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Labour leader Ed Miliband calls for progress on gay marriage

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  1. Perhaps Ed Miliband could start by persuading the Labour party to adopt equal marriage as policy, joining the Greens and Liberal Democrats?

    When it was his party who failed to deliver equal marriage in the first place, he’s in no position to criticise others.

  2. Why isn’t marriage equality official Labour Party policy?

    Why is Ed Miliband still babbling on about civil partnerships as if they are something other than base discrimination against gay people.

    I expect marriage equality to be official Labour Party policy within 6 months.

    Otherwise Miliband is just a slimy, opportunistic liar who supports apartheid against gay people.

  3. vulpus_rex 10 Jan 2011, 4:32pm

    Before he starts on gay marriage, I’d like to hear Beaker’s views on letting unions run roughshod over the preference of ordinary Labour party members and MPs and allowing the union to rig his election as leader.

  4. “In July, Mr Miliband said he did not think there was enough support for marriage equality.”

    Who other than those non-entities at Stonewall was Miliband speaking to.

    Note to Ed Miliband and the Labour Party – Stonewall are regarded with almost universal contempt by the LGBT population,

    Using Stonewall to decide what your LGBT policy is, is a surefire way of alienating the entire LGBT electorate.

  5. @David. Stonewall are not regarded with ‘near universal contempt’ by the LGB community. What planet are you living on? Sure they got it wrong on gay marriage but they have moved mountains.

  6. Ed Miliband is wrong. CPs are not being emulated around the world. Thus far, only Ireland has adopted them but even then, they do not provide all of the rights inherent in the British model. If anything, more countries are heading towards full civil marriage equality, 10 so far and that number will continue to grow. I give credit to Miliband for raising the issue again. Now I wonder why Cameron hasn’t said a word since his “consider” statement during the election campaign? Forget about StonewallUK, they’re out of the picture, not one iota of it mentioned on its website.

  7. “Stonewall are not regarded with ‘near universal contempt’ by the LGB community”

    Ok – perhaps I should have said that Stonewall under the leadership of Ben Summerskill is regarded with near universal contempt by those in the LGBT population who support full equality for LGBT people.

    Stonewall really should have disbanded by now. Their campaigning against LGBT equallty; and refusal to acknowledge this and apologise for this; and for their continuing refusal to campaign for LGBT equality; means that as a equality group they are no longer fit for purpose.

    if Ed Miliband is only seeking Stonewall’s opinion then he needs to be made aware of how massively out of touch Stonewall are with the LGBT population.

  8. I cannot stress enough how important it is for Britain to pass full marriage equality. The rest of the EU countries and, more importantly, the ECtHR, are just waiting for one of the big states (UK, France and Germany) to pass this before moving forward. It would be perfect if all of them did this but even one or two should suffice.

  9. The commenters on this website are morons. For Christ’s sake, not everything in the world revolve around gay rights. Grow up.

    There is no need for Labour to adopt this as official policy as the party does not need to review them as of yet – it’s an ongoing process, and there’s no reason that gay rights should be an exception.

    Civil Partnerships are not apartheid. They were fantastic for the time, and there was hardly space to do it in Labour’s final term. It was hardly an issue. Plus, many gay rights “charities” were saying how CPs were fine – what did you expect Labour to do?

    And to the idiot Vulpus_rex – the unions did not vote Ed Miliband in. Put down the Telegraph. Union MEMBERS gave him a higher proportion of the vote than other candidates. Labour was, after all, founded by the trade unions. Something of which they should be deeply proud.

    Twats.

  10. @The Bob – Why should people not talk about gay rights on a GAY NEWS SITE, on an article about GAY RIGHTS. How horrendous of us all!

  11. @The Bob — “The commenters on this website are morons.” All of them ?

    “For Christ’s sake, not everything in the world revolve around gay rights. Grow up.” Clearly not. Probably most members of this forum agree.

    But I suspect a website that “covers religion, politics, entertainment, finance, and community news for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community in the UK and worldwide. ” might sometimes have a bit of a gay slant. What do you think ? Is it immature of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people to have views about policies that affect them ? Does “grow up” mean shut up ? Be quiet and be grateful for what you’ve got ?

