Obviously, fill this in so it matches you; it’s a shame there are no none/other options for gender in particular.
Question 1: Do you agree or disagree that all couples, regardless of their gender, should be able to have a civil marriage ceremony?
Obviously we would like you to agree to this.
Question 2. Please explain the reasons for your answer, limiting your response to 1,225 characters (approx 200 words):
In the free text field, particularly consider the point that “separate but equal” is used by bigots to justify homophobia.
Question 3. If you identify as being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transsexual would you wish to have a civil marriage ceremony?
Obviously, fill this in as your opinion dictates. Many LGBT+ people do wish to have marriage, civil or otherwise, because they respect the institution or history, or prefer the legal structure behind it.
Question 4. If you represent a group of individuals who identify as being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transsexual would those you represent wish to have a civil marriage ceremony?
Again, we can’t help you with this one!
Question 5. The government does not propose to open up religious marriage to same-sex couples. Do you agree or disagree with this proposal?
This is a very poorly worded question and we have asked the Home Office for clarification. However, we believe that the answer is “Yes”, if you agree with the proposal to to open up religious marriage to same-sex couples.
UPDATE: The Home Office have reworded this question to be more clear. The response is now “Disagree – religious marriage should be opened up to same-sex couples”, and that is the answer we think you should give.
While we are happy with the explicit statement that no religious organisation would be required to conduct same-sex marriages, we are extremely unhappy that the many religious organisations that wish to, will not be permitted. We feel that if enough people call for religious equal marriage in the consultation, they might change their mind and include it in legislation. If not, we know that Liberal Democrat MPs and Lords will submit amendments to include it.
Question 6. Do you agree or disagree with keeping the option of civil partnerships once civil marriage is made available to same-sex couples?
Civil partnerships are desirable to many people. The legal framework differs from marriage, and is a lot more clear-cut with fewer Acts of Parliament and case law judgements affecting it. This is why civil partnerships are desired by many couples, regardless of gender. We agree with keeping civil partnerships for same-sex couples, and extending them to all couples
Question 7. If you identify as being lesbian, gay or bisexual and were considering making a legal commitment to your partner, would you prefer to have a civil partnership or a civil marriage?
This is up to you. We hope sufficient people who would prefer civil marriage to civil partnership will respond to convince the Government of its necessity.
Question 8. The government is not considering opening up civil partnerships to opposite-sex couples because we have been unable to identify a need for this. However, we appreciate that there are a number of views on this issue.
Again, a very poorly worded question. We think we agree with the proposal to open up civil partnerships to mixed-sex couples. We certainly don’t agree with the proposal not to!
UPDATE: Again, the Home Office have clarified this question, so our preferred answer now reads “Disagree – civil partnerships should be opened up to opposite-sex couples”.
Question 9. If you are in a civil partnership would you wish to take advantage of this policy and convert your civil partnership into a marriage?
Many couples including trans people were forced to divorce and replace their marriage with a civil partnership. Many couples accepted a civil partnership as a poor substitute for marriage. Allowing these people to convert the legal form of their relationship is the least we can do. Preferably there should be a way to restore marriages and civil partnerships ended for gender transition reasons, so they are considered to have been continuous for pension entitlements etc.
As we support the extension of civil partnerships to mixed-sex couples, we believe there should be a complementing process of conversion from marriage to CP.
Question 10. We would not propose introducing a time limit on the ability to convert a civil partnership into a marriage.
We agree there should not be a time limit.
Question 11. Do you think there should be an option to have a civil ceremony on conversion of a civil partnership into a marriage?
Why not? Everybody loves a party!
Question 12. If you are a married transsexual person, would you want to take advantage of this policy and remain in your marriage while obtaining a full Gender Recognition Certificate?
This is a personal question, but we know many trans people in this situation, including ones who have refused to seek a GRC to keep their marriages or civil partnerships.
We also support mixed civil partnerships, which would make unnecessary the forced conversion of civil partnerships to marriage recommended by the Government Equalities Office.
Question 13. If you are the spouse of a transsexual person, would you want to take advantage of this policy and remain in your marriage whilst your spouse obtained a full Gender Recognition Certificate?
Again, this is a personal question.
Question 14. Do you have any comments on the assumptions or issues outlined above? If so, please provide details in the space below, limiting your response to 1,225 characters (approx 200 words).
We believe that it is right for religions to have their own view of marriage, provided they do not incite hatred against those with different views. We also reaffirm that faiths who wish to conduct same-sex marriage should not be stopped by Government from doing so.
Question 15. Are you aware of any costs or benefits that exist to either the public or private sector, or individuals that we have not accounted for in the impact assessment? If so, please provide details in the space below, limiting your response to 1,225 characters (approx 200 words).
The Government’s impact assessment states that there will be no increase in demand for same-sex marriage over the current level for civil partnership. We think this is incorrect and there will be, as when CPs were first introduced, a rush of support with obvious financial benefits.
Question 16. Do you have any other comments on the proposals within this consultation? If so, please provide details in the space below, limiting your response to 1,225 characters (approx 200 words).
This would be a good place to mention international recognition.