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‘We need cultural change’ – Equality minister Theresa May writes for PinkNews.co.uk

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  1. Spot the language its now LGB and T! Why is she deliberately isolating the T away from the rest of us.

    United we stand divided we all fall.

  2. But you can’t get away from the facts; the Tories encouraged homophobia for years under Thatcher and Major!!!!!!!

  3. Yes we do need a cultuire change – the first thing is to take our rights seriously and not havwe a virulent homophobe like Theresa May as Equalities minister. Her appointment shows the Tory contempt for our rights

    And no amount of receptions (with vetted and pre-approved GBLTs who can be relied on to play nice) and pretty speeches will change that. Especially to celebrate the achievements for our rights that the Tories fought every last step of the way

  4. The UK is not a world leader in GLBT equality. The countries which have established marriage equality have passed us by. The UK, the current government, and you Ms. May are supporting an apartheid system which is the antithesis of equality. Coming to us and saying that business, media, etc. need to do more when you yourself support maintaining discriminatory laws demonstrates that you have no idea whatsoever what it means to be “more tolerant, more equal and fairer for all.”

  5. Brenda Lana Smith R af D 18 Jun 2010, 12:53pm

    Right on Outraged… but worse still… she’s completely omitted intersex folk’s equality!

  6. 1of18000, I totally support your view. Its a joke and hypocritical for the British government to be advocating for equality and civil partnership recognition abroad when we’re banned from marrying. Its sick and even more sickening are the gay proponents of sexual apartheid including StonewallUK. Just because they don’t want marriage for themselves, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be fighting for that right for those of us who do. How would they like it if we fought to ban them from civil partnerships? These idiots can’t even come up with one rational answer as to why we should be banned from marrying. CPs will NEVER the norm across the EU, six countries in the EU already have proved that and debunked the myth the separate is never equal. That trend will continue, CPs won’t, thankfully. The naysayers including Cameron are all in denial.

  7. Tim Hopkins 18 Jun 2010, 1:33pm

    Of course I agree that the UK Govt is failing us on marriage equality. The UK is not quite a world leader, but we don’t do badly. In ILGA-Europe’s Rainbow Country Europe Index we get 8 out of a maximum of 10 points. Only Sweden gets 10, and a small number of other countries get 9. Russia and Ukraine are last, on -2.

    The UK loses one point for not having same-sex marriage, and one point for not having sexual orientation equality guaranteed in our constitution.

    The Index only covers sexual orientation – ILGA-Europe plan to publish a gender identity one next year.

  8. Don’t get me wrong. I love the UK. It is my adopted home. I will spend the rest of my life here. It’s so far ahead of America it’s amazing. It’s not like the UK is backwards. But none of it’s advances are because of the Torries and in particular the likes of Ms. May. She has voted against our equality at every step of the way and now she’s claiming to be a continuation of what has made this country great. What a lie. She’s a hypocrite and her agenda is a sham. The UK will fall farther behind the continent because of her.

  9. Not a word about gay marriage. While I’m pleased that the Tories are making an effort to support gay people – well, more of an effort than in the past – what I’d like Ms may to do is explain exactly how she thinks a separate but equal system of CPs is in any way equal? Would she, for example, just sit back and let a system where non-white people weren’t permitted to marry continue?

    I hope not. Then how does she justify having a separate system for LGBT people?

  10. Patrick James 18 Jun 2010, 3:01pm

    Theresa May writes that ensuring equality is:

    not a job for government alone

    But I think she really means, it is not a job for government at all.

    It is true that changing culture is important but culture changes as a result of government activity, not as a result of government telling culture to change.

    If the government is slow to bring about equality for LGBT people then that sends out a very strong message that LGBT people are not to be respected as equals.

    Telling newspapers etc, “treat LGBT people as equals” is very weak when the government is obviously not enthusiastic about doing this themselves.

    If the Conservative party wishes for LGBT people to be perceived as equals then it has the opportunity to make a real statement about that by making it possible for LGBT people to marry as opposed to form civil partnerships.

  11. vulpus_rex 18 Jun 2010, 3:21pm

    “intersex”

    What, pray tell, does this mean?

  12. Patrick James 18 Jun 2010, 3:26pm

    Apparently Theresa May believes “everyone in society” has a part to play in ensuring equality. She highlighted

    business leaders, sportsmen and newspaper editors

    as some of those who “need to take action”.

    Does Theresa May think that schools have a part to play and I wonder why she does not highlight them?

    On the same day as Theresa is talking this vacuous guff, Michael Gove is doing something very real by setting out the government’s plans for “free schools” as reported in this Guardian article.

    Today is the day that parents can begin applying to set them up.

