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Stonewall says it will campaign for gay marriage

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  1. Patrick---01 27 Oct 2010, 3:15pm

    AT LAST!

  2. Patrick---01 27 Oct 2010, 3:17pm

    Good news. Took them FAR, FAR, FAR too long, but good news.

    Hopefully now they will make up for lost time with an aggresive campaign.

    I am not a fan of the Tories – however I have always said they should be forgiven for their past mistakes. I say the same for Stonewall now.

    Onwards and upwards!

  3. Jock S. Trap 27 Oct 2010, 3:18pm

    About bloomin time!!

    Now lets see them act on it!

  4. Too little too late. This shoddy outfit has nailed its balls to the mast and stated quite categorically where it stands on gay marriage. For it to change gear at this late stage in the face of overwhelming hostility smacks of utter desperation, and no one in their right mind believes that any effort they put into campaigning for gay marriage will be wholehearted. Stonewall your time is up. Go straight to the benefit office. Don’t pass GO. Pink News we salute you for exposing these pseudo-gay rights campaigners for the Whitehall bum-licking charlatans they really are…

  5. How about saying sorry for the five years they have failed to support civil marriage rights for LGBT people.

    Come on Stonewall apologise and get Ben Summerskill to step down as it happened on his watch.

  6. Sally Outen 27 Oct 2010, 3:32pm

    Well, *finally*. With this and the retraction of Bill Leckie’s Journalist of the Year nomination, perhaps they’re actually showing signs of *listening* to the queer community.

    Or perhaps they’ve just worked out that the transparency of their excuses was only serving to insult people’s intelligence.

    Either way… let’s see what happens….

  7. Yay about time; fingers crossed they can get this sorted in the next few years just in time for me to get my GRC; and this will mean I can still stay married rather then annul our 12 year marriage and have a CP.

    Lets nope they put proper effort into this, and not

    SW: ‘Will you allow same sex couples to marry and have the same rights as hetro couples?’
    Parliment: No.
    SW: ‘Ok then, sorry’

  8. richie, liverpool 27 Oct 2010, 3:52pm

    Maybe they’ve been embarassed by Peter Tatchell’s (Outrage) Equal Love campaign which is set to take legal action against sexual apartheid.
    There now in direct competition with an other gay rights group which is more in tune with the public mood!

  9. richie, liverpool 27 Oct 2010, 3:54pm

    That should read “They’re now in direct competiton”
    There, their, they’re in all the right places is very important mdears!

  10. mindtehgap 27 Oct 2010, 3:56pm

    I wonder whether Stonewall are trying to calm things down after recent events (and didn’t want another demo at the awards next week). That said, it may just be my interpretation, but the wording to me sounds like a compromise still on proper marriage equality?

    “We seek to secure marriage for gay people as a civil vehicle on the same basis as heterosexual marriage, available in a registry office but without a mandate on religious organisations to celebrate it.”

  11. I want to be nice, it’s great they’ve climbed down. But… this isn’t equality. It’s a half-hearted public relations exercise. Why no religious marriage? Are LGBT people not allowed religious marriages in supportive religious organisations? And the suggestion that civil partnerships are “special” and “unique” stinks of the same sort of language used to deny us marriage by religious fundies.

  12. Stonewall made sure the Equality Act doesn’t protect gay people against harassment. Did they check that policy with their supporters?

  13. So now you’ll be able to have a civil partnership with a religious ceremony, or marry but without a religious ceremony. How is that fair?

  14. Welcome to the party Stonewall.

    They’ve wasted 5 years sitting on the fence on this vital issue to there needs to be immediate actiom from Stonewall to try to repair the massive damage they have done to their reputation and the campaign for LGBT equality.

    Some questions that have not been answered:

    1. What are Stonewall’s immediate, short term and medium term plans to achieve marriage equality.

    2. Is Ben Summerskill going to be replaced as head of Stonewall (or at least offer a full apology for his despicable behaviour at the Lib Dem party conference)

    3. Has Stonewall given any guarantees that they will NEVER again pretend to speak for the LGBT population on ANY issue without 1st consulting a sample number of the LGBT community.

    4. Has Stonewall offered any clarificationn as to who decides their agenda and to whom they are answerable.

    I really want to believe that they have changed.

    If they are serious about campaigning for full equality then I’d like to see answers to my questions above.

    Otheewise I feel people may suspect that the ONLY reason Stonewall has come out in favour of equality is for PR purposes thanks to the horrific damage Summerskill inflicted on Stonewall’s reputation, credibility and influence.

  15. Crispin Harris 27 Oct 2010, 4:40pm

    I must start dieting immediately. I’ll never fit into a white frock as I am now!

    GOOD NEWS, Stonewall! Well done!

