Reforming the marriage law – why not on a UK basis? – Scotland and NI lag behind

Lib Dem Minister Lynne Featherstone MP. Image via Wikipedia

Today in LGBT History Month, we have another good news story resulting from the Liberal Democrats forming the coalition government with the Tories in Westminster. Liberal Democrat Minister for Equalities, Lynne Featherstone MP has launched consultation on reforming the marriage and civil partnership laws in the United Kingdom sorry England & Wales in line with the Liberal Democrats Equal Marriage Policy voted on at Party Conference in September.

Unfortunately, this will not be done across the UK as a whole which will mean that whilst Lynne is Minister for Equalities she will be putting out consultation on something that will create even more inequality. A bit of a hazard I guess with the devolved administrations.

I remember when the Civil Partnership Act 2004 was only a consultation exercise, it was consulted on in Northern Ireland. And then Parliament decided to extend it here. It would be strange for it not to be available to all citizens of the United Kingdom regardless of where they live.

Therefore, I call on the Northern Ireland minister responsible for the regulation of marriages and civil partnerships (I’m reckoning on the Minister of Finance and Personnel) to ask for N.I. to be included in this legislation in Westminster. Perhaps the Scots could do the same?

update: You may be interested in Caron Lindsay‘s post calling on Scotland to follow suit.

2 thoughts on “Reforming the marriage law – why not on a UK basis? – Scotland and NI lag behind

    1. I don’t think that it is Equality that is the determining factor. It is the Marriage law and therefore is Finance and Personnel – at least it was back when the Marriage Bill was in the Assembly back in the 2001-02 session. The Home Office is the responsible department for Registrars in England and Wales, but it is DFP here. Lynne Featherstone is a minister within the Home Office, therefore it is just a simple understanding of who is responsible for different things in devolved adminstrations.

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