Support full equality, not just gay equality
Straight civil partnerships & religious same-sex marriages too
London – 9 May 2012
Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell is backing the new Out4Marriage.org campaign and has made a supportive YouTube video, which can be viewed here: Peter Tatchell comes Out4marriage, will you?
Other launch videos have been posted by Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone MP and Shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper MP. Also featured are openly gay Liberal Democrat MP Stephen Gilbert (who proposed the equal marriage policy at the Liberal Democrat conference in 2010), lesbian Rabbi Ariel Freelander, gay former Lib Dem mayoral candidate Brian Paddick and same-sex couples who are currently denied the right to marry in the UK. Videos from high profile names from the worlds of politics and entertainment will be added later this week.
You can view the videos here: www.youtube.com/out4marriage
Members of the public are encouraged to make and upload their own Out4Marriage.org videos to YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, to create a social media mass campaign for marriage equality.
Find out more about the Out4Marriage.org campaign: www.out4marriage.org
“While the Out4Marriage.org campaign is focussed on equal marriage rights, I want to see a wider, fuller equality,” said Peter Tatchell, national coordinator of the Equal Love campaign, which is seeking to overturn the twin legal bans on same-sex civil marriages and opposite-sex civil partnerships. See: www.EqualLove.org.uk
“As well as supporting the right of lesbian and gay couples to get married in a register office, we also support the right of heterosexual couples to have a civil partnership and the right of clergy to conduct religious same-sex marriages if they wish to do so.
“Any minister of religion licensed to conduct marriages should be free to conduct a same-sex marriage in their place of worship if they want to. The current law denies them this right, which is an attack on religious freedom. It dictates that clergy must discriminate against same-sex couples by refusing to marry them.
“Barring same-sex couples from civil marriages and opposite-sex couples from civil partnerships is as offensive as barring black or Jewish couples. It’s a form of sexual apartheid to have separate laws for gay and straight people.
“In a democratic society, everyone should be equal before the law. The Equal Love campaign urges that civil marriages and civil partnerships should be open to gay and heterosexual couples, without any discrimination based on sexual orientation,” said Mr Tatchell.
Act now for Equal Love:
Make a submission to the government’s public consultation on legalising same-sex marriage. See here to find out how:
UK public opinion is overwhelmingly in favour of same-sex marriage. A Populus poll in March 2012 found that 65% of the public agreed: “Gay couples should have an equal right to get married, not just to have civil partnerships.” Only 27% disagreed. This represents a steady increase in public support for marriage equality and a decline in public opposition.
See here: www.populus.co.uk/uploads/OmGay_Rights.pdf
If a poll was conducted on the right of heterosexuals to have a civil partnership, a similar level of support is very likely.
The Equal Love campaign is seeking to overturn both the ban on same-sex civil marriages and the ban on opposite-sex civil partnerships. It seeks full marriage and partnership equality, as well as the right of clergy to conduct religious same-sex marriages if they wish to do so.
In February 2011, four gay couples and four heterosexual couples, sponsored by the Equal Love campaign, filed a historic joint appeal to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). See here:
“Our appeal argues that Britain’s twin legal bans on same-sex civil marriages and opposite-sex civil partnerships amount to illegal discrimination, contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights. The bans violate Articles 8, 12 and 14 – respectively the right to privacy and family life, the right to marry and the right to non-discrimination.
“Our Equal Love case is based on different legal arguments from the French and Austrian same-sex marriage appeals, which were rejected by the European Court of Human Rights. We are quietly confident of victory,” said Mr Tatchell.