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Stonewall urged to speak out for marriage equality

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  1. Good to see (and I’ve signed the letter too) but suspect it’ll just end up being us banging our heads against a brick wall.

  2. Great campaign – thank you to all involved. If SW got behind the campaign, it would most surely go through, but has long been criticised for losing touch with the people it purports to represent.

    I suspect that the main reason for SW’s silence is Ben Summerskill who, frankly, seems not to ‘get it’.

  3. Jae, surely we’ll be banging our heads against a Stonewall?

    I’m glad that the rift between real LGBT people and Stonewall is becoming increasingly clear. I hope that this message is reaching the organisations who treat Stonewall as the One True Voice of all LGBT people.

    I do think there is a future for Stonewall, but we need more inclusive, professional organisations to promote a wider view of LGBT people in society today to politicians, companies etc.

  4. Stonewalled by Stonewall would be a good campaign

  5. There is something very strange going on behind the closed doors of Stonewall, it is very hard to understand their fixed, stubborn, negative and what is now seeming to be arrogant attitude in failing to support full marriage equality.

  6. Stuart Neyton 15 Sep 2010, 12:53pm

    You can sign by commenting with your name under this post :)

    http://whythesilencestonewall.wordpress.com/

  7. Has anyone tried to find out what Angela Mason now thinks about marriage equality?

    Ms Mason is a Labour Councillor in Camden, so she ought to support marriage equality in line with all five Labour leadership candidates. Would Angela be prepared to sign up to equality?

  8. Stonewall are not against equal marriage. And I don’t think they have been silent either. Not responding when Pink News website barks is hardly a hanging offence.

    As I understand it, Stonewall have done consultative work or surveys where some LGB people have said they would prefer Civil Partnerships to gay marriage.

    I have to say I am not one of them – I want equal marriage – and it would be good for Stonewall to be more vocal about the fact it is not against gay marriage. But at the same time I think there are quite a few (individuals and organisations) who are using this as an opportunity to Stonewall-bash.

    If you don’t like the guy in charge that’s fair enough but let’s not slag off the whole organisation. How about the gay community tries being positive and supporting each other in honest debate and dialogue rather than just attacking anyone who doesn’t agree with everything you say, or want them to say!

  9. “….not opposed to marriage for gay couples, it does not see it as a priority and prefers to focus on issues such as homophobic bullying.”

    – ok – so they’re not opposed to it but are they supporting the move for marriage equality – the last I heard they , and other gay orgs, had been around the table with lynne Featherston about CPs with relgious aspects – how come this is a priority issue that they’re supporting – what percentage of gay cps (or potentials ones) would prefer a gay maruriage as opposed to this sham idea!. CPs with relgious aspects won’t give us additional rights …it won’t raise our profile and status in society in the same way as a marriage would. It wouldn’t have any additional meaning here or elsewhere in the world. Why waste time with this piece of legislation when we should be pushing for marriage. I always thought civil meant non relgious, why are we redfining the word..

    Good luck with the letter but I suspect his (I’m sure it’s Summerskill’s opnion anyway) will b exactly the same as the one he gave just over a year ago to PN.

  10. @MikeNimes: Surely this letter (which is very polite) is engaging in that polite debate with Stonewall?

    Also there’s a lot wrong with Stonewall other than Ben Summerskill’s leadership and their lack of vocal support for marriage equality, especially with regards to their support for transphobic people in the past. This isn’t just about their lack of reply to Pink News!

  11. I find it hard to argue for prioritising homophobic bullying while not supporting equal marriage – while we are “the same but different”, it’s a lot harder to tackle bullying.

