I daresay the event won’t pass without some incident. Stonewall have incurred the wrath of those they purport to represent, and they can be sure that something is being planned for the event to turn the spotlight on their betrayal and treachery. And if Summerskill doesn’t win villain of the year award, then we will know the results are rigged.
And so Ben Summerskill lives to fight another day ….
But if I was Ben Summerskill I’d be pretty embarrassed when they get to the Bigot of the Year Award.
I think it is good that the demo has been cancelled.
It is probably worth giving Stonewall a chance to repair its shattered reputation.
I hope that Ben Summerskill’s replacement is announced at their awards. There is no way that Summerskill can continue as leader of Stonewall, and for Stonewall to be taken seriously.
I also hope that Stonewall’s claim that they support marriage equality is not simply a PR stunt to deflect criticism for their previous, revolting homophobia on the issue of marriage equality.
So as well as Summerskill’s replacement being announced on Thursday, I also expect to see some sort of plan of action by Stonewall on how they intend to achieve marriage equality within the lifetime of the current government.
I also want to see Stonewall announcing who it is accountable to, and to announce how they are going to make their agenda setting process far more transparent than it currently is.
In light of the utter ruination of Stonewall’s reputation through Ben Summerskill’s campaigning against marriage equality at the LibDem conference, simply announcing that they’ve now changed their mind is merely a 1st step towards repairing their destroyed reputation.
However actions speak louder than words.
I think it is fair to give Stonewall a few months to get its house in order (ie no more offensive ‘It Gets Better’ campaigns where they still babble on about how we should be grateful for CP’s).
If by that time Stonewall are still operating from the ivory tower they currently operate from then I think they will have no choice to disband.
In the meantime I think people should hold off on donating money to Stonewall. Let it get its house in order before deciding if it is worth supporting.
I still don’t understand Summerskill’s persistent mantra regarding the special and unique status of CPs. What is so special and unique about them? Since when does segregation for only one group construed as special and unique while ten countries proved the opposite? We only have two with CPs, one of which has slightly less rights than the British version. I don’t think straights would want to give up civil marriage en masse for CPs even though I think both orientations should have access to both. So I suppose Summerskill construes marriage as nothing special or unique and CPs are superior or better? He needs to be replaced with someone who is competent, proactive and on board for full marriage equality without exception. All of us must make sure that we hold StonwallUK’s feet to the fire, especially Summerskill. I’m hoping this is just not another public realations stunt to delay doing anything about it. That’s why we must keep the pressure on him to be proactive on this one.
“I still don’t understand Summerskill’s persistent mantra regarding the special and unique status of CPs. What is so special and unique about them?”
I suspoect there are a number of possible reasons for this.
1. Stonewall was founded in 1989 and was always a very pro-Labour Party organisation. As it was the Labour Party who introduced CP legislation, Stonewall still being a very strongly pro-Labour organisation did not want to upset the Labour Party by demanding full equality. Even though there was a strong opposition to the discriminatory nature of CP’s even when they were 1st introduced.
2. The age of the Stonewall leadership and board. It strikes me that the leadership and board of Stonewall are all middle-aged or older. These people come from a generation where the thought of ever achieving equality is alien to them, that they are satisfied with the crumbs thrown their way by those in power. The younger generation of LGBT people are far more confident and assured than the previous generation and possibly cannot even fathom why they should be satisfied with 2nd class citizenship.
3. As Stonewall is not answerable to the LGBT community (or even their individual LGBT donors) it is possible that they are answerable only to their corporate donors (have a look at their Top 100 employers list – it is comprised solely of their corporate sponsors). If their corporate donors have instructed Stonewall not to campaign for marriage equality, then perhaps Stonewall had no choice but to obey.
If Ben Summerskill had not been caught campaigning against LGBT equality at the LibDem conference I can say with almost 100% certainty that Stonewall would still be pushing the homophobie arguement that we should be satisfied with the 2nd class citizenship offered by CP’s.
Stonewall need to be watched very carefully. With Summerskill still in charge and no progress on making their agenda setting process more transparent, there is a distinct and very real possibility that Stonewall’s change of heart on marriage equality, is meaningless PR fluff.
