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    Cross-party letter urges government to allow mixed-sex civil partnerships

    November 25, 2016

November 25, 2016

Cross-party letter urges government to allow mixed-sex civil partnerships

A cross-party letter has today been sent to Justine Greening, Minister for Women and Equalities, urging her to extend civil partnerships to mixed-gender couples.

The letter, signed by one MP from six different political parties, calls on Ms Greening to give government backing to a Bill that will be debated in parliament in January and which, if passed, would give all couples the right to get a civil partnership.

Conservative MP Tim Loughton formerly sent the letter to Ms Greening which was also signed by Andy Slaughter of Labour, Caroline Lucas from the Greens, Alistair Carmichael of the Liberal Democrats, Liz Saville Roberts from Plaid Cymru, and Martyn Day of the SNP.

In the letter the MPs say that the unequal access to civil partnerships “should not be allowed to continue.” They go on to say that “extending civil partnerships would ensure that every couple, regardless of their gender, would have the right to gain legal and financial protection in a way that works for them.”

The MPs also argue that allowing all couples to get a civil partnership would be popular. They point to the fact that over 70,000 people have signed a petition backing mixed-gender civil partnerships and the fact that MPs from every party have given their support to a new Early Day Motion calling for the extension of civil partnerships to all couples.

The MPs say:

“Politically the idea of extending civil partnerships is now generally approved. As a new EDM (EDM 619) shows, support for allowing mixed-gender couples to get a civil partnership is supported by MPs from all parties in parliament and the signatories of this letter represent to you the desire to extend civil partnerships held across the political spectrum.”

The letter concludes by asking Justine Greening to give government support to a Private Members’ Bill, championed by Tim Loughton, that seeks to give every couple the right to a civil partnership. Mr Loughton’s Bill will be debated in January.

Matt Hawkins, Campaign Manager for the Equal Civil Partnerships Campaign, said:

“Together with the 71000 signatures on our petition and the motion passed unanimously by the London Assembly backing mixed-gender civil partnerships, this letter sends a very powerful message to the government about the need to make civil partnerships available to all.

“Allowing mixed-gender couples to get a civil partnership simply means giving every couple the right to get legal and financial protection for their relationship in a way that works for them. It’s perhaps unsurprising that MPs from across the political spectrum are now united in supporting that basic right and we hope that the government will listen to their call and extend civil partnerships. They have nothing to lose and everything to gain by doing so.”