Peers in the UK House of Lords backed a government bill today paving the way for gay couples to marry. It is set to become law by the end of the week, with the first weddings in 2014.
So the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill just came a large step closer to being passed; shame about the horrible spousal veto bit they snuck in with it, requiring trans* folks to get the written permission of their spouses before they’re allowed to apply for a GRC (Gender recognition Certificate – what you need to be legally recognised in the gender you have transitioned to). A step forward for the LGB part of LGBT rights – and a huge step backwards and a slap in the face for the oft-forgotten T part.
And all those trans people who were forced to divorce their partners before transitioning and then settle for a civil partnership – effectively having their marriages stolen from them – are not getting them back. Existing civil partnerships cannot be converted into a legal marriage. So they have to either go through all the expense and stress of another divorce then properly remarrying again, or settle for the lesser rights afforded them in law by their existing civil partnership. This post by Sarah Brown explains just why UK trans* people are not happy about the spousal veto. Trans* people actually lost civil rights with the advent of the Gender Recognition Act, and now the State is trying to claw even more rights away from them.
You’ll excuse me if I’m not exactly waving flags enthusiastically as the trans* community – including nearly half my friends circle here in London – gets right royally fucked over yet again. This isn’t equal marriage yet – not by a long way. The L & G parts of the LGBT community have merrily thrown the T part under the bus in their push to get same-sex marriage made law – but the Ts aren’t going to take this lying down.
The fight is far from over.