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98 per cent of PinkNews.co.uk readers want full marriage equality

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  1. Wow! :D Will Pink News be sending the results of this survey to the government? That way they’d find it much harder to say there was no support for equal marriage when there so clearly is.

  2. After 24 years we didn’t want a fuss(!) so we toddled off with a few friends to the register office, did the biz, had lunch at a 5 star hotel, dinner and stayed overnight (still cost over a grand though!!!)

  3. Simon Murphy 12 Aug 2010, 11:41am

    These results are entirely predictable. But refreshing to see them confirmed.

    Stonewall must look at these findings and start representing the views of the LGBT population and start demanding civil marriage equality.

    Otherwise they must disband.

    Unless they have changed their clearly homophobic support of civil partnership apartheid then they must be viewed as a homophobic organisation who are the enemy of those LGBT people who think that we deserve equal status under the law.

    When was the last time Stonewall did a poll like this to check on the wishes of the people they claim to represent?

    As for Labour Party, the LibDems and the Conservatives. Here is proof positive about what the LGBT populatiuon expect from you.

    Either you step up to the plate or you lose our vote.

  4. Simon Murphy, StonewallUK I predict will eventually support full marriage equality once the three parties beging to take it seriously and in fact endorse it. It won’t want to be left out in the cold and lose any influence its already gained as well as access to government officials. If Labour follows the Liberal Democrats by adopting same-sex civil marriage as part of its official policy, then the Tories won’t have any option but to get on board. That will compel StonewallUK to support if it wants to remain relevant and necessary, I guarantee it.

  5. so 2% of PN readers are religious bampot trolls?

  6. Simon.Murphy 12 Aug 2010, 1:50pm

    “StonewallUK I predict will eventually support full marriage equality once the three parties beging to take it seriously and in fact endorse it. It won’t want to be left out in the cold and lose any influence its already gained as well as access to government officials.”

    But Stonewall claim to be a lobby group?

    What you are suggesting is that they merely follow whatever path their political paymasters tell them?

    If so then they are less than useless.

    If they are an equality lobby group then it is their job to lobby the government and political parties on behalf of the community they claim to represent.

    They are failing miserably at that task currently. They are massively out of touch with the LGBT constituency as evidenced by these survey results.

    Unless they get with the equality agenda it would be better for the LGBT community if they were to disband.

  7. Erm, where exactly does Stonewall say that they are AGAINST equal marriage?

    Ok, so they have campaigned supporting Civil Partnerships and not pushed for the full on civil marriage but remember that they are the biggest organisation in the LGBT charity sector and the ONLY one taken seriously by government at a high level.

    Does anyone honestly think Stonewall could realistically stick two fingers up at Civil Partnerships and still be considered a reliable and reasonable organisation to do business with by politicians?

    Getting CPs was always going to lead to full equal civil marriage as the next step. Stonewall have done their job of campaigning effectively, pushing for change without alienating the change makers.

    With limited resources, organisations like Stonewall have to be strategic in their approach to lobbying and campaigning. To suggest they are disbanded because they haven’g thrown everything they’ve got behind equal marriage only would ignore all the fantastic and important work they do with schools and employers.

    Stop bashing and get real people!

  8. MikeNimes… Ben Summerskill said last year (article on this site) that “not all gay people want marriage” and that was why Stonewall didn’t think it was a priority. They are not against marriage they just aren’t campaigning for it. They are too busy working out what the most gay friendly sport is and what programmes portray gay people in the best way.

    Whilst we are still being beaten on the streets, denied the same rights as heterosexuals and treated as second class citizens we should not be sitting back and relaxing. Which is what Stonewall is doing.

    And limited resources. I think not. The Lesbian and Gay Foundation manages to worry about homophobic violence, marriage equality and other issues and isn’t charging £2000 a year membership fees for companies. Unlike Stonewall. Wake up, Stonewall aren’t interested in LGBT rights and no longer serve any use.

  9. MikeNimes – I guess it would be nice if Summerskill (Stonewall) reassessed what he said last year to PN, in that article the headline was “Summerskill: “lots of gay and lesbian poeple don’t actually want marriage” . This is the first point he made clear when asked why he was not supporting it. Clearly this is not the case as this survey shows. Lab leaders have also been quoted as saying that they didn’t actually know people were asking for it. Milliband in his interview clearly states Summerskill as one of the people he regards as having the most influence on gay equality. Clearly Stonewall have a huge influence and with this survey Summerskill can no longer say people don’t want gay marriage!!!. With regards to his comment about an extra box for CPs on their tax form, I hope he also realises that straight people no longer need further potty training…….I don’t want a pink triangle or a box on a tax form to show that I am gay….

    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/news/articles/2005-13034.html/

    PS – my partner and I did a CP because that was the only thing available, of course they were a success, we had to do it otherwise we would have had no rights as a couple in the UK. I don’t particularly like using the word partner, it puts me in the same category as my bother in law who is shacked up with his partner. Same word but worlds apart….Partner what gender is that exactly?

  10. I’ve been waiting ages for a reply from Stonewall, and my question wasn’t even anything to do with marriage or partnerships. They used to reply quite promptly, so I think they might have staffing difficulties or something like that.

  11. Simon.Murphy 12 Aug 2010, 2:51pm

    “they are the biggest organisation in the LGBT charity sector and the ONLY one taken seriously by government at a high level.”

    Well this survey will show the government and the LGBT community that Stonewall is not acting on behalf of 98% of the LGBT population who want LGBT marriage equality.

    “Does anyone honestly think Stonewall could realistically stick two fingers up at Civil Partnerships and still be considered a reliable and reasonable organisation to do business with by politicians”

    No-one is asking them to stick 2 fingers up at CP’s. We are merely asking that they start reflecting the wishes of the community they purport to represent.

    “With limited resources, organisations like Stonewall have to be strategic in their approach to lobbying and campaigning. ”

    Like campaigning to have the words ‘fag’ and ‘dyke’ removed from the car numberplates of a gay man and a lesbian?
    LIke counting the number of minutes that gay characters appear on TV?
    Like deciding who is in the Top 100 gay people in Britain (as Ben Summerskill was recently wasting his time on)?

    “To suggest they are disbanded because they haven’g thrown everything they’ve got behind equal marriage only would ignore all the fantastic and important work they do with schools and employers.”

    No-one is asking that they devote ALL their time to marriage equality.

    It is a very reasonable expectation however for them to make a statement which says ‘Civil partnerships are inadequate and discriminatory. Civil marriage is the goal and we support wholeheartedly this goal’. And to start raising this with government at ALL appropriate times

    Until they do this I stand by my statement that as an equality group, that they are not fit for purpose.

    And that they should disband.

  12. Here is the text of the Liberal Democrat motion which will be going to conference, which is available online;

    Conference notes that:
    i) At present no two individuals of the same sex may enter into a marriage in the United Kingdom, and that no two individuals of mixed sex may enter into a civil partnership.
    ii) Under the terms of the Gender Recognition Act (2004) any individual seeking gender recognition or to change their gender as legally recognised cannot remain in a marriage or civil partnership.

    Conference recognises that:
    a) The Deputy Prime Minister, and Leader of the Liberal Democrats, the Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP, said in Pink News on 17th February 2010: ‘I support gay marriage. Love is the same, straight
    or gay, so the civil institution should be the same too. All couples should be able to make that commitment to one another’.
    b) The moves by the new coalition government to allow ceremonies for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender couples to be performed in religious buildings are very much welcomed.
    c) Whether someone believes in marriage, civil partnership or commitment, any religious organisation or building whether a church, mosque or temple which chooses to have civil partnerships celebrated at their religious places of worship will be in the future able to do so.
    d) To grant rights to one group of individuals which are denied to others based on sexual orientation and gender is unconscionable.
    e) The current arrangements with regards to marriage are discriminatory in nature.
    f) Non-UK same-sex marriages are currently equated to civil partnership in the UK, not marriage.

    Conference believes that as stated in the preamble to the party’s constitution, we ‘exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values
    of liberty, equality and community’ and ‘reject all prejudice and discrimination’ including those issues which relate to gender and sexual orientation.

