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I'd work very hard but I'm lazy

Well it's certainly odd to see Peter Tatchell call something heterophobic. Admittedly this is because like me he's opposed to legal marriage - go Peter Tatchell!

"It is a pity the government has opted for an unimaginative, watered down version of marriage, instead of having the foresight to devise an entirely new, modern legal framework for partnership recognition." He said here.

Now I'm not sure if I'm in favour of a 'modern legal framework for partnership recognition' either, but it would be more likely to get my vote if it acted more like a regular contract and less like marriage (which you can't guarantee being able to get out of by mutual consent and which the government can change the rules of after you've entered into it.) Of course, a system which allows for multiple partnerships etc would be even more appealing, but I honestly have no idea how hard that would be in practice.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
30th Jun, 2003 04:09 (UTC)
I suppose the key issues are property and pension rights, parenthood and child support.

Our legal system is better than the US's in not regarding genetic parentage as the single most important thing, at least in so far as surrogacy is concerned. There is a clear principle that if a woman has carried and given birth to a child then she has the right to be it's social mother even if she is not it's genetic mother, whereas in the US she would have no rights at all, which is pretty rotten if you've risked your health and even your life to bring a child into the world.

A clearer system for adoption which would allow gay couples to have parenting rights over children they have raised together would be a big step in the right direction.
A child shouldn't get taken away from a person they regard as a parent and handed to the next closest genetic relative if their own biological parent dies, for example.

Uniform property and pension rights for non-married family groups would be another good step forward.
There is provision in the UK for polygamous marriages made abroad to be recognised at least slightly for the puropses of social security benefits. The first wife is legally the "wife" in UK law, and subsequent wives are "adult dependents".
This could be improved to cover polyandrous relationships, gay relationships and group marriages - and also to treat all wives in a polygamous marriage as equal.

The London idea of Registered Partnerships is a good one, and there's no reason why it shouldn't be extended to cover more than two people in a relationship.
30th Jun, 2003 05:05 (UTC)
Interesting concept, long overdue, and I agree it would have benefits for opposite sex couples and multiple partnerships too.
30th Jun, 2003 05:25 (UTC)
He's done it before, as this is a long-standing hobby horse of his.

Being allowed to have recognition of multiple relationships - and scales of relationships - would be a great step, but there are lots of vested interests against, like the pensions industry. More partners = paying money for longer!

The consultation document is here in PDF form
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )