UNISON is strongly in favour of full equality in marriage and civil partnership and welcomes the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill as an important step forwards.
However, we urge MPs to support the amendment on pensions equality and ask members to contact their MPs urgently. The Bill is being debated today and tomorrow, 20 and 21 May.
You can email your MP from this website.
Same-sex marriage matters for the individuals concerned, but it also has far wider ramifications in the message it sends about LGBT equality.
UNISON regrets that the proposal to treat same-sex marriages like civil partnerships – rather than like mixed-sex marriages – for the purposes of survivor pensions. This would have a devastating impact on a small and diminishing number of people. Correcting it would have negligible cost.
UNISON very much welcomes Kate Green MP’s intervention on this at committee stage and urges support for the amendment proposed by Liberty, which has been tabled by Caroline Lucas MP.
The union’s general secretary, Dave Prentis, said: ‘UNISON has long called for workers to be able to leave survivor pension benefits to their same-sex partner. It’s a simple matter of workplace justice. We had hoped to see complete equality with same-sex marriage.
“As worded now, the Bill perpetuates injustice, with devastating impact on affected couples. This simple amendment brings true equality and we strongly urge its adoption.”
To read more, download the pdf here. http://www.unison.org.uk/file/UNISON%20Same%20Sex%20Marriage%20Bill%20briefing.pdf