  12. StonewallUK should and must support full marriage equality. Just because there are those among us who don’t want to marry but rather settle for something less, that’s fine, but they should NOT, including StonewallUK, refuse to declare support for those of us who do. Has StonewallUK not asked itself why ten countries have abandoned the mish mash of same-sex legal unions other than marriage? I’m all for retaining civil partnerships for those who want them, but we MUST have the option to marry, just as straights should have the right to form a civil partnership. StonewallUK must support it if its going to have any relevance in the struggle for full equality. Civil Partnerships, though well intended, will NEVER be the universal gold standard anywhere in the world. If they are, then why are there only two countries, one with slightly fewer rights the the British version and ten countries with full marriage equality? If it doesn’t understand that, then it should disband. It doesn’t speak for the majority of us who want the right to marry. I wrote to StonewallUK several times over the past five years about this issue. Their response basically was that they weren’t really interested in it since they considered CPs equal to marriage. I’m afraid that view hasn’t changed and I doubt if it will. Its signing its own death warrant by its stubborn refusal to endorse marriage equality. So be it. Its going to be interesting to see how it will react once the Liberal Democrats endorse marriage equality as an official policy of the party, five leading Labour contenders supporting it and NO Tories as of yet on board. StonewallUK will be left out in the cold where it belongs.

  13. As I understand it, Stonewall have done consultative work or surveys where some LGB people have said they would prefer Civil Partnerships to gay marriage.

    Yes, I’d be very interested in seeing the responses from their surveys. Otherwise I don’t believe they are telling the truth.

  14. I don’t have a problem with the letter itself. I’m referring to those who are clearly out to pick a fight with Stonewall on the back of this issue.

    Stonewall are going to be screwed whatever they say now. If they explain that they are not against equal marriage then people will say they aren’t doing enough. If they say they do support equal marriage actively but don’t specifically campaign on it people will say they aren’t doing enough. If they support it and campaign for it then Pink News and the other Stonewall bashers will claim a mighty victory against the “Stonewall forces of darkeness” and claim to have forced Stonewall into submission and change their views.

    As for not addressing trans issues, Stonewall were not set up for that. That’s not to say they couldn’t be or shouldn’t be in future but there are lots of better ways the WHOLE LGBT sector needs to work together better in the future. In stead of engaging in the petty stone throwing that we’ve seen in a lot of places.

  15. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a political reason for Stonewall’s silence – it may be that they won the right for CPs on the condition that they stop there.

    At the time it was a huge step to get CPs authorised, but we’ve now got a new government and the world has moved on, so old promises to keep us segregated just don’t cut it anymore.

    Social attitudes are important, but what will really help society to move on and accept gay couples is if they are forced to share their traditional institutions with us.

    End the segregation and let gays enter the marriage institution!

  16. “If you don’t like the guy in charge that’s fair enough but let’s not slag off the whole organisation. How about the gay community tries being positive and supporting each other in honest debate”

    Stonewall does not support those of us interested in full equality; therefore it’s a bit absurd to ask that we support them.

    I will state it openly.

    Stonewall’s refusal to support legal equality for LGBT people is homophobic.

    It is utterly inexcusable and it renders their entire organisation as suspect that they refuse to support legal equality for LGBT people.

    No-one knows why they refuse to support equality.

    If it’s because they had to agree not to campaign for marriage equality after achieving CP’s; then clearly as a group they are no longer fit for purpose; and must disband immediately and can be replaced by a group which serves the needs to of the LGBT population.

    If the reason they refuse to support marriage equality is because of their leader Ben Summerskill then he must be sacked immediately for fatally damaging their reputation.

    If they refuse to support marriage equality for fear of upsetting their corporate donors and political masters; then as a group they are not fit for purpose and must immediately disband and be replaced by a group which properly serves the needs of the LGBT population.

    There is absolutely no adequate excuse for their moronic and pigheaded refusal to support equality.

    People should not donate a single penny further to Stonewall until they support full equality for LGBT people.

    There can be no ‘ifs, ands, or buts’ about it.

  17. If Stonewall refuse to support marriage equality then they must vocally encouraged to disband; and we must remind politicians and political parties that they represent only a tiny percentage of LGBT people (2%); and that they only speak for their tiny membership.

    If they see sense and start supporting marriage equality then there needs to be drastic chnages within Stonewall.

    Ben Summerskill has to go, even if Stonewall starts supporting LGBT equality. He has been the chair of Stonewall throughout the last few years when they have been pissing their reputation and influence away, through their homophobic refusal to support LGBT equality.

