In his latest blog entry on the newly revamped Times Online Lord Rees-Mogg discusses the recent ‘gay adoption row’ and inadvertently manages to repeat one of the more absurd elements of recent debates on gay rights and discrimination.
“the Civil Partnership Act itself is avowedly discriminatory. Same-sex couples gain substantial tax advantages, equal to those of a married couple. Members of the same family are not allowed to enter into civil partnerships with each other; nor are unmarried heterosexual couples…They undoubtedly are discriminatory and the exclusion of heterosexual couples is undoubtedly a discrimination based on sexual orientation.”
It’s amazing that a writer as thoughtful and intelligent as Rees-Mogg can’t see that “unmarried heterosexual couples” who want the benefits of a civil partnership can do so by entering into a civil marriage.
Unless the couple wish otherwise this will be carried out by the same registrar in the same room as the civil partnership and will ensure that the (hopefully) happy couple are spared the inclusion of God and religion in their ceremony.
As for the remark that “Members of the same family are not allowed to enter into civil partnerships with each other” the same restriction applies to civil and religious marriage.
The idea that civil partnerships are somehow guilty of discrimination by not allowing siblings to ‘wed’ strikes me as absurd. If we were to accept the premise that this restriction was somehow discriminatory surely the same would be true of religious and civil marriage?
As an aside I think we should all be proud at the way in which society has so quickly accepted the existence of civil partnerships. With politicians seemingly endlessly debating the meaning of ‘Britishness’ it strikes me that there can be few better examples of two of our better characteristics – tolerance and fairness.