Gay partnerships received the backing of the Union’s
governing body this week, as members voted to recognise the
Government’s Civil Partnership Bill by 13 votes to 3. Ex-Treasurer, Laura Poots, proposed an amendment to allow same
sex ‘spouses’ of Union members to qualify for
membership, a privilege until now enjoyed only by those in
heterosexual relationships. The Union “ought to be
proactive”, Poots told the meeting. The Civil Partnership Bill, which seeks to give legal status
and financial security to long term same sex couples, is
currently in the committee stage of the House of Lords and is
expected to become law early next year. Seconding the motion, Chris Farmer felt that the Union’s
move would not only help overturn its image as old-fashioned and
out of touch, but could also add pressure to ensure the bill
achieved royal assent. However, prominent Catholics and
Evangelicals amongst the Union’s Standing Committee felt
that such an amendment before the passage of the Civil
Partnership Bill into law would, in the words of Returning
Officer, Alex Young, make it appear that the Society had simply
“jumped on the bandwagon”. Timothy Ayles asserted that the proposed partnership “was
an entirely different kettle of fish to marriage”, and
expressed fears that it might allow any “Tom, Dick, or
Harry” to join the Union. Yet despite the controversy
regarding the Union’s stance, the result of the secret
ballot (to ensure ‘personal and moral commitments’ were
upheld) ensured the motion will have Standing Committee backing
as it is debated by members in third week. governing body this week, as members voted to recognise the
Government’s Civil Partnership Bill by 13 votes to 3. Ex-Treasurer, Laura Poots, proposed an amendment to allow same
sex ‘spouses’ of Union members to qualify for
membership, a privilege until now enjoyed only by those in
heterosexual relationships. The Union “ought to be
proactive”, Poots told the meeting. The Civil Partnership Bill, which seeks to give legal status
and financial security to long term same sex couples, is
currently in the committee stage of the House of Lords and is
expected to become law early next year. Seconding the motion, Chris Farmer felt that the Union’s
move would not only help overturn its image as old-fashioned and
out of touch, but could also add pressure to ensure the bill
achieved royal assent. However, prominent Catholics and
Evangelicals amongst the Union’s Standing Committee felt
that such an amendment before the passage of the Civil
Partnership Bill into law would, in the words of Returning
Officer, Alex Young, make it appear that the Society had simply
“jumped on the bandwagon”. Timothy Ayles asserted that the proposed partnership “was
an entirely different kettle of fish to marriage”, and
expressed fears that it might allow any “Tom, Dick, or
Harry” to join the Union. Yet despite the controversy
regarding the Union’s stance, the result of the secret
ballot (to ensure ‘personal and moral commitments’ were
upheld) ensured the motion will have Standing Committee backing
as it is debatedARCHIVE: 0th week TT 2004 


For Cherwell, maintaining editorial independence is vital. We are run entirely by and for students. To ensure independence, we receive no funding from the University and are reliant on obtaining other income, such as advertisements. Due to the current global situation, such sources are being limited significantly and we anticipate a tough time ahead – for us and fellow student journalists across the country.

So, if you can, please consider donating. We really appreciate any support you’re able to provide; it’ll all go towards helping with our running costs. Even if you can't support us monetarily, please consider sharing articles with friends, families, colleagues - it all helps!

Thank you!