    There is no conceiveable way that he can remain the head of Britain’s leading LGBT charity. With him at the helm, their reputation will remain tarnished even if they start to support equality.

    After they start to support equality and Summerskill has been relieved of his responsibilities, Stonewall need to publish their consultative methods.

    None of us know how they decide their agenda. And whatever method they are using they are presently massively out of touch with mainstream LGBT opinion on the issue of LGBT equality. In order to avoid fatally damaging disasters like their stance on marriage equality; then there needs to be far greater tranparency in the process of how their agenda is set. And there needs to be far greater engagement with the community they claim to represent (and whom they are clearly NOT representing at the moment).

  18. @MikeNimes, I didn’t say I was annoyed they weren’t set up for trans issues (though I find it annoying they use the term Stonewall but ignore trans issues). My problem is with them awarding transphobic people, such as Julie Bindel. That is taking their LGB-centric approach to a whole new level.

  19. Thanks to their status (until recently anyway) as the ‘go to’ LGB group of the government, Stonewall’s refusal to support marriage equality has been massively undermining the campaign by those of us interested in full equality.

    You can see Stonewall’s horrendous influence in political interviews such as the one earlier this year when Pink News interviewed David Miliband and he patronisingly told us that we should be happy with Civil partnership apartheid and told us he was not aware that LGBT people were interested in full equality.

    Who had he been speaking to I wonder. Well Stonewall of course.

    The poll done by Pink News (which showed that 98% of our community want full equality) and this new ‘Why the Silence Stonewall campaign, will send a clear message to the political establishment how irrelevant Stonewall have become.

    It will also send a clear message to the LGBT population that Stonwewall no longer has the interests of the LGBT population at heart.

    This

  20. @marcus

    You keep saying that Stonewall refuse to support marriage equality.

    Where is your evidence of this? You yourself say that nobody knows why they don’t. So what are you basing you calls for them to disband on?

    You are an example of the purely anti Stonewall mob out there and frankly I find your attitude damaging to the gay “community”.

    I’m not defending everything Stonewall say or do but equally it isn’t as if every other LGBT organisation has their houses in order or even all seem to be working towards a common goal outside of their own individual perspective.

    And as compelling as the Pink News 98% result is, it can hardly be taken as fully representative. I’m sure the vast majority of gay people want equal marriage but the Pink News survey wasn’t exactly extensive so shouldn’t be the basis for calling for this much needed change in the law

  21. @MikeNimes You’ve hit the nail on the head. By ignoring the zeitgeist and by failing to spot that politically we’re banging on an open door, Stonewall have managed to get themselves into an impossible position now – as far as I can see the only way out is for a head to roll, and I urge the trustees of Stonewall to take the appropriate action.

  22. The one decent thing Stonewall have done is to refuse to join the reactionary “gay marriage” bandwagon.

  23. “You keep saying that Stonewall refuse to support marriage equality. Where is your evidence of this?”

    The FACT that they refuse to support marriage equality.
    – They have NEVER offered a shred of evidence that they support marriage equality.
    – Their position on marriage equality is not on their website.
    – They refuse to give a comment to Pink News to state their position on equality.
    – The fact that government ministers and politicians keep repeating that they are unaware of LGBT demands for equality (when the only LGB group they speak to is Stonewall).
    – The fact that Stonewall REFUSES point blank to outline its position on marriage equality when emailed directly.

    need I go on? Their non-position is no longer acceptable.

    They may not be actively campaigning AGAINST equality but it is an undisputed fact that Stonewall refuse to SUPPORT equality.

    “I find your attitude damaging to the gay “community”. ”

    You find vocal support of equality damaging? What type of twisted logic is that?

    if Stonewall keep refusing to support equality then it is clear that they are homophobic, not fit for purpose and should disband.

    Those of us in favour of full equality can hasten their demise by refusing to donate to them and to highlight their homophobia.

    The gay rights movement did not begin with Stonewall the Group (Stonewall the Riot is another matter of course).