  12. @the Bob,
    It shouldn’t be an issue of course but for gay men & lesbian women everything in the world does revolve around “gay rights”… certainly until we have equality then it won’t be an issue at all.

  13. No, I didn’t say that – I was annoyed at the fact that people on here are going mental about what is effectively a minor political issue. Yes, it matters a lot to them, but they have to remember that there are priorities in politics. Like, you know, the economy? Small things like that?

    :P

  14. I feel the need to clarify once again, lol.

    What I mean to say is that you can’t make judgements about a politician (or at least, it would be misguided for you do so) based on minor political issues such as this. Yes, I would like EM to adopt this as official Labour policy, but I won’t start making extraordinary accusations about him based on the fact that as of yet he has not.

    Also, sorry for calling everyone a moron. =P I just get angry sometimes.

    (And for the record, I am gay – not some random homophobic troll.)

  15. @The Bob — “a minor political issue”. Really ? Minor for whom ?

    “but they have to remember that there are priorities in politics. Like, you know, the economy?”. So no other political business can be transacted until the economy is sorted ?

    Are you saying that removing all inequality legislation is difficult ? Why ? Can’t a bill be brought forward to the effect that all legislation that discriminates on the ground of sexual orientation is superseded ?

    How do think the Race Relations acts were passed ? Presumably because there was nothing more pressing at the time they were introduced ?

  16. “There is one rule for politicians all over the world: Don’t say in Power what you say in opposition; if you do, you only have to carry out what the other fellows have found impossible” – John Galsworthy

  17. “based on minor political issues such as this.”

    If the Labour Party regards marriage equality as a minor political issue (when marriage equality is supported by 98% of the LGBT population according to a Pink News poll) then effectively the Labour Party is telling us that our concerns are irrelevant and trivial to them.

    Fair enough.

    There are choices other than Labour for whom we can vote.

    “Yes, I would like EM to adopt this as official Labour policy, but I won’t start making extraordinary accusations about him based on the fact that as of yet he has not.”

    Miliband has stated that he wants progress on marriage equality by the end of the year.

    If he is serious (and not simply being a slimy opportunist) then it is only reasonable to expect him to facilitate that.

    Very easy – if marriage equality is Labour Party policy within 6 months then the Tories are the only main party which won’t support it. Their opposition to LGBT equality will become untenable if all the other parties (including their coalition partners) support it.

    It’s always wise to set reasonable deadlines for politicians – solely to avoid slimy opportunism.

  18. Ed Miliband went further on the issue of gay marriage than indicated in today’s article.
    He wrote
    “I want to see heterosexual and same-sex partnerships put on an equal basis and a Labour Party that I lead will campaign to make gay marriage happen.”

    In fact I have written to Ed about this over the last few months and have not yet received a reply.

    My summary email to Ed Miliband dated 13 December 2010:-

    Dear Ed,

    I wrote to you immediately after the end of this year’s Labour Party Conference about the issue of marriage equality, but unfortunately I have not received any reply to or acknowledgement of my email, nor to the reminders on Wednesday 3rd November and on Monday 6th December.

    This is the situation. On 28th July 2010 I contacted you via your Parliamentary email address to ask why, at that time, you appeared to not believe that marriage equality was an important issue.

    Later, an article written by you appeared in Pink News on 25th August 2010. In the article you made clear your belief that ‘Separate but equal’ is not good enough, and pledged that a Labour Party led by you “will campaign to make gay marriage happen.”

    On the morning of Thursday 2nd September I received your reply to my email of 28th July in which you wrote: “I believe that the law should not discriminate against gay and lesbian couples. It is therefore absolutely right that they should be entitled to get married.” You went on to say “The future of our party will depend on the outcome of this leadership election. Our party must change if we are to win again.”

    Naturally I was happy with your apparent change of mind, and wanted you to win the Labour leadership contest so that you could put right all that was wrong in Britain, including the current partnerships/marriage apartheid-style legislation.

    However, and to my dismay, when speaking to Conference as leader of the Party on 28th September you seemed to have forgotten about the inherent discrimination of civil partnerships. You told Conference “We should be proud that our commitment to equality means we have couples forming civil partnerships across the country and celebrating with their family and friends.”

