Isle of Man gets stuck in the past

Another step along the wayThe Isle of Man will treat same-sex marriages as if they were civil partnerships, the island’s Policy and Reform Minister Chris Robertshaw has told the Tynwald.

The first same-sex marriages in Wales and England took place in March, while Scotland will follow later this year.

Some 50 other partnership registration arrangements from around the world will also be treated as if they were civil partnerships – a move copying one by the UK government 18 months ago.

Luxembourg joins the marriage club

Luxembourg flagLuxembourg today became the ninth EU country to legalise same-sex marriage.

The bill passed by a landslide – 56 votes in favour and 4 against. The law will come into effect from January 1st next year.

Luxembourg has an openly gay Prime Minister, the Liberal Xavier Bettel, and also an out-gay Deputy Prime Minister, Socialist party leader Etienne Schneider.

Stormont denies us a third time

For the third time in two years, the Northern Ireland Assembly has voted down a motion to introduce same-sex marriage there – now the one part of the UK not to have legislated for it.

The proposal was defeated by 51 to 43, almost exactly the same result as when it was last debated a year ago. The vote went largely along party lines with Sinn Fein and the SDLP, and non-sectarian parties like the Alliance tending to support the measure, but the Unionist parties strongly against.


Stormont debates same-sex marriage… again

"Bi Do!"Unlike the rest of the UK, Northern Ireland hasn’t passed same-sex marriage into law. Today for the third time the devolved Stormont assembly will debate bringing the law there into line with the rest of the UK.

It seems unlikely to pass, not least due to blocking moves by the DUP.

The previous two debates were October 2012, when the motion was rejected by 49 votes to 45, last April when the proposal fell by 53 votes to 42.

Coalition split on Civil Partnerships

Conservative / Liberal Democrat coalitionToday’s Sunday Times reports that the government is split on introducing mixed-sex civil partnerships.

After the battle of words with some faith groups over same-sex marriage Conservative leader David Cameron is reported to be unwilling to support extension of civil partnerships, for fear that it might be seen as undermining the popularity marriage by providing an alternative form of relationship recognition for mixed-sex couples.  Meanwhile Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg is strongly supporting the extension of civil partnerships to any consenting couple, in line with his party’s policy.

A government consultation recently closed seeking public opinion on mixed-sex civil partnerships.

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