February 26, 2019
Lord Hayward, a committed and principled champion of equal rights, has introduced an amendment to the Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration etc) Bill, due to reach its next stage in the Lords on Friday 1 March. The amendment calls for same-sex marriage to be introduced in Northern Ireland – a policy which the Equal Civil Partnerships campaign group wholeheartedly endorse as we suspect the vast majority of our supporters also do.
We are huge believers in #equallove, champion equality in all forms and individually members of the group – including Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan – have been vociferous and active in the campaign for same-sex marriage. However, we are concerned that this Bill is not the place for that particular fight.
While we completely support the intention, were Lord Hayward to succeed in adding this to the Bill, there is no doubt that Conservatives in the Commons would vote it down, as they desperately need the support of the DUP who oppose equal marriage. So an equal marriage for Northern Ireland amendment would do nothing to further this cause but could well have the unintended consequence of blocking equal civil partnerships, which Lord Hayward supports.
What can you do?
Write to Lord Hayward today at the House of Lords, London, SW1A 0PW or email firstname.lastname@example.org and:
- Urge him to withdraw his amendment before any vote
- Express your support for equal marriage in Northern Ireland but ask him to find another means to press the issue
Also, please write to the following asking them to support the Bill without any further amendment:
- Conservative Whips Office, House of Lords, London, Explain what a difference civil partnerships would make to you
- SW1A 0PW (email@example.com)
- Labour Whips Office, House of Lords, London, SW1A 0PW firstname.lastname@example.org
- Lib Dem Whips Office, House of Lords, London, SW1A 0PW email@example.com
Do please also contact other peers that you have a connection with or that you know will be attending the debate and ask them to support the Bill with no further amendments.
We only have until Friday 1st March to persuade Lord Hayward not to press his amendment or to ensure he is unsuccessful if he does, so please write today.
The full text of the amendments can be found here