    Hearing those words I decided to write again on 30th September 2010 to try and find out whether you will indeed campaign for marriage equality as you’d previously promised. After all, it would have been an easy matter to mention same-sex marriage in your speech. Perhaps you omitted it because of concerns over what the Daily Mail might say?

    Please could you get back to me, as a matter of urgency, and confirm that Labour Party policy is to support and campaign for marriage equality? Thank you.

  19. “I want to see heterosexual and same-sex partnerships put on an equal basis and a Labour Party that I lead will campaign to make gay marriage happen.”

    And he wants progress this year.

    What is the Labour Party doing to make this happen?

    Tick-tock Miliband. What specific plan of action do you have to advance equality.

    Or are you lying?

  20. Ed Johnson 10 Jan 2011, 6:48pm

    His party’s not in power (I can’t imagine why) so of course he’ll say whatever will gain more seats.

    The simple reason for a civil partnership rather than homosexual marriage is due to technical details when passing the bill. It was easier to add a ‘civil partnership’ than alter the already existing documents relating to ‘marriage’ – they’re effectively the same thing. Grow up.

  21. Giving similar rights to only one group of people is nothing more than segregation. I don’t care who thinks CPs are equal to marriage, the fact of the matter is they’re NOT. They’re contracted differently, there is NO marriage certificate and they are NOT recognised as marriages. If they’re so equal, why do successive governments downgrade foreign same-sex marriages to CPs when in fact they’re not. A marriage certificate is what it is, not a CP contract which it is not.

    Ask yourselves this, if CPs are equal then why aren’t therer ten countries with identical versions and yet there are ten countries with same-sex civil marriage that have abandoned the varying degrees of civil unions? Later this year, Finland is expected to become the eleventh country this year to allow marriage for gay couples, possibly Luxembourg. I don’t see that happening with CPs, ever. It will NEVER be the universal gold standard, least of all for gay couples or straights for that matter.

  22. @Ed Johnson — are you saying that it was easier to debate and pass a bill defining a parallel system (“civil partnerships”) than a bill amending the existing system (“marriage”) ? What do you mean by the “existing documents” ?

    Look — when you say ‘grow up’, who are you talking to ? What particular aspect of what they’ve said do you find immature ?

  23. Tim Hopkins 10 Jan 2011, 7:43pm

    Ed Johnson, to be blunt, that is completely wrong. It would have been far easier to draft legislation to open up marriage to same-sex couples.

    The Civil Partnership Act is 400 pages of legislation – one of the longest Acts of Parliament.

    it was difficult to get right – I know because I worked closely with the Scottish Govt on the Scottish parts – because it had to replicate huge amounts of marriage law, old and new, not all of which is written down in legislation; some is ‘common law’.

    Civil partnership was introduced, with all that work, precisely because the likes of the Church of England opposed same-sex marriage. Civil partnership was achieveable in 2005; marriage would not have been.

    CP was therefore the right thing to campaign for then – now it is time to move on to equality.

  24. “It was easier to add a ‘civil partnership’ than alter the already existing documents relating to ‘marriage’ ”

    Oh good grief.

    Please tell me you’re joking!

    Let’s give Miliband the benefit of the doubt, and give him 6 months to unveil his plan for marriage equality by year end.

    Otherwise we’ll know he’s just another politician liar!

  25. Blimey, Ed (who?) really is desperate for attention and love these days.

  26. Dear Ed,

    Do you think you could do something with your Panda eyes, like maybe smear some makeup on?

  27. Ronald McDonald 10 Jan 2011, 8:26pm

    Some of you lot really are clowns. When sumerskill says no gay marriage you kick up a fuss. Then when milliband says push on gay marriage you say all the junk above. With people like you lot fighting for gay rights, I’m not surprised we don’t have equality.

  28. @Ron — of course, how stupid of us not to realize that lack of equality is our fault ! But tell me, what does “calling for marriage” actually mean ? What is he actually going to do ? Do you think he has a concrete proposal to offer ?