  16. Again they don’t get it, saying gay and lesbian … They should want equality for all lgbt people but are ignoring bi people and transgenders by not acknowledging them.

    All we want is for them to support civil marriage for all lgbt people.

    But it is to little to late, this isn’t what they want to do and it isn’t what they support, this is just a reaction to the negativity against them. ( rightly given).

  17. I look forward to Stonewall announcing their plan for marriage equality.

    It is too early to start celebrating.

    When is their next meeting with the government scheduled?

    How will they start exerting pressure on the Tories and the Labour Party to introduce marriage equality.

    Will they sack Ben Summerskill for telling barefaced lies about marriage equality costing £10,000,000,000.

    Actions speak louder than words.

    After their appalling attitudes to LGBT opinion over the past few years, Stonewall needs to start proving that they are worth supporting through their actions.

    Empty rhetoric is not good enough.

    Their campaign for marriage equality must start immediately.

    They are 6 years late to the party. They have a LOT of cathcing up to do.

  18. Peter & Michael 27 Oct 2010, 4:57pm

    At last! Stonewall was made to do a ‘U’ turn. We have written to our Conservative MP on this issue. For full Equality we must campaign for Same-Sex Marriage Equality. The Civil Partnership certificate is worthless as we have since found out, especially in the NHS, and is not applicable outside the UK anyway.

  19. Gino Meriano 27 Oct 2010, 5:27pm

    HO wmuch money did it take them to waste our time for a immediate press release that Stonewall finally supports this, after so much pressure

    Wow the power of a self absorbed money grabbing company, who cares what they think they will not act on it anyway

  20. “We seek to retain civil partnerships for lesbian and gay people recognising their special and unique status.”

    – umm not so equal sounding really – watch the small print !
    we ain’t special ! same same but different
    u can’t argue for equality IF you also argue to be special – is this a way out to avoid backing str8 access to civil partnerships ? – if so – why ?

  21. I wish they wouldn’t. What a waste of resources.

  22. Mike Savant 27 Oct 2010, 6:45pm

    @qv there are far more nasty things for you to focus on. Bugger off.

    This is far too long in the offing and hasn’t come to pass with unnecessary lack of leadership from Stonewall.

    That said, if it can clear its internal deadwood out, then I am sure it can deliver proper equality.

  23. What the hell took them so long. I hope they learn from this farce to be more open and transparent and less aloof and out of touch.

  24. Now lets see how far up the agenda marriage equality goes. Last time I checked, it was number 8. It should be number 1 and now! I’m very disappointed Summerskill has not included civil partnerships for straight couples who want them. Aside from the pressure we’ve all put on him collectively (I’ve been doing it for four years), I think it puts StonewallUK in an awkward position where we have the Liberal Democrats endorsing marriage equality without any help from StonewallUK and Ed Miliband now supports it, again without any prodding by StonewallUK, in other words, straight people pushing for it, no thanks to StonewallUK. I suspect Summerskill has been embarrassed into supporting it. Its up to us now to make sure we hold his feet to the fire without letup. As others say, action speaks louder than words. We must be vigilant and make sure that StonewallUK vigorously pursues it.

  25. I support Stonewall and I was consulted by them (and I happen to support gay marriage). However, I would have been affronted if all the macho, shouty and aggressive men above were being listened to more than their genuine lesbian, gay and bisexual supporters just because they’re abusive and offensive

  26. @ miketruth

    If Stonewall want to take the national stage on LGB issues then they need to be accountable to all LGB people. They take the national stage and hover up all the funding, yet they are accountable to no one and have no mandate to represent all LGB people.

    If Stonewall want to continue it should change how it operates or makes it very clear it is only representative of its 20,000 members not the LGB.

  27. I’m reserving judgement until I see them DOING something. Yes, it’s good they’ve finally conceded that they should be supporting equal marriage, but I can’t help being suspicious about how active this campaign will be. What I don’t want is them saying one thing in public and doing another behind our backs.

  28. Well, I’m reserving judgement until I see them DOING something. Yes, it’s good they’ve finally conceded that they should be supporting equal marriage, but I can’t help being suspicious about how active this campaign will be. What I don’t want is them saying one thing in public and doing another behind our backs.

  29. Bill Perdue 27 Oct 2010, 8:33pm

    Could it be that this sudden change in policy resulted from an equally sudden decline in income when it became clear that they sided with the bigots on the question of same sex marriage.

  30. At last. No more anti stonewall rants on pink news.

  31. Too f’n little, too f’n late!

    Watch how many fools will go running back to them like a battered spouse to an abuser after he/she says “sorry”.

