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Stonewall pleads for gays to say ‘I do’ to same-sex marriage

With two weeks left until UK government consultation ends, Stonewall appeals for supporters to balance out religious bigots on same-sex marriage
Ben Summerskill of Stonewall wants supporters to back same-sex marriage.

Campaigners have just two weeks left to get gay rights supporters to take part in the UK government’s consultation on same-sex marriage.

Britain’s leading lesbian, gay and bisexual campaign organization, Stonewall, has sent out a final appeal for people to take part in the consultation which ends on 14 June.

Technically the UK government is only consulting about how to introduce gay civil marriage equality in England and Wales, rather than if they should make the move.

But the consultation so far has been dominated by religious-right opponents to gay equality – even though religious organizations wouldn’t be allowed to marry same-sex couples even if they wanted to.

The government has promised to introduce equal marriage by 2015. The proposal was not included in the recent Queen’s Speech, which sets out the parliamentary agenda for the year, but Stonewall is lobbying the government to press ahead with implementing its promise in the next 12 months in any case.

Stonewall chief executive Ben Summerskill said: ‘Opponents of this modest proposal have compared same-sex relationships to bestiality, child abuse and polygamy. That sort of vitriol means it’s essential that every single person who supports equality makes his or her voice heard.

‘Thousands of bigots are doing everything they can to wreck this final step towards full equality for 3.3 million gay people in England and Wales. If you support equal marriage, it’s not enough to just talk or tweet about it. Responding to the consultation takes less than five minutes, but it could improve millions of people’s lives forever.’

Stonewall has its own guide to completing the government’s consultation which includes a link to the consultation and details of Stonewall’s response. The charity has also created Facebook banners and profile pictures people can use to encourage their friends and family to complete the consultation.

You can also take part in the consultation directly here. It is easy to complete with multiple-choice questions, although you can add additional remarks if you wish.

A separate consultation has already taken place in Scotland where proposals differ, allowing religious organizations to offer gay weddings if they wish to, although it would not be compulsory. The Scottish government is expected to announce the results soon.

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