    The gay rights movement will not end with Stonewall.

    If they refuse to represent the majority wishes of the LGBT population then they have outstayed their welcome and should disband.

    How can anyone argue with that. There is NOTHING That Stonewall are doing that cannot be done equally effectively by a group which supports equality.

  24. “The one decent thing Stonewall have done is to refuse to join the reactionary “gay marriage” bandwagon. ”

    I am not interested in ‘gay marriage’.

    I am merely interested in being allowed access to the legal contract of civil marriage on the exact same basis as any other law abiding citizen of this country.

  25. @Marcus

    so your evidence is “The FACT that they refuse to support marriage equality” and they didn’t comment to a small-time gay-news website written by only two members of staff?

    Your attitude I’m talking about is that against an LGB organisation, not your position on marriage equality.

    If you’re not going to read what I actually say and instead keep hurling mud then I’m not going to comment again on here and hope that others take your comments for what they are.

    So much for people engaging in discussion and not just attacking!

  26. Simon Murphy 15 Sep 2010, 5:27pm

    Stonewall have nothing on their website about their position on marriage equality.

    Stonewall refuse to engage with enquiries by members of the public as to why they don’t support marriage equality (I’ve tried but they kept Stonewalling me).

    How Stonewall decides their agenda is shrouded in secrecy.

    They have clearly missed the boat on this issue.

    The only way I can see them surviving is to:

    1. Replace their chairperson.
    2. Appoint someone who supportq equality and campaigns for it
    3. Become a lot more transparent in how their agenda is decided.

  27. Of course there are some gay people who want a separate but equal arrangement. Given that ‘marriage’ has so many associations with religion, with breeding, with divorce, etc., etc it is understandable that some people want something different and new.

    The problem is though that there are straight people who don’t want us to have marriage, and they use the fact that it is not available to us as a lever for discrimination.

    I am very happy for Stonewall not to campaign for same-sex marriage, the rest of us can do that without them. However, any money we give them for their anti-bullying campaigning will be pissed down the drain, because whatever message they put across, the bottom line is that there is a difference in law between us, and everyone knows that.

  28. Simon Murphy, No. 26, I wrote to them two to three times over the past five years about marriage equality. They responded by saying that it wasn’t something they would be pursuing because they thought CPs were sufficient and claimed to speak for the majority of LGBT people, which of course, doesn’t make them right. They do NOT speak for the majority of us. They’re shooting themselves in the foot because now that the Liberal Democrats area about to make marriage equality official party policy and five Labour candidates are supporting us without deferring to StonewallUK is proof that they’re losing their influence. If the Tories get on board, iffy at best, then Stonewall’s existence will be less relevant. Summerskill can continue burying his head in the sand, its coming whether he and Stonewall like it or not.

    Philip, if you think StonewallUK should not be campaigning for same-sex civil marriage equality then obviously they should not be in the business of equality issues, period. Its clear they are not for full equality and its clear they do not speak for all of us. Civil marriage has absolutely no association with religion, procreation or divorce, that’s where you are wrong. If you’re talking about religious marriage, then that’s slightly different. What does it matter if some straights don’t want us to have the right to marry, those are mostly people who are religious, the minority I might add. Have you ever attended a civil marriage ceremony at your local registry office where you live? I have, several times and there was no reference to religion or any homily on having children either. Religious and civil marriage are two totally different vehicles.

  29. @Philip
    Another nail on the head.
    In its current position or more importantly proactive lack of action, Stonewall is in danger of pushing closed an open door to equality. SW’s stance is thus illogical and one can only assume that the stasis it is now in comes from a withered lack of clarity of both objective and the fundamental nature of discrimination. CP were ok in that half-hearted way the UK passes laws that create silly anomalies later down the line. There is an opportunity for full clarity of equality in demanding civil marriage, SW seems incapable and lacking agility to deliver it. SW needs to change or face being left behind.