    Conference therefore calls on the British government to:
    1. Open both marriage and civil partnerships to both same-sex and mixed-sex couples.
    2. To allow approved religious and humanist celebrants to legally solemnise and celebrate same-sex marriage and civil partnerships in places of religious worship.
    3. To allow those individuals who wish to seek gender recognition or change their legally recognised gender to remain in their current marriage or civil partnership without changing
    any legal requirements.
    4. To establish a simplistic process by which any existing civil partnership may be converted into a marriage or vice-versa without the need to dissolve the civil partnership or proceed with a divorce.
    5. To automatically recognise all non-UK same-sex marriages as marriage in the UK, and to subsequently remove non-UK same-sex marriages from the current schedule which equates them to civil partnerships in the UK.
    6. To continue to maintain the schedule equating non-UK same-sex civil unions or registered partnerships as civil partnerships in the UK.
    7. To add non-UK opposite-sex civil unions or registered partnerships to the schedule equating them to Civil Partnerships in the UK.
    8. To openly promote and encourage recognition of same-sex marriage and civil partnerships across the European Union, especially in countries where currently no laws exist.

  13. Some of us still want marriage abolished (for straights and gays alike) but it wasn’t an option on the questionnaire.

  14. @ Patrick01

    The Lib Dem motion doesn’t give a deadline by which time the legislation must be introduced. Perhaps an amendment would be in order.

  15. I never said Stonewall are perfect – and I don’t agree with them on a number of things. But then I’m not the one sat in their office, making their decisions.

    And I don’t think Stonewall purports to represent the “community”, any more than this survey is “representative” – it obviously does show a strong feeling and the right move but can we stop trying to a) label all LGBT people as one “community” and b) expecting Stonewall to be the fully representative voice of every LGBT person. They have set their priorities/resources and are working to that. Other organisations are doing different things. Stop bitching is all. Try supporting the positives and constructively criticising what you don’t agree with.

  16. dave – I agree there should be a deadline, however I think we should be happy that 1 of the 3 big parties is FINALLY making same-sex marriage official policy and that the motion is so comprehensive. once the motion is passed, we can all write to Clegg and Featherstone to put the pressure on.

    I will be interested to see what LGBTory has to say on same-sex marriage, and also Labour’s gay group, whatever they are called. Hopefully they will speak out fully without reservations for same sex marriage. We shall see.

    As for Stonewall, they are irrelevant. They don’t want to support same sex marriage, fine, who cares about them. The politicians are a million times more important than they are anyway.

  17. ARobert
    No, the Lib Dem policy is not to allow same sex civil marriage- it is to allow FULL marriage equality. It would be ghastly to open up only certain forms of marriage and not others, that would hardly be equality.

  18. Simon.Murphy 12 Aug 2010, 3:43pm

    “But then I’m not the one sat in their office, making their decisions. ”

    Well who is?

    A constructive piece of criticism for Stonewall would be to tell them how damaging their lack of transparency is to their group, when it comes to their policies.

    Who in Stonewall decided that Civil Partnerships were adequate?

    From who did they seek feedback on whether CP’s were adequate?

    To what extent do their corporate sponsors determine their policy decisions?

    To what extent does the government of the day influece their official policies?

    Who (aside from their 19,000 active supporters) do Stonewall represent?

    This Pink News survey indicates that these are questions that Stonewall can no longer avoid.

    If they cannot or will not answert them, then it is only fair and reasonable to call for them to disband.

    If, as you say, they are the most influential LGBT organisation and they are damaging the interests of 98% of the LGBT population, then they absolutely deserve every condemnation.

  19. Just wanted to note that in any case civil partnerships are comparable to marriage. European Union, Council of Europe and most of other world’s countries don’t recognise any concept of Civil Unions or partnerships. Even if they do, they do not necessarily recognise the British ones.

  20. Euan - London 12 Aug 2010, 6:05pm

    The organisation that claims to represent the needs and long term rights of the LG individuals, has evolved to provide ‘leadership’ in the campaign for rights equality, this same organisation which resists calls for same-sex marriage must now be called on to provide proper leadership for a full unambiguous same-sex marriage campaign. Otherwise it risks its credibility, will be subject to derision and accusations of being a four-legged outfit trying to walk on two. This organisation is Stonewall. I call on all of you who want full same-sex marriage (superceding CP law) to write to the publicly dissolving leadership there and demand action. Times have changed. The closed room lobbying of Stonewall, conducted in its mediocre grandeur and de-bollocked by the political pragmatism it lauds itself on are now both are a stagnant reminder of relationships with old new labour, d list celebrity and the view that just cos a bunch of blokes in the city like the organisation, doesn’t mean that it cannot be swept aside by the vocal and direct campaigning of individuals fighting a just cause. Wake up and smell the coffee Ben or hand the reigns over to someone who can.

