They’re coming in fast and furious this morning. First off, gay activist Peter Tatchell is supporting the amendment to allow straight couples to enter into civil partnerships. Pink News reports:
I urge MPs to vote for the right of heterosexual couples to have a civil partnership. Banning them is wrong. This is a simple issue of equality. Just as gay couples should be allowed to marry, straight couples should be permitted to join together in a civil partnership. There should be no discrimination in civil marriage and civil partnership law.
The Labour Party, which was supporting the amendment, has turned against it, worried it would kill the marriage equality bill – instead, they would pursue the idea as a separate matter. Gay Star News reports:
British political party Labour has announced they have abandoned support for a ‘wrecking’ amendment supporting opposite-sex civil partnerships today (20 May). Yvette Cooper, the Shadow Home Secretary and the Shadow Equalities Minister, has announced Labour will table its own amendment. As outlined on The World At One, she explained the amendment would establish ‘an immediate consultation on opposite-sex civil partnerships’, which, she said, could begin even before the bill has completed its parliamentary pasage.
Smart – get ahead of the issue, get it going, but don’t use it to slow down or stall the marriage equality bill.
The UK’s Shadow Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities, Yvette Cooper, is calling for Prime Minister Cameron to stay firm in his support of marriage equality. Pink News reports:
Shadow Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities, Yvette Cooper, says she hopes “David Cameron will show confidence and not allow the equal marriage bill to get sucked into another vortex of bitter Tory wrangling.” Writing for the Independent, the Labour MP said: “The equal marriage bill is back in the Commons – and it’s about time it got the celebratory fanfare it deserves. So far we’ve heard the shouting from the Tory right. Ministers are gritting their teeth and wishing it was over. The prime minister has gone to ground. Yet this bill is no embarrassment to be rushed through: it is a cause for celebration and I hope MPs across the Commons will feel proud to pass it this week.”
Cameron seems to be doing just that, dispelling rumors that the Government might dump the bill. Pink News reports:
David Cameron is in full support of equal marriage, and the matter of whether the Government supports equal marriage is not in question, a Downing Street spokesman has confirmed. The source told PinkNews that, despite earlier reports that the Government would not rule out withdrawing its support for equal marriage, that passing it is David Cameron’s “paramount concern”, and that Downing Street would simply be deciding how best to make same-sex marriage legal, if an amendment to allow straight civil partnerships were to pass.
Hope springs eternal.