Same-sex marriage WAS legal until 1971!
Well, as the saying goes, "you learn something new everyday"...This morning we have been reading a very interesting article by Peter Tatchell - Human Rights Campaigner who was one of the main driving forces behind legalising same-sex marriage in the UK.
In an article on the Huffington Post website, Peter explains that, until 1971 it was perfectly legal for LGBT couples to marry. Only in 1971 was the ban imposed. Below is an extract from the article which makes an interesting read:-
"The ban on same-sex marriage in England and Wales is being finally lifted after a campaign for its repeal that lasted 43 years. The ban was imposed for the first time in 1971. Previously, there was no legal prohibition on lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) couples getting married.
The 1949 Marriage Act does not require marriage partners to be male and female. The outlawing of same-sex marriage is a recent and historically brief invention by what was a deeply homophobic political and religious establishment." He later then goes on to explain "The coalition government made the legalisation of same-sex marriage needlessly complicated. All it had to do was repeal the law banning same-sex marriage. Under the main marriage statute, the Marriage Act 1949, there is no legal impediment to the marriage of LGBT couples. They are, by default, allowed to marry.
Instead, David Cameron and Nick Clegg chose the senselessly complicated, convoluted option of legislating a completely new set of marriage laws exclusively for same-sex partners.
We now have two separate marriage laws - the Marriage Act 1949 for opposite-sex couples and the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 for same-sex couples. This is not equality. It is segregation in law."
You can read the full article here
From what we've read, the government sure seems to have gone about things in a, long winded and complicated manor, I guess the result is same-sex couples can now marry legally but there seems to still be "difference", even in law.
For more information about Peter Tatchell's human rights campaigns, to receive his campaign e-bulletins and to make a donation: www.PeterTatchellFoundation.org