Joint Committee On Human Rights Written Evidence

36.Submission from Reverend Wena D Parry

  My community really welcome the proposed bill, most of its contents are above what we could hope for.

  However, "SCHEDULE 3" "MARRIAGE" has the affect of blackmailing me and my partner.

  We have been married for almost 44 years now, the bill as it stands demands that we divorce if 1 am to have my full human rights. We are Christians and the marriage vows are important to us and while the vows expect that "No man put asunder" that does not give the government the right to trespass on it. We have promised "Till death do us part" and the government expect that we should throw our vows aside.

  I do realise that we are not the only ones to be blackmailed by this draft Bill.

  We are deeply disappointed that married transsexual people will be blackmailed in this way, having to choose between legal recognition and keeping their families together. No one should be required to choose between their right to privacy and their right to a family, no one else in the UK faces such a choice.

  This is a heavy blow to those families where a marriage such as ours has survived gender transition, ridicule from neighbours and the press. Now to be in a state of limbo and continually without legal protection bought about by the government. We are both 64 years old and have to face such injustice.

  On a visit to my solicitors he expressed surprise that the government should insist on such a thing.

18 July 2003

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