  21. Simon.Murphy 12 Aug 2010, 6:09pm

    I look forward to the feedback given by the gay rights organisations to Pink News.

    Some days ago Pink News invited gay rights organisations to submit their official positions on civil marriage equality.

    Will Stonewall have the bottle to defend their ridiculous position in light of such overwhelming opposition to their position.

    I liken Stonewall’s position on marriage equality to the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy of the US Army. On paper it is bland enough. In practice it is damaging the lives and rights of countless gay people and must be changed immediately.

  22. And in other news the Pope is still a Catholic and bears prefer to defecate in wooded areas.

  23. comment 322 more detail please, do you actually have info to back this up

    eg

    France recognises foreign marriages including gay marriages as marriages.
    http://questions.assemblee-nationale.fr/q12/12-41533QE.htm

    France recognises foreing civil partnerships/unions as PACS , their vers of the British CP. The French PACS IS NOT comparable to a marriage ….
    article 515-7-1 Les conditions de formation et les effets d’un partenariat enregistré ainsi que les causes et les effets de sa dissolution sont soumis aux dispositions matérielles de l’État de l’autorité qui a procédé à son enregistrement.

  24. I agree with the comments on here. Stonewall need to support gay marriage otherwise it undermines the other good work they do. Their view on gay marriage is clearly out of touch.

  25. Agree too. Gay marriage is the one massive area of discrimination in the UK that stands out a mile. Stonewall must stop wasting time with other things and deal with the big problem. Otherwise what are they for?

  26. I don’t disagree that Stonewall are out of step here, it seems ludicrous to me that they could not even say that full marriage equality is a goal and that CPs are a step towards it.

    However Stonewall do a massive amount of good, particularly in creating and disseminating (with great help from the NAS/UWT) information and teaching aids to combat homophobic bullying in schools.

    Would it not be better to engage with stonewall and see if we can get them to understand our priority, find out why they believe what they believe and debate it.

    Simon just wants to tear it all down, all that influence, all that work, all that good will. If he gets his way he will be sitting in Trafalgar Square shouting at the pigeons that Stonewall has gone and asking Nelson what comes next. Where is Arthur Scargill ?

  27. Simon.Murphy 12 Aug 2010, 8:32pm

    Dave – if Stonewall refuse to engage with the comnmunity they claim to represent then it is only fair and reasonable to ask them to disband.

    Some questions that need answering:

    1. How does Stonewall decide their policy agenda?
    2. How do Stonewall emgage with the LGBT population for feedback on their agenda
    3. Do Stonewall’s corporate sponsors influence their agenda
    4. Do the political parties influence their agenda

  28. Simon.Murphy 12 Aug 2010, 8:54pm

    NEWSFLASH: Gay couples can get married in California from August 18th. Judge Walker is lifting the stay on that date.

    Hurrah!

  29. I’ve never liked Stonewall, ever since, about a million years ago, Angela Mason (the then leader) appeared on ‘Right to Reply’ to complain about the ‘irresponsibility’ of Channel 4’s ‘Queer as Folk’ (for showing consensual gay sex involving a 15 year old). Stonewall have always represented the bourgeois ‘respectable’ wing of gaydom, desperate to fit in and cuddle up to the establishment. The irony, of course, is that the organisation is named after a riot. I always preferred Peter Tatchell’s Outrage – much more fun.

  30. John
    France does not recognise foreign gay marriages.
    The link you posted states that gay marriages are prohibited in France and therefore foreign gay marriages are not recognised.

