Jacqui Smith happy for her legislation to be repealed to allow same-sex marriage
The former minister who championed civil partnerships today said she was happy for her legislation to be repealed - and replaced with plans to allow same-sex marriage.
Jacqui Smith said she was proud of the achievement, but acknowledged gay couples still faced discrimination – and even violence – because they could not marry.
Ms Smith, who was responsible as Equalities Minister for steering the legislation through in 2004, said she now appreciated the moves had not gone far enough.
“Symbols can be as important as hard legal rights,” she wrote on Progressonline. “Differentiating between the long-term legal commitment of a gay couple as compared to a heterosexual couple does, at the margin, provide an ongoing discrimination.
“If there are young people made to feel second class at the thought of this, it should change. If there are thugs who feel more justified in laying into a gay man because of this difference, it should change.”
She added: “I’m proud of the Civil Partnerships Act, but happy now to see it amended (or even repealed).”
The Home Office is consulting over its plans for same-sex marriage, but has made clear it is determined to press ahead with the reform.
John Bercow, the Speaker, angered traditionalist Tories today as he used a speech introducing the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee address at Westminster to praise the progress in winning rights for gay people.
He told her: “This is a land where men and women today are equal under the law and where your people are respected, regardless of how they live, how they look or how they love.”
He added: “You have become, to many of us, a kaleidoscope Queen of a kaleidoscope country in a kaleidoscope Commonwealth.”.
Mr Bercow is the President of the Kaleidoscope Trust, which campaigns for gay rights worldwide.
- 1 The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
- 2 Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
- 3 Celebrity Big Brother 2015: Tila Tequila kicked off show after 'describing Hitler as a good man'
- 4 Watch the Supermoon live: How to see the brightest Moon of the year tonight
- 5 iPhone 5c to be discontinued, no iPhone 6c to replace it
Spain accused of 'provocation' after letting Russian submarine refuel off Gibraltar
The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
Allonautilus scrobiculatus: World's 'rarest' creature spotted for only the third time ever
Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
Bangkok Bomb: Thai police name Adem Karadag as suspect arrested over blast that killed 20
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Stock up on canned food for stock market crash, warns former Gordon Brown adviser
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn voters most likely to believe 'world is controlled by a secretive elite'
£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...
£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...
£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...