I think Hazel Blears is right on the money about the Conservatives. Let’s face it, it wasn’t they who proposed Civil Partnership legislation or any of the other equality laws. If they were truly interested in equality and really wanted to court the Gay vote, Cameron would have gone out on a limb and trounced Tony Blair. The fact is, he didn’t. So beware, Hazel is right about them. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security by Cameron. His is still the party of the establishment and the majority of them are homophobic, period.Robert
Illegal war in the middle east, millions left in poverty for their old age because someone’s been plundering the pension funds, the NHS torpedoed and sinking (yes, I know they created it, but it doens’t mean they have the right to destroy it), the gap between richest and poorest growing exponentially, higher taxation that we have every paid before, fines for for failing to help the environment by recycling your gin bottles from a government that is bringing back nuclear power, prisons full of criminals (as are the streets judging by the crime figures), but equality legislation introduced that would have been forced on us by Europe had we not done so.Jesus Christ some people live in a vacuum. I wouldn’t trust Labour to run a bath.
Im a tory, and right wing, and I am a Councillor. My husband and I have been to 2 Civil Ceremonies, and are certainly NOT against them, in fact we support our friends who got married. Hazel blears is a nasty little pixie who just craves attention….
Gravatar David Cameron is the only party leader to have publicly put civil partnerships on an equal footing with marriage (in his main Conservative Party Confreence speech last autumn), something the Labour party have consistently refused to do so.As for Labour’s Dear-Leader-In-Waiting, Gordon Brown has (as publicised last year by Pink News) consistenly refused to support or vote on any gay related legistaltion.I’m sure there are plently of older generation Labour supporters who would equally refuse to attend a civil partnership.This article is a non-story, and perhaps chipmunk Blears would do better focusing her ‘homophobic’ accusations at (gay?) Gordon Brown
Alan, thank you for the compliment. I am in fact a native Brit living in New York City for 29 years and have dual nationality. I’ve always maintained an avid interest in all things political, especially when it comes to the UK. I can be more objective living over here but from my observations over the past decade of the political situation in the UK, it is quite obvious that the Labour Party has done far more than any Tory government have ever done in the interests of fairness and equality, though there is much more work to do.As your probably aware, our state Governor, Eliot Spitzer recently drafted legislation to grant Gay citizens full marriage equality in our state, though it has little chance of passing the first time around because of the conservative (republican) controlled state assembly, and in California, Gay marriage legislation has passed the state Assembly comfortably for the second time, but it two is expected to be vetoed by that state’s governor. So you see, marriage is the gold standard and our own governor is aware that Civil Unions do not offer equality at the national level. Inevitably, it will pass in both states once the Democrats (read Labour) are returned to office.Message for JP, the fact that David Cameron equates Civil Partnership with Marriage is a foil to attract moderate Labour voters. People seem to think that Civil Partnerships are the end of the road for LGBT equality. Dead wrong! If Civil Parnterships in Cameron’s view are on an equal footing, then why not officially declare CPs as legally recognised marriage once and for all? Maybe you should advocate your party to merge them into the Marriage Causation Act of 1973 and then see if Cameron and his party are truly supportive of marriage equality. Until then, his are just empty words to trick Gays into giving him their vote. Yes, there is homophobia in both parties, that will never change, but let’s face it, full equality will never be achieved with a Tory government in power. If they had taken the lead before Blair came to power, then we would not be having this discussion.Robert, ex-pat Brit, USA
Gravatar As a gay man and a conservative councillor I don’t recognise Hazel Blears description of the conservative party. When I first told my conservative friends that I was gay I was touched by how supportive they were.But before throwing these insults around I hope the would be deputy leader of the labour party is certain homophobia doesn’t exist in her own constituency party or elsewhere in the Labour movement. Personally I think we should condemn homophobic views regardless of where they come from, rather than blaming one political party or another for them.