    Michael Gove says that:

    he expected teachers, parent groups, charities and philanthropists to express interest in setting up free schools

    Not included in that list is religions. However I know and the Conservative party knows very well that religions are to be by far the biggest group interested.

    In January the Daily Mail printed an article Why David Cameron wants a boom in faith schools. In the article it says:

    Senior figures in the Roman Catholic Church have already expressed a strong interest in running the ‘free schools’ proposed by the Conservatives.

    Michael Gove doesn’t choose to mention them :)

    I think these ‘free schools’ will be predominantly set up by religious groups.

    The Conservatives will give them carte blanche on issues such as equality for LGBT people.

    Even though the schools will be funded entirely be the tax payer the religions will be able to do pretty much whatever they want with the children.

    That is the reality of the Conservatives on LGBT issues. Not the guff Theresa May is talking.

  13. Pumpkin Pie 18 Jun 2010, 3:57pm

    Forget business and the bloody media, schools are BY FAR the most important aspect in creating equality. And that is entirely up to the government. Scrap the Waddington amendment (allows religious grounds for discrimination, defends conversion therapy) and lay down iron-clad rules on precisely how schools (ALL schools) are to treat LGBT children and LGBT issues.

    And how should they treat LGBT issues? End the social engineering! People always claim that teaching tolerance of LGBTs and other minorities to children is social engineering. I’ll tell you what real engineering is. Parading mixed-sex couples in front of us for our whole childhoods and only allowing us to know that same-sex couples exist when we “come of age”. Banning gay characters and issues from childrens’ media. Pretending transsexuality doesn’t even exist. We were forced to grow up in a system that taught us about LGBTs as if they were some sort of error that comes up every now and then, rather than as a natural, normal part of life.

    That is what I call social engineering, and it must be stopped immediately! How many straight people grew up thinking they were L/G/B? Virtually none. How many LGB people grew up thinking they were straight? Too many. So what the hell is the government afraid of? Straight kids are not going to grow up “confused” while they’re the majority, and even if they did, why is that so much more of an issue than LGB kids growing up confused? Will it make the poor dears “tainted”? Openness and good education will lead to less kids all around growing up confused, but we’re never going to get there with a government that wants straight people to retain their “privileged” status.

    Business and media may have their part to play, but it is infinitesimal compared to the role that the government should be playing. So, please stop trying to pass the buck and just make sure you do your own job properly! If you do that, then the business leaders and commentators of the next generation won’t even need to be told what to do, because they will have grown up with proper social awareness and a lack of manipulative conditioning.

  14. The ‘ambitious programme’ is nothing of the sort, and the UK is by no means a world leader in LGBT equality, and certainly shall not become one under Tory rule. In short, a pack of LIE and S.

    We know exactly what sort of a person you are Teresa May, and you are no friend of any lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans person. You cannot fool us.

  15. Steven Carson 18 Jun 2010, 5:38pm

    Those people making the very negative comments should really catch themselves on, what Theresa May is saying here is exactly right. Theresa May has genuinely changed her mind on LGBT – this was absolutely clear on Question Time a few weeks ago when she was asked directly about her views by David Dimbleby. She said she also recognises that gay adoption is right and she knows gay couples could give a loving home to children some of whom remain in care their entire childhood. I believe the Conservatives and David Cameron have made a real and serious effort to change direction on homosexuality and we should support and praise the progress, only possible through changing of hearts and minds. Do the negatives commenting here not know that the Conservatives have already gone a step further than Labour by announcing they are going to make it legal for gay marriages to be held in churches? Not one for me, but what really matters here is that its completely equal.

  16. Well Done Ms May, Any step forward is a positive act. Sure we can live in the past but thats not progressive. You either want things to move forward or you don’t. I’m guess with some it’s the latter so you have some purpose in keep whinging.

    You either want progression or you want to live in the past with nothing. I know what I want, and what Many others want. This is 2010 after all.

  17. Hmm… is this the same “number 10″ event where Peter Tatchell wasn’t welcome?
    I with a couple of posters in feeling the UK is WAY AHEAD of so many other countries, especially the USA.
    But it seems politicians, for the most part, are very similar worldwide!

  18. @ Outraged

    I don’t get your comment (1)? It’s sounds like a blatant excuse to pick a fight… about nothing. Would you rather Ms May excluded Transexuals?

  19. vulpus_rex – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intersex

    More common than you might imagine.

  20. Give the poor woman a chance. The Tories realise they got this one wrong in the past, and want to say sorry and put things right.

  21. Patrick James writes:
    “intersex”
    What, pray tell, does this mean?

    Patrick, and for that matter Theresa May, may I point you towards this page about intersex?

