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General Election 2010

Analysis: How pro-gay is the new home secretary and minister for equality Theresa May?

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  1. May is my MP and I’ve actually met her. Yes, she really is as awful as she sounds. The woman rejects anything that doesn’t fit in her narrow-minded view of the world.

  2. Typical vile tory woman. I’m sure the pro tories (and the new lib tories) will be on here telling us what a wonderful woman she is. Let’s be honest though. It’d be pretty hard for cameron to choose any good people from his party for the cabinet.

  3. Those LibDems have sold us out!

  4. I was cautiously optimistic about the new government and a little excited, especially with Nick Clegg at Deputy Prime Minister, but now I’m massively disappointed. Theresa May is Home Sec and Equality Minister is just awful news. She’s totally old school Tory and her voting history is typical “nasty party” Tory, especially in terms of gay rights.

  5. Stonewall rated Theresa May at 14% and Chris Grayling at 29%

    Reports are that a simple majority of MPs won’t be able to remove the new government. They are going to change the rules so that 55% of MPs are needed to oust them – looks like a Robert Mugabe-style government

  6. This will be the end of the parts of the Equality Act that refer to us then, because those parts have to be enabled!

  7. Looks like the token female muslim, who couldn’t get a position in the Commons, is about to get a good job. Yes, it’s the bitch Warsi; she makes May look like Judy Garland.

    Duncan Smith got Work and Pensions, so he’ll find a way of abusing us too.

    Vote Lib Dem, get Tory and that’s what happened.

  8. Typical Tory: ‘I am for but against’.

  9. Mihangel apYrs 12 May 2010, 1:01pm

    Clegg: dept PM, but no obvious duties and responsibilities

    As Johnson said of the vice-presidency: “not worth a pitcher of warm piss!”

  10. Hodge Podge 12 May 2010, 1:06pm

    What an insane appointment. Cameron would be more honest just abolishing the position. (I don’t blame Lib Dems though, I blame Tory voters).

  11. Tim Roll-Pickering 12 May 2010, 1:12pm

    From memory nearly all the votes cited were ones where the party had at least a two-line whip in place and May was a senior frontbencher – she was first elected to the Commons in 1997 and entered the Shadow Cabinet in 1999, the first of the intake to do so.

    (Without seeing the details of Stonewall’s ratings, I suspect she comes out with a lower figure than Grayling because the latter wasn’t in parliament until 2001 and so by definition has no voting record for the previous four years.)

    May has been part of the wing of the Conservative party that has been dragging it toward moderation over the past decade. Which was the more successful course of action – to accept the whipped line on votes at the time and remain in a position to argue some common sense, or to resign on the matter and sink ineffectively, unable to bring any influence? The latter course is the one followed by John Bercow and at the end of the day his approach set the modernisers back.

    I’ve only met Theresa on a couple of occasions (and our main conversation revolved around shoes!) so can’t comment on her directlty but I think we should see what she does in government rather than making inherent assumptions.

  12. We’re supposed to trust THIS raging homophobe to protect our rights?

    Thank you Clegg, we can see what voting for you got us

  13. A first strike against Cameron on his first day as PM, not a good start, expect more of this. This only reflects extremely poor judgment on his part and begs the question, just how truly does he believe in FULL equality? The answer is a big fat NO. Shame on Clegg, not what I voted for.

  14. Tim Roll-Pickering, I hope your right. Having lived through the last tory rein, its hard to forget things like Section 28 and their constant attempts (as recent as the Equality Biill) to stall or water down any positive gay legislation. Lets hope that TM isn’t as homophobic as her voting record appears and that she was just voting in line with her party because she had too.

  15. “Et tu Clegg” Thanks for the homophobe. Gay rights will be taken back 20 years. I hope, I am dead wrong.

  16. #12. I’ll judge her for what she has tried to do to me – take away my rights. Fortunately we had a labour government then so she was unable to keep lgbt as second class citizens.
    If she is part of the progressive side of the tories – voting against equal age of consent, clause 28, adoption etc. I wouldnt like to see how the non progressive side vote for lgbt rights.

  17. A shocking proposal – 55% needed to oust the government! If it gets through, even the Lib Dems and all other MPs won’t be able to pass a vote of no confidence to initiate a new general election. Goodbye democracy – Welcome to Robert Mugabe-style politics

  18. I have sent my email asking for her assurance that she now actually believes in equality.

  19. Well all you gays out there who voted Tory thinking they have changed only have yourselves to blmae!

    I am astounded once again at the stupidity of these people. We saw it that woman who is in Opus Dei and here it is again. How can you put someone in charge of equality who does not believe in it?

