Save Civil Partnerships. Extend them to straights

April 17 deadline for responses to government consultation

THANK YOU for helping win same-sex marriage, now…..

Support civil marriage & civil partnership equality for all

London, UK – 2 April 2014
“The government is considering abolishing all civil partnerships and converting them into marriages, regardless of what existing civil partner couples want. It is also considering retaining existing civil partnerships but refusing any new ones. The other government option is to keep civil partnerships and make them available to opposite-sex couples, as well as to same-sex ones,” said Peter Tatchell, Director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation.

He was commenting on the government’s public consultation on the future of civil partnerships, which closes on 17 April.

“We’ve won same-sex-marriage thanks to your much valued support. But some LGBT and straight people don’t like the sexist and homophobic traditions of marriage. They’d prefer a civil partnership; believing it to be more equal and without the historical baggage that goes with matrimony. They should have the choice of a civil partnership if they wish. Marriage should not be the only option. Couples should not be forced to marry to get legal recognition and rights.

“We should adopt the popular Dutch system of opening up civil partnerships to both same-sex and opposite-sex couples.

To save and extend civil partnerships we need your help. So far, very few individuals and organisations have responded to the government consultation. We risk losing civil partnerships by our inaction,” said Mr Tatchell.

These are our views on the three government options:

1. REJECT – Abolishing the legal relationship of civil partnership and converting existing civil partnerships into marriages
2. REJECT – Stopping new civil partnerships being registered, but retaining existing ones
3. SUPPORT – Retaining and opening up civil partnership to opposite-sex couples

Please respond to the government’s civil partnership consultation by completing this online survey by 17 April:

Read the government’s civil partnership consultation document, which sets out the pros and cons:

Peter Tatchell writes:

“It is very important that we make submissions supporting the retention of civil partnerships and for them to be available to all couples who want one, including both LGBT and heterosexual partners.

“In a democratic society we should all be equal before the law. The ban on opposite-sex civil partnerships is unjust discrimination.

“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that everyone is entitled to equal treatment and protection against discrimination.

“Legalising same -sex marriage was the recognition that LGBT people are of equal worth, equal love and have the right to equal treatment in law.

“The same principle of equality applies in the case of civil partnerships. Heterosexual couples should be able to have a civil partnership if they wish.

“Many heterosexuals supported the campaigns for same-sex marriage. We should reciprocate by supporting their right to a civil partnership.

“By participating in the public consultation we can let the government know that we want equality in both civil marriage and civil partnership law. Help us send a message for universal equal rights,” said Mr Tatchell.