Tory MP calls for heterosexual civil partnerships

Christopher Chope, the Conservative MP for Christchurch in Dorset, has called on the Prime Minister to introduce civil partnerships for heterosexual couples.

Speaking at the first Prime Minister’s Questions since Tuesday night’s vote on gay marriage, the former barrister echoed suggestions made during the gay marriage debate, the Guardian reports.

“Can [he] say in response to the many concerns expressed in yesterday’s debate will he [sic] ensure that civil partnerships are open to heterosexual couples on an equal basis with homosexual couples?”

David Cameron replied: “I will obviously listen carefully to what he says. But frankly I am a marriage man, I am a great supporter of marriage. I want to promote marriage, defend marriage, encourage marriage.”

Civil partnerships for all would weaken the institution of marriage, the PM claimed: “The great thing about last night’s vote is that two gay people who love each other will now be able to get married. That is an important advance. I think we should be promoting marriage rather than looking at any other way of weakening it.”

Meanwhile, Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude told BBC programme Newsnight that some elements in the Conservative Party were slow to respond to social changes.

“Sometimes parts of the Conservative party move but they move more slowly, or a few paces behind the centre of gravity of social attitudes which have changed and will probably continue to change in ways that it is hard to predict. But we get there, maybe at different speeds.”

Photo by Neil&Claire via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence

Marilyn Stowe

The senior partner at Stowe Family Law, Marilyn Stowe is one of Britain’s best known divorce lawyers with clients throughout the country, in Europe, the Far East and the USA.

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4 comments

jenny notley - February 8, 2013 at 12:53am

My partner and I have been co-habiting for 19yrs.Neither of us are interested in a religious or secular ceremony to cement our relationship. We would however like the opportunity to secure our rights as next of kin. A civil partnership would achieve this aim, but as a heterosexual couple we are being discriminated against and denied this opportunity. I believe this to be an outrageous situation. What happened to our equality!

JamesB - February 8, 2013 at 4:49pm

Iceberg, dead ahead! Not that he is listening.

JamesB - February 8, 2013 at 4:51pm

Civil partnerships for all is a great idea and good compromise. Gays can call themselves married also if they have a civil partnership and the only difference as far as I can make out is in the name. Pride comes before a fall Mr Cameron. I think I agree with the questioner.

DT - February 8, 2013 at 9:17pm

Jenny

I agree with you, however, the protection you’re looking for would be afforded by marriage; secular or religious.

What do you think a civil partnership (CP) would give you that a marriage wouldn’t? What is your objection to marriage? Essentially, it all boils down to the same thing, for me in any event. I appreciate that there are slight differences.

I agree with you though – this is a matter of equality. What’s sauce for the goose…….!

I think gay marriage and heterosexual CPs are the litmus test of equality. I would like to see one system of “legal unions”; irrespective of it’s name or the sexes of the participants. Period.

Best wishes

DT

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