  32. Summerskill still needs to go. No one should support Stonewall until he is gone.

  33. The truth is that if the LGBT community wants marriage equality then Stonewall’s input is needed because they do hold some sway in the political world. Now that they have done the right thing people must draw a line under their past mistakes. Internecine quarrelling will only be self-destructive and we now all need to pull together to work collaboratively towards a common goal. We’ve all had a good bitch and moan about Stonewall’s shortcomings but now let’s appreciate the fact that the will have an important role to play in fighting this battle. Attacking them will not help us to win that battle.

  34. Wim in Holland 27 Oct 2010, 11:33pm

    Stonewall will campaign for gay marriage and it comes right from the heart ?

  35. @27 I’m so with you Iris, you so often write such sensible comments and this about sums it up for me.
    I’ll believe it when I see some action.

  36. I can’t understand Stonewall’s position on this. The issue of allowing same sex marriage can be summed up in one word – equality. Either Stonewall believes that gay people are entitled to equal treatment, or they don’t. For them not to support it really undermines their whole purpose for existing.

  37. No 30: Pau; Cann says: “At last. No more anti stonewall rants on pink news.”

    Hold your horses.

    Stonewall has a LOT of catching up to do.

    The horrendous damage that Ben Summerskill did, by campaigning against LGBT equality, at the LibDem conference, still has to be addressed.

    I’m delighted that Stonewall has decided to support marriage equality, but I remain very uncomfortable that Summerskill remains Stonewall’s leader.

    Summerskill needs to go.

    Summerskill does NOT support equality. He proved that through his behaviour at the LibDem conference.

    That needs to be urgently addressed.

    When is Summerskill going to be replaced by someone who genuinely believes in LGBT equality?

    If Summerskill still stands by his barefaced lie that equality will cost 10,000,000,000 pounds, then he needs to be fired instantly.

  38. Stonewall is a worthwhile organisation, as long as it remains accountable to the LGBT population.

    I will repost my earlier questions, as they require responses:

    “1. What are Stonewall’s immediate, short term and medium term plans to achieve marriage equality.

    2. Is Ben Summerskill going to be replaced as head of Stonewall (or at least offer a full apology for his despicable behaviour at the Lib Dem party conference)

    3. Has Stonewall given any guarantees that they will NEVER again pretend to speak for the LGBT population on ANY issue without 1st consulting the LGBT community.

    4. Has Stonewall offered any clarificationn as to who decides their agenda and to whom they are answerable.”

    These are reasonable questions that require answers.

  39. This is why I am glad the USA doesn’t have a distinct difference between civil and religious marriage; look at this mess…

  40. Great news! Thanks PN and others and thanks to all those that were going to go to that demo.

    If they’re not supporting straights CPs then I guess there will be no need for them to do any further reasearch and costing into this aspect of any party’s proposals for CP and marriage equality change.

    Concentrate on marriage equality and let Lord Lester and others sort out the CP aspect or better still why not delay doing anything with CPs until marriage equality has been sorted out. Why cloud the issue of marriage equality with the possible complicated aspects of what to do with CPs….

    We have a totally useless law called CPs which give us nothing new apart from segration , a copy of what we should have had in the first place , marriage. Come up with a more useful alternative lifestyle for all….

  41. As Sharon Ferguson of LGCM said of civil partnerships;

    “a separate system that was put together to stop gay and lesbian people from being able to marry.”

    That’s the reality of CP’s, special, separate & discriminatory treatment reserved only for gay couples and lesbian couples, totally against the spirit of the Human Rights Act.

  42. Paul Brownsey 28 Oct 2010, 10:48am

    I think several commentators misunderstand “mandate” in Stonewall’s statement. Stonewall appears to be saying that religious organizations shouldn’t be *compelled* to offer gay marriages; but that does not rule out their being free to do so if they want to. Admittedly, “mandate” is an odd word to use here and sounds like a bit of jargon having only a distant relation to ordinary English.

    I wonder whether Stonewall’s dragging its feet over gay marriage has been to some extent a generational thing. Twenty or thirty years ago debates among LGB activists tended to be dominated by those who claimed that marriage was an oppressive institution that, especially, worked against the interests of women and gays. I suspect that the people now in the driving seat of Stonewall were brought up on this idea and the demands of the younger generation for marriage pure and simple have rather wrong-footed them. (To explain, by the way, is not to justify or excuse.)

  43. Paul, London 28 Oct 2010, 11:31am

    @ David 20/10 16:22 – regarding your comments about Stonewall not supporting extending harassment protection to gay people in the Equality Act. The reason for this is because the protection is not requried becasue protection from discrimination (which is in the act) covers all bases. Can you truely think of any type of harassment of gay people that isn’t also discrimination (for which their is protection)? BTW – to help you discrimination means treating one person less favourably than another person because of their protected characteristic. There is no point in having a law that is useless and would never be used.