  31. Froggie – NO – foreign marriages ARE recognised in France. France does not have gay marriage it is true but under international private law a marriage conducted in a country where they are legal will be recognised in France as a marriage. A french SS person can not get married and therefore will not be recognised, they are unable to place that marriage in their family history. This does not , however, mean that a Dutch married couple will not be recognised as married in France.

    http://www.lefigaro.fr/actualite-france/2008/09/05/01016-20080905ARTFIG00525-bercy-reconnait-un-mariage-d-homosexuels-neerlandais-.php

    Bercy reconnaît un mariage d’homosexuels néerlandais

    …..Bercy a reconnu valable le mariage d’un couple d’hommes néerlandais installés en France et qui avaient contracté leur union aux Pays-Bas

    …Une décision administrative en date du 11 juillet 2008 émanant de la direction générale des finances publiques du ministère du Budget reconnaît la légalité de leur mariage «et surtout les conséquences fiscales d’un mariage contracté par deux personnes de même sexe dans la mesure où il est légal: il donne les mêmes conséquences de droit que pour des conjoints mariés français», …

  32. John, according to (*ahem*) Wikipedia:

    “Under current French law, same-sex marriages performed abroad are not recognized in France. However, on July 11, 2008, a same-sex couple was able to get their marriage recognized for tax purposes in the country, though they are not recognized by French law as a married couple.”

    So *strictly* speaking, foreign gay marriages are not recognised…at least according to Wikipedia….

  33. Clearly, Stonewall can no longer claim that it represents the interests of gay people in this country, since they are so out of touch with gay public opinion when it comes to the matter of marriage equality.

  34. MikeNimes posted that we should stop “expecting Stonewall to be the fully representative voice of every LGBT person.”

    Well, surely that is what Stonewall are actually claiming? They certainly act, speak, and present themselves to politicians as if that was the case.

    If they want that claim to stand examination, then they need to start bloody listening to LGBT voices. At the moment Stonewall, certinaly in Enlgand, seems to be little more than an organisation that exists simply to provide Summerskill and his cronies with jobs and money.

    chrissie

  35. oops.. typo… :-) “certainly”

  36. I am outrages that Pink News would name someone who posted on your comment forum

    I challenge you to now name the 800 voters from the online survey who you say voted and I also challenge the findings as I don’t find the plausible. I am sure that you will have no problem morally, ‘outing’ people. Data protection seems not to be an issue with you. I think posting here in future will be very difficult as there will also be a worry that your name will be published. This is not the ‘spirit’ of the forum but if you are going to act in this way why just name Stonewall why not just name anyone? PS: Wondering if I will now get named!!

  37. Simon.Murphy 13 Aug 2010, 6:17pm

    Dear Outraged,

    Nobody was named.

    I presume you are referring to the fact that a poster named ‘Confused’ posted a comment in a discussion about Stonewall, without revealing thay he is in fact a Stonewall employee.

    Stonewall refuses point blank to answer questions on their absurdly homophobic refusal to support marriage equality (even though they pretend to represent the voice of the LGB community).

    The fact that Stonewall refuses to explain their grotesquely offensive position vis-a-vis marriage equality, despite the fact that the VAST majority of LGBT people support marriage equality; means that when they use their employees to pose as members of the public, in order to lie about support for CP Apartheid, means they deserve to be revealed.

    In any case if the Stonewall employee was using a Stonewall computer and email address, then they are speaking as a representative of Stonewall, and should be identified as such.

    If they are using a hotmail address then they are speaking as a private individual.

    If Stonewall want to rescue their destroyed reputation then they will do an official interview regarding their contemptible homoophobia immediately.

  38. Johnny01 – but at the moment CPs are only recognised in France as PACS for tax purposes as well and that only occurred officially a few months ago via a court battle – CPs were only recognised in France via a legisllation change, gay marriages (foreign where both nationals are foreign and it is legal there) have always been recognised without additional legislation. Sorry to disappoint or annoy but that is the fact , if I had been married I would have had rights (tax) in France for a long time wheras the CP would not have given me nothing until now …. I’ve been arguing with the French tax office for a few years and after been smugly told that they recognise gay marriages and becuase the CP wasn’t one nor was it a PACS becuase PACS was open to different sex couples I’m not suddenbly going to agree with you…especially since the minister of justice in France and lawyers have confirmed this.

    … anyway the point was if we’re taking about what extra rights a marriage would get then your wikipedia example shows that marriage would have gained more rights even in a country which doesn’t have gay marriage from as early as 2008. And if we aren’t concered with names and more with rights then axctually the word marriage did have an effect. CPs had no recognition for tax until now and only have a mightly battle with the French..

