Gay marriage activists warn ‘no time to be complacent’

Campaigners urge people to back government same-sex marriage plans in Britain as decision deadlines approach

Gay marriage activists warn ‘no time to be complacent’
23 May 2012

Gay marriage campaigners in Britain are urging people ‘not to be complacent’ as governments prepare to make a decision on the issue.

There is less than a month to go before a consultation on how to introduce same-sex marriage in England and Wales ends.

The Scottish government is due to publish the results of its same-sex marriage consultation in June and it is expected that the SNP administration will announce a decision on whether it will bring forward legislation soon after.

Most people in Britain support the change but so far it seems the biggest response has come from religious opponents to equality.

Equal marriage campaigners are making another push for supporters to take part in the government’s consultation and sign petitions for England and Wales, as well as Scotland.

Conor Marron, co-founder of the Coalition for Equal Marriage, said that despite believing that the UK government is commited to legalizing same-sex marriage, they will need evidence of strong public support if there is a free vote on the issue in parliament.

‘We need to let our representatives know that this is something we want, so that we get the votes we want,’ he told Gay Star News.

He added: ‘We still have a hell of a lot of opposition fighting against equal marriage plans who won’t stop until it’s written into law and probably won’t stop after that either.

‘The government is commited to it, but we can’t afford to be complacent. It’s not going to be a walk in the park for them or for us and we need to give the government our backing through the consultation.

‘We don’t want to give the opposition any opportunity to claim there isn’t any public support.’

Religious leaders and some politicians have compared marriage equality for gay people with slavery and polygamy.

Ben Summerskill, chief executive of UK gay rights group Stonewall, called for the ‘calm voices’ of lesbian and gay people to be heard in the debate.

A large number of Scottish politicians have yet to declare their position on same-sex marriage and the Scottish Government is due to make a decision in June.

In recent weeks, Scotland for Marriage, the campaign against same-sex marriage in Scotland, has admitted to spending over £50,000 on efforts to persuade politicians to reject same-sex marriage. 

Tom French, policy coordinator for the Equality Network, said: ‘Now is a really important time for the equal marriage campaign in Scotland.

‘With decision-time on the horizon, it is crucial we show the Scottish government that the vast majority of people do support same-sex marriage.

‘I urge anyone that supports equality to sign the petition and contact their MSPs today.’

Other initiatives include a series of Out4Marriage videos where individuals and celebrities back equality, supporting the Coalition for Equal Marriage (C4EM) petition and promoting a campaign video for C4EM.

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