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Stonewall Makes News For Finally Supporting Gay Marriage

The British advocacy group Stonewall is reversing its earlier Elton John-approved position that civil unions are just fine — and now says it’ll lobby for full marriage rights in the U.K.

The switch comes after Stonewall president Ben Summerskill defended the group’s opposition to marriage equality because it was too … expensive for taxpayers. (Sound familiar?)

In a statement, Stonewall says it’s “pleased to be widening its campaigning objectives to include extending the legal form of marriage to gay people. 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.”

Summerskill’s argument rested on the price tag of absolute equality, which would include opening up civil partnerships to straights — at a cost of 5 billion pounds over 10 years, supposedly. And yet in pursuing full marriage rights for gays, Stonewall doesn’t say whether it also supports letting breeders obtain civil partnerships.

Either way, it sounds like Stonewall is simply playing catch-up with more mobile activists: The always ouspoken Peter Tatchell is leading the Equal Love campaign, which launched this week: “Starting on November 2nd, eight couples will file applications at their local registry office. Four homosexual couples will apply for civil marriages and four heterosexual couples will apply for civil partnerships. Every week until December 14th, one couple will make an application. ‘If the couples are turned away, as we expect they will be, we plan to take legal action,’ Mr Tatchell said.”

By:           RYAN TEDDER
On:           Oct 27, 2010
Tagged: , , , , ,
  • 2 Comments
    • robert in nyc
      robert in nyc

      Summerskill relented because of inside pressure from several of its co-founders, mounting pressure from LGBT people who aren’t Stonewall members and the loss of donations. Plus, the Liberal Democratic party officially endorsed it as party policy (Liberal Democrats are part of the coalition government of Tory Prime Minister David Cameron) and now Ed Miliband, the new leader of the Labour Party supports it. Amazing, straight politicians pushing for marriage equality and Stonewall had to be embarrassed into campaigning for it. That said, I’m glad its changed its strategy and is now on board, where it should be.

      Oct 27, 2010 at 2:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chandler in Las Vegas
      Chandler in Las Vegas

      It would be nice if Queerty started calling them Stonewall UK to avoid confusion with US based Stonewall groups.

      Oct 28, 2010 at 9:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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