World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


United Kingdom: 1971 gay marriage ban is history. Rejoice!

1971 gay marriage ban is history. Rejoice!

Ban imposed only 33 years ago. Now repealed
Marriage Act 1949 doesn’t prohibit same-sex marriage
First same-sex marriages take place at midnight on Friday

London, 27 March 2014 - “I rejoice that the ban on same-sex marriage in England and Wales is finally being lifted after a campaign for its repeal that lasted 33 years. The ban was imposed for the first time in 1971. Previously, there was no legal prohibition on same-sex marriage.

“The 1949 Marriage Act does not require marriage partners to be male and female. The outlawing of same-sex marriage is a recent and historically brief invention by what was a deeply homophobic political and religious establishment. From 29 March, the ban on same-sex marriage is history. Hurrah!” said Peter Tatchell, Director of the human rights lobby, the Peter Tatchell Foundation.

For more than two decades, he spearheaded the campaign to open up civil marriage to everyone, regardless of sexual orientation - including organising the first challenge to the ban when five same-sex couples from OutRage! filed marriage licence applications at Westminster register office on 19 March 1992. As a leader of the Equal Love campaign, he has also championed the repeal of the ban on opposite-sex civil partnerships.

“The government made the legalisation of same-sex marriage needlessly complicated. All it had to do was repeal the legislation banning same-sex marriage. Under the main marriage law, the Marriage Act 1949, there is no legal impediment to the marriage of lesbian and gay couples. They are, by default, allowed to marry,” added Mr Tatchell.

“Instead, David Cameron and Nick Clegg chose the senselessly complicated, convoluted option of legislating a completely new set of marriage laws exclusively for lesbian and gay couples. We now have two separate marriage laws - the Marriage Act 1949 for opposite-sex couples and the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 for same-sex couples. This is not equality. It is segregation in law.

“The ban on same-sex marriage was first enacted in the Nullity of Marriage Act 1971. This ban was later incorporated into the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. All the government needed to do to ensure marriage equality was repeal the 1973 Act and amend some secondary legislation. That would have been the simplest, cheapest, fairest and most principled way to ensure equal marriage for all.

“Speaking personally, I would not want to get married. I share the feminist critique. Marriage has an unseemly sexist, patriarchal history. But as a democrat, I defend the right of others to get married if they wish. I believe we should all be equal before the law; that homophobic discrimination is wrong and should be overturned. Banning LGBT people from marriage was anti-gay discrimination. That’s why I fought to overturn it, despite my own personal reservations about the institution of marriage,” said Mr Tatchell.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Extended Cease Fire: Gaza Celebrates!!!!

Images and video from Gaza.Scoop - Julie Webb Pullman in Gaza. Gazans took to the streets tonight to celebrate their victory in achieving the end of hostilities and the lifting of the illegal seven-year siege. Whatever tomorrow may bring, tonight was a time to rejoice! More>>

ALSO:

Iraq: Killing Of Dozens Of Sunni Worshippers In Eastern Iraq

22 August 2014 – Condemning in the strongest terms the reported attack on a mosque in eastern Iraq, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on all Iraqi authorities to ensure that the attack is properly investigated and its perpetrators held to account. More>>

ALSO:

.

UNICEFHonours Life, Tireless Work Of Richard Attenborough

Film producer and director Sir Richard Attenborough was introduced as the new Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) on 28 October 1987. UN Photo/Milton Grant More>>

UN: Flight Restrictions Hamper Ability To Battle Ebola

UNICEF and partners visit a crowded market in Conakry, Guinea, to explain to vendors how they can protect themselves and their families from Ebola. Photo: UNICEF Guinea More>>

New Species: Scientists Honour Bruno Manser On His 60th Birthday

(BERN / SWITZERLAND) A team of Swiss scientists honour missing rainforest advocate Bruno Manser with the announcement of the discovery of two new animal species in the tropical rainforests of Borneo. This was announced today by the Natural History ... More>>

Iraq: UN Condemns Murder Of American Journalist

The United Nations Security Council today strongly condemned the “heinous and cowardly” murder of James Foley, an American journalist, by the militant group Islamic State (IS) and demanded the immediate, safe and unconditional release of all other hostages. More>>

ALSO:

UN:Final Member On Panel To Investigate Gaza Violations

Civilians caught in the crossfire in Gaza have suffered debilitating injuries. Photo: UNRWA Archives/Rami al Sayyed More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news