Equal Marriage

One of the crowning achievements of our time in the coalition was legalising same-sex marriage.

This was a key part of our manifesto in 2010, and despite it not being in either the Labour or Tory manifestos, we negotiated for it to be in the coalition agreement – and under the incredible work of Lynne Featherstone in the Home Office, we passed the legislation in 2013.

But same-sex marriage in Britain is a long way from equal marriage in the UK.

Northern Ireland has not been able to pass same-sex marriage legislation, despite it having a majority of support in Stormont and a majority of the population in favour of it.

As Northern Ireland has not had a government for nearly three years, MPs in Westminster passed legislation this summer to bring in same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland if by 21st October there is not yet a government in place – bringing Northern Ireland in line with the law in the rest of the United Kingdom.

The motion the Liberal Democrats have passed today reiterates our commitment to extend same-sex marriage across the UK.

The motion also calls for the removal of the hugely unfair spousal veto.

Because same-sex marriage is distinct to opposite-sex marriage under the law, a couple cannot move between a same-sex and opposite-sex marriage without the consent of both partners. As a result, if you are married to someone who is trans, you can block them from legally changing their gender.

This legal technicality is causing huge amounts of distress to married trans people, as many have to go through the often years-long process of getting a divorce before they are able to legally change their gender.

The right to live your truth and have the law legally recognise your gender is a human right, and it should be enshrined in law.

The motion that the Liberal Democrats have put forward would guarantee that.

You can read the full motion here:

Read the motion!