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General Election 2010

Exclusive: Gordon Brown answers readers’ questions on gay issues

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  1. Jack Straw has even convinced the French parliament to change the law to recognise our civil partnerships on par with French marriage, – what an insult to those French senators (Yung and Boumedienne) and to the French mediateur de la republique who introduced the change in the French civil law to recognise ALL foreign civil partnerships as the equivalent of the French PACS (not marriage!!) Gay marriages from Holland etc have been recognised as the equivalent of marriage which they naturally are for many years in France – get you factsright and give credit to the right people…

  2. Isn’t this the correct reason why lab does not introduce gay marriage – it thinks , according to this artice, that the right to marry is the traditional one between people of the opposite sex, gay people don’t have that right it seems: – “ The government attempted to prevent same-sex couples in other countries from gaining the right to enter into civil partnerships, the Guardian has learned. Despite the fact that civil partnerships are recognised under UK law, the government made legal submissions to the European court of human rights arguing that Austria should not have an obligation to provide the same rights to same-sex couples there. The move is at odds with its own professed commitment to equality for lesbians, gay and bisexual people,” … “The government was challenging the claim of an Austrian couple, Horst Schalk and Johann Kopf, that Austria has violated their right to a private and family life, the right not to suffer discrimination, and the right to marry”. …”the government is still arguing that the court should not require European states to allow marriage for same-sex couples. It has told the court that the right to marry refers to “the traditional marriage between persons of the opposite biological sex …

  3. why is marriage so tied to religion? atheists marry don’t they? plus why should religion always over-ride everything including equality and rationality?

  4. Mihangel apYrs 5 May 2010, 11:35am

    either marriage is considered by Labour to be between two people of the opposite sex, in which case Brown lies here, or it is the same as civil marriage, in which case “civil marriage” ought to be redefined as “civil partnership”: anything else is hypocricy

  5. Bravo chester….
    Chris Bryant is also leading a Europe-wide campaign to get other countries to recognise civil partnerships conducted in Britain for all legal purposes – sorry the lib dems were there first as usual – Liberal Democrat Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Sharon Bowles has revealed plans to campaign for the recognition of UK civil partnerships (CPs) in other EU states.
    Chris why don’t you try giving us a list of where we are currently recognised at the moment , it’s not that hard…

  6. theotherone 5 May 2010, 11:46am

    He answerd even less questions than Dave -watchmesquirm’ Cameron did.

    Equality Bill backpedeling? It’s the Tories fault not ours

    Trans Rights? Oh we might do something when we frame legislation for other groups.

    Queer Marriage? That’s not right! Marriage is between a man and a woman! A MAN AND A FVCK1NG WOMAN YOU FVCK1NG FREAKS!

    Separate and unequal…

    My cry is: Vote Tory! Vote Green! Vote Lib Dems! Just don’t vote for these fvckers who have stabbed us in the back again. Hell perhaps I’ll even get my dream of a Tory/ Lib Dem Government out of this.

  7. Mumbo Jumbo 5 May 2010, 11:47am

    Comment #3 by Chester

    “Why is marriage so tied to religion?”

    Why indeed. Because, in fact, it’s not.

    Marriage was appropriated by religions in order provide themselves with both a central, controlling fuction within society and a valuable income stream.

    Putting aside all the undoubted and very welcome progress over the last 13 years, I do despair at the number of politicians whose minds turn to mush at the mention of religion.

    If civil marriages and civil partnerships are actually equal, then as neither has any religious content to queer the issue, as it were, I see no reason why they cannot simply be amalgamated.

    Then, after everyone has gone through this process of registering their partnership with the state, you can leave religious people and religious groups free to go on to have a separate ceremony to religiously marry or not marry individuals according to whatever their particular belief happens to be.