  29. Jock S. Trap 10 Jan 2011, 8:47pm

    Is sounds good but it’s not Labour Party policy. It’s just an opposition leader whose doing badly as a leader saying anything to get noticed. Lets not forget he was the last to finally go for it but it seems only when pushed and to try and get himself elected as leader. That was only done via the unions ie a last resort.

    Anyone who thinks he had nothing to do with Party policy over the last few year when we were told Civil Partnerships were quite enough,is being naive.

    Sure, push what suits at the time but actually have some backbone and follow it through.

    Something Labour seemed to be too happy to leave us with, but is his voice now really genuine? I somehow doubt it!

  30. Ed is just trying to score browny points, he knows the Tories aren’t interested in supporting the queers.

  31. I think until Ed adopts this as party policy then I’m afraid I’m a little bit sceptical… I’m not aware of any labour MP raising any marriage equality issue as yet with the government apart from Chris Bryant who raised the question on speeding up relgious CP….If we are the stage of speeding that one up then we are at a stage of asking for marriage equality and having labour adopt it as party policy….!!!!

    Good news to have him raise it again but please don’t expect us to believe that this one will be pushed forward by labour MPs and stonewall…

    Thanks heavens for the equal love campaing which may force somekind of bill out of the greens/lib dems… I don’t expect labour to raise the bill by one of their mp but hope that they will join forces with te lib dems .,.. but time is running out, we don’t even know if this coalition govt will last 5 yrs…

  32. “When sumerskill says no gay marriage you kick up a fuss. Then when milliband says push on gay marriage you say all the junk above. ”

    The anger felt towards Summerskill was very appropriate considering he was pretending to be a supporter of LGBT equality while actively camapigning against it (the fact that he has not been fired from Stonewall shows how useless Stonewall is).

    The reactions to Miliband are also perfecty reasonable.

    He says that he wants to see progress on marriage equality within a year.

    Good.

    That gives him PLENTY of time to get marriage equality made into official Labour Party policy. The summer recess is his deadline. If has not done this by then, it’s only fair to call him an opportunistic liar.

    Anyone who naively trusts a politician’s weasel words is an idiot.

  33. George Broadhead 11 Jan 2011, 9:29am

    Tim Hopkins writes: “Civil partnership was introduced, with all that work, precisely because the likes of the Church of England opposed same-sex marriage”.

    Quite and so did most religionists.

    It’s not surprising that Ed Miliband is and atheist.

  34. Has it occurred to anyone here that Milliband can promiseb anything he likes, gay marriage, free chocolate ice cream for all and never come through on any promise. He is leader of the opposition and likley to be for some time.

    Excuse typos,full of flu and having trouble with weepy eyes, there, bob,thats not a gay issue. flu attacks everyone, gay or straight.

  35. “Has it occurred to anyone here that Milliband can promiseb anything he likes, gay marriage, free chocolate ice cream for all and never come through on any promise. He is leader of the opposition and likley to be for some time. ”

    Well if marriage equality is not official Labour Party policy by the next general election, then Miliband can kiss the LGBT vote goodbye.

    These politicians need to be held accountable.

  36. “Using Stonewall to decide what your LGBT policy is, is a surefire way of alienating the entire LGBT electorate” – David

    No it’s not. The whole marriage thing kicked off because of Summerskill’s stupid behaviour. Stonewall have been insturmental in assisting and herlping many gay men and women with a whole array of issues and their continuous attempts to work towards tolerance is admirable.

    Yes, they screwed up over the marriage thing and in some ways they’re hypocritical but by god they do a lot of good also and DO represent a significant minority of gay men and women on most issues. Get off the bandwagon.

    Ultimately we’re all equal in the eyes of the law, we all pay tax. Therefore we should enjoy exactly the same rights as straight men and women.

  37. “No it’s not. The whole marriage thing kicked off because of Summerskill’s stupid behaviour. ”

    Stonewall’s refusal to sack Summerskill shows its utter conitempt for the population it pretends to represent. Why does Summerskill still have a job?

    “Yes, they screwed up over the marriage thing and in some ways they’re hypocritical”

    But despite the fact that an overwhelming majority of the LGBT population support LGBT equality, there is still NOTHING on the Stonewal website about marriage equality. They are STILL screwing up on this issue. Time to get rid of them.

