The UK government's priorities will be 'economic growth, justice and constitutional reform'
The Queen did not mention gay marriage once in the state opening of UK parliament today, sparking disappointment among LGBT rights groups.
In a speech hailing the importance of family and uniting in a time of austerity and difficult times, Queen Elizabeth II’s state opening of parliament focused on fiscal issues.
As part of the same sweeping reforms as modernising the House of Lords, it was expected by human rights groups the Queen would discuss gay marriage.
The UK government launched a 12-week public consultation on gay marriage on 15 March.
UK-based gay rights charity Stonewall’s chief executive Ben Summerskill said: ‘We’re disappointed that this modest measure has not been included in the Queen’s Speech.
‘We trust that extension of the legal form of marriage to gay people isn’t going to turn into a “tuition fees” issue, announced with much hoopla in the run-up to an important election and then abandoned.
‘Stonewall will fight on to push both coalition parties to deliver on their promise to implement this measure by 2015.’
The UK is currently in a double-dip recession and suffering a 17 year high of unemployment.
In her 69th speech, the Queen opened by saying: ‘My government’s legislative programme will focus on economic growth, justice, and constitutional reform.
‘My ministers’ first priority will be to reduce the deficit and restore economic stability.’
The Queen’s Speech is a parliamentary announcement read by Elizabeth II stating what her government will be doing in the next 12 months.
After hearing the speech, the British public understand more about the coalition government’s priorities. It is estimated there were roughly 19 bills in the speech.
On Sunday (6 May) it was reported in national newspapers that David Cameron said ‘it was not the time’ to push for gay marriage after poor election results, although this was later dismissed.
It was revealed on Monday (7 May) that the Queen’s Speech would likely not mention gay marriage, with Conservative George Osborne saying it was ‘not a priority’.
Liberal Democrat spokesman James Holt told Gay Star News: ‘It’s just that it was never planned to be in the Queen’s Speech. The simplest thing is the legislation isn’t ready yet.
‘Now the plan is, and always has been, that the equal marriage legislation will come in during the third session of parliament.
‘The government has given a commitment to make sure it is legislated for 2015. That’s what they’ve said publically. That is the plan and they’ve remained committed to the plan.’
You can take part in the government’s consultation on equalizing civil marriage here.