  8. Vincent Poffley 5 May 2010, 12:12pm

    What about interracial marriage then (or “miscegenation” as it is euphemistically called)? There was just as much religious opposition to the idea of interracial marriage during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as there is towards gay marriage now – so why don’t we just introduce separate-but-equal “mixed-race family contracts” instead of allowing them the same marriage as monoracial couples, to allow religious groups “the right to a certain degree of self-organisation on questions that are theologically important to them”?

    Oh, what’s that you say Mr. Brown? That’d be horribly racist and discriminatory? It’d be superfluous, pointless and cause deep inequalities in society? Silly me. How thoughtless. Entirely incomparable with gay marriage there, obviously…

    The bottom line is that if it’s the same thing, why call it something different except out of prejudice, and if it’s not the same thing, it’s not acceptable.

  9. Kitty…..French PACs do NOT convey identical rights of civil partnerships, just a handful. If a British partnered couple settled in France, the rights they enjoy in the UK would NOT be necessarily reciprocated, only those that their French counterparts would enjoy, so the move to have CPs recognised across the EU and elsewhere is absurd and impractical. What about countries that do not have any semblance of same-sex legal unions. Why should they be forced to recognise civil partnerships if they haven’t provided for their own gay people.

    Gordon Brown is dead wrong. Marriage is most definitely NOT tied to religious freedom. In eight countries that allow us to marry, there is an exemption clause for religious cults. None of them are forced to perform or recognise same-sex marriages at all.

    The fact that France recognises same sex Dutch marriages is laudable. Our own country doesn’t even recognise British same-sex married couples as married. If any of us leave our country to get married elsehwere, once we return, our marriages are downgraded to civil partnerships which they are most definitely NOT. To me that is offencive and insulting and disrespectful of the laws of other countries, especially Canada, a commonwealth member. Just because some of us don’t want the freedom to marry, that doesn’t mean they should be supporting a ban on our choice to marry. StonewallUK please take not of that, you do NOT speak for all of us. Brown is a bigot, just like Cameron, kowtowing to religious cults as an excuse to avoid civil marriage equality. Religion does NOT own marriage, the government does when it issues marriage licences and certificates of marriage. It has NOTHING to do with religious marriage.

  10. “…….but does recognise that religious groups have the right to a certain degree of self-organisation on questions that are theologically important to them, including on the question of religiously-sanctioned marriage”

    What the hell has this got to do with CIVIL marriages? Yes, churches should be and are allowed to choose who they marry, but civil marriages and CPs are NOTHING to do with religion. So why is religion allowed to have any say? Straight people who churches reject – eg divorcees – can have a civil marriage, and aren’t prevented from entering into a marriage, yet gay people aren’t permitted to have that option.

    Brown’s explanation did nothing to explain that, so let me draw my own conclusion – it’s discrimination, pure and simple.

  11. If I were an Englishman I wouldn’t vote for Brown or Cameron. They are clearly two sides of the same coin just like Democrats and Republicans in America. One side is open and seemingly proud of their anti-gay record, the other side is supportive of “full equal rights” for gays in word, except when they’re not, but then make it clear that their definition of “full and equal” is something other than “full and equal”.

    It’s a political, social justice bait and switch tactic as old as politics and social justice. “Separate but equal” has a long, ugly history that betrays the claim that separate rights and separate CIVIL institutions are, or have ever been, truly equal in the eyes of the government or the people.

    Perhaps Mr. Brown can explain why atheist straight couples are not only allowed to have, but are REQUIRED to have, marriages that he claims are by their essence religious. Why are straight people not given the right to have a partnership that isn’t traditionally tied to religion? And while we’re at it, why are gay couples who WANT traditional religious marriages denied them. He tells us that we can’t have them because they are traditionally religious but he fails to explain why that precludes gay people from having them. He doesn’t seem to realize that there are MANY gay Christians, Jews, Muslims etc. who want to be married. He also fails to mention that there are churches and synagogues that see marriage equality as an expression of their faith. What about THEIR rights? What about THEIR religious freedom? What about THEIR freedom of religious expression?

