first_imgGay partnerships received the backing of the Union’s governing body this week, as members voted to recognise the Government’s Civil Partnership Bill by 13 votes to 3. Ex-Treasurer, Laura Poots, proposed an amendment to allow same sex ‘spouses’ of Union members to qualify for membership, a privilege until now enjoyed only by those in heterosexual relationships. The Union “ought to be proactive”, Poots told the meeting. The Civil Partnership Bill, which seeks to give legal status and financial security to long term same sex couples, is currently in the committee stage of the House of Lords and is expected to become law early next year. Seconding the motion, Chris Farmer felt that the Union’s move would not only help overturn its image as old-fashioned and out of touch, but could also add pressure to ensure the bill achieved royal assent. However, prominent Catholics and Evangelicals amongst the Union’s Standing Committee felt that such an amendment before the passage of the Civil Partnership Bill into law would, in the words of Returning Officer, Alex Young, make it appear that the Society had simply “jumped on the bandwagon”. Timothy Ayles asserted that the proposed partnership “was an entirely different kettle of fish to marriage”, and expressed fears that it might allow any “Tom, Dick, or Harry” to join the Union. Yet despite the controversy regarding the Union’s stance, the result of the secret ballot (to ensure ‘personal and moral commitments’ were upheld) ensured the motion will have Standing Committee backing as it is debated by members in third week. governing body this week, as members voted to recognise the Government’s Civil Partnership Bill by 13 votes to 3. Ex-Treasurer, Laura Poots, proposed an amendment to allow same sex ‘spouses’ of Union members to qualify for membership, a privilege until now enjoyed only by those in heterosexual relationships. The Union “ought to be proactive”, Poots told the meeting. The Civil Partnership Bill, which seeks to give legal status and financial security to long term same sex couples, is currently in the committee stage of the House of Lords and is expected to become law early next year. Seconding the motion, Chris Farmer felt that the Union’s move would not only help overturn its image as old-fashioned and out of touch, but could also add pressure to ensure the bill achieved royal assent. However, prominent Catholics and Evangelicals amongst the Union’s Standing Committee felt that such an amendment before the passage of the Civil Partnership Bill into law would, in the words of Returning Officer, Alex Young, make it appear that the Society had simply “jumped on the bandwagon”. Timothy Ayles asserted that the proposed partnership “was an entirely different kettle of fish to marriage”, and expressed fears that it might allow any “Tom, Dick, or Harry” to join the Union. Yet despite the controversy regarding the Union’s stance, the result of the secret ballot (to ensure ‘personal and moral commitments’ were upheld) ensured the motion will have Standing Committee backing as it is debatedARCHIVE: 0th week TT 2004last_img

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