Reader comments · Updated:Lib Dems introduce LGBT manifesto but it doesn’t include pledge of full gay marriage rights rights · PinkNews

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General Election 2010

Updated:Lib Dems introduce LGBT manifesto but it doesn’t include pledge of full gay marriage rights rights

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  1. Very disappointing that he leaves out his promise to introduce marriage eqaality.

    Having said that at least their manifesto has specific LGBT policies.

    Unlike the homophobic Tory Party, where their manifesto does not mention LGBT rights, and their last minute promises can be offset by the fact that a homophobic bigot who believes that discrimination against gay people in the provision of goods and services is acceptable, is the Tory Party’s candidate for Home Secretary.

    So I’m disappointed with the Lib Dems, but they are STREETS ahead of those lying Tory homophobes.

    They have not even sacked Chris Grayling; Iain Duncan Smith; Philippa Stroud or Andrew Brigen yet. And have no intention of doing so, as those nasty bigots are the true face of the Tory Law and Justice Party.

  2. I think it’s important for us not to focus on one particular issue, i.e. full marriage equality because whilst it would be nice it’s not the only issue and is certainly not the most pressing issue for our community.

    Does anyone know of any organisation that has tracked which manifesto pledges have been fulfilled by all parties that have come to power? It would be interesting to see in simple understandable terms which parties have followed through on their promises and at what rate.

    Stonewall have a voting record score sheet based on LGBT issues however it hasn’t been presented in a format that is accessible to all regardless of ability in interpreting numbers.

    I have come across a much better alternative though, have a look at which I believe anyone could understand.

  3. Re the My Gay Vote website – I’m a little suspicious of that one percent lead Labour has over the Lib Dems. I think it suggests the web page is partisan. I think the issues were chose to make Labour come out on top. We mustn’t forget that Ed Balls introduced Amendment 70 to allow faith schools to teach sex education in accordance with the religious ethos of a school. So, in essence, I wouldn’t take too much notice of the My Gay Vote website.

  4. Key phrase – Nick Clegg said in the interview “I support gay marriage”. It wasn’t passed as official party policy, and if it’s not official policy then it doesn’t generally get into the manifesto, unless the Manifesto Group can justify to the party some reason that they couldn’t go through the regular policy channels.

    I think most Lib Dem MPs and candidates are liberal minded, and would support gay marriage in a free vote on the issue.

  5. Despite misisng out the marriage issue, the Lib Dems are at least the most Gay friendly party and glad to see they wound not deport Gay people back to their deaths (unlike Ms Smith et al!)

  6. The mygayvote website cherry-picks its issues and only looks at the last time MPs voted on an issue before it became law – which makes both Labour and the Tories look a lot more progressive than their records in recent times actually are! Has to have been set up by Labour to help cover up how wobbly their record on LGBT has been.

  7. The data used on the my gay vote website is taken from which is a non-governmental website that collects parliamentary voting records and interprets this into a fact based, easy to use system. It’s a fact when one person votes one way or the other, it’s on public record that can’t be changed or manipulated much to the frustration of MPs who would like to say one thing and then vote differently behind closed doors.

    Data of course can be manipulated for the desired outcome, that’s what research is about isn’t it? Who pays, wins…but it is abundantly clear that based on data from the public record that the conservatives can’t be trusted with our vote.

    If you take a look at the Stonewall guide to MPs voting then you will see other issues that haven’t been considered by my gay vote but then again Stonewall doesn’t include everything my gay vote is talking about. Does this make Stonewalls guide more authoritative? I just suppose that depends on who you talk to!

  8. @Rob Hedley: Marriage equality is not the only gay issue in the UK, true; but it would make an effective contribution to several other issues. Separate is not equal, and civil partnerships give a damaging message about how our relationships are viewed. It will be a lot easier to tackle discrimination in schools and elsewhere once the government no longer puts our families in a separate category. Marriage equality is also the only workable solution to the problem of international recognition.

    At least Cameron said straight out that he would only ‘consider’ marriage equality. And everyone with kids – or with parents! – knows what that means…

    The Lib Dems need to get this sorted in short order if they want us to think they actually mean the things they say to gay media.

  9. Oh but surely this is proof they have lied about their commitment to gay marriage and I mean if they lie about that then…

    Mistakes happen no matter what party you are. Don’t make excuses for one party while ‘dissing’ another for doing exactly the same.

