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British Royalty Gender Equality Reform

By Charlotte Robinson, July 02, 2012
This is a nice light story to start your week. Under the current honors system in the UK wives of men made sirs or lords becomes ladies. However there isn’t an equivalent for husbands of gay men given titles, such as Sir Elton John's spouse David Furnish. The same dilemma falls on women who become dames. Their spouses also do not get a title. This week Tory MP Oliver Colville will introduce a ten minute rule Bill aimed at bringing equality to the system. The Honours (Equality of Titles for Partners) Bill will be launched in the Commons, asking, "that leave be given to bring in a Bill to make provision for husbands & civil partners of those receiving honors to be allowed to use equivalent honorary titles to those available to women. The current system is uneven & rather outdated. If you are made a peer or a knight, your wife automatically gets the title lady, but if you are gay or are a woman & become a dame your partner gets nothing. I just think it’s an anomaly which needs to be put right. In a lot of marriages, the other half ends up playing a very significant role in their career. I think we have got to make sure it's recognized in the same way for men & women, & in civil partnerships. It’s important that there’s equality in these things & I think this is something which needs to be sorted out.” Elton is not the only LGBT Brit this would affect. There’s Mark Bolland, Prince Charles former deputy private secretary, who’s in a civil partnership with Tory peer Lord Black of Brentford. Lord Smith of Finsbury who was one of the first openly gay MPs, will also be affected by the reforms. The former Labor minister is in a civil partnership with Dorian Jabri. Former Labor minister Angela Eagle who’s is in a civil partnership, stated, "I'm not a great fan of the honors system but, if you are going to have one, it ought to confer equal honors on everyone who is awarded one." Updates to Come...:)
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