Party President Tim Farron has e-mailed members tonight to ask them to respond positively to Lynne Featherstone’s consultation on introducing equal civil marriage in England. As you’ll no doubt remember, I spent much of the last 3 months of last year urging people to respond to the Scottish one. We’ve yet to find out whether the SNP will wimp out on this. I hope not and that they will allow civil marriage and religious marriage on a voluntary basis.
The Equality Network up here managed to drum up 24000 supportive responses. The Churches are pretty effective at getting their people to put in anti messages and people with our view can be a bit lazy sometimes. It’s fabulous to see that both he and Willie Rennie have championed this issue and are very comfortable talking about it.
We’ll find out soon what the SNP Government up here intends to do. I hope that they don’t wimp out, fearful at losing support for independence, which seems to be the only thing they care about. I think they should legislate for both civil and religious equal marriage, but not to compel any religious organisation to carry out ceremonies. It’s the most liberal solution that I can see.
I’d have liked the English consultation to include religious ceremonies – but if enough people respond and say they’d like to see that, then it might change their mind.
I think what’s also good is that there seems to be a bit of co-ordination going on between Tim’s office and LGBT+ Lib Dems.
A slight niggle, though, to report to the wonderful internal comms people. I know I complain all the time about Scots not being included in things, but we probably shouldn’t have got this e-mail. Although we can’t respond ourselves, though, we can nag our friends south of the border to do so. Consider yourself nagged. You have until 14th June to make your voice heard.
Here’s Tim’s e-mail in full:
Liberal Democrat Party President