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Save Civil Partnerships. Extend them to straights

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“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