    My additional point is that CPs are not easy to work out what they are, they are a British thing… marriages aren’t. You’re more likely to get a consensus on this than CPs especially if we’re not going to give them to straights as well ….

    I’ll probably be told that this whole thing is a different issue to the gay marriage but there are serious issues with CP when trying to interpret them abroad……there is a serious issue for straight PACS couples coming to live and work in the UK…

    You can always downgrade a marriage to a CP like we do,like Ireland ,like Germany and Switzerland and get rights that way but can you upgrade a CP when there is a marriage and CP involved or even just a gay marriage?

    ….

    Anyway we ought to respect other people’s legal gay marriage from overseas and we ought notmto expect different sex couples in a CP type relationship to first divorce in their country and get married in the UK just to get rights!

  39. chrissie:
    > MikeNimes posted that we should stop “expecting Stonewall to
    > be the fully representative voice of every LGBT person.”
    >
    > Well, surely that is what Stonewall are actually claiming? They
    > certainly act, speak, and present themselves to politicians as
    > if that was the case.
    >
    > If they want that claim to stand examination, then they need to
    > start bloody listening to LGBT voices. At the moment Stonewall,
    > certinaly in Enlgand, seems to be little more than an
    > organisation that exists simply to provide Summerskill and his
    > cronies with jobs and money.

    Stonewall only claims to represent T in Scotland, but actually work against T interests everywhere, if only by making it seem that there are no T concerns where there are. For example in their recent asylum study, which omitted to say that they didn’t mention any T problems because they were ignoring them. Most people assumed that meant there are no T problems with asylum.

    That’s not too different from Stonewall’s tactic on LG equality: to say there is no call for it, or need for it. The approach goes down very well with people being lobbied who really want to have to do the least possible. And Stonewall has successfully attracted considerable funding that way.

    By the way, don’t be too hard on Summerskill, the approach predates him, back into Angela Mason’s time too, and both are/were only employees. Quite how it really originated seems a mystery. Certainly co-founder Sir Ian McKellen seems more radical, and certainly supports equal marriage.

  40. MikeNime:
    > And I don’t think Stonewall purports to represent the
    > “community”, any more than this survey is “representative” – it
    > obviously does show a strong feeling and the right move but can
    > we stop trying to a) label all LGBT people as one “community”
    > and b) expecting Stonewall to be the fully representative voice
    > of every LGBT person. They have set their priorities/resources
    > and are working to that. Other organisations are doing different
    > things. Stop bitching is all. Try supporting the positives and
    > constructively criticising what you don’t agree with.

    Odd how so many here ilustrate my point about people assuming that Stonewall “represent” T when they do the opposite.

    A good point about “community”. Yes, there are many and diverse communities, and many people who really are not part of such communities but still deserve equal rights.

    I have a long history of offering constructive critcism to Stonewall (20 years to be precise), but they don’t listen. Obviously the fact that they don’t changes the necessary criticism. I don’t consider it fair of you to then slur it as “bitching”.

  41. Robert:
    > Simon Murphy, StonewallUK I predict will eventually support full
    > marriage equality once the three parties beging to take it
    > seriously and in fact endorse it. It won’t want to be left out
    > in the cold and lose any influence its already gained as well as
    > access to government officials. If Labour follows the Liberal
    > Democrats by adopting same-sex civil marriage as part of its
    > official policy, then the Tories won’t have any option but to
    > get on board. That will compel StonewallUK to support if it
    > wants to remain relevant and necessary, I guarantee it.

    I guess we should, in the context of Stonewall being exposed as misusing the comments system here, ask the nature of that guarantee you offer, and the source of your ability to be so sure… :-)

    Seriously though, would you trust a group to negotiate the details of equal marriage, or anything else, that has so long being misrepresenting our interests in the way so clearly illustrated? On multiple subjects they have been telling willing listeners/funders that there aren’t problems, there isn’t demand, there isn’t need, when we all knew the opposite.

    An often overlooked example, very similar to the marriage equality one, is how they lobbied against the Equality Act extending protection against harassment to LGB people. the Commons committee on the bill actually expressed their astonishment with Ben Summerskill’s verbal evidence that it wasn’t needed. He asserted that this was another example of Stonewall being the group to listen to because they only asked for what was needed. An assumption must be that equal marriage was a previous example because some of the MPs had been on the committee for the CP Bill too.