    Hope you all still have your closets to go back into, lol.

  20. So how’s the much praised gay support for the Lib Dems working out for then, huh?

  21. Agreed Paul.

  22. de Villiers 12 May 2010, 2:15pm

    > There are no ifs, ands or buts about it. Theresa May is a homophobe. Let’s watch her. The second she tries to implement any neo-Nazi homophobic laws, we need to kick up a stink.

    There is criticism and there is extremist obsession. To imply that Theresa May has sympathy with neo-Nazi views verges on the fanatical.

  23. I’m confused – why would Stonewall “refuse comment” on this matter??

  24. Darn; I hoped minsiter for equality would be a Lib Dem post.

  25. Mihangel apYrs 12 May 2010, 2:37pm

    #25 Jamie
    because Stonewall wants to keep in with its new masters

  26. Jock S. Trap 12 May 2010, 2:41pm

    I think we should see what happens before we judge.

  27. Well they wasted no time, did they? So how do all the gay guys who voted for libdems because of cleggy’s nice hair feel now?

  28. Modern1st – what are you blithering about?

  29. Jan Bridget 12 May 2010, 3:01pm

    “This will be the end of the parts of the Equality Act that refer to us then, because those parts have to be enabled!” Can you expand please?

  30. “Darn; I hoped minsiter for equality would be a Lib Dem post. ”

    Me too. Why the hell did the Tories choose her?

  31. John(Derbyshire) 12 May 2010, 3:06pm

    I remember seeing her on Question Time-defending Dame Janet Young who was organising a campaign to stop the repeal of Clause 28. Theresa May seemed to thing it was a pretty reasonable thing to do. The BBC probably still has the tape. Why don`t they air it-so we can judge her by what comes out of her own mouth?

  32. No. 18 Jay 6pac….last time I checked, we are still second class citizens that both Labour and now Tory parties now endorse via civil partnerships. Both contend that we are not entitled or worthy of full equality by their lack of support for full marriage equality for those of us who want it. At least Clegg supports it, the first party leader to do so whether some of us voted for him or not. If Clegg is that sincere about it he should raise the issue with Cameron who should get behind it if he truly believes in our equality which up until now, he doesn’t. So, nothing has changed, same old gay pandering to get votes and zero now that he’s in number 10. Expect NOTHING more.

  33. Hodge Podge 12 May 2010, 3:49pm

    Cameron talked about ‘considering’ gay marriage, that sounds like bollocks but that statement can be used to slap him a bit if he doesn’t nothing. With the Lib Dems supporting it, theres a fair chance it will be brought up fairly seriously, maybe even a free vote for the Tories.

  34. Bob can you tell me what the legal difference is between a civil partnership and a marraige? I am in a civil partnership and think your comments are pretty annoying. I don’t want to get married in a church. We’ve got equality, now we need to stop fighting the battles of the past and work to ensure we maintain equality and also fight to ensure that the rest of the world follows this country’s lead.

    They’re elected. Cope with it people. Rather than calling her a neo-Nazi (grow up for god’s sake), why not give her a chance to prove she’s changed her spots. If she hasn’t, then we raise merry hell.

    And, David Henry, you don’t need to be a homophobe to be in favour of the family. My family’s pretty good, and I’m quite fond of them (in fact I’m quite a fan).

    We don’t do our cause any good by getting all hysterical for no good reason. Much better to ask them now where they stand, hold them up to the standards they profess and kick up a fuss if they don’t. Stonewall’s right to reserve judgement. Outrage is just predictable.

  35. Dave (Wirral) 12 May 2010, 3:53pm

    On the eve of the election I had seen J Harvey’s play about attitudes re gays thro the last few decades. I voted LibDem and went home to see the results thinking at last we have moved on from the Dark Ages. T May – Home Secretary – Cleagg & Co what have you done! I am gutted and feel utterly betrayed – never voting for that lot again. Guess that’s why they have come up with 55% rule to keep them in power. Why stop at 55%? And the Tories accused Brown of being Stalinist – what a joke.

  36. Justin Hinchcliffe 12 May 2010, 4:00pm

    What vile postings from bitter Labour-supporting queens. Grow up and accept the fact you lost. Let’s give Cameron and Clegg a chance.

  37. DeeDee Banks 12 May 2010, 4:09pm

    Guys you cannot effect changes by staying on the side lines. If Nick Clegg who indirectly called Cameron a Gay basher on National Television can go into a coalition with him to bring about the changes most of my friends are fighting for so should you.

