Green MP Caroline Lucas: Our marriage laws are still ‘outdated’ and ‘offensive’

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Green MP Caroline Lucas has urged the government to bring forward laws to end the “offensive and outdated message” that marriage is a “business transaction between fathers”.

Ms Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion, has criticised the current regulations which maintain a marriage certificate must ask details of the fathers, but not the mothers of the betrothed.

The Argus reports she said: “Our law should not perpetuate the grossly outdated message that marriage should be seen as a business transaction between the father of the bride and the father of the groom.

“I call on the Home Secretary to change this law without delay and allow people to recognise the importance of mothers on their marriage certificates.”

The motion tabled in Parliament has so far been signed by 26 MPs.

It follows a petition, which has attracted more than 37,500 signatures calling for the names of mothers to be included alongside those of fathers.

Writing for PinkNews on 29 March, the day of the first same-sex marriages in England and Wales, Ms Lucas warned that inequality remains in the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act in the form of pensions and gender recognition.

The Equality Act 2010 contains a loophole allowing for private occupational pension schemes to ignore years of contributions by gay employees and limit survivor benefits for civil partners.

Ms Lucas, along with a succession of MPs and peers from all sides of the political divide pressed the case for the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act for England and Wales to close the loophole ahead of Royal Assent last year.

But the government resisted the demand and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) warned that the cost of equalising pensions would be £18 million.

DWP subsequently announced a review of the imbalance. It will report later this year.

Ms Lucas has continuously lobbied for an end to the spousal veto, which requires a married trans person to obtain written consent from their spouse before they can be granted gender recognition.

Unlike in Scotland’s same-sex marriage law, the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act for England and Wales still includes this discriminatory requirement.