The UK government’s marriage equality legislation got its first airing in the Commons today. Here’s a brief overview.
If you are gay or lesbian and not Church of England you’ll be pretty happy.
Sorry, Church of England people, yours is the one religion in the country that will be banned from performing same-sex marriages. Most people can, of course defect to another branch of Christianity, but this is really rough on C of E clergy who want to minister to L & G people.
It is possible that straight couples where one decides to transition will now be able to keep their marriages. However, I understand that Northern Ireland is holding out against this and as yet the government isn’t willing to go forward without them.
And of course straight couples still can’t have a civil partnership, even if they want one. That means that a gay or lesbian couple with a civil partnership where one decides to transition will have to convert to a marriage in order to avoid having to dissolve their relationship.
It would be so much easier if a) the government didn’t have to appease the bishops, and b) we didn’t have Stonewall continually whispering in the government’s ear, “hey, we know what will appease them, why not screw over the trannies again, no one cares about them.”
Update: The Scottish government has published its marriage equality bill. You can find it here. There is lengthy and respectful discussion of the issues affecting trans people. It makes it clear that the problem with the divorce requirement is that the Gender Recognition Act is a UK-wide piece of legislation and, with Northern Ireland holding out firmly against same-sex marriage, any changes need to be agreed nation-wide.