    I find it insulting that he tries to justify the country’s lingering homophobia and hetero privilege by wrapping it up neatly in a “sacred”, religious shroud that is therefor supposed to be above challenge or questioning.

    What a twit!

    As Mrs. Slocombe would say, “Weak as water, WEAK AS WATER!”

  12. Bob – you’re right France does not give the same rights as CP , in fact at the moment it only gives the same rights as PACS with regards to TAX only. This little change wasn’t a result of Brown and his government and his MEPS and CPs are not on a par with marriage in France becuase guess what CPs are NOT marriages ….Foreign gay marriages are recognised in France as marriage becuase CPs ARE DIFFERENT!!! – Got it Brown!!!!. We’re not the same, socialy and legally – why cotinue your homophobic and discriminatory ways – Vote lib dems or tory for any hope or vote lab and get conned further….

  13. You know I actually held out a glimmer of hope that Brown might use the occasion of this interview to announce his support for same-sex marriage. What a weaselling green-blooded HOB-GOBLIN o_O I hope he gets the drubbing he deserves tomorrow!

  14. Huge LIBDEM lead in HOMOVISION’s unrepresentative gay election poll:

  15. Kitty and Zeke, right on!

    Zeke, you make an excellent point though in regard to atheists who are allowed to have a civil marriage and I actually know two straight atheists who had religious marriages in deference to their wives. How come the government and the state cult do not ban atheists from marrying while we’re at it if Brown’s defence and probably Cameron’s for that matter are that marriage is tied up with religious freedom? Its absolute hogwash and dead wrong.

    Kitty, yes, its nothing more than not only homophobia, pure and simple, but sheer ignorance on the part of Brown and Cameron ith religious bigotry combined and those, including some gays who support discrimination. Its not even equality. Those gays and straights who don’t want us to marry are complicit. Just because they don’t want it (StonewallUK included), they shouldn’t deny us the freedom to marry, in fact they should defend our right to it, but they don’t. So we now know who truly supports us and its none of them but the Liberal Democrats and the Greens. We need to start supporting them in even greater numbers to put a dent in the two parties of oppression and bigotry.

  16. gay marriage? I can see the blue rinse brigade supporting that! cps are more than any Tory govt would ever do. I would have voted libdem untill clegg declared he’s happy for a coaliition with dave. the same dave who wants to bring back the posh version of dog fighting. what kind of govt would condone ripping a live fox to pieces. brown is not media savvy but he can be trusted.

  17. Gordon was a lot more convincing than the smarmy twins, Nick Clegg and David Cameron.

    If you can’t bring yourself to vote Green and progressive, then at least vote Labour for an anti-Conservative vote.

  18. Well, I cast my vote at 7.20am. Conservative & Lib Dem.

  19. Jock S. Trap 6 May 2010, 8:26am

    Well done Squidgy. Always important to vote. Done mine too.

  20. Jock S. Trap 6 May 2010, 8:26am

    Well done Squidgy. Always important to vote. Done mine too. Tory.

  21. He's fooling you 6 May 2010, 9:12am

    Hi guys, i don’t live in the UK but i’m following these elections closely. I’ve read the things Brown has said about marriage equality… i’m really stunned and disgusted. It seems like he’s fooling you; i mean, how can he deny that the issue here is CIVIL MARRIAGE ?? and, if he really believes that marriage is only about religion, how can he deny that gay and lesbian couples should have the freedom to go to a pro-marriage equality church and get married ?? how can he deny that pro-marriage equality churches should have the freedom to marry same-sex couples ?? how can he deny that allowing same-sex couples to marry, in a civil and/or a religious way, is a really different thing from forcing all churches to marry same-sex couples ??