    Theresa May is perfect for the job and she will be very successful. That much I know. Now, give her your support and stop talking about the past.

  38. Stonewall approach is the right one: give her a chance to prove herself. If she turns out to be as bad as some fear then we have the power to campaign and put on the pressure.

  39. Justin Hichcliffe, there’s something really unpleasant about a gay man who describes his peer group as “bitter Labour supporting queens”. Bad enough when hompobic abuse, and the use of the term “queen” as a put-down for other gay men, comes from some ignorant hetero gaybasher. Disgusting when it comes from a gay man,you ought to be ashamed of yourself for sinking to that level. But then, you are a well-known Tory Boy.

    Fact is, the gay Tories in teh Shadow cabinet have been sidelined and not given influential jobs. Fact is, Teherea May has a track record of voting against us. Fact is, other ‘phobes like Duncan Smith, Hague and Pickles, all with poor voting records, have the power. The LibDems have sold us out, Cameron has told us one thing and done another, we have every right to point that out.

  40. paul canning 12 May 2010, 5:17pm

    To the Labour supporters.

    Both coalition partners went into election to change the asylum system to get rid of homophobia including the disgusting idea that gays can be ‘safe’ in Uganda, Iran or Jamaica if only they’re ‘discrete’. Fact @DavidW.

    But I suppose for you the situation Labour has put LGBT asylum seekers in counts for nothing? I sure know Labour supporting gays overwhelmingly did bugger all about it.

    Now we actually have a chance of real change for the most marginalised LGBT in Britain.

    I am no Tory and I will judge her on her actions but I know if we’d had Labour back there was zero evidence of any hope for change whatsoever.

  41. And so it begins.

    I’ve noticed a very obvious absence of Squidgy and the other vociferous Tory supporters on this thread.

    Smitty, why have you swallowed the anti-gay marriage arguments hook, line and sinker. Find an atheist married couple and ask them if they got married in a church.

    So to answer your question in the briefest way possible: 1) CIVIL marriage has absolutely NOTHING to do with church or religion. 2) The right to a civil marriage would not force you or anyone else to marry if they didn’t want to. 3) Try as you may to convince yourself, your government and your society does NOT see your civil partnership as equal to marriage. 4) In the American South, blacks had to drink from separate water fountains. The WATER was the same: the same temperature, the same quality, the same source, so why did black people object just because they had to drink their water from a separate fountain? Because of what it said about what their government and society thought about them. They felt that they were entitled to the same water but it was critically important for them to make the point that they were “different”, “separate”, “other”. That is exactly what CP’s are intended to do.

    Now for the not-so-brief follow-up…

    The questions that you SHOULD be asking, regardless of your own opinions about “marriage, is why should YOUR government deny ANY group of people access to a PUBLIC, CIVIL institution that they WANT to avail themselves of? Why should straight couples, especially non-religious straight couples, not have a right to the institution of Civil Partnerships, ESPECIALLY if, as you incorrectly claim, it is a religious rather than civil institution? And, just for argument’s sake, lets just say that it is religious. Are you saying that, because YOU don’t want a religious marriage recognized and licensed by the state, that it should be ILLEGAL for ANY gay couple to have a legal, religious marriage, even in a country where atheist are allowed to “marry”? What about gay people who marry people of the opposite sex? Should marriage be available to them even if it is based on lies and deception but not for those who live their truth and want to marry their same-sex partner?

    What you seem to not understand is that this fight is not about whether marriage is good or bad for gay couples or straight couples. It’s not about whether marriage is an outdated misogynistic institution or even if it does or does not have religious traditions attached to it. It’s about whether the government should deny some citizens the right to participate in it when it’s THEY, and not the church, who define it, administers it, licenses it and litigates it when it fails, making it a CIVIL institution.

    It may surprise you that this isn’t just about YOU and your personal opinion of marriage. I fully support, understand and applaud your personal lack of interest marriage. What I don’t understand is why you allow your personal lack of interested to be turned into an animosity toward those who want to marry. I certainly don’t understand why you don’t take offense to the fact that gay people CANNOT participate in the civil institution of marriage, regardless of whether they personally want to or not.

    Are there other pressing issues to be taken on? Of course there are. Are they mutually exclusive of the fight for marriage equality. Absolutely not. To act as if we can’t fight for marriage equality while fighting for asylum rights or against hate crimes or for the other myriad issues is like saying England can’t address issues of poverty, homelessness and injustice at home as long as their is still genocide in Somalia.

  42. Sister Mary Clarence 12 May 2010, 5:28pm

    Looking on the bright side though folks, the Bank of England has expressed support for the government’s debt reduction plan, shares and the pound have both responded positively to this.

