UK Government Commitment to Same-Sex Marriage Imminent?

The UK will commit to marriage equality tomorrow, according to reports:

Cameron Tim Montgomorie of Conservative Home appears to have confirmed the rumors, while James Chapman of the Daily Mail tweets that the intervention is coming after a "personal intervention" from Prime Minister David Cameron. The announcement is likely to occur at the Liberal Democrat conference tomorrow. The government began surveying opinion on the issue earlier this year and was due to take some action this summer…

…It now appears that legislation will be brought in to secure marriage equality for all couples. Gay marriage is effectively legal in the UK, but under the label of "civil partnership" and not "marriage."

Let's hope for this. Will bring you more if and when this chatter plays out…


  1. Lisa G says

    This is not excellent, it is an outrage! Separate but equal is not equal. I for one will NEVER spend my LGBT dollars in a horrible country like the UK that discriminates in such a manner.

  2. Marc says

    Lisa, I don’t think you understand. Civil partnerships already exist, what this statement is saying is they are going to move to full marriage equality, thereby ending the current regime of separate but equal.

  3. Jollysocks says

    (Sigh) if only the our Republicans took a cue from the UK Conservatives — we’d be well on our way to marriage equality. Sadly, I think it’s going to be another decade before we’re even close.

  4. ohplease says

    Congrats to all the UK LGBTs who refused to accept inequality.

    Will we follow their lead — or will we sheepishly follow Barry Obama, the child of parents whose marriage was illegal in several states at the time of his birth, who refuses to state that we are just as human as he is?

  5. David says

    This is a huge story. The UK remains an enormously influential country in the world and particularly with the Commonwealth nations and the US. If it goes to full marriage equality, it will be the most influential country to do so to date. And it should have a real and immediate impact on Ireland, France, Australia, and New Zealand. The fact that this comes about with the support of the Conservative government makes it all the sweeter.

    This has been a pretty bad week for us, with the vote in North Carolina and the announcement that the pro-marriage governor in New Hampshire is not going to seek re-election. But if this news is true, it outweigh these other developments.

  6. Lisa G says

    but it is still inherently unequal. Did you not read the part: Gay marriage is effectively legal in the UK, but under the label of “civil partnership” and not “marriage”. Until the bigots in the UK support FULL marriage EQUALITY, we cant allow for these half gestures to placate us. Hold back your LGBT dollars!

  7. jimsur212 says

    @JOLLYSOCKS The big difference between conservatives in the
    U.S. and Conservatives in the UK is that British politics does not have a significant religious constituency. Christian Conservatives suck… and not in the good way.

    @OHPLEASE Barry Obama??? Talk about misplaced anger… The Obama haters on this site are getting T I R E D!

  8. MDK says


    You are misreading the blurb. What is CURRENTLY legal is a civil union with practically the same benefits/protections of marriage. (it’s an “everything-but-the-word-marriage” type deal.) This story is about the UK Government legalizing same-sex marriage and making it equal to heterosexual marriage. Its basically about moving from “everything but the word marriage” to full marriage equality. This is a great thing.

  9. Lisa G says

    They will still not be using the word “marriage” as I read it. That is totally unacceptable. Just as if they tried to set up civil unions here that had everything but the word, it would be unacceptable. If it is not called a marriage, it is horribly unequal and unfair and I for one will not support them with my LGBT dollars.

  10. John says

    Lisa, when your own country doesn’t even recognise the equivalent of civil partnerships nationwide, and allows peoples votes on rights, while allowing “freedom of religion” to such an extent that your evangelical preachers travel overseas to promote their special brand of hatred, I hardly think that you can then turn around and lecture anyone.

  11. Keithy says

    Oh Lisa G, can I pay you some of those flimsy, easily ripped green dollars NOT to come to the UK. Honestly, we don’t want you. You’d hate it anyway. We all have green crooked teeth (according to the American media) and socialised medicine which basically means no healthcare at all. Oh, and we’re not allowed to carry guns around – imagine how restrictive THAT is. You know the feeling, you want to go on a random killing spree, but you can’t just waltz into a Walmart and buy an AK47. Britain – it’s like a fascist state or something!!

  12. John says

    And the reports say that, indeed, this is about an upgrade to the word “marriage”. To many here this won’t be a big change, as many call it “marriage” already, this is the state recognising marriages equally and officially.

  13. QJ201 says

    @Lisa. It’s not a boycott unless you actually do travel to the UK regularly or had a trip plan, otherwise it’s just more “troll” hot air.

    Yeah, I’m not gonna spend my dollars in Minnesota because of all the deaths due to bullying. Not like I was going there anyway.

