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article imageAppeal to William and Kate: Support marriage for gays

By Andrew John     Apr 21, 2011 in Entertainment
Prince William and Catherine Middleton can marry on April 29, but same-sex couples aren’t allowed to. This is the message from the Equal Love Campaign in the UK, who have produced a giant wedding card for the couple.
The card will go on display outside Buckingham Palace, the residence of Queen Elizabeth II, on Easter Monday (April 25).
“As well as wishing the royal couple happiness, the card will highlight the fact that William and Kate can marry, but same-sex couples can’t,” said the coordinator of the 12 noon event, human-rights crusader Peter Tatchell, representing the campaign.
In a news release for Equal Love today, Tatchell continues: “Our event will urge the royal couple to support moves to end the ban on gay marriages. We want equal marriage rights for all couples, regardless
Prince William of Wales and Catherine Middleton.
Prince William of Wales and Catherine Middleton.
The Royal Household
of sexual orientation. It is our hope that they might be the first royal couple to express support for marriage equality.”
He said Prince William and Middleton were a “modern young couple” and he would not wish to seem them discriminated against.
“Denying people the right to marry is appalling discrimination,” he says.
“Kate and William had a choice. They could get married, or not. They chose to marry. Fine. Same-sex couples don’t have this choice. We are banned from marriage by law.”
Couples involved in the Equal Love campaign will join the card demonstration on Monday. In February, some of them filed an application in the European Court of Human Rights to end the legal prohibition on same-sex marriage and opposite-sex civil partnerships.
“Even if people don’t agree with marriage, the prohibition on gay marriage is homophobic and should be overturned. We must not let the government dictate that lesbian and gay couples cannot get married,” says Tatchell, a founding member of the gay-rights group OutRage!.
“The 25 April event is an affirmation of our opposition to discrimination in marriage law. We want to show our support for the right of everyone to be able to choose whether or not to get married.”
Tatchell wants gay people and their straight friends to sign up to join the event on Facebook.
The campaign’s statement continues:
We wish William and Kate every happiness. May they have a joyful marriage and a wonderful married life together.
The royal couple are lucky. They have the option to get married. Gay couples don’t have this option. They are barred by law from marriage.
We urge Kate and William to support marriage equality: the right of same-sex couples to get married. Their support would mean a lot. They take for granted the right to marry. Marriage is something that many lesbian and gay couples want but cannot have.
Gay marriage is a simple issue of respect, equality and fairness. In a democracy, we should all be equal before the law. This means an equal right to marry, regardless of sexual orientation.
Gay couples are allowed civil partnerships. But this is not equality. They cannot get married in a register office like their heterosexual family and friends. This is discrimination and discrimination is wrong.
There would be uproar if the government banned Jewish people from marriage and offered them civil partnerships instead. We would call it an anti-Semitic law; something we would expect in Nazi Germany not democratic Britain. Well, Jews are not banned from marriage but gay people are.
The ban on gay civil marriages is opposed by nearly two-thirds of the British people, according to an opinion poll by Populous in June 2009. The poll found that 61% of the public believe that: “Gay couples should have an equal right to get married, not just to have civil partnerships.” Only 33% disagreed.
Peter Tatchell reckons that, if a new poll were taken today, it would “almost certainly” register even more public support for marriage equality – and for the right of heterosexual couples to have a civil partnership, from which they are banned.”
Recently, Britain’s Con–Dem Coalition Government promised that same-sex marriage would become a reality.
In her first major speech on gay rights as Home Secretary, Teresa May also spoke of allowing same-sex ceremonies to be held on religions premises: “No religious group will be forced to host a civil-partnership registration,” she said, “but for those who wish to do so this is an important step forward, not just for lesbian, gay and bisexual rights but also for religious freedom.”
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