Like I said already, let’s give them a few months to announce their strategy towards achieving full marriage equality, within the lifetime of this government.
Only then will we know they are serious about their commitment to and accountability to the LGBT community.
Stonewall’s claim that civil partnership should be kept as a special status for lesbian and gay people, and that it’s not their job to campaign for heterosexuals, ignores the many opposite-sex bisexual couples who do not wish to engage in the heterosexual institution of marriage, but who are legally forbidden from civil partnerships.
Yet again, Stonewall only pretend to represent us bi people when they are asking for our money!
There is a big factual error in this article – people aren’t protesting because Stonewall don’t represent trans people. People are protesting because Stonewall claim not to represent trans people, but are still briefing the Government on trans legislation such as the Gender Recognition Act. The Government should be engaging with organisations such as GIRES who actually claim to represent trans people, not with Stonewall.
As to whether Stonewall *should* represent trans people – many people would rather they kept their white cis middle-class male hands off!
I don’t really know what Stonewall stand for any more…
It seems to me a a big money making business with people employed on inflated salaries. They seem too close to government to me and seem to push only for things that have already been agreed upon in government….
I keep thinking of that classic one liner by BS, that they are not a democratic organisation and have never claimed to represent all LGB people. Thanks BS you’ve summed it up quite accurately…
It great that they now support marrigae equlaity but what a struggle it was to get them on board. I’d keep a very close eye on what they do from now on…be very vigilant!!! I’m terrified that the next thing we hear from BS is that he has had some “private” meeting with someone and they together have decided to do bugger all for the time being….
It is time for disclosure of Zeroskill’s salary, executive pension and perks. Just how mush IS he making of the back of his deceit? We must be told.
> There is a big factual error in this article – people aren’t
> protesting because Stonewall don’t represent trans people.
> People are protesting because Stonewall claim not to represent
> trans people, but are still briefing the Government on trans
> legislation such as the Gender Recognition Act.
So would it be OK if they had suddenly started to claim to represent us first, without consulting, understanding, or actually being inclusive, as so many gay groups have done? Of course it wouldn’t.
> The Government
> should be engaging with organisations such as GIRES who actually
> claim to represent trans people, not with Stonewall.
The government, and many QUANGOs engages very considerably with GIRES. You don’t know it because GIRES never consults the people who would actually be affected or know about the issues, and never reports back. You won’t find it on their website.
Apart from a few members, GIRES is is basically a wealthy cis couple who, after their own daughter transitioned in her twenties have made a new career, and gained new status from repackaging the published opinions of the self-styled professional experts on trans matters, who mostly do not have our best interests at heart, and most have absolutely no experience of being trans. In the process they push some very damaging misinformation.
They are the people organisations go to when they want to say they have done the necessary consultations but don’t want to deal with trans people. Often GIRES don’t even bother to respond, but if they do, they miss many of the problems.
> As to whether Stonewall *should* represent trans people – many
> people would rather they kept their white cis middle-class male
> hands off!
Despite Stonewall already claiming to represent trans issues in Scotland, in fact the reasons why Stonewall does and should not represent itself as competent on trans issues are that it does not understand them, has a record of acing against our interests, and has a record of acting against even the interests it does claim to represent (as we have all witnessed over equal marriage).
Then there is the huge problem it would share with all other L&G groups, which is that, on the one hand, not only are many trans people not and have never been lesbian or gay, and strongly identify as heterosexual, but, on the other, some lesbian and gay people are amongst the worst transphobes around, maintaining that trans people are just self-hating homosexuals and opposing medical treatment.
Those trans people who were lesbian or gay, or are now, and press for “LGBT” labels, often overlook that problem, but I fear the result we are increasingly seeing is “LGBT” groups that work against the vital interests of heterosexual trans people, and even promote the idea that trans is just a form of homosexuality. Some such groups seem to understand it as just variations on drag (the current Homotopia festival, for example).
What do you think happens when such groups get consulted by government bodies on things like out medical care, or the rights of transsexual children? It has already happened, but not at the scale of damage that a funded group like Stonewall could cause.