Trying to celebrate civil partnerships
Sir, On February 23 you published our letter, signed also by several senior Anglicans, urging the House of Lords to support Lord Alli’s amendment to permit civil partnerships to be held on the premises of Quakers, Liberal Judaism and Unitarians. You also published a powerful leader, “Equal before God”, in support of our letter.
Lord Alli’s amendment was carried in a free vote by 95 to 21 in the face of opposition from both front benches. Several speakers quoted our letter or your leader. The Government has now accepted it, but if the Equality Bill is incomplete at the dissolution of Parliament, it goes into what politicians call “wash-up”. Only the parts acceptable to both main parties survive; the rest fall.
We hope that, as they start to campaign for the general election, they will all give an express promise to protect the amendment.
Iain McLean, FBA
Professor of Politics, University of Oxford
Diarmaid Macculloch, FBA
Professor of the History of the Church, University of Oxford
Previous letter and leader article are here.