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  • Forced marriages banned

    by Sunny
    2nd August, 2007 at 4:38 pm    

    Last week the government announced that the Forced Marriage Bill, which we have repeatedly referred to here, has received royal assent. When parliament comes back from recess it will be made into law. For various reasons, which I have outlined in article on CIF, I’m not happy about it.

    Related note: The F-Word blog has a post by Zohra Moosa on Gordon Brown’s record so far in promoting sex-equality, and one by Jess McCabe on the Daily Mail’s silly attempt to preach about promiscuity.

                  Post to

    Filed in: Sex equality

    9 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs

    1. nodn — on 2nd August, 2007 at 5:11 pm  

      Victory for the SBS! Hooray!

    2. Tim Worstall — on 2nd August, 2007 at 6:21 pm  

      Sorry, can you explain this to me? If it’s received Royal Assent then it is law, it’s the law of the land.

    3. Sunny — on 2nd August, 2007 at 6:26 pm  

      Oh right, cheers for the clarification. I wasn’t aware that was the case. I thought they had to pass it separately.

    4. Katy Newton — on 2nd August, 2007 at 10:07 pm  

      Forced marriages weren’t legal anyway!!!!

      Okay okay that is all I’m saying.

    5. Tim Worstall — on 3rd August, 2007 at 10:52 am  

      Sunny: Yes, they do have to pass it separately, but that comes first.
      The legislative process (keeping it simple though) is: Green Paper, a discussion document. Sorta, we’re thinking about this sorta stuff. White Paper: here’s the concrete proposals. Bill: Here’s the actual stuff we want to make law, in gory detail. The Bill is then discussed and voted upon in the Commons and Lords (can be either House first, but both must pass it)and there’s a number of stages, First Reading, Second, Committee stages, Third Reading etc.
      Only after that does a Bill receive Royal Assent and then it’s an Act, the law of the land.
      There are variations, but the process is both Houses, then Royal Assent.

    6. Galloise Blonde — on 3rd August, 2007 at 11:00 am  

      Good article Sunny.

    7. sonia — on 3rd August, 2007 at 3:23 pm  

      thanks for pointing that out Katy - i’m convinced that all this brouhaha has people thinking that till the bill was passed ‘banning’ forced marriage, it was therefore ‘not banned’ before.

      it beats me why the use of the term ‘banned’ is so popular, unless things have changed, it definitely implies it could have been done before.

      i guess its all this - ban books! ban this, ban that! type of thinking

    8. Arif — on 4th August, 2007 at 1:54 pm  

      The law seems reasonable to me as a vehicle for human rights. Whatever we can do to put human rights into law and then enforce those rights consistently seems to me the main justification for the law in the first place.

      But laws can’t do much about bullying practices, which mutate to control people in devious ways which it is hard for people to even articulate most of the time. That requires cultural action and intervention from us as individuals in our own families, jobs, schools and communities. Passing laws don’t take away that personal responsibility.

      I guess the governments “respect”, “citizenship” and other social engineering agendas can be seen as an attempt to promote the pesonal responsibility side of things. But Government can’t really reach that far into our heads - thank goodness. And do we really believe these lawmakers aren’t bullies in their own ways?

      Forced marriages will continue in subtle and unsubtle ways, and women (and men) will need to have safe means to escape other than going to the police. We are all a part of that means of escape.

    9. nodn — on 5th August, 2007 at 4:46 pm  

      btw- sunny, now who’s stealing thunder!?

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