    Double standards again.

  10. Tim Hopkins 14 Apr 2010, 12:09pm

    The LibDem manifesto is the only one so far to include a mention of transgender people; page 73:

    “Require better recording of hate crimes against disabled, homosexual and transgender people, which are frequently not centrally recorded.”

    It’s perhaps worth adding, in response to Ross’s comment, that the Scottish LibDems have adopted equal marriage as party policy, at their party conference a few weeks ago. Marriage is an issue that is devolved to the Scottish Parliament, and Scottish LGBT groups would certainly hope to see equal marriage in their manifesto for the Scottish Parliament election in a year’s time.

  11. Pumpkin Pie 14 Apr 2010, 12:29pm

    broaden the legal definitions of transgendered people

    This is the main thing I was hoping to see. Treatment of asylum seekers and prevention of hate crimes through better education are also top LGBT concerns of mine, but trans stuff tends to get ignored a lot. Doesn’t have much PR appeal, you see.

  12. While I agree that marriage equality is not and should not be the only issue of concern to the LGBT population; it absolutely is one of the most important issues for us in Britain.

    The legal contract of civil marriage is denied to gay couples solely based on our sexual orientation. The contract of marriage is just that – a contract. It has nothing to do with religion.

    Can you imagine how you would feel if you were denied the chance to sign a contract to buy a house because you were gay for example? There would be universal outrage (although the LGBTory Group would probably oppose the right for gay people to own houses if Tory HQ instructed them to).

    The fact that our sexual orientation precludes us from entering the legal contract of civil marriage is disgraceful.

    As for Stonewall – why even mention that group of nobodies in this discussion. An LGB advocacy group which opposes the right of same sex couples to enter the contract of marriage is an advocacy group not fit for purpose. They should change their name to LGBTory and be done with it, such is their irrelevance.

  13. The Labour Party has given a commitment not to support gay marriage.

    @ Rob Hedley – You seem to know a lot about the My Gay Vote site. Are you associated with the site or with the Labour Party?

  14. Clegg is delusional if he thinks he can get civil partnerships recognised around the world. The rest of the world doesn’t have civil partnerships, but eight have full civil marriage for sam-sex couples. Something is very wrong if he doesn’t acknowledge that. he should be putting his efforts into that. Even more delusional is to think that countries that have no legal unions for same-sex couples would recognise ours. Absurd and futile at best. The only party that would include same-sex marriage in its manifesto would be the Green Party. Even in America, there are 30 or more of the 50 states that would not recognise civil partnerships. Its preposterous to pursue it.

  15. @dave – No i’m not associated with it or the labour party. I just took 5 minutes reading through the site and it’s twitter feed to see where it gets its data from, that’s all. I thought i’d share a link to the site because although a lot of people don’t like stonewall, some people (not myself) do look to them for information. The way that stonewall presents this information is confusing so to help people make their own minds up I thought it would be useful for people to see it in a different way. Being armed with as much information as possible is surely only a good thing because then we can at least make informed and not entirely emotive decisions.

  16. Squidgy: “Oh but surely this is proof they have lied about their commitment to gay marriage and I mean if they lie about that then…”

    It’s not proof they have lied. Nick Clegg said he supports marriage equality and Evan Harris said the Party supports it. As far as I’m aware the Lib Dems didn’t promise to put it in their manifesto. But that doesn’t mean they don’t support it or have lied.

  17. To Rob – thanks for your reply.

    I’m not happy with the My Gay Vote website’s impartiality. As an example, take a look at this vote in July 2000. It was a vote which would have resulted in the repeal of section 28 three years earlier than actually happened (in Englan and Wales). The My Gay Vote linked to a later vote which has the effect of showing Labour in a better light. But the reality is that most Labour and Conservative MPs (unlike Lib Dem MPs) voted not to insist on amendment No. 377, to which the bigoted Lords had disagreed.

  18. People, many of us need to start thinking about responsible tactical voting on May 6.

    How many people have looked ahead and worked out what their voting alternatives are IN THEIR AREA?

    In my area we unfortunately have a Tory MP at the moment. In the last election he only just made it “past the post”. (The Liberal Democrat candidate was just behind.) Unfortunately in the last election the Labour candidate in this area received only about a third of the votes that the Lib Dem candidate received.