    Further evidence of the contempt in which Stonewall views our community.

    “but by god they do a lot of good also and DO represent a significant minority of gay men and women on most issues.”

    But they are not indispensable.
    The equality movement absolutely does not rely on Stonewall.

    I do NOT want politicial parties approaching a group which does not believe I deserve equality, as if that group represents me.

    “Ultimately we’re all equal in the eyes of the law”

    Except we’re not.

    If you’re gay you can’t get married.

    And Stonewall is helping to maintain this discriminatory system.

    Ed Miliband (and all the other leaders) should not be speaking to Stonewall unless it is on the clear understanding that Stonewall represents ONLY their own 20,000 members.

  38. Its an utter waste of time trying to get religious cults to officiate or recognise CPs. If the powers that be are going to pursue it, then why are they excluding straights who have a civil marriage? Makes absolutely NO sense.

    All of us should keep the pressure on both Clegg and Miliband to make sure marriage equality becomes a reality. If Labour adopts it officially, its going to put Cameron in a very uneasy situation, in fact his party will be forced to confront it, either support it or face a gay revolt against supporting the tories. If he is truly committed to full quality, he’ll get on board, but I’ll hold my breath on that one. Something tells me he’ll kow-tow to the established cult and the religious bigot clerics in the House of Lords, just as Stonewall and Blair did and provide some absurd excuse that CPs are enough.

  39. Tim Hopkins 11 Jan 2011, 2:51pm

    Robert, I would certainly agree that there’s no point in trying to persuade the Catholic Church to officiate same-sex marriages!

    But there are other religious groups that already want to. They include the Metropolitan Community Church, the Unitarians, the Quakers and in Scotland the Pagan Federation. All those groups already have celebrants who are authorised to conduct legally effective mixed-sex marriages, and they want to conduct same-sex ones too.

    So we do have supporters amongst religious communities, and a key argument in our favour is that of religious freedom. Religious organisations that want to conduct same-sex marriages on the same basis as they conduct mixed-sex ones should be free to do so. Religious organisations that oppose same-sex marriage should be free to decline to conduct them.

  40. Stonewall still hasn’t explained why they think we shouldn’t be specifically protected from harassment in the new Equality Act. They were cosy with the previous government, but seem to have calculated for the change in political power in order to advance their own self-interest.

  41. Talking of Stonewall, their Workplace Equality Index (Top 100) is due out tomorrow.

  42. The absolute fundamental problem with Stonewall is that you have no say in how it is run. You can’t join it, you can’t vote on its policy. Look at the ‘what you can do’ website page — donate, volunteer, buy Stonewall merchandise. Basically, give money to it. But you can’t tell it what to do.

    It is not accountable to LGBT people, and is not representative of them. I don’t understand what it is for, other than its own continued existence.

  43. Tim – Quakers want to do same sex marriages and not necessarily CPs but yet again the Quakers and gays are being fobbed off, this time with reglious CPs… This may be a stepping stone to marriage but it may also be an excuse not to do anything more…from what I have heard from Lynne Featherstone and others in govt then the agenda is simply to further CPs and allow reglious ones…

    I look forward to seeing more progress by the lib dems which at the moment is painfully slow especially since we are still waiting for the details of relgious CP to be given to us …

    As for labour and stonewall there simply isn’t any proof that either are actively campainging for marriage equality….

  44. David in Indy 12 Jan 2011, 5:48am

    He’s cute. Really cute. And it sounds like he has some good ideas. There’s few things sexier than a cute politician who’s on our side!

  45. Jock S. Trap 12 Jan 2011, 10:24am

    @ David in Indy

    I hope thats your sense of humour coz otherwise I think Im going to be sick! :)

  46. David in Indy 14 Jan 2011, 8:15am

    Jock S. Trap – No, I was serious. Sorry. What I read in the article appeared to be good news. Then after I posted my message I read the comments and it sounds like a bit of a mixed bag. Am I correct? Sorry, I am not familiar with British politics and the various politicians over there – or at least not as much as I should be.

    Anyway, he sure is cute! lol

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