  22. Jock S. Trap 6 May 2010, 9:46am

    Lookin through these threads I have to make the point, do I vote according to gay rights and let my business go down the certain pan with Labour or do I believe gay rights will at least stick but at least feel I’ve got a chance to not have to make people umemployed under the Conservatives? To all those saying gay rights shouldn’t be above money I say simply this, you clearly dont know about running a business. This isnt simply about money, its about keeping people employed. Gay marriage might be very important to some but to me its not as important as keeping my company afloat and workforce going. I have Gay & Lesbian workers don’t they have the right to have a job and keep the money coming in especially in this current economic climate.

  23. Kitty & Bob
    France does not recognize foreign gay marriages. Gay marriages do not exist : marriage is only between a man and a woman. They only can be recognized as PACS, which is very very far from a British CP.

  24. Froggy – What utter nonsense, foreign gay marriages are recognised , see Minister of Justice PErben replies to Mariani and Masson and they were recognised a long time before foreign CPs – you may also want to check out the Dutch gay marriage victory over the French Bercy several years ago …. also why don’t just ask the French tax office ….

  25. #22 Last time the racist homophobic tories were in power there were almost 6 million on the dole by the time they were ousted Couple that with 17.9% interest rates and it hardly makes for a booming economy. Labour is still the best bet, with the Lib Dems in coalition and David Milliband as PM, Nick Clegg as Deputy with Brown as chancellor.

  26. theotherone 6 May 2010, 12:24pm

    A Quarter of the Population are Economically Inactive and you scream about the Tories? We’re about to loose our Credit Rating as a Country and you scream about the Tories? Grow the hell up Boston.

  27. Jock S. Trap 6 May 2010, 1:39pm

    Forgive me saying Boston but wasn’t the 6 million unemployed and 17.9% inflation following the labour party’s ‘winter of discontent’ and high levels of inflation they left the country last time around?

  28. Those of you who are currently aged in your 20’s I can guarantee that when you’re 45 you’ll be sitting there thinking: ‘WTF, when I was aged 20 Stonewall, all the gay activists, the BBC, they were all saying that ABC was the right thing yet now they’re saying it’s actually XYZ that we should all support’.

    That’s the situation with marriage which, 25 years ago the gay ‘elite’ were telling us was the work of the devil but now they all say is highly desirable to have. Quarter of a century ago they would defend a cruisers rights to the end against the police. Now many support the crackdowns (in fact I understand that one worker at a well known Manchester-based gay charity that supports the cruising crackdowns has a boyfriend who is a policeman!).

    So where is this going to lead? As a small gay elite integrates its way into the respectable status quo it seems inevitable that our gay organisations and those who claim speak on our behalf will move more and more towards the right because that is the party of the old boy network.

    Which is something for all of you who are pushing for gay marriage and integration to the maximum to consider as (maybe) we see a Tory victory tomorrow. You can bet your ass that Stonewall and all will be sucking up to whoever has the power in coming years.

    Twenty years ago who would have thought that Labour would be in favour of wars, PFI, deporting gay asylum seekers, nuclear power, ID cards, the destruction of civil liberties and turn a blind eye to torture? It might seem far fetched now but maybe Stonewall will be supporting the BNP in 2035? If Nick Griffin ever decides to tap into the fascistic streak that exists among the gay male community we are in big trouble.

  29. I just head that Argentina’s house of deputies has approved a bill to pass civil marriage equality for its gay people. The president said she will not veto it. Puts us to shame, a catholic country no less. That will bring the number of countries to nine. I wonder why Argentina didn’t want to immitate our own CPs?

  30. @26 Avid Daily Mail reader? Have to say, they’ve really surpassed themself today
    @28 its not secret that there is a lot of rasism and acceptance of far right within gay community

  31. @Bob71350 “I wonder why Argentina didn’t want to immitate our own CPs?”

    Because it’s about propping up the church and the institution of marriage and all the crap that those bring. The status quo. If they brought in civil partnerships for all that would likely affect the number of heterosexual marriages. Which is precisely the reason why the UK hasn’t allowed civil partnerships for straight couples.

    The gay people who demand marriage are like turkeys voting for Christmas.

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