||Dear marriage supporter,As the election approaches I thought you might like to know what the political parties are saying about marriage.David Cameron highlights same-sex marriage in his manifesto, saying it“helped drive forward equality and strengthened the institution of marriage”. This is despite the fact that most of his backbenchers voted against it.The Labour Party correctly say that it was their votes which got gay marriage onto the statute book.At the time, both Conservative and Labour Party leaderships brought huge pressure to bear on their MPs to back gay marriage. By contrast the Liberal Democrats seem to have had a genuinely free vote. But all three parties now talk about same-sex marriage as official policy and pledge to go further.
Same-sex marriage is not mentioned in the UKIP, SNP or Plaid Cymru manifestos.
Both the Conservatives and UKIP back the married couples’ allowance, which also applies to same-sex couples in a legal marriage or civil partnership. Labour, the Lib Dems, and the SNP pledge to scrap the married couples’ allowance.
Extracts from the manifestos are given below.
Over four out of five MPs from the last Parliament are seeking re-election. You should have received an email from us last month telling you how your MP voted on redefining marriage.
Ask all your candidates whether people should be punished for believing in traditional marriage. Our 30 Cases leaflet highlights some examples of concern.
We must keep on raising the issue of marriage because we know it really matters to the future of our country. The people elected on 7 May will make crucial decisions in the future, such as whether to reduce or increase legal protection for freedom of conscience and freedom of speech.
Coalition for Marriage
Extracts from the manifestos
Conservative Manifesto 2015
- “We will back the institution of marriage in our society, enabling married couples to transfer £1,060 of their tax-free income to their husband or wife, where the highest earner is a basic rate taxpayer. This applies to civil partnerships too”. (page 27)
- “Our historic introduction of gay marriage has helped drive forward equality and strengthened the institution of marriage. But there is still more to do, and we will continue to champion equality for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people.” (page 46)
Labour Manifesto 2015
- “We will create a fairer tax system, helping those on middle and lower incomes by introducing a lower 10p starting rate of tax, paid for by ending the Conservatives’ Marriage Tax Allowance.” (page 18)
Labour Party LGBT Manifesto 2015
- “Since Harold Wilson’s Government finally decriminalised homosexuality in 1967, Labour has continued to lead the fight for LGBT equality. We abolished the hateful section 28, equalised the age of consent, gave statutory rights for NHS fertility treatment for lesbians, created civil partnerships and delivered the votes that put equal marriage on the statute book.” (page 3)
Liberal Democrat Manifesto 2015
- Under ‘A Record of Delivery’: “Introduced equal marriage for gay and lesbian couples”. (page 105)
- “A fair society should treat its citizens equally and with dignity. In this Parliament, thanks to Liberal Democrats in government, there have been key advances in the fight for equality – like introducing same-sex marriage and banning age discrimination.” (page 105)
- The Liberal Democrats say they will: “Promote international recognition of same sex marriages and civil partnerships as part of a comprehensive International LGBT Rights Strategy that supports the cause of decriminalising homosexuality in other countries.” (page 107)
- They will also: “Give legal rights and obligations to cohabiting couples in the event of relationship breakdown or one partner dying without a will.” (page 107)
UKIP Manifesto 2015
- In the next Parliament, UKIP pledge to “increase the transferable personal tax allowance for married couples and civil partners”. (page 5) Again, UKIP will: “Increase the transferable tax allowance for married couples and civil partners to £1,500.” (page 7)
SNP Manifesto 2015
- “We will also look to release additional resources by backing a series of revenue raising measures…reversal of the married couples’ tax allowance”. (page 8)
Plaid Cymru Manifesto 2015 – no mention of same-sex marriage or marriage tax breaks
Green Party Manifesto 2015
- The Green Party manifesto pledges to: “Legislate to remedy inequality in pension inheritance for same-sex marriage partners and same-sex civil partners.” (page 26)