A couple of sources have told me of rumours swirling around about an announcement from the UK Government that same-sex marriages will be introduced into the law of England and Wales. Conservative blogger, Tim Montgomerie tweeted just after 6pm that an announcement was ‘imminent’ which lends credibility to the rumours. The announcement would come just before the Liberal Democrat Conference (which officially begins tomorrow) and will help life LibDem spirits which must be languishing in the doldrums after a PR referendum disaster, local election set-backs and the national popularity of plague.
Of course, this will raise questions for those already in Civil Partnerships as to whether they should ‘upgrade’, whether their form of relationship will cease to be offered, and questions about whether ‘straight’ couples will be able to enter into Civil Partnerships.
The Equal love campaign has been working for exactly that, by pursuing action under human rights law, together with an extension of marriage rights to same-sex couples. A position of civil partnerships AND civil partnerships seems like a really positive situation, but these rumours could come to nothing. Of course, cynics might argue that Conservative figures might be behind these rumours before a LibDem conference so that when an announcement doesn’t come , it can be seen as a defeat. I’m not so sure, I think something could well be in the air. Let’s see.