    He said that the law already covered the problem, but thus left the bill, now an Act, with protection against harassment for other vulnerable groups (such as T) but not LGB.

    Did the LGB communities agree with that stance, that way of representing their vital interests? If not then how can they be trusted in future?

    And could people please recognise that marriage equality is not a new concept. At the very least Stonewall have had in writing all the compelling arguments for it since the first supreme court verdict in its favour, in Hawai’i in 1994. That is 16 years of denying that equality in marriage, and everywhere, is an essential human right we should have. 16 years of keeping a lid on that (with the long time assistance of the media), saying it wasn’t wanted, and wasn’t needed. And all the while selling itself as the prime equality group. Basically that has to mean they don’t have the same idea of the meaning equality as most people.

  42. marriage equality and CP equality???

    Just read this on a website “odyseus trust” and wondered why the opposite sex part was dropped from the CP? Reading this website I guess the concept of the CP started out more like a French PACS and somehow its ended up by people conning us by saying its actually a marriage…..

    “The Civil Partnerships Bill 2002 was the joint initiative of the Odysseus Trust and Stonewall. The Bill sought to enable unmarried couples, both same and opposite sex, living in a mutually supportive relationship to make legal provision for their joint protection. “

  43. Simon.Murphy 14 Aug 2010, 12:45pm

    “By the way, don’t be too hard on Summerskill, the approach predates him, back into Angela Mason’s time too, and both are/were only employees.”

    True enough.

    But this brings me back to an earlier question I had.

    Namely – who decides Stonewall’s agenda and how is this agenda agreed on.

    In my 15 years out of the closet I have never once seen Stonewall actively seek feedback on issues of importance to the LGBT community.

    Since CP’s were introduced it’s been crystal clear that people have viewed them as merely a stepping stone to equality. But have Stonewall ever acknowledged that? Have they hell.

    If Stonewall are to survive they need to actively support marriage equality.

    Not only that, but they will need to be a lot more transparent in their policy making.

    Quite simply I don’t trust them. Even if they finally get on board and start supporting equality, unless they start displaying a lot more clarity on how they decide their policies, I will still not trust them. Their betrayal of the community they pretend to represent is so severe that a MAJOR overhaul of the group is necessary.

    Otherwise I predict that as an organisation they will be gone within a couple of years.

  44. I really can’t see why some people want Civil Partnerships *and* Marriage. Surely the whole point of CP was a fudge in order to give us the same rights as married people in everything but name?

    All it will do is muddy the waters, confuse everyone and cost even more to maintain. Civil partnerships should be completely withdrawn and disbanded. Marriage should be redefined in law as a legal process, not a religious one, and anyone already in a CP will automatically be upgraded to the status of “married”.

    I have three questions I really would like to know:

    1) Why are these people making such a fuss over nothing?

    2)Why are politicians so frightened of the church?

    3)Why does Summerskill blatantly avoid supporting a subject that virtually every British LGBT person wants changing? Or does he know something we don’t?

  45. Isn’t one of the problems that the CP is too much like a marriage. There is no option for those who want a looser form of partnership, it’s all or nothing. Not all want to be tied down to a marriage or CP in its current form becuase the get out out jail clause is too tight – yet a lot of people want to set up homes etc together, have a “mutually supportive” lifestyle and yet there is no protection for them. Wasn’t the CP supposed to be for this originally, I’m confused why it become a “gay” concept in the UK and why there is no protection for people living together. It seems a big cap which should have really been covered by a CP. Marriage means something with more committment usually ,more responsibilty, obligations and rights…

  46. I found it quite useful reading the debate stuff on the CP, first time I’ve bothered I admit, at that time lord lester said below. Have the lib dems new data now to show that things have changed?

    http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons/lib/research/rp2004/rp04-064.pdf

    I personally would very much like to see gay marriage, for all kinds of reasons.On the other hand, at this stage, are the Government and Parliament not entitledto say, “At this stage in our lives, we will respect the strong feelings of thepopulation about the use of the word marriage. Therefore, the right thing to donow is to provide the proper rights and obligations that mirror marriage without using that label, to which there attaches all kinds of religious and symbolic importance, in order to be able to provide the protection”?109

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