    This in turn will stimulate international confidence in Britain and is a step in the right direction to rebuilding our world standing, and confidence in the economy.

    This in turn will increase economic prosperity, increasing international trade and jobs.

    Based on the fact that some gay people do work, there is therefore a tangible benefit already to the new government and Ms Teresa May.

  43. To:

    Dear Theresa May

    Congratulations on your appointment as Home Secretary and Equalities Minister.

    I am curious however to know if you are actually suitable to be Equalities Minister.

    Why did you against an equal age of consent for gay people?
    Why did you vote against adoption equality for gay people?
    Why did you vote to maintain the fascist Section 28?

    Do you still believe that gay people should be discriminated against?

    If not then have you apologised for supporting fascist discrimination in the past.

    If you still support homophobic discrimination then you are clearly not fit for office.

    The homophobia of the Tory Party is a very serious and current concern to me (I have not forgotten the BNP style ramblings of Chris Grayling and Julian Lewis) and if you or your party show any sign of returning to the traditional homophobic neo-nazism of the Tories, then there will be serious backlash.

    Yours sincerely

  44. Patrick James 12 May 2010, 5:47pm

    Well our Home Secretary and Minister for Equality is a notorious homophobe.

    This says a lot about David Cameron’s commitment to LGBT equality.

    The election is over now, and so we get to see the very ugly reality.

  45. Smitty, No. 36, Zeke in post 43 beat me to it! Zeke, thank you for explaining it so very well, it doesn’t get any clearer than that.

    Smitty, I’m sorry that you find my comment annoying, that’s unfortunate. I have absolutely NO objection to anyone wanting to form a civil partnership even though I wouldn’t want one for myself, but I don’t say that people should be banned from them such as straight people who don’t want to marry. The two are clearly distinct hence the difference in name, and it has nothing to do with semantics, that’s nothing more than a canard to justify a ban on our right to marry. What I find annoying are gay people who believe that we don’t need to get married just because they themselves don’t want to marry and believe civil partnerships are sufficient for ALL of us. For many of us, they are not. Eight countries have proved that so far, soon to be ten. I only see one other country (Ireland) signing on to civil partnerships with slightly fewer rights than the British model. That’s not a trend that will grow anywhere in the EU which is outnumbered by six member states, soon to be seven when Finland introduces civil marriage equality in 2011. Why segregate a group of people with similar rights? That is not what FULL equality is all about. No other western country does this.

  46. John(Derbyshire) 12 May 2010, 5:56pm

    Why doesn`t Theresa May come on to this board and actually TELL US if she still stands by her (previous?) homophobic ideas? Its as smple as that.
    Bet she still thinks exactly the same- all the tories do. They are still homophobic-but now they just keep their mouths shut.

  47. Patrick James 12 May 2010, 5:56pm

    MCC writes:

    So how’s the much praised gay support for the Lib Dems working out for then, huh?


    As a Labour guy I will be the first to admit that the Labour party is far from perfect.

    The Lib Dems have tended to hold themselves up as being very pure.

    Now we see that the Lib Dems are part of a government with a notorious homophobe as Home Secretary and Minister for Equality.

  48. Patrick James 12 May 2010, 6:07pm

    Sister Mary Clarence writes:

    Based on the fact that some gay people do work, there is therefore a tangible benefit already to the new government and Ms Teresa May.

    One of the many great successes of Gordon Brown’s handling of the global financial crisis was that we did not see a rise in unemployment.

    Today very many people are still in employment because of Gordon Brown’s policies.

    Past Conservative governments have sent unemployment soaring and this one is giving all the indications that it will do the same.

    The “slash and burn” strategy of the Conservatives creates unemployment, many house repossessions, destroys industry.

    We have seen this before.

    A great many people (LGBT and straight) are going to be losing their jobs because of the Conservatives nutty economic policies. They will not be grateful.

  49. Sister Mary Clarence 12 May 2010, 6:27pm

    2.5 million Patrick???

  50. George Broadhead, PTT 12 May 2010, 6:30pm

    On the face of it Mrs May seems as frightful as the former New Labour Equality Minister Ruth Kelly, the Catholic member of the notorious reactionary Opus Dei.

    Does anyone know what religion she adheres to, if any?

    As to Stonewall’s reaction, it’s a typical wet fudge, isn’t it?

