Monday, 7 April 2014
EHRC guidance on the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Act
The Equality and Human Rights Commission has published detailed guidance to explain the equality and human rights implications of this legislation. The guidance covers 5 main areas: the law; public authorities; the workplace and service delivery; religious organisations; and school education.
The material can all be found via this page.
Law & Religion UK has published an article summarising the key points.
Posted by Simon Sarmiento on
Monday, 7 April 2014 at 4:07pm BST
You can make a Permalink to this if you like
We should remember that the archbishop has made his views on same-gender marriage clear. In an address to the House of Lords he reiterated, as he did in the radio interview most recently that marriage is a sacred institution reserved for heterosexuals. In fact, in this most recent interview the Guardian wrote that the archbishop did not want LGBT people to be treated with any greater severity than adulterous heterosexuals are treated. The core idea here if anyone cares to look closely is that same-gender relationships are sinful.
I see from the comments to that story that the conservatives are yet again excited by the prospect of fighting doomed legal battles through to the European Courts in order to increase their sense of martyrdom.
Same sex marriage (or civil unions, which in most countries are more equivalent than they are here because all marriages require a civil component) is legal is more than half of the countries of the EU. The first two countries, Holland (2001) and Belgium (2003), are pretty much the sine qua non of "European", being signatories to the 1951 Treaty of Paris which set up the Coal and Steel Community. The idea that a European Court is going to challenge that more than a decade later is laughable.
The comment that the European Court of Human Rights has not held that there is a right to same-sex marriage presumably relates to VALLIANATOS AND OTHERS v. GREECE; if people still fighting a rearguard action against SSM think that judgement helps them, they presumably have not actually read it. For those that want the short version of why (again) the conservatives throw law around without troubling themselves as to its meaning, here's the paragraph from that judgement which they get so excited about:
"75. The Court deems it important to delimit the scope of the present case. The applicants’ complaint does not relate in the abstract to a general obligation on the Greek State to provide for a form of legal recognition in domestic law for same-sex relationships. In the instant case the applicants complain that Law no. 3719/2008 provides for civil unions for different-sex couples only, thereby automatically excluding same-sex couples from its scope. In other words, the applicants’ complaint is not that the Greek State failed to comply with any positive obligation which might be imposed on it by the Convention, but that it introduced a distinction, by virtue of Law no. 3719/2008, which in their view discriminates against them. Accordingly, the issue to be determined in the instant case is whether the Greek State was entitled, from the standpoint of Articles 14 and 8 of the Convention, to enact a law introducing alongside the institution of marriage a new registered partnership scheme for unmarried couples that was limited to different-sex couples and thus excluded same-sex couples."