Peter Tatchell: Stonewall ‘selfish and self-centred’ for not supporting straight civil partnerships

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Peter Tatchell has criticised Stonewall’s decision not to support civil partnerships for heterosexual couples as “selfish and self-centred” during an Oxford University radio show.

On Monday evening, the human rights campaigner gave an interview to Queer DiscOx—the LGBTQ* disco and discussion radio show on Oxide Radio.

The campaigner was asked by Vishnu Strangeways, the host of Queer DiscOx, about Stonewall’s ideological branding.

Mr Tatchell replied: “It was very obvious during the same-sex marriage bill debates, Stonewall, the main gay rights charity, refused to support an end to the ban on opposite-sex civil partnerships”.

He continued: “That made them, the [gay rights] movement, come across as very selfish and self-centred. Stonewall had always said that this is about equality. Yet, when it came to the rights of opposite-sex couples to have a civil partnership, they wouldn’t support equality”.

Mr Tatchell added: “Equality means, or implies, an acceptance of the way things are and merely seeks to secure equal rights for LGBT people within that framework”.

He concluded: “It looks very, very selfish for an organisation like Stonewall to happily accept straight support for gay equality, but not to reciprocate with gay support for straight equality”.

The government will decide on civil partnerships for heterosexuals by Winter 2014. 

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said he supports civil partnerships for all in principle but it would not be “pragmatic” to bring it into the same-sex marriage legislation as it currently stands.

Announcing its support for equal marriage in October 2010, Stonewall confirmed it would not be campaigning for heterosexual civil partnerships. 

A spokesman from Stonewall told PinkNews: “Stonewall’s charitable objectives are promoting equality for lesbian, gay and bisexual people. That’s why we don’t campaign on this issue.”

Queer DiscOx broadcasts every Monday between 19:30-21:00 GMT on Oxide Radio.