A document published in the name of Penny Mordaunt, member of the Conservative Party, suggesting the scrapping of civil marriage led to media reports on the possibility. Mordaunt, however, has called reports inaccurate although did not state which parts were false.
The document had stated, “If demand for civil partnerships remains low and this becomes a stable position, this might suggest that same-sex couples no longer see this as a relevant way of recognising their relationships, and that Government should consider abolishing or phasing out civil partnerships entirely.”
It does however continue, “If significant demand for civil partnerships remains over time, this may indicate that the institution still has relevance.”
One of the leading problems with this is the fact that as marriage equality was once again denied to same-sex couples in Northern Ireland, because an objection from a backbench Conservative MP to a private member’s bill introduced by Labour MP Conor McGinn, civil partnership is still the only similar option currently available to couples in the north.
Mordaunt’s own response to reports stated, “We commissioned some research to test attitudes among same sex couples and opposite sex couples about civil partnerships to help inform us about what we do next. Quotes attributed to Minister for Women and Equalities Penny Mordaunt by the were taken from a policy paper on this research. We are open minded on this matter, and want to hear people’s views.”
On the case of same-sex marriage being blocked by a Conservative backbencher, a member of the same party as Mordaunt, MP Conor McGinn stated, “Hundreds of thousands of people in Northern Ireland who support the right of same-sex couples to marry will be outraged that one English Tory MP has been able to prevent the progress of my Equal Marriage Bill in the House of Commons today.”
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