Royal couple urged to support the right of gay couples to get married
London – 18 April 2011
“We wish William and Kate every happiness. May they have a joyful marriage and a wonderful married life together.
“The royal couple are lucky. They have the option to get married. Gay couples don’t have this option. They are barred by law from marriage,” said Peter Tatchell, Director of the equality and human rights organisation, the Peter Tatchell Foundation.
“We urge Kate and William to support marriage equality: the right of same-sex couples to get married. Their support would mean a lot. They take for granted the right to marry. Marriage is something that many lesbian and gay couples want but cannot have.
“Gay marriage is a simple issue of respect, equality and fairness. In a democracy, we should all be equal under the law. This means an equal right to marry, regardless of sexual orientation.
“Gay couples are allowed civil partnerships. But this is not equality. They cannot get married in a register office like their heterosexual family and friends. This is discrimination and discrimination is wrong.
“There would be uproar if the government banned Jewish people from marriage and offered them civil partnerships instead. We would call it an anti-Semitic law; something we would expect in Nazi Germany not democratic Britain. Well, Jews are not banned from marriage but gay people are.
“The ban on gay civil marriages is opposed by nearly two-thirds of the British people, according to an opinion poll by Populous in June 2009. The poll found that 61% of the public believe that: “Gay couples should have an equal right to get married, not just to have civil partnerships.” Only 33% disagreed.
“A new poll taken today would almost certainly register even more public support for marriage equality.
“On 2 February this year, eight couples – four gay and four heterosexual – filed a joint legal application to the European Court of Human Rights, to overturn the twin bans on gay civil marriages and heterosexual civil partnerships. Their applications are sponsored by the Equal Love campaign – www.equallove.org.uk – which seeks to end sexual orientation discrimination in both civil marriage and civil partnership law. It is supported by the Peter Tatchell Foundation and the LGBTI campaign group OutRage!,” said Mr Tatchell