Jacqui Smith happy for her legislation to be repealed to allow same-sex marriage
The former minister who championed civil partnerships today said she was happy for her legislation to be repealed - and replaced with plans to allow same-sex marriage.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She added: “I’m proud of the Civil Partnerships Act, but happy now to see it amended (or even repealed).”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 Isis propaganda video shows 25 Syrian soldiers executed by teenage militants in Palmyra
- 2 Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
- 3 The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
- 4 The biggest first date turnoff has been revealed
- 5 German man found living with 300 rats in tiny apartment
BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
Isis propaganda video shows 25 Syrian soldiers executed by teenage militants in Palmyra
Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Van driver who comforted Clark Carlisle and called 999 after suicide attempt dies age 24
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
£27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing, successful, friendly...
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...
£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...