Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Tim Farron and his Equal Marriage Abstention

This is the email that Tim Farron sent to all Lib Dem members on April 18th 2012 and why I'm so disappointed with his abstention today:

Dear Chris,

One of our fundamental values as Liberal Democrats is our firm belief in equality.

This is why I need you to join the campaign for equal civil marriage.

Our party has always stood for individual liberty and the right to choose how we lead our lives. This is why I am a Liberal Democrat. It's why the party came into being in the 19th century to protect the rights of religious minorities. It's why we led the support for equality for women and why we decided before any other major party that civil marriage should be open to same-sex couples equally.

The Liberal Democrats in Government are now delivering on that. There's an ongoing consultation on how best to deliver equal civil marriage, which will lead to new legislation in this Parliament. The Government consultation asks about the best way to implement equal civil marriage, and our party conference agreed that the best way to do that is in the context of full equality of marriage and civil partnerships.

It's important that you, and as many people as possible, respond to this consultation now.

We've waited to get clarification from the Home Office on some ambiguously-worded questions, which we've now received. LGBT+ Liberal Democrats have prepared a guide to the consultation, what it means, and how to respond to support the Liberal Democrat policy of equality.

Best wishes,

Tim Farron MP
Liberal Democrat Party President 

PS For more detail on our LGBT+ campaigning, please see http://lgbt.libdems.org.uk/ or follow @lgbtld on Twitter.