Stonewall join fight for… something?

The Pink Paper are reporting that Stonewall have “joined the fight for gay marriage equality”! Excellent news! Lets see what Stonewall have to say about it:

We seek to secure marriage for gay people as a civil vehicle on the same basis as heterosexual marriage, available in a registry office but without a mandate on religious organisations to celebrate it. We seek to retain civil partnerships for lesbian and gay people recognising their special and unique status.

Hang on, something isn’t right here. Who mentioned vehicles? A civil what? And yes, much of the LGBT population of the UK would probably describe Stonewall as “unique” in many respects…

Oh, wait, I understand: They’ve been watching Yes, Minister. “Always get rid of the tricky part in the title. It does less damage there than in the text.” So if we announce it as marriage equality, hopefully people won’t actually read what we said and might think we’re doing something, right?

While it’s possible they’ve just worded this really, really badly I’m sure you’ll forgive me for a touch of cynicism, given that Stonewall hardly have a positive track record when it comes to this sort of thing. If we take what they’ve written at face value, it seems that the only item Stonewall “seek to secure” is the ability to get hitched in a registry office and call it a marriage, with a slightly confused note tacked on at the end about the law allowing Civil Partnerships to be celebrated in churches.

Allowing churches – through their own choice – to conduct gay marriages in churches? No, doesn’t look like they’re in favour of that.

Supporting straight civil partnerships? Whoa! That would just be too radical.

P.S. As I was typing this, Stonewall posted a press release on their web site on the topic.


  1. You’re right about them arguing for the retension of civil partnerships for same-sex couples only, but I think they actually are saying, with no mandate *on religious organizations* to celebrate it, means they’re not going to force churches to embrace the same level of marriage equality that state should.

    Also I love Yes Minister despite it’s appearance as a stalking horse for public choice theory.

  2. Having read the press release, I’m really dissappointed in Stonewall. Frankly, I’m dissappointed in them all the time, so it’s no change. It’s written in psudo-legalese so that if someone was to save it and present it to them in a year’s time asking why they hadn’t done anything, they could respond, “Oh, you mis-understood us! What we meant was…”.

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