  30. What an informed, lucid and sensible debate you are all having.
    There’s been a lot of anti-Stonewall wittering on these comment pages for quite a while now.
    I don’t think they are a perfect organisation but they have achieved a lot and have really helped to turn around negative attitudes in this country. No other organisation has backed up their arguements with such robust research. It’s because they adopt the methods of the mainstream and the bureaucracies that they have managed to affect change in these big lumbering juggernauts.
    Don’t all turn on them because you don’t seem to be able to function without someone to rant at. Save you anger for the real bigots.
    ?And why does Marcus keep posting the same stuff in slightly different words?
    Hey people, cheer up! :-)

  31. Robert #28 – well said.

    I hope this petition puts pressure on Stonewall. I really don’t understand their problem (and, no, I’m not having a go at them – I appreciate they have done good work). No, they don’t have to respond to Pink News, but it seems really weird that they didn’t. I took it to mean that they didn’t really have an answer or didn’t want to reveal their reasons for not supporting equal marriage.

    Whether I personally want to get married is irrelevant. All I want is the same choice as straight people. Why should my sexuality bar me from a legal contract? I’m white, my girlfriend’s not, and if anyone dared to suggest that I couldn’t marry her because of her skin colour, I’d be very p*ssed off. Yet apparently it’s OK to say that I can’t marry her because of her gender. That’s wrong and it’s not equal or fair in any way.

  32. #28 – well said, Robert.

    I hope this petition puts pressure on Stonewall. I really don’t understand their problem (and, no, I’m not having a go at them – I appreciate they have done good work). No, they don’t have to respond to Pink News, but it seems really weird that they didn’t. I took it to mean that they didn’t really have an answer or didn’t want to reveal their reasons for not supporting equal marriage.

    Whether I personally want to get married is irrelevant. All I want is the same choice as straight people. Why should my sexuality bar me from a legal contract? I’m white, my girlfriend’s not, and if anyone dared to suggest that I couldn’t marry her because of her skin colour, I’d be very p*ssed off. Yet apparently it’s OK to say that I can’t marry her because of her gender. That’s wrong and it’s not equal or fair in any way.

  33. Dearest Robert

    If only you would read as carefully as I write.

    1) I do think Stonewall should be campaigning for civil marriage for same-sex couples – it would be a great pity if an organisation with as much clout as it has were not to get on the bus. But if they won’t, we can do it without Stonewall – and they will go to the wall.

    2) When I write ‘some people’ it’s pretty obvious to most readers that I’m not including myself in the group. I have met a lot of gay people who don’t want the ‘marriage’ tag because of the kind of associations I mentioned – and to be clear, I do not share THEIR associations – the answer to them has to be “fine, don’t get married then, but that’s not a valid argument for denying it to the rest of us.”

    As for “What does it matter if some straights don’t want us to have the right to marry?” I am on the floor aghast at this! Our whole history of fighting for rights is about winning rights other people didn’t want us to have (otherwise they’d just have given them to us) – not having these rights is discrimination in law. It matters acutely until such time as the rights are ours.

    As for civil v religious marriage, I think we all understand the difference, even if “some people” (and I mean some gay people I have discussed this with) associate “marriage” with religion. I don’t think there’s any need to attempt to patronise me on this.

    Again, please show some respect to what other people are actually saying, before mouthing off.

  34. Stonewall might have stated that they aren’t against marriage equality but the issue is that they are out of touch with the gay community because they are not actively supporting marriage equality by campaiging in its favour. Their lack of action will damage the chances of gaining equality.

  35. Why not go the full hog and demand that one same-sex partner should spend most of his/her life in the kitchen and provide on-demand sex in the bedroom whenever the other wants it? Just like it was in the ‘golden days’ of marriage up until 40 years ago.

    Whoopee, bible bashing relatives will be able to bully same sex couples into having a religious ceremony, just as they always have with heterosexual couples.

    And it’s something hardly anyone wants. In 2009 there were just 6,281 civil partnerships, with 351 dissolutions granted in the UK that same year.

    Please, please, please – put the handcuffs on.

    If you’re suprised by the low number of civil partnerships, so was Barclays Bank. I’ve written an article about that and other LGBT statistics here:

    http://g7uk.com/go/006

  36. @GS

    1) if you don’t want to get married then DON’T get married. Simple as that. I don’t know why you want to play god and make sure that no one else who wants to can.