    So, in this area, despite there being about half a dozen candidates due to stand on May 6, each from different parties, the “race” will really only between TWO of them. And again, like last time, it will probably be very close.

    Hence, although I truly want to vote Labour, for ME to vote Labour in MY area, would be to throw away my chance at making sure the Tory candidate does NOT win. Hence, I MUST vote Lib Dem.

    If I were to vote Labour in my area, I would increase the chances of the Tory candidate winning and if enough Tories win in all the different areas of this country they will get in. And we now know from their manifesto that they are not “heart and soul” out for LGBT equality.

    I’m just spelling this out because I think it’s important that other voters in similar situations may also need to think ahead and VOTE TACTICALLY on 6 May.

  19. SimonM:-

    Stonewall have a lot of support from the LGBT community.

    You seem to continuously bash and moan about them so if your really unhappy and feel they don’t represent you stop whinging and do something about it. Start your own group.

    Don’t just whine, do something.

  20. dave:- yeah it’s called a sense of humour. You completely missed my point. Pick one sentence but read the whole thing.

    Aside from that yep it’s a good clear Manifesto, one the Lib Dems should be proud of.

    They Will get my vote in the Local Election.

  21. The lib Dems have just got back to me on this and this is what they have to say:

    Hi Abi

    Nick Clegg fully supports full marriage equalities and has spoken about this many times before. Because of the democratic nature of our party, policy must be passed through a conference. Once this has happened it becomes official party policy. This is not something we have gone back on.

  22. As Ronald Reagan said in a debate with Walter Mondale in 1984, “THERE YOU GO AGAIN” PinkNews.

    I’ve now asked at least three times for you to show a QUOTE of where The Conservatives have “promised to erase the criminal records of those who were convicted of gay sex acts that are now legal.”

    I have now posted THE quote from Osborne three times where he SPECIFICALLY says that will NOT “quash” convictions of “clear” the records but rather “consider them spent” which means “sentence served” or “justice served” and that such records would not be REQUIRED to be reported.

    That is something entirely different from what you REPEATEDLY misreport here.

  23. Nick has repeatedly affirmed his support for equal marriage, most recently in an interview with Attitude magazine ahead of the General Election. Lib Dem equality spokesperson Lynne Featherstone added, “Until gay marriage is an option – we will not have absolute equality.”

  24. So he says one thing and does another
    Typical Politician
    He doesn’t care as long as he gets the votes

  25. No 20: Squidgy: you say: “Stonewall have a lot of support from the LGBT community.”

    Actually they don’t.

    They have 20,000 active supporters – these are Ben Summerskill’s figures, not mine.

    That is less than 1% of the LGBT population.

    They represent less than 1% of the LGBT population.

    Like the LGBTory Group, the Stonewall group are a pack of homophobes.

    Anybody who believes that a gay person be denied the right to enter a contract (whether than contract is to own a house, get married or be employed in a job) because of their sexual orienation is a homophobe.

    Stonewall oppose the right of LGB people to enter the legal contract of civil marriage, and therefore are the enemy of those of use who believe in equality.

  26. Abi1975: “The lib Dems have just got back to me on this ..”

    If only they’d get back to me so quickly – I’ve been kept waiting for months

  27. I think Its clear that the Tory party are still very much homophobic at their roots it`s all a big con with David Cameron I made comments on here last year about the Tory party when it came to light they joined forces with the HOMOPHOBIC Justice party last june and I said it then and I`ll say it again It`s all just a politcal front with them and the mask will slip before May 6th

    And guess what IT HAS SLIPPED! more than once too

    I also agree with a lot of the comments on here regarding Civil Gay marrage I too believe that Civil Partnerships should be removed and replaced with proper civil marriage after all LGBT people pay taxes LGBT are British citizens aren`t they? so why should LGBT people put up with a second class marriage status ?

    I do tend to go with the Lib dems on these issue of LGBT equality because most of the laws Labour have brought in were first invented by the Lib dems over 10 years ago and going back as far as 1988 yet Labour seems to always claim all the credit for this and I fail to see why?

