TAKE ACTION - Keep lobbying your MP & members of the House of Lords
The Marriages (Same Sex Couples) Bill has passed overwhelmingly in the House of Commons. It is, at this stage, uncertain how the vote will go in the House of Lords. For this reason it's very important that we lobby the Lords.
Church leaders and over 100 backbench Conservative MPs are determined to block equal marriage rights. They have flooded 10 Downing Street with over 550,000 signatures demanding that David Cameron maintains the ban on same-sex marriage. They also refuse to support the right of heterosexual couples to have a civil partnership.
It is therefore very important that we continue to press the case for no discrimination in marriage and partnership law, to make sure the government doesn’t cave-in to their demands.
Here’s how you can help us win equality:
1. Lobby the House of Lords. If you know a peer, lobby him or her. If you don’t, choose one that has a similar background or interests to you. For example, if the peer is a lawyer, scientist, writer, doctor or in business and you have a similar background, write to that peer. Mention your shared interests when you write or email them.
This guide will help you identify Lords that have similar interests to you and allow you to lobby them direct by email. See here: http://www.writetothem.com/lords
You can use or adapt the standard letter below when you write to members of the House of Lords. Please add in examples from your own life and that of your LGBT friends to show the hurt and harm caused by the current legislation that denies same-sex couples the right to marry.
2. Email your MP from this website: www.writetothem.com The home page will ask for your postcode. It will then tell you the name of your MP and allow you email him or her direct.
You can use or adapt this model letter:
I urge you to support the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill when it comes to the House of Lords.
Same-sex couples who love each other should not be denied the right to marry. This denial is deeply offensive.
If you support love and marriage, I hope that you’ll welcome the fact that LGBT couples love each other and want to get married.
Civil partnerships were an important advance but they are not equality. Separate laws are not equal laws.
I am sure you would not accept a situation where the law banned black or Jewish couples from getting married but offered them a civil partnership instead. This humiliation is what the current legislation does to same-sex couples. It fobs them off with second best: civil partnerships.
I ask you to consider how you would feel if you were banned by law from marrying the person you love. I’m certain you’d feel upset and offended.
In democratic society, everyone should be equal before the law. There should be no discrimination based on person’s sexuality.
ask you to support full equality in civil marriage and civil partnership law. Please support the legalisation of:
• Same-sex civil marriages
• Opposite-sex civil partnerships
• Religious same-sex marriages by clergy who wish to conduct them.
The twin legal bans on same-sex civil marriages and opposite-sex civil partnerships are unjust discrimination.
I urge you to support the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, and the amendment to extend civil partnerships to straight men and women, to ensure that both civil marriages and civil partnerships are open to everyone - gay and heterosexual couples - with no discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.
Peter Tatchell, Coordinator of the Equal Love campaign and Director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation, reports:
“The current bill will legalise same-sex civil marriage. But it is, so far, not committed to legalising opposite-sex civil partnerships.
“It is very important that we support equality for all, including for LGBT couples who wish to get married, for heterosexual couples who want a civil partnership and for same-sex couples who’d like a religious marriage.
“In a democratic society we should all be equal before the law.
“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that everyone is entitled to equal treatment and protection against discrimination, including the right to marry.
“Legalising same -sex marriage is the recognition that LGBT people are of equal worth, equally part of humanity and have the right to the equal validation of their love.
“The same principle of equality applies in the case of civil partnerships. Heterosexual couples should be able to have a civil partnership if they wish.
“Many heterosexuals supported the campaign for LGBT equality. We should reciprocate by supporting their right to a civil partnership.
“Please let the government know that you want equality in both civil marriage and civil partnership law. Help us send a message for universal equal rights. Let’s achieve equal love for all,” said Mr Tatchell.