    2) it wouldn’t matter if TWO couples got a civil partnership and one of them got a dissolution! Equality should be AVAILABLE to ALL; even those who aren’t interested in taking part in it. Most African Americans in America don’t vote but it doesn’t mean that their right to vote should be denied.

    Oh, and Mr. Summerskill, please stop posting comments under the screen name MikeNimes. You’re not fooling anyone.

  37. manufacturing consent

  38. @Hayden – because no one ever looks at the downside to any of these ‘advances’. Like the ‘step forward’ of throwing open the doors of every gay bar to straight people in the name of ‘equality’. With the effect that there are no safe spaces anymore.

    As an absolutely tiny gay elite move into the mainstream with their marriages and adoptions, everyone else seems to be left in a world that in many ways is worse than 25 years ago. With: rampant commercialism, ageism and exclusion; community ‘leaders’ and politicians who suck up to the police and authorities at all costs; attacks, bullying and gay hate worse than in the 1980’s; depoliticised Pride events and much diminished gay media.

    What’s the next middle class activist bandwagon? Eggs planted into rich gay men so they can get pregnant? Much more important than tackling things such as the total exclusion of all LGBT people from everything etc.

  39. The end of that should read: ‘the total exclusion of all LGBT people aged OVER 40 from everything etc.’

  40. @GS You don’t sound too happy with your life. Really sorry about that. I’m 50 and don’t feel excluded from anything on the grounds of my orientation, other than the right to marry someone of the same sex. If I think back to when I was 20, the list of things I was excluded from in law ran to pages including having any sex at all with another male, and in most areas in life (work, social, etc) I could progress only by keeping my orientation a secret. I simply don’t recognise the planet you’re living on, so I must be in that tiny minority you mention. How about you form a new political movement representing the masses that you feel you represent. Nothing stopping you, eh?

  41. GS – in your link your misuse of statistics is even more inept than that of the marketeers you harangue. Sad, really

  42. “There’s been a lot of anti-Stonewall wittering on these comment pages for quite a while now.
    I don’t think they are a perfect organisation but they have achieved a lot and have really helped to turn around negative attitudes in this country.”

    Acknowledged.

    But unless they quickly start addressing and campaigning for the wishes and needs of the population they claim to represent, then they are finished.

    If you do not personally want to get married then that’s totally fine. Don’t. However through their inexplicable silence on this issue Stonewall are making themselves irrelevant.

    I’ve said it before and I will repeat it.

    The LGBT rights movement did not begin with the Stonewall Group. It will not end with the Stonewall Group.

    They need the LGBT community more than the LGBT community needs them.

    there is not legal, practical or moral justification for denying access to a legal contract to someone based on their sexual orientation.

    I suspect Hayden in number 36 above may be right – and that Stonewall is (yet again) using its employees to defend their homophobia anonymously.

  43. Are we all agreed however, that the methods by which Stonewall decides their policy agenda is completely inadequate and that a LOT more transparency in how they decided their agenda is required.

    Does anyone even know who Stonewall represents?

    Is it us (the so-called ‘community) who they are so clearly out of touch with?

    Is it their corporate donors (and if so do they influence Stonewall’s agenda?)

    Is it the political parties (has Stonewall reached some deal with government that they will automatically listen to Stonewall on condition that Stonewall not cause any trouble).

    None of us know the answers to these critical questions.

    part of the problem I suspect is the age of Stonewall’s donors and trustees. Stonewall was formed in direct response to Section 28, and its leadership and trustees have not changed much in the 20 plus years since Section 28.

    Well Section 28 is gone.

    Is Stonewall still run by the same people who founded it.

    Wisdom comes with age for sure; but so does stubborness and a refusal to listen to the wishes of the newer generations.