    On the topic of voting I personally think it could very well be a hung parliament this year anyway which could go either way really however saying that I would prefer a Labour/Lib dem pact government rather than a Tory one but it`s just Gordon brown and his leadership that puts me off that idea another 4 years of Gordon brown I dunno if I could take it to be honest lol

    The Lib dems are unlikey going to win the election on their own they never do simply because not enough people vote for them or know much about them enough to make them vote

    But saying that can they really do any worse than Gordon brown? and finally on the topic of civil marriage Not 1 of the main 3 parties has any polices regarding full same sex marriage Labour have made it clear they wont be doing that in the near future The Tories will promise anything to get into power and they will NEVER make same sex marriage law

    The Lib dems I believe would be the best and only bet with regards to same sex marriage in future

    But its not just about same sex marriage its about Homophobia too and hate crimes and Homophobia in schools these issues need addressing first because these issues need sorting first

  28. Jean-Paul Bentham 14 Apr 2010, 4:52pm

    Vote Lib Dem.

  29. Lib dems have always had my vote, they’re the most likely to bring in gay marriage and full equality in the UK, they’re the most likely to puruse recognition or bilateral agreements for the Britsh CP abroad and also the most likely to be the most outspoken about gay rights in other parts of the world – but do they really have a chance?. As for the peron who said there’s not point get recognition abroad for the CP then is that from the point of view of someone who is never going to leave the UK – thank heavens most countries which currently have a CP/union or gay marriage marriage give equivalent rights to British CPs alread – see website – note I’m not using the word RECOGNITION, for most people living abroad it’s a case of getting equivalent legal, socail and tax status!

  30. @ SimonM wrote: “it absolutely is one of the most important issues for us in Britain”.

    Really? Nice to have the option but totally irrelevant to the VAST majority of Lesbian and Gay people from a personal point of view.

    There were just 7,169 civil partnerships in the UK in 2008. I bet there will be far fewer marriages if we ever get the option. This is just a talking and campaigning point for the metropolitan gay elite to pose over. A way for them to get maximum headlines because they know they can annoy the church with it. And now it is being used to bash politicians.

    Personally I’m more interested in the economy, the cost of fuel and train fares, failure to provide NHS dentists, murders in the street and dozens of other issues.

  31. GS: you say: “Really? Nice to have the option but totally irrelevant to the VAST majority of Lesbian and Gay people from a personal point of view.”

    The VAST majority of people don’t have inter-racial marriages, or require an abortion, or need to relocate abroad with their spouse.

    But to ban any of those things is morally repugnant.

    Equal marriage rights are civil rights. I may not want to get married personally, but I find it horrifying that my sexuality deems me inadequate to do so, if I want.

    Gay people are denied access to the contract of marriage because of our sexuality. No other reason.

    That is important.

  32. @SimonM – as there were only 7,169 civil partnerships in 2008 and the number declines annually how many gay marriages do you think there might be if it was legalised as an alternative? How many people do you think are actually bothered about having a marriage rather than a civil partnership?

    Compared to 3.6m gay and lesbian people who will affected by ID cards along with everybody else. Or what about the right to peaceful protest? Yet you make out that gay marriage is the major civil liberties issue.

    Of course everything should be equal but everyone has a list of priorities and (here’s the thing) votes overwhelmingly according to what directly affects them. To say that gay marriage “absolutely is one of the most important issues for us in Britain” is, frankly, completely bonkers and you need to get a grip.

    How many LGBT elderly people are struggling with their fuel bills, how many of us can’t get a place to live or an NHS dentist, how many will be unemployed in the next few years, how many young men end up HIV+ every year, why are train fares so expensive, why are young people being stabbed to death on the streets of London? Just some of the numerous issues LGBT people might rank above gay marriage – a subject that will have no direct impact on the lives of 99% of lesbian and gay people.

    Gay marriage is an issue that has been seized on by a small number of very vocal activists who like to tell us what is important and the media and the trouble is that this detracts from more important issues.

  33. Tim Hopkins 15 Apr 2010, 7:40am

    GS, in the Equality Network’s surveys of LGBT people in Scotland, 85% say that equal marriage is needed and is a priority for them. So it’s not small number of activists. It’s one of the top three LGBT issues that LGBT people tell us they’re concerned about (the other top ones are bullying in schools and hate crime).

    Of course for most LGBT people, including the people responding to our surveys, there are non-LGBT-specific issues, like poverty, war, jobs, the economy, etc etc that are more important. And those are likely to be the kinds of issues on which many people decide their vote.

    But, for the Equality Network, we are an LGBT equality organisation. It’s our job (and our registered charitable object) to work specifically for LGBT equality – that’s why we are working on the LGBT issues that LGBT tell us matter to them – including equal marriage.