Gravatar With respect Frieda, Civil Partnerships are not marriages, they are just legal unions that offer most of the rights of marriage, nothing more. The Labor government is on record as stating that they are not marriages, lets not delude ourselves but I applaud your comfort zone attending such ceremonies.My apologies to Alan and JP in my previous comments. I meant to have said…”it too is expected…” in regard to New York and California full marriage equality legislation.Robert, ex-pat Brit, USA
Indeed Hazel?…..and would your pal Gordon go to a Civil Partnership Ceremony too? Almost certainly not.There is a shedload of homophobia in New Labour but it is just hidden by a load of insincere politically correct homophilic hogwash.Deeds not words,Hazel – and the Tories realised the size of the Gay Vote some time ago just as much as New Labour,belatedly,now does.As Chancellor,Brown opposed the financial provisions of the Civil Partnership Act which act in any case was only introduced into British law years after the French and Germans and most of the EU under EU regulations.The truth is that Labour has dragged its feet with the best on Gay Rights and the impetus for it has come from Brussels not the Labour Party.
Alan | Edit comment Delete comment | 06.07.07 – 7:40 pm | #Gravatar Indeed Hazel?…..and would your pal Gordon go to a Civil Partnership Ceremony too? Almost certainly not.There is a shedload of homophobia in New Labour but it is just hidden by a load of insincere politically correct homophilic hogwash.Deeds not words,Hazel – and the Tories realised the size of the Gay Vote some time ago just as much as New Labour,belatedly,now does.As Chancellor,Brown opposed the financial provisions of the Civil Partnership Act which act in any case was only
“Ms Blears said: “This is astonishing. One third of Conservatives would snub a friend’s invitation to a Civil Partnership, and the only possible explanation is homophobia.”Dear Hazel – looking at http://www.hazelblears.com – I have just ploughed through my way through “Building on Success – Labour’s way forward” – all 28 pages of it and stripe me,I cannot find the word “gay” or “lesbian” in it! As your brother might say from behind the steering wheel of his bus – “engage brain before opening gob”.
With all the posturing over she said, he said nonsense, the fact of the matter remains, there is plenty of homophobia to go around in both parties, in all parties in fact. Having said that, if the Tory party were so supportive of equality for Gay and Lesbian citizens, then why did it not take the lead way ahead of the Labor Party from the outset? Does anyone have an answer? Whatever way you look at it, the UK has always dragged its feet on these issues and in most cases had to comply with EU rulings such as the right for openly Gay men and women to serve in the military as an example. It didn’t do it because it genuinely felt it was the right thing to do. This had nothing to do with any government interested in equality, the UK was forced to accept the ruling. The only reason why Civil Partnership laws were enacted was the fear that perhaps full marriage equality might have been another issued that might have ended up as a potential EU ruling that member states would have to accept. I look forward to the day that happens I might add. Several western European countries had some degree of equality in place as far back as the late 90s (Denmark being the very first in 1996 I believe) only to be eclipsed by the true democracies who went all the way with marriage equality (full equality that is) in Holland, Belgium and Spain. The UK has a long way to go to full equality but don’t expect that to happen under an Tory government either. It could have taken the lead long ago, but it didn’t and it speaks volumes.Robert, ex-pat Brit, USA.
I can answer that Robert (Having said that, if the Tory party were so supportive of equality for Gay and Lesbian citizens, then why did it not take the lead way ahead of the Labor Party from the outset?) The Labour party didn’t lead the way, equality legislation was being forced on us by the EU. In order to court a few votes from the gay community Labour introduced legislation to prevent descrimination hailing themselves as Dorothy’s new best friend. I’m sure had the Tories won the last two elections we would have seen exactly the same changes.I can’t believe how easily some members of our community are duped and prepared to overlook all of the damage Labour has done to this country.The overweight and and smokers are having health services denied at the moment on £clinical£ grounds. Another couple of years and those with HIV will probably similarly be denied access to life saving operations on £clinical£ grounds.
Sister Mary Clarence, thank you. So equality laws were forced on the EU,why was the UK singled out while others like Italy, Greece, Ireland, Estonia, Latvia, Poland and others weren’t? Even if the Tories had been in power instead of Labour, do you seriously believe that without EU intervention the Tories would have taken the lead or been amenable to the needs of the Gay electorate? I doubt it. Were any Tories a party to the negotiations with Stonewall and the Labour Party for drafting equality legislation? I haven’t heard much about that. The only way the Tory Party will be enable to attract more Gay voters is if it supports hate-crime legislation; eases the restrictions on foreign Gay asylum seekers from hostile, anti-gay regimes;opens Civil Partnerships to heterosexuals who choose not to marry or better yet, pushes for a merging of the Civil Partnership law into the Marriage Causation Act. That would indeed be full equality.Robert, ex-pat Brit.