  51. Tory big-league player has been given a great office of state. Scoop. No LibDem was going to get the Home Office. Tory big-league player has a homophobic voting record. Even bigger scoop. Cameron needed at least one woman in a senior role. Gobsmacking.
    Get real, folks. The politics of coalition with the LibDems will not give Theresa May or her mates much scope to undermine LGBT gains. The biggest danger is probably a stall in progress. This funny hybrid government is only a day old – give it a chance, and keep your powder dry.
    The biggest medium- and long-term problem is the possible decline of the LibDems because they will have helped the Tories look like fluffy centrists. Irrelevance is the biggest danger in politics after extremism.

  52. silly billy 12 May 2010, 6:58pm

    I’m sure it was Theresa may who called the Tory “party” the Natzy party wasn’t it? Or have I made a spelling mistake?
    I had a civil ceremony with my partner almost as soon as Labour made it possible for us to do so (during the last Tory incarnation, and the vast unemployment and cutting of jobs and then benefits, and negative equity; I was with a partner who met someone else, and insisted on bringing that new person to the house we had bought between us and my partner’s sister. Because of negative equity, and because it was unreasonable for me to stay in the house in such a situation, and because I had not a legal leg to stand on, I lost my partner of the time, my home, a deposit I had spent years saving) My civil partnership, means that if I do not want to be resuscitated my partner can speak for me, (rather than being at the mercy of my Roman Catholic family who do not believe in painkillers and who do not believe in the dignity of assisted dying), that should we sadly split up then we are both entitled to equal share of the proceeds of our house, that our friends and family could come to what our friends and family referred to as our marriage ceremony bringing with them a huge wedding cake made with love. I really didn’t mind what people saw it as, for us it was a great day to publicly declare our relationship and our commitment to each other, and for all to come and share that with us. We are civvied. I have no interest in being married, but if that is what made you vote against Labour then that’s a bit sad.
    I did not vote Tory as they are repulsive, right-wing fanatics however convincingly progressive Cameron may have made them sound. I did not vote Lib Dem because Clegg, for all his nice-sounding, progressive, NewLibDem management-speke promises, persuaded me that he had hijacked the Lib Dems in the way that Blair hijacked the Labour party and that he would merely jump on the bandwagon that would assist his career in the quickest possible way. It may be that if I met any of these people in the pub they would be friendly enough, but for them to be left in the management of a group of countries that still hasn’t quite got over its imperialist past (and still resents the immigrant ramifications of its imperialist past) is, frankly, frightening.
    Check out Duncan-Smith’s attitude to gay rights too.

  53. To all of you bashing the Conservatives you should remember that gay equality is not the only thing at stake. Take a look at what labour have done to civil liberties. They are supposed to be our servants, not the other way around. We are only a couple of steps from a police state (if we are not already one). Labour hasn’t been screwing over gay people, they’ve been screwing over everyone, and that is far more dangerous. The lib/con coalition have committed to repealing these rediculous laws.

    Now, I will admin that I am not at all happy for Theresa May to be the equality minister, but I’ll wait an see what happens and as someone put it in a previous comment, kick up a fuss if she tries to screw us over.

  54. Well, Theresa May’s voting record on LGBT issues is not that great, but much of it predates her revelations in 2002 that the Tories were the nasty party. A lot of her colleagues claim to have undergone a conversion on gay issues, not least Dave, and now they’re in power, we wait to see. We can get hung up on the rhetoric of the past, or we can judge them by their actions. The latter seems to be the pragmatic course, and in that I agree with Stonewall. Hurling bricks before they’ve opened their mouths is likely to be counter-productive.

    As a lib-dem with left leanings, I accept that the electorate voted the way they did, within the system we’ve got, and that a coalition with the tories is the only feasible option for a government for the time-being. I’m actually rather hopeful that the presence of Nick Clegg and his colleagues in government will prove a restraining influence on the tories, and further marginalise the loonier fringes.

    As usual, I’m caught mid-way between a gasp and a yawn at the preoccupation of some with the gay marriage thing. It always amuses me to think that if we had CPs and CMs for straight and gay couples is that you’d end up with two institutions with exactly the same process and exactly the same legal rights and obligations, and people would just have a choice about what to call it. Big deal. It’s not the make or break issue for everyone, as some comments here reveal. However, as a lib-dem, I note that Nick Clegg is the only one unequivocally for it, and Cameron said something to effect that as part of his support for stable and committed relationships he’d be willing to consider it. So, boys and girls, you might just get what you want, though I expect it would probably help if you resist the temptation to get hysterical about it.

    S’Murph, do share with us TM’s reply to your email if/when it arrives – I’m sure it’ll be incredibly revealing, given the subtlety of your questions.

