Cameron isolated on gay marriage
Clegg and Miliband support same-sex marriage
Boris Johnson backs marriage equality for gay couples
London – 3 October 2010
“David Cameron’s refusal to support same-sex civil marriage leaves him increasingly isolated and out of step. He is ignoring the growing calls for marriage equality from senior figures within his own party, and from his Liberal Democrat coalition partners, the Labour opposition and the wider public,” said human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell of the LGBT campaign group, OutRage!
“He is the only major party leader who is taking a stand against marriage equality. Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband support marriage for gay couples. London Mayor Boris Johnson is in favour, as is Margot James MP, who was appointed Tory party Vice-Chair in 2005.
“Cameron’s opposition to lifting the ban on gay marriage calls into question the sincerity of his professed pro-gay credentials. His support for the gay marriage ban is rejected by most British people. Nearly two-thirds of the public agree that gay couples should be allowed to get married in a registry office.
“A Populus poll in June 2009 found that 61% of the public believe that: ‘Gay couples should have an equal right to get married, not just to have civil partnerships.’ Only 33% disagreed.
“In a democracy, we are all supposed to be equal under the law. The Con-Lib coalition’s professed commitment to gay equality cannot be taken seriously while it upholds the ban on same-sex marriage.
“The tide is turning in the UK in favour of equal marriage rights. It is also a growing trend all over the world, from Canada to South Africa, Portugal and Argentina. Why can’t we have marriage equality in Britain too?
“Some people say that civil partnerships are sufficient for gay couples. This is hypocritical. They would not accept a similar ban on black people getting married. They would never agree with a law that required black couples to register their relationships through a separate system called civil partnerships.
“It would be racist to have separate laws for black and white couples. We’d call it apartheid, like what used to exist in South Africa. Well, black people are not banned from marriage but lesbian and gay couples are. We are fobbed off with second class civil partnerships.
“Civil marriage in a registry office should be open to everyone without discrimination,” said Mr Tatchell.
The first ever UK challenge to the ban on same-sex marriage was organised by OutRage! at Marylebone Registry Office in London on 19 March 1992, when five same-sex couples applied for marriage licences - and were refused.