  44. Philip, it certainly wasn’t my intention to patronise you or condescend, my apologies. I’m just extremely angry at StonewallUK blatant refusal to declare support and campaign for full equality. I’m not denying it has done some good in the past, but really, something is going on if it can’t endorse same-sex marriage let alone campaign for it. Not opposing it isn’t endorsement or support. Its either for or against full equality and its current attitude suggests the latter by its stubborn refusal and inaction. Its highest priority to help limit homophobic bullying is admirable, but that’s not going to disappear over night. There will always be homophobia and there will always be bullying. No amount of legislation can put an end to it. It should concentrate on getting our full equality and make it a high priority instead of an unnecessary issue. Unless that happens, its going to become even more irrelevant and lose its influence.

  45. OMAR KUDDUS GayasylumUK 16 Sep 2010, 2:15pm

    [gayasylum] Gayassylum UK

    From:
    Omar

    View Contact
    To: gayasylum@yahoogroups.com

    As everyone knows we have been experiencing gremlins at our group page so we have reestablished it as:
    Group name: GayasylumUK
    Group home page: http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/GayasylumUK
    Group email: GayasylumUK@yahoogroups.co.uk
    It is advised that members log in to the new address and / or remove themselves from the original corrupted group site that has and does not express what it was designed for.
    Regards
    Omar Kuddus Gayasylum UK

  46. I’m confused slighty by GS arguments against marriage. CPs have the same legal consequences as marriage. CPs were only introduced becuase gays couldn’t get married. CPs were originally intended to be for straights and gays but at that time people thought it was impossible for us to have marriage. CPs are as tight as marriages, you can’t easily get out of them and the responsibilities and obligations are the same – if you don’t want to get married then probably you wouldn’t want to ge CPed as well. CPs unfortunteley don’t cover the whole mass of people who want a looser form of partnerships. CPs are just a complete copy of marriage , what a wasted opportunity not to have brought in a looser form of cohabitation agreement and kept marriages (for straights and gays ) for those who were truly and utterly committed. We never needed CPs, we already had a law that covered them called marriage. What we needed was a cohabitation agreements for straights anf gays. Now we just have 2 discriminatory laws based solely on sexual orientation. It’s almost like being made to wear a pink triangle on your clothes to distingish you from the norm.

    I’m at a total loss why stonewall do not respond. It’s not as though they haven’t been happy enough to give interviews and the such to PN in the past. Why not now when the issue is on everybody’s lips. IT’S VERY CONFUSING behaviour!. And by the way , homophobic bullying has already been taken up by most people ,we’re not asking them to stop their bit on it just asking them to also campaign for marriage equality.

    As for the person who says they have interviewed people on marriage/cp equality or something like , where the hell is the piblic evidence for this. It’s nice to have inside knowledge but it’s not very useful or convincing for the plebs like us.

  47. @wingby – whereas your criticism is limited to merely dismissing what I’ve written? You don’t produce a single shred of evidence to prove why you supposedly know better? Sorry but that isn’t good enough.

    @Ed – I’m perfectly happy with my life thanks. But I know many people who aren’t. Why isn’t it possible for people on here to have a debate without personal comments about those they disagree with? The other person is always ‘sad’ or has a ‘sad life’.

    @John – it isn’t the legal aspects of marriage. It’s the centuries of religious baggage that goes with that word.

  48. OMAR KUDDUS GayasylumUK 16 Sep 2010, 9:53pm

    Everyone is the same in the free west, or should be by the fact that we are all born human an should apply to everyone equally, an nobody should be above the law, an why i have fought to change laws an have several name after me in the House of Lords in England, that inshore that every part of society and individual should not make anyone above the law.

    I appreciate that we live in a world that different, races, religion an cultures, make this unrealistic to becoming a world wide phenomena, but at least in the “free West” we all should be treated Equally, irrespective of our sexual orientation, an grantee the same rights and freedoms as our fellow Heterosexual Human Beings, by the mere fact that when born we are all but the same an thus should have the same an similar rights as everyone else.

    So please explain to me why, i am not treated or feel equal? Stonewall always has the standard brush off.

    Or will someone have to the government to the House of Lords again, to get equality? even if we live in the “free west” as Stonewall, who is meant to look after LGBT interests, seems to all ways do nothing or compromise.