  55. Diesel Balaam 12 May 2010, 8:00pm

    Theresa May may have changed her mind, of course, though her record is appalling. If she is religiously minded, her bigotry may be entrenched, however. This is still no reason to scream “fascist” or “BNP” – that is just the politics of juvenile hysteria. Let’s wait and see what happens. She may yet surprise us, but if not, we can get her later.
    Labour delivered a hell of a lot on gay rights, but much of this was only because the EU demanded that they make those changes. Labour went in for a lot of control freakery, introducing thousands of new petty laws, curbing free speech, while allowing immigration, multiculturalism and political correctness to run riot. They kow-towed to the Pope’s anti-gay agenda and invited scumbag Islamic militants like Yusuf Al Qaradawi to our country.
    The Liberals have been exposed as the unprincipled whores they always have been. If they succeed in getting us some kind of proportional representation, I will be voting Green – pro-gay and secular and rational, through and through.

  56. Where are all those mercenary who were writing here in favour of a tory government just a week ago?

  57. Presumably she got the equality gig because she is not a white male like the rest of the cabinet.

  58. silly billy 12 May 2010, 8:20pm

    Blimey. I was under the illusion she was a white male.

  59. Dave Chameleon hasn’t got a clue has he? If Nick Griffin was a tory supporter Dave would have appointed him to be in charge of racial equality.

  60. im sure many of you feel the same about this i hate the fact that the lib dems have joined the torys thinking there gonna make a difference the amount of seats the torys have if the lib dems try to make any up to date changes to the law the torys will just bulk block them in the house of parliament …join this group if you agree let them know we are pissed…

  61. A two line whip gives her a choice, she chose to vote the way she did.

    sure we’ll see a a backdoor version of Section 28 from this woman. probably call it the Familys Act or something.

  62. Hopefully there won’t be a shortage of eggs and tomatoes.

  63. And an “Anita Bryant pie moment” is of course another option if she doesn’t treat us equally.

  64. I think, along with a few others, i will wait and see on Ms May. Voting record is a pretty awful way to rate politicians. Public Whip is a faithful record of how they vote, but doesn’t exactly make explicit the effects of whipping and pairing (which can go a long way to explain abstentions).

    A two-line whip is not absolutely binding, but…to be honest, if you are a Front Bench spokesperson, it is all but. So, Ms May voted the party line in some instances: abstained on others where pairing may have been in operation and…has she made any specific comments or speeches on Gay Rights?

    Those, for me, seem to be far more relevant. If someone turns up some hompohobic statements, i’ll happily concede the woman is one. Til then, i’ll wait to see what more she says and does.

    Trans issues may be a more interesting short term touchstone, as the Lib Dems are pressing for an acknowledgment of the EU report affirming individual rights to be treated as the gender they identify as.

    Not sure what, if anything, is on the horizon on Gay issues. Equality Bill OUGHT to be a dead issue now. Debated, passed and presumably commenced. I can’t see the Tories putting this one on the repeal list.


  65. has she made any specific comments or speeches on Gay Rights?

    She has, yesterday, to John Snow (Channel 4). She gave her best half smile, clenched teeth, saying she abides by the party lines and manifesto, or something like that. Someone must invite her for a warming party with plenty of pies and cameras.

  66. She needs not be scared of us

  67. If you haven’t seen it, John Snow brought up this issue with Theresa May on Wednesday. Good old Channel 4 News:

    The interview starts at 2 mins 20 secs.

    But I agree with what Chameleon wrote. Part of being a grown up is learning to give and take and that you can’t always have everything you want. Many good policies have already been announced: no extra runway at Heathrow, ID cards and extra biometric data on passports scrapped, laws to be repealed etc.

  68. GS – your comment ignores that people should have equal rights and not just what can be slipped by the homophobes!

  69. @Chester – I believe the best way to make things progress is by being reasonable and generous ourselves and tolerant of other people who may not be completely perfect. Instead of, as is so often the case in the comments here, being just as hateful, spiteful and hysterical as the worst bigots and smearing anyone who doesn’t say what we want to hear.

    Some Tories have old fashioned views and sometimes it’s just down to the fact that they have had little contact with people who are LGBT. In particular, the word ‘homophobe’ needs to be used less. Otherwise we end up being like the boy who cried wolf.

    If you’re worried about inequality then I would urge you to start tackling our ‘gay villages’ which pretty much exclude anyone who isn’t aged 18-30 and with a high-income. Also pay-to-attend ‘Pride’ events which are little more than pop festivals. Not to mention our gay media which is filled with hairless young (mainly white male) gym-goers. As I’ve said before, most LGBT adults are aged over 40 yet the majority are not represented nor catered for in our community. Equality starts at home.

