LGBT Lib Dems set out position on Marriage Equality
Lib Dem LGBT group Delga have responded to a call from Pink News for LGBT groups to set out their position on equal marriage. The call follows a poll suggesting that an overwhelming majority of Pink News readers support equal marriage. The poll was itself a reaction to Delga's policy motion to Lib Dem Conference in September. This is likely to see equal marriage become official Liberal Democrat policy. The Lib Dems would be the first of the major political parties to have this policy.
Since Delga is an official part of the Liberal Democrats, it has power to propose policy directly, without needing to lobby the party's MPs. However, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Lynne Featherstone and other Lib Dem MPs have expressed their support for equal marriage. The position statement from Delga chair Adrian Trett reads:
Recently countries across the world have been approving same-sex marriage at increasing speed. Ten nations have so far approved it with more looking likely soon.
Our stance is simple: The UK should be leading this list of liberal diverse nations. That's why Delga, (LGBT Liberal Democrats) decided to introduce a motion at this year's Autumn Conference, to ensure it will become enshrined in our Party policy and as a result provide a lever for us to take the issue into government where we are part of the Coalition.
When Adrian Trett, Acting Chair of Delga wrote the motion he called it "equal marriage" because that's what this is all about, it is about being equal, whether gay or straight, lesbian, bisexual, cis- or transgender. While Civil Partnerships were an enormous step forward, until we are able to choose to classify our relationships as marriage if we wish, we will not be equal. One's commitment to another person should be open, and free to be celebrated in whichever way you and your partner choose.
Any two individuals, whatever their gender or sexual orientation should be able to choose either a civil partnership or Marriage and celebrate it wherever they want, in a religious building (if that venue is in agreement) or elsewhere. Our motion also calls for overseas marriages and civil partnerships to be rightly equated to their correct equivalents.
We can't win this campaign alone however, and would like to use this opportunity especially to call upon our Coalition Conservative counterparts LGBTory to join us. We know we have support within the Government. The Deputy Prime Minister and our Party Leader, the Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP, said in the Pink News on the 17th February 2010, "I support gay marriage, Love is the same, straight or gay, so the civil institution should be the same". This is clear and unwavering support for our motion. We know there are many others as well.
If ever there was a time to stand up and be counted on this issue, the time is now. Together we can make a difference. We can increase the support we have in the Government and win a Commons vote if enough of us stand together to be counted and show them that this is what we want. The question is, will you stand with us? There is no time like the present.