The Green Party urge the government not to buckle to pressure on civil marriage
14 June 2012
Brighton and Hove Greens proud to continue to support equal marriage
The Green Party at all levels of government- local, national and European- is showing its full support for the rights of same-sex couples to marry as the government closes its consultation. (1)
The Green Party has the longest support for equal marriage of any of the political parties: in the early years of the London Assembly, it was Green London Assembly Member Darren Johnson who proposed the idea of civil partnerships to Ken Livingstone as Mayor- the success of which led to the New Labour government legislation on civil partnerships. (2)
The Green Party Councillors on Brighton and Hove City Council with the other political parties will debate a statement of support at a cross-party committee meeting.
Caroline Lucas MP has written to the Minister expressing her support for equal marriage and Keith Taylor MEP has submitted a response to the government consultation. Both are long-term supporters of equal marriage. (3)
Deputy Leader of Brighton and Hove City Council, Councillor Phelim Mac Cafferty said, "The first Green-led Council in the UK supports the rights of all people to marry. This is simply a matter of equality: if it's ok for heterosexual couples to marry, it should be ok for LGBT couples to marry too.
"But we also need to be clear what the government consultation is asking for: same-sex couples to have civil marriage, not religious marriage.
"We are delighted that this year we celebrated 2,000 same-sex couples coming to Brighton and Hove to celebrate their civil partnership but we also recognise that of the many who have celebrated civil partnerships, many of them also want to get married and to that they should be entitled as a basic matter of equality.
"The Green councillors in Brighton and Hove support equality for all, including LGBT couples who wish to get married, heterosexual couples who want a civil partnership and same-sex couples who would like to have a religious marriage.
"We now urge the government to legalise same-sex civil marriages, opposite-sex civil partnerships and religious same-sex marriages by clergy who wish to conduct them."
Caroline Lucas MP said, "The Green party has always supported LGBT equality and we've always supported equal marriage. We think it's absolutely right that same sex and opposite sex couples can either get married or indeed enter into civil partnership arrangements. It's a matter of basic human rights. The Government must now bring in legislation to enshrine equal rights and equal marriage into law."
Keith Taylor MEP added, "I believe that marriage should be open to all couples, regardless of gender, sexuality or religious belief, as a means of affirming their love and commitment to each other. In my response to the government's consultation I've argued that we need full equality and that there shouldn't be a blanket ban on religious marriages between same sex couples.
"It's astonishing that the government is proposing to prevent all religious marriage for homosexual couples, even when a religion wants to be able to conduct these ceremonies.
"I really hope that the government will take this opportunity to introduce full equality so that all couples who want to are able to commit to marriage."
(2) The government consultation is here: www.homeoffice.gov.uk/equal-civil-marriage
(3) The agenda for the Policy and Resources Committee is here: http://present.brighton-hove.gov.uk/Published/C00000689/M00004202/AI00027633/$20120606122650_002088_0007850_CommitteeReportforCivilMarriages1.doc.pdf
For more information please contact Brighton and Hove Green Party Press Office on 07931 231 390.
If you are a journalist and you need to contact a party spokesperson, please call the duty press officer on 07931 231390.
For national media information and assistance, please visit the national Green Party media centre.
Latest information from Caroline Lucas MP is at www.carolinelucas.com
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