to not understand why anyone would want a civil partnership?

(390 Posts)

I've been wondering this because of all the media coverage of the equal marriage bill. Civil partnerships were brought in as a sop to gay people who wanted to get married - hopefully soon they will be able to marry just as straight couples can. And I agree that everyone should be treated equally so if civil partnerships remain for gay couples then straight couples should be allowed to have them as well.

But wouldn't it make more sense to do away with civil partnerships altogether? I don't understand why someone would choose a CP over marriage - as I understand it it's the same commitment but with fewer legal rights. Can someone explain this please?

seeker Mon 20-May-13 09:24:54

Because marriage is an outdated ceremony which has deep roots in misogyny?

CloudsAndTrees Mon 20-May-13 10:02:37

I have a friend who has been with her partner for 12 years, but they don't want to get married. It's come more from him than from her because his parents had a very messy divorce after an unhappy marriage, so he doesn't see marriage as a positive thing. She isn't bothered about marriage, but she does quite fancy the party! Neither of them are religious, nor do they want dc.

They may well consider civil partnership, for the legal benefits should anything happen to one of them, and because it's a way of them celebrating their relationship, which they are both happy to do, but without being married.

livinginwonderland Mon 20-May-13 10:09:19

for the legal benefits.

But that's what I don't understand Clouds. Apart from having fewer legal rights (which seems a disadvantage to me) CPs are just marriage by a different name. Call it what you like, it's the same thing. So why bother?

The same goes for seeker's point about tradition and misogyny. I understand that, but again a CP is pretty much the same thing as marriage. Surely if you object to marriage on the grounds that it's based on misogyny then you'd feel the same about CPs?

scarletcrossbones Mon 20-May-13 10:26:13

Because I don't want to be a wife. Because I don't want a husband. But I want my partnership (opposite-sex) legally recognised.

Bunbaker Mon 20-May-13 10:28:22

"CPs are just marriage by a different name."

That is how I understand it as well. I don't see marriage as outdated or misogynistic. I think marriage is what you make of it.

Because I want the legal benefits of being married, without the religious connotations. If civil partnerships were the same thing as marriage, then gay people wouldn't be fighting for gay marriage, would they? hmm

OctopusWrangler Mon 20-May-13 10:32:06

I think marriage should be done away with, and civil partnership be the norm. Those with a penchant for frocks and hypocrisy, and those with genuine religious feeling can then seek blessing within their church.

Craps CPs grant fewer legal rights than marriage as I pointed out earlier, that's why gay people want the right to marry. But once that is granted I don't see the point in CPs. As for religious connotations I'm married and as an atheist it has bugger all to do with religion. It may have started out that way but that's not what it is now.

As Bunbaker said, I think marriage is what you make of it. I don't see that giving it a different name makes any difference.

scarletcrossbones Mon 20-May-13 10:33:32

Marriage is what you make of it.

The idea of someone calling me their wife makes me shudder. You can't tell me that I should want to be married, when I simply don't, nor have I ever. All I want is legal recognition. Thank goodness, when Scotland gains its independence next year, I have no doubt that enlightened policies such as CPs for all will quickly follow. Not long for us to wait now! grin

That’s an interesting idea Octopus.

Fuckwittery Mon 20-May-13 10:34:52

Civil partnerships give exactly the same legal rights as marriage.

The only difference that I know of as a lawyer is that a civil partners can't divorce on the grounds of adultery, as adultery is still defined as between a man and a woman, and of course, that you can't enter into a CP in a church.

Knowing that, I'm not sure why such a big fuss over gay marriage. If a church wants to allow a CP in their church then they should be allowed to do so and call it a marriage. If a church doesn't recognise it they are not proposed to be forced to entertain gay marriages in their church in any event.

FJL203 Mon 20-May-13 10:35:20

Why not get rid of marriage altogether?

As seeker says, it has deep roots in misogyny. It also has deep roots in religion and superstition. Why would you want to hang on to that and not make a clean start based on equality and secularism?

What FJL said, pretty much.

ChunkyPickle Mon 20-May-13 10:37:27

I'm with Octopus - keep the legal stuff legal, and the religious/party stuff purely optional.

I would leap at the chance to just go and register my relationship with DP, and not have to go through the whole marriage shenanigans, which I have no interest in at all.

loopydoo Mon 20-May-13 10:38:07

I agree octopus.

Dahlen Mon 20-May-13 10:38:40

I agree that regardless of whether it's marriage or a CP, it should be the same across the board for heterosexual and same-sex couples. Otherwise it's a form of discrimination, surely?

I quite like the idea of CPs for all, because of the problematic history of marriage. However, from a purely practical POV, it doesn't really matter, does it. If you have a CP with a misogynistic tosser, you're going to be a more unhappy woman than the one who got married to a man who respects women.

That's not true at all Fuckwittery Seven ways civil partnership isn't the same as marriage

I'd like for civil partnerships to have the same rights as marriage and people to be given the choice to get married of have a CP. Gay or straight.

CloudsAndTrees Mon 20-May-13 10:38:56

Getting rid of marriage altogether is a bit extreme! My marriage has nothing to do with religion or misogyny, some of us are happy with our marriages being what they are, whether civil or religious.

A civil partnership would just be another option open to people to do with what they want.

scarletcrossbones Mon 20-May-13 10:39:14

If you want to get married, you should be allowed to, whether gay or straight. smile

If you want a CP, you should be allowed to, whether gay or straight. smile

scarletcrossbones Mon 20-May-13 10:40:26

Oops, Craps, CP (as in crossed posts, not civil partnership! wink)

FJL203 Mon 20-May-13 10:42:27

"Getting rid of marriage altogether is a bit extreme!"

Extreme, yes, but interesting food for thought, Clouds, no? Besides, I can be wicked, throw it into the mix and go to work, leaving the resulting argument behind! wink grin

CloudsAndTrees Mon 20-May-13 10:48:23


motherinferior Mon 20-May-13 10:51:16

Agree totally with all the posters who feel marriage is just irrevocably sodden with repulsive baggage, whereas a straightforward contract (possibly not a permanent one) could be feasibly entertained by those of us who really shudder and retch at the idea of being referred to as a 'wife'.

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