Posts Tagged ‘civil partnerships’

IB imageSnapshots of law, gender and sexuality news from the past couple of weeks.

Civil Partnerships Denied to Opposite Sex Couples

Catherine Ravenscroft, Durham University

The High Court has decided against a couple seeking judicial review to extend civil partnerships to opposite sex couples.A civil partnership is a relationship between two people of the same sex, formed when they register as civil partners of each other. It was originally intended to remedy a perceived gap in the law which denied formal legal protection to same-sex couples in long-term, committed relationships. Yet, since the enactment of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013, the status has been a contentious issue. Primarily, as identified by the Equal Civil Partnerships Campaign, this is because same-sex couples are now perceived to be granted additional protection beyond that available to heterosexual partnerships. A same-sex couple can choose to either marry or register their civil partnership, yet a heterosexual couple is limited only to marriage.


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IB imageSnapshots of law, gender and sexuality news from the past couple of weeks.

The Debate on whether Women should be able to Freely Breastfeed in the UK

Chelsea Seals, University of Manchester

There has been uproar this December as a woman, Louise Burns, was asked to cover herself up with a napkin whilst breastfeeding in Claridge’s, London.  A group of 25 mothers stood outside the five star hotel and breastfed in protest what they consider to be outrageous and ‘embarrassing’ behaviour by Claridge’s.  The group ‘Free to Feed’ organised the demonstration. This is group who believe that women should have the right to breastfeed their child wherever, and whenever it is necessary. Emily Slough, the founder of the Free to Feed organisation started up the movement after she was called a ‘tramp’ for breastfeeding her chid in public. She made the comments ‘We are here to show Claridge’s they are not above the law. But they have said nothing to us, they are pretending we’re not here’. Slough continued, ‘Every time something like this happens, many women are put off for life from breastfeeding. We’re here to challenge that stigma and show women it’s normal and natural’. Claridge’s responded to this by saying that they support breastfeeding, however they would prefer it was done discretely.

The Claridge’s debacle has raised the debate once again as to whether it is appropriate for women to breastfeed in public. Nigel Farage of UKIP commented that women should sit in corners to avoid offending people. However, while the display of breastfeeding is usually discreet in most cases anyway, when celebrities such as Rhianna and Miley Cyrus expose their breasts in public for ‘fashion’ or publicity reasons there is no outcry or offended people. (more…)

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Bhavna Bhagwan & Lou McGolpin

A few choice words…

Powerful testimony of Theresa May at the end of last week came at the right time, following the fallout from the Bill Aitken interview debacle. She said:

“Violence against women and girls remains one of the most significant gender inequalities in the modern world, both in the UK and abroad. I want to see an end to all forms of violence against women and girls”.

Harriet Harman made a striking observation on twitter on International Women’s Day 2010. She “Can’t believe that Stephen Obrien MP will lead Thursday Commons debate on int. women’s day. Absurd! Tory women “seen and not heard”. Well Ms Harman, we couldn’t agree more: frankly, it’s embarrassing.

Civil Partnerships

Pleasingly, the progress observed in our first post in mid-February continues. At that time, plans to implement s202 of the Equality Bill 2010 were being discussed, and Lynne Featherstone suggested that plans for equal marriage for all were afoot in Westminster. In the past fortnight, Tynwald has agreed the legalisation of same sex civil partnerships, which has been given royal assent and will become effective on 6 April. The Isle of Man legal system has developed at a very different pace to that of the Westminster parliament, homosexuality was in fact illegal until 1992. As such, this progress feels all the more significant. (more…)

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