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Government resisting introduction of civil partnerships for heteros - why?

(12 Posts)
Lottapianos Fri 17-May-13 10:14:16

Guardian

According to Peter Tatchell's research, 61% of the public support extending civil partnerships to hetero couples as part of the Gay Marriage Bill - only 20% oppose it. Yet the government seem extremely resistant, citing 'significant costs' were it to be introduced hmm

I don't understand why they are so against this idea, when actually extending civil marriage to gay couples would seem to be the much thornier issue but they seem more keen to drive that one forward. I hope it goes without saying that I'm 100% in favour of gay marriage being made legal, but actually the wider issue is 'equal marriage' and for me, that means marriage for those who want it, CPs for those who want it, and neither for those who want it.

I've posted about this issue before and lots of MNers in hetero relationships expressed a preference for CPs over marriage. Personally, I have very strong views about marriage but DP and I have been together for 8 years and I would dearly love to have a legal commitment with him. A CP would be perfect.

kim147 Fri 17-May-13 10:39:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lottapianos Fri 17-May-13 10:46:22

I can see what you mean kim147, although some people definitely don't want any legal recognition of their relationship so I don't think it should be a default e.g. after a set period of time, you automatically become each other's NOK or whatever.

But I do feel that we need to come up with something more equal, more modern than marriage which still affords appropriate legal protection should people choose it. We have it - CP! So why on earth they are not rolling it out for all who want it, I just can't fathom. This is the government were were going to offer people £150 a year to stay married, so obsessed are they with the idea of commitment!

kim147 Fri 17-May-13 10:57:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

orangeandemons Fri 17-May-13 11:04:57

But is this not discrimation? It is is an option for gay couples shouldn't it also be an option for heterosexual couples?

Lottapianos Fri 17-May-13 11:06:09

The differences I'm aware of:

no 'consummation' of anything (yuck) - your sex life is your own business
no presumption of fidelity - the couple get to work out those kinds of issues for themselves
no set vows that need to be spoken - you can say as much or as little as you want, apart from both confirming that you are there of your own free will, which you have to do
none of the historical baggage, as you say
no cultural expectations of what a 'wife' does and what a 'husband' does - people's entrenched ideas about the roles of both are still alive and kicking as we well know on this board!

You become each other's legal partners, with similar pension and inheritance rights to marriage, and become each other's next of kin. The rest of the details of what your relationship involve are down to you two and no one else to define. Love it smile

Lottapianos Fri 17-May-13 11:08:14

orangeandemons - it absolutely is discrimination IMHO. The Equal Love campaign headed by Peter Tatchell have a case going through the ECHR at the moment, challenging the twin bans on gay marriage and hetero CPs. They are being represented by a well-respected Law professor from UCL. Judgement is due next year and they are confident of winning.

Read more here smile

Blu Fri 17-May-13 11:09:32

Extending CP to all couples is such an obvious and simple thing to do that i can't see why it hasn't been like that since CP was introduced.

I think it would be much simpler if the CP was the 'industry standard' and then those that want it add on the religious ceremony as a wedding. This would fit far better with the insistence of a section of the religious sector that the definition of marriage is 'one man, one woman, procreation'.

I bet the resistence comes from knowing that the Lords, with the weight of the Bishops, would not agree because they need hetero couples married in order to maintain a hold over the institution, and all the societal-norm baggage that goes with it, and therefore power over what happnes wrt to 'the family' in government.

Lottapianos Fri 17-May-13 11:16:57

'I think it would be much simpler if the CP was the 'industry standard' and then those that want it add on the religious ceremony as a wedding. '

I agree Blu. I also agree with your theory about the House of Lords. What a load of outdated, fuddy-duddy nonsense - it's so frustrating!

Blu Fri 17-May-13 13:18:15

When I rule the world, a CP will be completely free of Christian / Patriarchal stuff, and will enable loving intelligent adults to create the right legal structures to support thier own family. For example, it will be possible to have a CP with 3 people in it - two lesbian women and the bio father of their child, for example, or versions thereof, if that is what they all want to do.

TeiTetua Fri 17-May-13 14:40:40

This is all such a lot of noise over nothing. The "differences" that Lottapianos pointed out are just cultural expectations, nothing to do with the law. You can get married in a church or in a registry office, and once it's done, you can live the way you want, monogamous or not, or not sexual at all. The legal requirements for being married if you're a woman and a man, versus a same-sex couple with a civil partnership, are just the same. But the social and psychological baggage that people associate with "marriage" seems to be so important that there are demands to let people call their relationships something else. And just doing it isn't enough, it has to be part of the law. Well, if it makes people happy, I don't see why the law can't change. Just replace "marriage" with "marriage/partnership" and there it will be.

EldritchCleavage Fri 17-May-13 15:58:53

Because marriage and 'defending marriage' are a key ideological battleground for the Conservatives who will not want to allow any other form of partnership recognition for heteros (the flip side of the coin to the resistance of many Tories and reactionaries generally to the campaign to allow gay marriage).

Cue lots of toe-curling statements about what is 'natural' and 'God's law'.

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