  49. GS – I’m afraid civil marriage and CPs come with the same baggage..It would be naive to think that getting into a cp as opposed to a marriage would be any different.

    The point is that in the UK in 2010 no-one should be allowed to say you can’t do something merely based on the fact that you are gay. We are outraged when we are told that we can’t have a room in a B&B or refused a drink in punch taverns. Being refused marriage I suggest is even far more outrageous.

    We were progressive in 2005 but now we should be even more progressive.

  50. John (different one to post 49) 17 Sep 2010, 1:45pm

    I expect I will be lambasted for this, and I certainly don’t want to disrespect or unduly offend the folk who frequent these forums, or ignore the reasonable case for recognising same sex relationships, but I recently signed the Westminster declaration (http://www.westminster2010.org.uk/declaration/). Regarding marriage it declares:

    “We pledge to support marriage – the lifelong covenantal union of one man and one woman as husband and wife. We believe it is divinely ordained, the only context for sexual intercourse, and the most important unit for sustaining the health, education, and welfare of all. We call on government to honour, promote and protect marriage and we refuse to submit to any edict forcing us to equate any other form of sexual partnership with marriage. We commit ourselves to continue affirming what we believe as Christians about sexual morality, marriage, and the family.”

  51. John above – why post here?

    – we already have CPs (marriages in all but name and the press and others already refer to it as marriage ) In addition we are going to have CPs performed in some churches (already promised) and most of the major party leaders have already said they are going to try to change the law to bring in marriag equality.

    Obviously the Christian extremist view is well known already. What’s new about your argument for not allowing marriage equality. Of course that statment in the declaration about marriage goes a lot further than just the issue of marriage equality…

  52. John Post 50 – “We commit ourselves to continue affirming what we believe as Christians about sexual morality, marriage, and the family.”

    (Hi, John, if you’re who I think you are :D) Fair enough. You’re entitled to your beliefs. But do bear in mind that many other Christians disagree with you on the gay issue. I don’t expect any church to be FORCED to perform same sex marriages, and I’m quite happy with that, and, obviously, you’re free to live your life according to your beliefs regarding sex before marriage and divorce. But other people don’t have to.

    I also don’t see how that declaration means anything. It lays out the fundamentalist Christian view, which is fine, but what does “we refuse to submit to any edict forcing us to equate any other form of sexual partnership with marriage” mean in reality? No-one’s asking you to submit to anything – you can keep your beliefs, you don’t have to marry someone of the same sex if you don’t want, and your church can continue to choose whom it marries.

  53. John (different one to post 49) 17 Sep 2010, 4:51pm

    Thanks John. You make a valid point and I suppose my post is going a little off-subject. Looking at the previous posts, it seems practically every contributor thinks gay marriage is the right way to go but the question is whether this should be something Stonewall should be taking up. We can’t speak for Stonewall of course, although it seems reasonable that they should respond to the letter. My take is that while many on Stonewall would agree with gay marriage they have prudently decided to pick their battles. I am part of our local authority’s equality board and along with many other LEAs Stonewall is referred to in ascertaining how well they are doing with LGBT equality issues. It may not be too helpful to their cause if they were to campaign too vociferously on this particular issue. But as I say, it is for Stonewall to respond.

    Iris: it is always good to hear from you. Hope you had a great holiday, are well, enjoying be back to teaching, life and all … yes we have discussed the issue of gay marriage as you will recall. I think, given the direction this country is going, it is likely to be only a matter of time before it is adopted in law. I differ from you in one respect insofar I suspect that if and when this is enacted, it will have implications that will further marginalise traditional Christian values and those who hold them.

    Without being over-smart, I think the issue is down to how you define marriage. My reference makes an attempt to do so and for 4000 years, up to recently, most would have accepted this. Now there is a concerted attempt to redefine marriage. This is what I am against. Of course I will respect my gay and lesbian friends (and I count you in that number) who think and act differently, but that is what in all conscience I beleive and feel I have to act in accordance with.

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