Parliament to debate straight civil partnerships next week

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Parliament will discuss civil partnerships for straight couples next week – in a bill filed by a Tory MP who opposed marriage for gay couples.

Tim Loughton was a strong opponent of same-sex marriage in 2013, and was accused of trying to derail the legislation through a wrecking amendment.

However, the MP for East Worthing and Shoreham is next week pushing forward with a bill which would introduce civil partnerships as an alternative to marriage for straight couples.

Mr Loughton’s Ten Minute Rule Bill, the Civil Partnership Act 2004 (Amendment) Bill, is set to be debated in Parliament on Wednesday – and would amend civil partnership legislation to remove the words ‘same-sex’.

The vote is largely symbolic, as the government previously decided against introducing straight civil partnerships after an extensive public consultation.

However, pro-LGBT campaigners have backed the move in the past, with gay rights veteran Peter Tatchell and Green Party MP Caroline Lucas among those who have called for equal civil partnerships.


Mr Loughton previously insisted gay people asked him to vote against equal marriage, claiming of his opposition: ““I have also heard from a number of gay people telling me: ‘We don’t need this. We don’t want to go and get married’.”

In December 2013, Mr Loughton described the government’s handling of same-sex marriage as “rather crass and clumsily” executed.