These changes have reclassified all cohabiting same-sex lovers as the equivalent of civil partners, ending individual assessment of their benefit entitlements and replacing it with joint assessment. This change applies to lesbian and gay couples who are not civil partners and who do not want to be civil partners. Against their wishes, these lovers have been lumbered with the financial responsibilities that go with civil partnerships, but they get none of the rights and advantages.
The changes affect all couples where one partner is on means-tested benefits and the other has an income. Previously, gay relationships were not acknowledged or recognised in law. Each partner was assessed for benefits separately.
Because they are now jointly assessed, the partner claiming social security loses most or all of their means-tested benefits, including income support, housing benefit, pension credit, job seekers allowance, council tax benefit and free prescriptions and dental treatment. This loss is pushing some people into debt and bankruptcy and causing serious financial strain and worry.
What's the phrase that I'm looking for here? Oh, yes: tough shit.
What you're really saying, Peter, is that whilst gay couples should have all of the same rights as heterosexual couples because they are no different, actually they should be treated differently. Because now you, rightly, have your equality, you've suddenly realised that there are downsides to it.