  70. GS – being reasonable etc doesn’t make any impression on the homophobes and many people don’t even get why people should be equal! ‘homophobe’ is used as they are homophobes
    I dunno about gay villages but the media is going to use images that sell and young fit men sell, equality starts any place or anywhere there’s inequalities

  71. poeticlicense 13 May 2010, 10:52am

    Theresa May is also very transphobic, bring back Harriet Harmen all is forgiven

  72. @Chester – the election has been won. If they’re all homophobes why is Theresa May on TV saying how important it is to tackle homophobic bullying?

  73. I didn’t say everyone was did I GS? Besides it’s easy for politicians to make claims but harder to put them into practise, the election may be done but that doesn’t mean the scrutiny ends
    there’s an old joke about politicians which I’ll try to include later

  74. GS wrote

    “. . . the election has been won. If they’re all homophobes why is Theresa May on TV saying how important it is to tackle homophobic bullying?”

    Why is Theresa on TV saying this indeed, when she has not voted to support any issue with regards homosexulaity or gay rights.

    The contradiction is I think with “Theresa May”

  75. Can’t Pink news get her in for an indepth interview about her views on equality…give the old trout a chance to prove herself.

  76. No. 56 Chameleon, you may be yawning and tired of same-sex marriage, but you’re dead wrong when you state that civil partnerships are the same as marriage. Even Cameron admits there are some areas where they are not. If they are, then why call them that? This is not a question of semantics. You obviously don’t see the larger picture do you? Eight countries (six currently in the EU) now allows us to marry, two more, probably Argentina and now Finland expects to introduce it in 2011. Why do you think they are not opting for civil partnerships or the other mish mash of unequal same-sex unions within the EU? Marriage equality is on the rise, not CPs which will never be the standard for same-sex couples anywhere. Just because you’re comfortable with CPs, and that is your right, all of us should be supportive of those who would rather have the freedom and the right to marry. You don’t have to like it, but at least be supportive and defend the rights of those who want it. I personally do not want a CP but I strongly support the right for those who do. I would rather marry and I should have that right. Its absurd to ban any of us from it and that’s not what full equality is all about no matter how you try to skew it.

  77. No 78 Bob. Do please enumerate for me the differences in legal rights and obligations between civil marriage and civil partnerships. Thanks.
    GS, various posts, very well said.

  78. Anyone who is the least surprised by the Lib Dems going in with the Tories has really ‘taken their eye off the ball’. Instead of taking a principled stand for their politics Clegg has greedily seized a seat in the cabinet because of hubris.

    Better for us gay folk would have been for the Tories to form a minority government, only being able to get through policies with which the majority of MPs agreed. It could well have taken them to a new election. Getting the same result in Parliament for the second time would really have helped them buckle down to consensus politics.

    As it is, we can look forward to five long years of struggle for gay rights. Not to win them, but to maintain the ones we have.

  79. de Villiers 13 May 2010, 3:38pm

    A civil partnership confers the same rights as marriage: Wilkinson v Kitzinger and AG and Lord Chancellor [2006] EWHC 2022 (Fam).

    At paragraph 33, Lord Justice Potter held, “Abiding single sex relationships are in no way inferior, nor does English law suggest that they are by according them recognition under the name of civil partnership.”

    He continued at paragraph 122: “Parliament has taken steps by enacting the CPA to accord to same-sex relationships effectively all the rights, responsibilities, benefits and advantages of civil marriage save the name, and thereby to remove the legal, social and economic disadvantages suffered by homosexuals who wish to join stable long- term relationships.”

    Where the court reads the word “marriage” in an Act, they will interpret this as referring also to a “civil partnership” unless Parliament specifically states otherwise.

  80. She looked very nervous when John Snow pressed her on gay rights and didn’t sound very supportive at all, except for the issue of homophobic bullying in schools. Maybe she’s afraid she’ll get sacked like Grayling if she says the wrong thing, i.e. like what she really thinks.

    There’s a lot of gay people in the Civil Service, I expect they’ll be none too pleased if our right to equality is not taken seriously.

  81. Disappointing that before the election there had been a number of gay people in the shadow cabinet, but there are none in the cabinet after the election. Makes it look like window dressing for the voters.

  82. Chameleon No. 79… aside from the differences as to how civil partnerships are formed and dissolved (different from marriage), there is the discrepancy of pension entitlements. Changes to pension benefits are problematic, not usually retrospective, so historic inequalities can persist for many years, effectively till the end of a generation. This has NEVER been addressed or corrected.

