stipulations.

  • The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 16) states that:

"Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution."

This doesn't state that only heterosexual couples have the right to get married. The terming 'men and women… have the right to marry' doesn't automatically discount marriage for homosexual couples.

  • As stated above, in Article 16 of the UDHR, marriage should be granted without limitation due to religion. This technically discounts any argument from religious fundamentalists that gay marriage should not be allowed due to religious text denouncing homosexuality.
  • The Sexual Orientation Regulations specifically prohibits the discrimination of provision of goods and/or services to people on the basis of their sexual orientation. By having separate but 'equal' systems, i.e. Civil Partnerships and Civil Marriage, that effectively provide the same service in all but name, the government are technically breaking their own law, discriminating against gay and lesbian couples by not granting them civil marriage.
  • Civil Partnerships are a form of sexual apartheid. Can you imagine if the government said to black, asian, jewish, [insert minority group here], communities that they were not going to grant them civil marriage, but give them civil partnerships instead? Civil partnerships are unacceptable. We are supported in this view by the Queer Youth Network.

We are currently looking for a law student or practicing lawyer who wants to make their name by taking up our case or helping us in any other way. If you are interested, contact ku.gro.tbgldrofdarb|lacitilop#ku.gro.tbgldrofdarb|lacitilop

We are collecting signitures for a petition on this issue; Civil Partnership Petition

There has recently been an online petition about this issue, below is the governments response:

Latest news from Downing Street

Gaymarriage - epetition

reply 15 February 2008

We received a petition asking:

"We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to allow marriage for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons not 'civil partnership'."

Read the petition
Petitions home page

Read the Government's response

The Government has no plans to introduce same-sex marriage. The Civil Partnership Act created an entirely new legal status of civil partnership, which gives same-sex couples the opportunity to obtain legal recognition for their relationship. Since it came into force in December 2005, over 18,000 couples have taken the opportunity to obtain legal recognition for their relationship and celebrate their commitment to each other.

The Government has sought to provide parity of treatment between civil partners and spouses - as demonstrated by the range of rights and responsibilities that you acquire when forming a civil partnership. And, recent anti-discrimination legislation makes clear that a civil partner may bring a discrimination claim on grounds of sexual orientation against a provider of goods and services who denied them access to a benefit or service that was being offered to a married person in a similar situation.

The Government is required by the European Convention on Human rights to balance the right to live free from prejudice and discrimination with the right to freedom of speech and religion. While achieving the right balance in legislation is not a straight-forward matter, we are confident that the recognitions for long-term domestic partnerships, both for heterosexual and same-sex couples, achieve this balance.

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