  14. John says

    @Lisa: You are just not reading the article correctly. And I’m only chiming in here because you insist on clinging to your initial negative response despite the very positive attempts of at least two other readers to correct you. The VERY CLEAR language of the article states that the UK govt is committing to moving FROM the currently legal civil partnership TO marriage.

  15. John says

    @John (different John from myself): Not picking an argument, and honestly just curious, but wouldn’t you agree that despite this not being a big change in the day to day practical rights already available to gays in the UK, it is indeed a very big change that the state is finally “recognising marriages equally and officially” (And no longer needing to give lip service to the old “separate but equal” idea of civil partnerships?

  16. Rae says

    Lisa, if you are reading that comment to mean that they won’t be using the word “marriage,” then you are both a) reading the comment wrong and b) completely ignorant of what is already in the law in the UK regarding same-sex couples.

    Currently, they have civil partnerships. These are identical to “marriage” except in name, and have existed since 2005.

    What they are doing now is saying “we’re going to have marriage. Period. For everyone.” They are REMOVING the existing “separate but equal” status and allowing marriage for everyone.

    Which is, I’ll remind you, one HELL of a lot more than what we’ve got going on here in the US. Even their existing civil partnerships is one hell of a lot more than we’ve got here in the US.

    So just in case you’re still confused, let me reiterate one last time… the UK currently has civil partnerships (akin to our civil unions, IF we recognized civil unions nationally). What this article is saying is that the UK will now have full, 100%, identical marriage equality for all its citizens… simply called ‘marriage,’ no matter who is entering into such union.


  17. John says

    Oh it’s a big change from the state John, definitely in that sense of recognition. Not such a big change for those who will be able to get civil marriages though whether gay or straight i’d imagine. To many a civil partnership is essentially a marriage, but it will be important that recognition is the same, of course.

  18. BobN says

    ‘They will still not be using the word “marriage” as I read it.’

    The article isn’t very well worded, but you’re reading it wrong. (Nobody ever edits anymore… sigh.)

  19. pedro says

    Lisa is obviously a born idiot who knows nothing about anything (and lacks reading comprehension)…Please stop responding to that idiot! As someone who has followed the developments in the U.K., I must say I am extremely happy if this is true!

  20. Neil says

    Lisa, stop being an idiot.

    I live in Britain and I know perfectly well what this means, because I live here!

    We currently have civil partnerships which offer all of the rights of marriage. The proposed change being announced by ministers tomorrow is that they will legalise same-sex MARRIAGE in full. Understand now?

    (And by the way, we don’t want your ugly green dollars. Given the state of the US economy lately, I think you probably need them more!)

  21. Raymond says

    The Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone announced it today at the opening day of the Liberal Democrats annual conference in Birmingham. There will be a public consultation on how to make civil marriages available to same-sex couples starting in March 2012 and then dependent on the result of the consultation the government will make the necessary legislative changes before the General Election in May 2015.

  22. bill johnson says

    This is great news for marriage equality everywhere. Currently none of the big three in Western Europe, the UK, France, and Germany, have full marriage equality and instead just have strong civil unions. But adoption of full marriage equality by the UK will put more pressure on France and Germany to do the same as well as on other EU nations and commonwealth nations. It won’t happen overnight but it will get the ball rolling. As for the US, the more our close allies adopt marriage equality the more likely we are to follow suit eventually.

  23. ken says

    Hard to beleive anyone is as dumb as Lisa, probably a troll. But the other dumb comment is by oh please. Obama wants to repeal DOMA which would effectively legalize same sex marriage in the US. He is on our side, the Republicans are our problem.

  24. Steve says

    If this article is true, it will mean full equality in marriage. “Lisa” is trolling and trying to spread some confusion.

    As for what this would mean in practical terms for UK citizens, nothing in terms of legal rights, but a significant change in social status. Since civil partnerships were recognized throughout the UK, the change to “marriage” doesn’t bestow any additional rights. It is different here in the US, where your civil union from New Jersey might not be recognized in another state, but your marriage would be. Or in some cases, your civil union would be recognized in another state, but not your marriage. Here the label has real world consequences in terms of legal rights, but in the UK it does not.

    What makes this story so significant is that marriage carries a lot more social and cultural weight than civil partnerships. And that is true in the US too. Just look at Prop 8. $38 million spent to deny us the word “marriage” but not touching our right to domestic partnerships. And we spent $42 million opposing that effort. Both sides understood the importance of the word marriage. People don’t spend $80 million on a semantical distinction that doesn’t matter.

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