Medway Greens welcome equal marriage bill

just-married-gay-marriageThe Medway Greens strongly welcome the vote in favour of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill.

The Bill passed by 366 votes to 161, a majority of 205, in the Third Reading at the House of Commons. The bill will now go to the House of Lords for further consideration (1).

Trish Marchant, Medway Green Party Co-ordinator comments:

“This is indeed a great moment for furthering equality, and a representation of the views of the majority of the population (2).  We completely agree with Caroline Lucas’ statement that it is a “genuinely historic day”.

Sullivan Poulter, Medway Green Party member, and a spokesperson on equality issues, adds:

“It is a momentous moment for equality and means that same sex couples, here in Medway and across the country, have been given a long overdue affirmation that love is love regardless of gender.  However, we are disappointed that there were still 161 MPs, the majority of them Conservative, including Gillingham and Rainham MP, Rehman Chishti, (3) who could not bring themselves to vote for a fair and equal society. We also recognise the struggle the bill faces in the House of Lords, especially from Tory peers who seem to still think discrimination is acceptable in today’s society”.

Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton Pavillion argued in the house that tolerance is not good enough, what is needed is full equality and justice.

Trish Marchant comments:

“While MPs in the house were busy congratulating themselves, we still have a long way to go towards full equality. The Green Party believe that young people have the right to be brought up to understand that they may experience homosexual or heterosexual feelings, or both, and that either, or both, are to be welcomed as having potential to enrich their lives and those of people around them. In other words, diversity is to be celebrated not simply tolerated”.

Anomalies also remain that affect older couples. Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP for Brighton Pavillion, attempted to address one such anomaly that continues to discriminate between opposite sex and same sex partnerships in relation to pension rights.  Whereas opposite sex couples, receive a survivor’s pension which is based on their partner’s contributions from the start of those pension contributions, a same sex partner in a similar position has their survivor’s pension backdated to the introduction of civil partnerships. This leads to discrepancies in what the survivors receive, for example, £40,000 for an opposite sex partner in comparison to £500 by one of the same sex.

Trish Marchant comments:

“The Green Party believe that we all have a responsibility to ensure absence of discrimination, whether that is due to ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, language, religion, age, national or social origin, economic status or any other social, physical or mental condition.  The Green Party will continue to fight for equality. This is a clear discrimination and one which we hope the House of Lords will recognise.”

**********************************************************************

ENDS

Notes:

(1)   http://www.stonewall.org.uk/media/current_releases/8772.asp

(2)     http://yougov.co.uk/news/2013/05/19/public-supports-civil-partnerships-all/

(3)     http://conservativehome.blogs.com/parliament/2013/05/133-tory-mps-oppose-the-same-sex-marriage-bill-but-it-still-passes-the-commons.html

Medway Green Party can be found at:

1.      http://medway.greenparty.org.uk

2.      https://medwaygreenparty.wordpress.com

3.      https://twitter.com/medwaygreens

4.      https://www.facebook.com/medway.greens

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