Sir Roger Gale
Member of Parliament for North Thanet (Margate, Herne Bay & The Villages)
Same Sex Marriage – Local Press “Report”
February 8th 2013
North Thanet`s MP, Sir Roger Gale, has this (Friday) morning issued the following statement:
“I do not read or, with good reason, write for, The Isle of Thanet Gazette.
My attention has, however been drawn, by a local newsagent, to articles purporting to offer my view, and comment upon , same-sex marriage.
At the risk of spoiling “a good story” but in the interest of fact the basis of the report, which I was not invited to comment upon, suggesting that “Sir Roger Gale suggested that same-sex marriage would pave the way for incest” is what is known in journalism as “a lie”.
During the Commons debate, which I have to assume the author of the Gazette report has clearly not studied, I made the proposal that Civil marriages and the Civil Partnership should both be abolished to be replaced with a “Civil Union” open to all who did not want to enter into a faith marriage in church. This Union would, in addition to heterosexual and gay couples, certainly also include siblings (brothers and sisters for the benefit of the IOTG Editor) who are at present not afforded the protection in law and in property rights from Civil Partnership because the last Labour Government specifically excluded this small group of people from the provisions of the Act. This is called “equality”. It means that people who have lived together as, for example, spinster sisters for very many years would no longer face the fear of having to sell the roof from over their heads in order to pay inheritance tax when one “partner” dies. I appreciate that certain sections of the Press find this disappointing but it has nothing whatsoever to do with sex, or incest, at all.
My proposal for the separation of State and Church in the matter of civil union and what is generally understood as marriage as between one man and one woman would, I believe, remove government from an arena in which it ought not to seek to interfere while at the same time creating genuine equality as between all of those whose partnerships need to be properly registered and recorded in law.
A former Labour Minister, a member of the Civil Partnerships Bill Committee that I chaired, has sought to misrepresent my constructive proposals as “comparing gay marriage to incest”. The irony is that it was that Member of Parliament and his colleagues who denied the very equality to siblings that I am seeking, fairly to achieve – a fact that is slowly dawning upon those who have chosen to leap to incorrect conclusions while finding much favour with those whose lives have been blighted by exclusion from the Civil Partnershps Act and who got the message immediately.”