    ‘What is Intersex?’ at http://oiiaustralia.com/about/intersex/

    And then, if you want to learn more about intersex, the I in LGBTI, the I that is excluded from LGBT, that is not included in the Equality Act 2010, the I that the Tories seem to have excluded from their concerns just as Labour did before them, then please take a look at the rest of the site, http://oiiaustralia.com/.

  22. de Villiers 19 Jun 2010, 12:02pm

    > [The Conservatives] are supporting an apartheid system which is the antithesis of equality

    First, Look at the words that you use. The word apartheid, although strictly deriving from the Afrikaan words “apart” and “heid” meaning literally separate-hood, has a loaded meaning. It represents the system in South Africa which denied basic legal rights to black South Africans – and which denied them proper citizenship, allowing their torture, abduction, murder, disenfranchisement and subjugation.

    The system of Civil Parternships is not “apartheid”. It is not the “antithesis of equality”. The antithesis of something is its direct opposite – the Greek “antitithenai” meaning set against, itself from “anti” – against and “tithenai” – to place. The antithesis to equality is to have gay people with no right to hold property, no right not to be tortured, no right to vote, no right to be a citizen.

    Civil partnerships are undoubtedly close to equality if not, in the eyes of the law, equal: Wilkinson v (1) Katzinger (2) Attorney General and Lord Chancellor (2007) 1 FLR 295; [2006] EWHC 2022 (Fam) where the judge stated that the Civil Partnership Act 2004 accorded same-sex relationships all the rights, responsibilities, benefits and advantages of civil marriage save the name.

    Second, as I have said elsewhere on this site, the Conservative Party is not going to give gay people gay marriage. It is hopeless to criticise the Right for not giving gay marriage when not even the Left – the Labour government of 13 years and Stonewall, sought to achieve this. Having said that, gay marriage might, one day, come from the Left. But not the Right. It is not even a valid criticism of the Right to say that they will not legislate for this insofar as it really is out of its range. It is like criticising the Left for not cutting taxes.

    Compare, however, the behaviour and attitude of the Conservative Party in the UK with those centre-right parties on the continent. Compared to our closest neighbours – Spain, Portugal, France (my country), Italy, and Germany it is easily the most liberal and tolerant. It is also more tolerant on sexuality than the SNP and much of Labour in Scotland.

    Given that this is what is the political Right – the question is do we support the fact that the Conservative Party not only will not reverse but in some areas will extend gay policies or is it worth complaining about their failure to implement policies that, by its nature, it is never likely to propose.

  23. No. 16, Steve Carson….unfortunately the Tories are not going to allow gay couples to have their marriages in religious buildings because the simple fact of the matter is, we are banned from marrying. Civil partnerships are the unions that Cameron would like to see contracted in a religious building for those cults who will permit it though I doubt few will with the exception of the Quakers and reformed Judaism. Our government does NOT recognise legal same-sex marriage performed outside the country but rather downgrades them to civil partnerships which of course, they are NOT by any stretch of the imagination. Married couples, straight and gay, receive an certificiate of marriage, not evidence that a civil partnerships has taken place, the two are diametrically different in procedure and ratification.

  24. de Villiers, so you don’t like the word apartheid, that’s really a minor point. I could have just as easily said that separate but equal is the antithesis of equality. That is an accepted principle when it comes to the civil rights of racial and religious minorities and women. Ms. May has possibly learned from her past voting mistakes, but she is just as wrong now as she was then. Pushing our institutionalized separate but equal institutions on the rest of Europe and the world is not the road to equality. Setting an example of providing equality to all of our citizens and residents is the only supportable position if one is truly interested in equality. Otherwise, it is just pushing more institutionalization of discriminatory institutions. BTW, there are consequences to Briton’s form of apartheid against gays and lesbians. Kids grow up learning that we don’t deserve the same equality, the homophobia in churches is sanctioned and supported. These result in bullying, homophobic violence, lack of proper citizenship, and any number of offenses against GLBT people. What Labor has or hasn’t done or what we might expect from the right or left are irrelevant. Ms. May has touted herself as a champion of equality. This needs to be exposed for the opportunistic lie that it is.

  25. “Give the poor woman a chance. The Tories realise they got this one wrong in the past, and want to say sorry and put things right. ”

    No way.

    Theresa May’s voting record on LGBT issues is utterly appalling.

    Even if she has had a change of heart on these issues (which I don’t believe is anything more than convenient opportunism) her voting record on equality issues remains shameful and disgusting.

    Her voting record on LGBT issues makes her entirely unsuitable to be in charge of equality.

    If David Cameron wants to keep May in the cabinet that’s his business.

    But the fact that he would spit in our face by appointing such a disgusting bigot (as evidenced by her voting record) should be a matter of grave concern.

    She should resign her equality brief.

    As Equalities minister Theresa May is not fit for purpose.

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