Jacqui Smith happy for her legislation to be repealed to allow same-sex marriage
The former minister who championed civil partnerships today said she was happy for her legislation to be repealed - and replaced with plans to allow same-sex marriage.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She added: “I’m proud of the Civil Partnerships Act, but happy now to see it amended (or even repealed).”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 East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
- 2 Germanwings plane crash: Video shows co-pilot Andreas Lubitz learning to fly as a teenager
- 3 Vladimir Putin says Russia will fight for the right of Palestinians to their own state
East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
Vladimir Putin says Russia will fight for the right of Palestinians to their own state
Ohio Democrat Teresa Fedor speaks out during abortion debate to reveal she has been raped – and is interrupted by laughter from Republicans
Children take eight Isis captives to be beheaded in latest propaganda video
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...
£32000 - £38000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A highly successful, inte...
£8000 - £10800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Supply Chain Administrator is ...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Client IT Account Manager is ...