  34. Have to admit a Hung parliament at this time would be a disaster for Britain. We need clear leadership but I guess if a Hung parliament had to happen then I would definitely support a Tory/Lib Dem one.

    Labour need to regroup and re-think it’s priorties ie the workers!

  35. Jean-Paul Bentham 15 Apr 2010, 10:31am

    @19 Abi1975:

    Thanks for posting the Manifesto!!

    Vote Lib Dem.

  36. I’d tended to be content with our civil partnership, and felt that the cry for ‘gay marriage’ was too much like aping the hets.
    My mind was changed after reading Stephen Cretney’s “Same Sex Relationships: from ‘odious crime’ to ‘Gay Marriage'”, OUP 2006, which I commend to anyone wanting to see a detailed discussion of the pros and cons on both sides.
    Another good discussion is Martha C. Nussbaum’s “From Disgust to Humanity: Sexual Orientation & Constitutional Law”, OUP, 2010, though that’s more USA based.

  37. GS, if you truly are “more interested in the economy, the cost of fuel and train fares, failure to provide NHS dentists, murders in the street and dozens of other issues”, then I suggest you do not spend so much time on a website that is entirely concerned with LGBT rights. Or will they not pay you any attention on Tory websites?

  38. Typical communist stance.

    Its a Gay paper/website dealing with Gay issues that of which include Gay Rights.

    In any case since when has Gay Rights not been about the Economy, jobs, home, wages, immigration etc.

  39. SimonM: “Stonewall oppose the right of LGB people to enter the legal contract of civil marriage, and therefore are the enemy of those of use who believe in equality.”

    Well, I’m no supporter of Stonewall, but as far as I know they have never said anything against gay marriage, they have simply avoided the subject and done Sweet Fanny Adams about it, as it might upset their Labour paymasters.

  40. Michael at #23 good for you for saying “I have now posted THE quote from Osborne three times where he SPECIFICALLY says that will NOT “quash” convictions of “clear” the records but rather “consider them spent” which means “sentence served” or “justice served” and that such records would not be REQUIRED to be reported.”

    PinkNews needs to clean up its journalistic act.

    GS at #31, you keep telling us that “Personally I’m more interested in the economy, the cost of fuel and train fares, failure to provide NHS dentists, murders in the street and dozens of other issues” so why the hell do you hang around a website that is concerned with LGBT rights? Are you not welcome at Tory or LibDem websites?

    We have important work to do. If you don’t want to be part of it, then please leave.

  41. @ Tim Hopkins – I would be interested to know how you found the lesbian and gay people for your survey. Most of the 3.6m L&G people in the UK are effectively invisible which makes it difficult for anyone to reach and survey them? Most surveys seem to be based on a small sample of people who buy Gay Times or go to Pride festivals. Those people are not representative.

    @ Eddy – last time I looked Pink News was a news site, not a “website that is entirely concerned with LGBT rights” and one which you seem to think should only be open to Labour supporters. The left-wing are so intolerant of different views sometimes.

  42. We all get rightly, upset when some bigots say any homosexual must be a paedo because they don’t want to think differently. Yet any gay person showing any sign of independent thoughts of their own that may lean towards a party, in this case tory, and your branded a Tory, working for the Tories blah blah blah.

    What is it that really threatens you people from people who can think for themselves and won’t be told what to do, say etc?

    We were given a brain, when gay, are we not allowed to use it?

    I repeat, several of you scream about wanting to be being Equal yet clearly don’t want gay people to be Equally Equal.

    Make up your mind already!

  43. GS, you clearly need to look more closely! It was ridiculous of you to say “last time I looked Pink News was a news site”. PinkNews is clearly not a general news site. Every article pertains to LGBT issues or rights: difficulties, developments, and plans. And occasionally, as in the case of the two male swans, there is some light entertainment of an LGBT nature.

    Surely you haven’t been reading PinkNews, day after day, and not noticing that it specialising in PINK news?

    What on earth have you been thinking you’ve been reading?

    Did not the penny drop at some point that every article here is about LGBT issues?

  44. Why is it that whenever PinkNews posts a photo of David Cameron, Cameron looks normal. But this photo of Nick Clegg has been played with in Photoshop! The red has been turned up to make him look awful.

    Shame on you, PinkNews!

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