UK Civil Unions Bill Defeated In Lords
by Peter Moore
(London) The House of Lords Thursday rejected a bill that would recognize same-sex couples, a crushing defeat for the government of Prime Minister Tony Blair.
The legislation, which has already passed the House of Commons, would have allowed same-sex couples to make a legal commitment to each other at a formal ceremony and have similar rights on pensions and property to heterosexual partners.
It would have given full recognition for the purposes of life assurance, the right to take over tenancy rights and pension benefits from a partner and an ability to gain parental responsibility for their civil partner's children.
Conservative Party lords who have consistently thwarted government attempts to pass gay positive legislation gutted the civil union bill by tacking on an amendment that would have extended the law to include relationships such as long term caregivers.