    Looking at the larger picture, once you leave the UK as a civil partnered couple, the rights you enjoy thereunder are not necessarily reciprocated in countries where there is same-sex marriage or in countries where there is a varying degree of legal unions that are not identical to civil partnerships and what about countries where there are no legal unions of any kind for gay couples in spite of recognition of CPs? All of this confusion and refusal to acknowledge the hodge podge of same sex unions other than marriage can easily be resolved by allowing gay couples to marry. Its the universal standard with important implications. Outside of the UK civil partnerships really don’t have any importance or significance as marriage does. Trying to get the EU to recognise CPs across the entire union is not going to fly since all of those different unions aren’t identical, some offer more, some offer less rights than CPs. Its an absurd situation. Only one other country, ergo Ireland is adopting civil partnerships but even then with slightly fewer rights. I don’t see the trend in that direction, particularly in Europe, five already offering civil marriage, maybe Portugal if its president doesn’t veto it in a few days and in 2011 Finland will allow its gay citizens to marry. The writing is on the wall for the entire EU.

    de Villiers No. 81…”Where the court reads the word “marriage” in an Act, they will interpret this as referring also to a “civil partnership” unless Parliament specifically states otherwise.”

    You’ve confirmed that civil partnerships are NOT marriages, thank you. Parliament has specifically stated that they are not. Treating them as marriages does not mean they are marriages according to the marriage causes act of 1973. There has been no parliamentary change to that.

    In the case of Wilson v. Kitzinger, Kitzinger and her partner were legally married in Canada and issued a marriage certificate as evidence. Nowhere does it state that their’s is a civil partnership. No civil partnered couple in the UK is issued a marriage certificate. Canada recognises civil partnerships for what they are, not treated as marriages, but our own country refuses to recognise a legal marriage certificate for a same-sex couple for what it is. Where is the equality in that? Why are you so against civil marriage for gay couples if they want that option? I and many of us aren’t against civil partnerships per se for those who prefer them, but I wouldn’t advocate against them. Both forms should be available to everyone. If anything, every gay man and woman should be supporting marriage equality and civil partnerships for all in the interests of full equality.

  83. ‘ All of this confusion and refusal to acknowledge the hodge podge of same sex unions other than marriage can easily be resolved by allowing gay couples to marry. Its the universal standard with important implications’ Comment 84.

    Try taking a Dutch Gay marraige to Florida, or most of USA, and see if it is recognised. The fact of the matter is that, only the countries that recognise Gay marraige recognise the marraiges of foreign married Gay people. Therefor, the name does not help in this regard, because such countries only recognise opposite sex marraige.

    As a matter of fact, CPs work better in such countries, and are accorded the rights which teh same sex marraige is not.

    The Wilson v Kitzinger case itself illustrates that it does not work this way, as the marraige of that couple was not recognised in the UK, which would have recognised a CP by them.

  84. I agree with posting number 77. Either Pink News or Gay Times requesting an interview with Teresa May could prove to give an insight to this “Lady”.


  85. john sharp 17 May 2010, 7:47am

    making you equality minister
    is a joke
    how can she even accept the post
    is there no integrity any more

  86. Nikki No. 84. You just don’t get it. There are now 8 countries offering same-sex marriage now that Portugal legalised it yesterday, a country that had civil partnerships in 2001 long before the UK ever conceived of them. Why do you think it abandoned them for marriage? Why is Finland doing it next year? Why is Argentina mulling it? Civil Partnershps are NOT and NEVER will be recognised as marriages for that matter. Why aren’t other countries imitating the UK if they’re so equal? Any answer? I can’t name more than two countries. With identical civil partnership laws, while 8 countries have identical same-sex gender neutral civil marriage and the UK can’t even recognise those for what they are, but instead, downgrades them to something they are not. A legal civil certificate of marriage doesn’t mention civil partnership anywhere in it but our government chooses to adopt a convenient form of dyslexia to avoid the marriage issue when it comes to British gay couples marrying in other countries. Its nothing but cowardice and I won’t ever vote for a party that supports oppression which is what this is. You can skew it all you want, CPs will never be equal. If you want them fine, but don’t oppose those of us who want something better and far more widely recognised. Just because you may not like marriage doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have that right. None of us would want to barr you from a civil partnership so why should anyone want to support a ban on those of us who want to marry? The two can coexist for those who want either. If they are that equal to marriage, why is there a ban on straight couples who don’t want to marry but might want to form a civil partnership? That proves they are not equal by any stretch of the imagination and if you think they are, then you’re in denial.

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