    @ David – “Has Stonewall given any guarantees that they will NEVER again pretend to speak for the LGBT population on ANY issue without 1st consulting a sample number of the LGBT community.” The whole reason why Stonewall didn’t come immediately out with a statement supporting “gay marriage” is EXACTLY because they were waiting for the results of their survey of their 20,000 supporters. Would you rather they’d just made the statement without checking with anyone first? No, I thought not.

    @ Bill Perdue 20:33 – “Could it be that the sudden change of policy has resulted from an equally sudden decline in income…” No, the announcement of their position has resulted from the survey of their supporters now being completed, so they are able to announce their position based on the wishes of its supporters.

    Also, if you read Stonewall’s position on “gay marriage” it articulates some of the nuances in the issue – It explains their position on religious marriage, it explains their position on Civil Partnership – This is much more useful to the Government that just saying “we want marriage equality”, becasue that clearly means different things to different people (as evidenced by all the posts above!)

  44. Jock S. Trap 28 Oct 2010, 12:04pm

    “The whole reason why Stonewall didn’t come immediately out with a statement supporting “gay marriage” is EXACTLY because they were waiting for the results of their survey of their 20,000 supporters. Would you rather they’d just made the statement without checking with anyone first? No, I thought not.”

    So groups that are supposed to represent LGBT equality have to rely on a handful of the community to decide if they actually want equality, whilst the rest of us, the majority who have openly called for support for equal marriage have to wait on them deciding if we’re worth it? What nonsense. They’re either for equality or they’re not!

    The job of Equality groups is to ensure that we all have equality NOT to pick and chose what equality we have. They should be fighting for equal marriage and it is for us as individuals who should have the right to decide to marry or not. They have NO right to take that decision for us. They are not the majority.

    Equality Rights should never be questioned nor held on a vote, they should be automatic and for all. Stonewall should Never have to have this explained. The fight for equality should be Until we have total equality. I do not appreciate them taking a ‘vote’ to see if we’re worth it.

    Stonewall are out of touch and out of date. Unless they back there talk with positive action they are in danger of being too late to recover from the damaged reputation they have caused.

  45. Stephen Kay 28 Oct 2010, 12:09pm

    @Paul, London … mate they betrayed us. Thats all that counts now. They dont represent our interests and Ben MUST GO!!!

  46. Paul, London 28 Oct 2010, 1:09pm

    Stonewall have now stated their policy (decided after surveying a statistically significant poputlation of LGB people) which favours “gay-marriage” and the retention of Civil Partnerships. They have an active engagement process with hundreds of businesses to ensure that they embed LGB equality in the workplace. They are actively campaigning to eradicate homophobic bullying in school. Last week they produced guidance for gay men on adopting children. They provide advice and guidance to LGB people on a range of issues from immigration, asylum, hate crime, domestic violence, criminal law, discrimination in goods and services, health, housing, workplace discrimination… and it goes on and on and on…

    @ Stephen Kay – read the above, consider what other organisations there are out there that do this level of work on that scale, and then re-consider your assertion that Stonewall don’t represent the interests of LGB people.

  47. @Paul Cann: “At last. No more anti stonewall rants on pink news.”

    Oh really Paul? You ain’t seen nothing yet. Stonewall is not a leopard that can change its spots to suit its pocket. They have been exposed for the charlatans they really are and the fact they do not represent the LGBT community. This is only the beginning…

  48. “Stonewall have now stated their policy (decided after surveying a statistically significant poputlation of LGB people….”

    A survey of the unknown/unnamed donators which we are told are called the “supporters”…

    It seems that these people are now on the side of the LGBT community but I have my doubts whether they are truly part of the same community….

  49. Wait until the LGBT Community find out they have been supporting a London AIDS Charity that in 2004 after their HIV Low Paid Staff who happened to be a Police Panel Member ! requested from the Trustees a contract of employment was e-mailed …..

    Crusaid Head of Dept Charity e-mail to HIV Police Panel Member…..
    “pendantic,uncooperative and causing stress hassle and pain to alot of people” …..If Crusaid is so bad get another Job with a better employer”

    Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 15:12:56 +0000
    From: RobinB@crusaid.org.uk
    To: xxxxxxxxxxcrusaid.org.uk; xxxxxxcrusaid.org.uk; hotmail.com

    I want to see the two of you in the meeting room tomorrow at 10 am. No excuses. I sincerely hope that this email conversation has not been widely distributed.
    Robin Brady
    Chief Executive

    WHAT A SCANDAL

  50. “What I don’t want is them saying one thing in public and doing another behind our backs.”

    Which is exactly why Ben Summerskill must be sacked/replaced.

    He has record, on doing exactly this (LibDem conference anyone).

    Does ANYONE know who Stonewall is answerable to.

    I simply cannot trust such a shady, secretive organisation.

    Does Stonewall have ANY accountabilty within the LGBT population?

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