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2010 National LGBT Conference
4 October 2010

Conference welcomes the progress in equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people under the last Labour government. Notable achievements include the introduction of civil partnership for same sex couples and the Gender Recognition Act, which gives trans people the opportunity to gain legal recognition of their acquired gender.

Conference notes that in the UK, marriage is only open to mixed sex couples and civil partnership is only open to same sex couples. While civil partnership gives virtually the same rights and responsibilities as marriage, the problems of having two systems are becoming increasingly obvious. Separate is not equal.

Issues include:

1.The fact that same sex couples cannot marry and that civil partnership is for same sex couples perpetuates homophobia, reinforcing the notion that same sex couples are not a real family;

2.Informing an employer or service provider of civil partnership is effectively a declaration of sexual orientation;

3.Trans people applying for gender recognition are forced to end any current marriage or civil partnership;

4.The process to register the same relationship as a ‘new’ marriage or civil partnership – essential for pension benefits, for example – is bureaucratic and humiliating;

5.Same sex spouses from the ten plus countries where they can legally marry are not recognised as married in the UK;

6.UK civil partnerships are not recognised in the vast majority of other countries, impacting on the free movement of labour;

7.Mixed sex couples who would prefer a civil partnership are denied this opportunity.

Conference calls on the NEC to campaign for:

A.Marriage and civil partnerships to be available without discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity;

B.Automatic recognition in the UK of same-sex marriages registered in other countries;

C.Increased recognition of same sex marriage and civil partnerships across the European Union and internationally.