Government publishes gay equality proposals

The
Government has published proposals to enshrine a legal status for same-sex
relationships, that would extend the rights and responsibilities of gay
couples.

Under
a new Civil Partnership scheme those registered would gain legal recognition of
their relationship along with a range of new rights, including joint state
pensions.

Currently
gay couples have no way of being formally recognised, but the new laws would
enable them to make a legal commitment to each other.

A
number of rights and responsibilities would flow from Civil Partnership
registration to help couples to organise their lives together.

Rights
and responsibilities during the partnership might include:


joint state pension benefits


ability to gain parental responsibility for each other’s children


obligation to maintain each other financially.

Rights
and responsibilities following the death of one partner might include:


right to register the death of a partner


right to claim a survivor pension;


eligibility for bereavement benefits


compensation for fatal accidents or criminal injuries


recognition under inheritance and intestacy rules


tenancy succession rights.

By Ross Wigham

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