The UK Civil Partnership Act never had anything to do with European Union regulations. Some European Union countries have no formal legal recognition of same-sex couples at all, such as Italy, Greece, Ireland, Malta, and many of the Eastern European states. The same can be said for adoption by same-sex couples. You can see the various forms of legal recognition of same-sex relationships across Europe here:
Alan, thank you for clarifying that Civil Partnerships had nothing to do with EU regulations. I thought it was odd when Sister Mary Clarence said the opposite in her response to my previous posting. I thought to myself, if the EU had indeed mandated regulations to force equality laws on the UK, then why did it not apply to every member nation of the EU that does not recognize equality let alone provide laws to remedy that. Again, thank you.Robert, ex-pat.
Have enjoyed reading your comments, so will someone in public office in the UK make the Civil Partnership Act into full Equality and call it marriage. We have not got full Equality until this is done. Having lived on Long Island NY ourselves, our gay American friends have always looked to the ‘mother’ country to enshrine gay marriage into law. As it stands at the moment we believe some states are now legalising into law Marriage for Lesbian and Gay peoples. But, this will not help us because in the eyes of Immigration Policy in USA, UK citizens whom have had a legal Civil Partnership in the UK will still not be recognised as married.
Alan, I’ve just read that the DUP of Northern Ireland opposes adoption by Gays and unmarried couples. Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t Civil Partnerships supposed to provide all the rights and privileges of marriage or not? If they did not, then truly they cannot be equal to marriage as many claim.Robert, ex-pat Brit.
Pete Michael, as you know the state of Massachusetts is the only state in the USA which grants full marriage to Gay couples, but the downside of it is that in that state, none of the Gay couples who married there are entitled to any of the 1100 or more federal benefits, rights and/or privileges afforded heterosexual married couples. Instead,they only joy state benefits, the same as Civil Unions in Vermont, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Connecticut. Some of the federal rights that come with full marriage also protect children but for married Gay couples in Massachusetts, their children are not protected by any of those laws which means that both the parents and the children are discriminated against, sanctioned by the government. Its a kind of marriage limbo unfortunately. Until the federal government recognises same-sex marriage, there can never be full equality for Gays living in the USA. Very sad.Robert, ex-pat Brit, USA.
“I thought to myself, if the EU had indeed mandated regulations to force equality laws on the UK, then why did it not apply to every member nation of the EU that does not recognize equality let alone provide laws to remedy that”May I suggest folks that you read the Treaty of Amsterdam. It set out quite clearly equality requirements in relation to EU member states, and there is currently considerable debate over the issue of some member states failing to enact the anti-discrimination policy set out in the treatyAnd Rob, I posted my previous reply in response to your comment “Let’s face it, it wasn’t they who proposed Civil Partnership legislation or any of the other equality laws”. Read the treaty and you will see exactly where changes in the laws on discrimination came from. So, I stand by my posting. The EU will be dictating policy on same sex relationships in the not too distant future (I’ll wager, as I’m sure the British government would too.)Labour has cleverly ‘spun’ this to fool people into thinking they have done all of this because they are the party that is championing our cause.I think you’ll find they just want our votes and if that means not being absolutely honest about things then that doens’t seem to be a problem.
Sister Mary Clarence, thank you again. In a previous posting. Do the UK Civil Partnership laws allow Gay couples to adopt children? After reading the article on the DUP in N. Ireland, I’m a bit confused. I was under the impression that CPs provide all the rights of marriage. If N. Ireland doesn’t, then what is this equality thing all about if its not providing the same benefits of marriage? Can anyone explain? Thanks.Robert, NYC.
Alan, please refer to Sister Mary Clarence’s response regarding the EU and equality laws. I’m somewhat confused by much of it.Robert, ex-pat Brit, USA.