Natalie Bennett open to three-way marriage plans

Natalie Bennett campaigns in London's Soho yesterday. Picture: Getty
Natalie Bennett campaigns in London's Soho yesterday. Picture: Getty
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GREEN Party leader Natalie Bennett has said she is open to discussing the possibility of legalising three-way marriages.

Ms Bennett had been asked whether the Greens would support group civil partnerships and marriages.

We have led the way on many issues related to the liberalisation of legal status in adult consenting relationships

Natalie Bennett

She was quizzed by a Pink News reader who said he was living with two boyfriends in a stable long-term relationship and asked: “Is there room for Green support on group civil partnerships or marriages?”

Ms Bennett replied: “At present, we do not have a policy on civil partnerships involving more than two people. We are, uniquely in this country, a party whose policies are developed and voted for by our members.

“We have led the way on many issues related to the liberalisation of legal status in adult consenting relationships, and we are open to further conversation and consultation on this issue.”

Ms Bennett denied that being open to three-way marriages was “outlandish” and said the Greens were simply willing to listen to any evidence in favour of it.

The Green Party leader said she had no personal view on whether marriage could be extended to relationships involving three, or even more, people.

Speaking at the launch of the Greens’ LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and questioning) manifesto in London, Ms Bennett said: “What I said was, we’d listen to the evidence on any issue, we believe in evidence-based policy-making. I have no personal view on this at all. This is the first time the question has been put to me so what I’m prepared to do is always listen to evidence.”

Asked if more moderate left-wing voters might be put off Green policies they see as outlandish, Ms Bennett replied: “I don’t think saying we will listen to the evidence is in any way outlandish. We have, for example, very bad laws that have created the war on drugs that comes from the result that we haven’t had evidence-based policy-making.

“Caroline Lucas, the Green MP, put forward a call for the review of the 1971 drugs laws that have never been reviewed. Calling for evidence-based policy-making is a position that we should see in a great many more areas.”

Ms Bennett went leafleting in Soho to draw attention to the Greens’ policies to promote LGBTIQ rights, which include a review of the ban on blood donation and plans for more inclusive sex education from primary school onward.

After a walk down Old Compton Street, the heart of the district’s gay scene, Ms Bennett rallied supporters in Soho Square, where she said protecting LGBTIQ asylum seekers from systemic abuse was an issue particularly close to her heart. She also pledged to improve services for transgender people and ensure Commonwealth countries do more to promote LGBTIQ rights.

Ms Bennett said: “LGBTIQ rights have come a long way since the millennium but there’s still an awful long way to go, as our manifesto sets out. Homophobia, transphobia and biphobia are still too common and too many people fear their impact in the workplace, in their schools and on the streets.”

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