Question 1. Do you agree or disagree that all couples, regardless of their gender, should be able to have a civil marriage ceremony?

Agree.

 

Question 2. Please explain the reasons for your answer, limiting your response to 1,225 characters (approx 200 words):

Love is dictated by the experiences one shares with their partner, the commitment they have for one another and their children (if applicable). It is not dictated by the gender of those involved. Therefore, marriage should be available to all couples; but similarly civil partnerships should be available to all couples as well.

 

Question 3. If you identify as being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transsexual would you wish to have a civil marriage ceremony?

Yes

 

Question 4. If you represent a group of individuals who identify as being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transsexual would those you represent wish to have a civil marriage ceremony?

This question doesn’t apply to me

 

Question 5. The government does not propose to open up religious marriage to same-sex couples. Do you agree or disagree with this proposal?

Disagree – religious marriage should be opened up to same-sex couples

[Only for religious organisations that expressly choose to perform same-sex marriage, such as the Quakers]

 

Question 6. Do you agree or disagree with keeping the option of civil partnerships once civil marriage is made available to same-sex couples?

Agree

 

Question 7. If you identify as being lesbian, gay or bisexual and were considering making a legal commitment to your partner, would you prefer to have a civil partnership or a civil marriage?

Civil marriage

 

Question 8. The government is not considering opening up civil partnerships to opposite-sex couples because we have been unable to identify a need for this. However, we appreciate that there are a number of views on this issue.

Disagree – civil partnerships should be opened up to opposite-sex couples

 

Question 9. If you are in a civil partnership would you wish to take advantage of this policy and convert your civil partnership into a marriage?

This question doesn’t apply to me

 

Question 10. We would not propose introducing a time limit on the ability to convert a civil partnership into a marriage. Do you agree or disagree?

Agree – there shouldn’t be a time limit

 

Question 11. Do you think there should be an option to have a civil ceremony on conversion of a civil partnership into a marriage?

Yes, there should be an option

 

Question 12. If you are a married transsexual person, would you want to take advantage of this policy and remain in your marriage while obtaining a full Gender Recognition Certificate?

This question doesn’t apply to me

 

Question 13. If you are the spouse of a transsexual person, would you want to take advantage of this policy and remain in your marriage whilst your spouse obtained a full Gender Recognition Certificate?

This question doesn’t apply to me

 

Question 14. Do you have any comments on the assumptions or issues outlined above? If so, please provide details in the space below, limiting your response to 1,225 characters (approx 200 words).

Freedom of speech is important to me. I wish to allow religious organisations to continue to be able to preach their own definition of marriage, no matter how erroneous, misguided or bigoted said definition may be. International recognition remains an issue with same-sex civil partnerships, particularly when it comes to next-of-kin status in other countries that recognise same-sex marriage, but don’t recognise civil partnerships.

 

Question 15. Are you aware of any costs or benefits that exist to either the public or private sector, or individuals that we have not accounted for in the impact assessment? If so, please provide details in the space below, limiting your response to 1,225 characters (approx 200 words).

Many same-sex couples have not opted for civil partnerships because they want marriage. The benefits to local authorities (I speak as a former councillor) would include the boost in business for licensed venues and the increase in revenue for wedding/marriage services. The financial benefit to these businesses and the social benefit of allowing two people to marry (we see poll after poll telling us that marriage is good for children in a family setting) immensely outweigh any small material cost to the local authority.

 

Question 16. Do you have any other comments on the proposals within this consultation? If so, please provide details in the space below, limiting your response to 1,225 characters (approx 200 words).

Any legislation must take into account that love is an individual and unique quality. It cannot be categorised, nor can it be explained in simple legal terms – the description by some individuals of marriage as a simple legal arrangement is, to me, so cold and clinical. It isn’t (just) about procreation – that’s an outdated attitude that suggests marriage is about creating offspring and nothing else. It is most certainly not about the genitals or gender identity of the couple involved – this country has already legally accepted that homosexuality is not a condition, it is simply something that you are. Through that acceptance, the UK has already judged same-sex love to be legitimate. If it is legitimate, then there is no real reason that this love cannot be celebrated in the same way mixed-sex love is.

If I ever choose to choose a state-recognised union with my partner, I refuse to take part in a civil partnership. I wish to be married, like everybody else in my family has done when they have decided to formally recognise their partnerships. Please make it happen.

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