Sometimes, it’s amazing how little information can generate so much news. This weekend, there has been much speculation about equal marriage, apparently due to an article in the Sunday Times suggesting that Lynne Featherstone, LibDem Minister For Equalities will be announcing… well, something. Later this week, we’re told. (It’s paywalled, so I’ve not seen the article)
Other news outlets have taken a different angle, with The Independent and The Guardian concentrating on religious civil partnerships being allowed in churches. It’s worth noting that religious organisations will simply be given the choice under all proposals I’ve seen and none will be forced. Several groups have come out saying they want to allow same-sex marriages and at last years Liberal Democrat Autumn conference, when Marriage Equality became official party policy, we had three Quakers independently speak in favour of allowing this. I’m not sure why this is significant, but it may be that this is something that can be enabled by Ministers without requiring a bill in parliament, so may happen sooner than full equality.
I hate basing blog posts on no information – readers may have noticed I tend to try to copiously link to sources. My statistics suggest that few people follow up the links, but I trust that if I did slip up someone would call me out on it in the comments. However, I could hardly not post about a Marriage Equality story in the news given that I picked up much of my readership after last years Stonewall/Marriage Equality controversy
What I do know is that I’ve been told (Face-to-face) by more than one backbench LibDem MP that they expect to see a full marriage equality bill (So heterosexual civil partnerships, plus sorting out the Trans people having to divorce issue) in this Parliament. Personally, I had not expected to hear anything before the next Queen’s speech at the earliest, so perhaps this is welcome news… if it’s true.
The conclusion? Something may be announced this week. Perhaps.