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Stonewall chair and gay basketball star named in honours list

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  1. Jock S. Trap 13 Jun 2011, 12:13pm

    Congrats to John Amaechi, a well deserved honour.

    However not sure about David Isaac.
    It says:-
    “Mr Isaac, who has been the chair of the gay rights charity since 2003,”

    A Gay rights charity that had to be pushed into accepting Full Equality in marriage.
    Only then to be trying it’s best not to and what are they doing now on the subject?

    Worthy of a CBE? No.

    1. I agree that John Amaechi is a fully deserved honour – congratulations!

      David Isaac, I would also contend is deserved (although his work for equality is tarnished by the deliberately difficult stance that Stonewall took on marriage equality). I would argue that whilst this leaves a very concerning blight on the copy book of Stonewall it does not obliterate or undermine the significant good they have done and continue to do in many areas of LGBT equality. Well done on the award Mr Isaac – please continue to strive hard in the field of diversity but do not become complacent and fail to test the barrometer of opinion – Stonewalls darkest day as an LGBT rights movement was when it failed gay people over equal marriage. Be gracious and accept the honour, but use it as a catalyst to ensure that all your acts to promote equality are transparent and fair.

    2. HelenWilson 13 Jun 2011, 12:21pm

      CBE, OBE and MBE are class determined ranks of award. Clearly the crown feel David Isaac is of a different social class to John Amaechi!

      Personally I would turn it down given the royal households homophobic views.

      1. HelenWilson 13 Jun 2011, 12:23pm

        And the fact the queen head a homophobic church.

        1. Personally I wouldnt refuse the honour.

          I like the fact we have an honours system – as do most other nations … Ours is by Royal patronage due to the fact we are a constitutional monarchy – and that would not make me feel more or less proud in receiving it.

          If I were a US citizen and awarded a US honour – would I be unwilling to accept it if the US President of the time was homophobic – no, I would still accept it, the homophobia of the President in that situation is a matter for the President and would not have impact on the reasons I was awarded the honour. In the same way if given an honour in the UK, regardless of my views on the church, the monarchy or personal sentiments and opinions of royalty – I would accept it.

        2. now you are being silly – C of E embraces gays more than any other large church.

          1. You’re not suggesting the C of E isn’t homophobic are you?

          2. embraces gays more than any other large church
            i.e. less homophobic than any other large church.
            This does not say universally homo-friendly. large parts of C of E are not homophobic. Some smaller parts are. Like most things its not as black and white as you would want it.

          3. Helen said the C of E is homophobic. It is. You called her silly for saying that. But she speaks the truth. Poland isn’t as homophobic as Saudi Arabia, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t homophobic.

      2. Helen – the Royal household is homophobic? Not sure there is too much evidence of this. They don’t seem to cold shoulder the gay ones in their family – nor do they seem to shrink from helping gay charities.

        1. Who is gay in the royal family?

          1. edward and that one that makes the funiture

          2. Edward isn’t gay, as far as is publicly known, he’s married. And which one that makes furniture? There are no openly gay members of the royal family.

        2. If they are in fact gay (and there’s no proof) they are only not cold-shouldered because they’ve toed the line and married and spawned. And I don’t think any member of the royal family is associated officially with any gay charity.

  2. David Isaacs wrote me an incredibly rude email during the Why the Silence, Stonewall campaign.

    It was a confidential email so I couldn’t publish it, but my reply (which gives a pretty good idea of what his response was) is here:

    http://whythesilencestonewall.wordpress.com/2010/10/18/reply-to-david-isaac-chair-of-stonewall-trustees/

    1. Dan Filson 14 Jun 2011, 3:07am

      Confidential correspondence usually covers both sides of an exchange – the customary courtesy is to ask the other party if they have any objection to the publication of the exchange

  3. Staircase2 13 Jun 2011, 1:12pm

    Congrats to the very sexy and wonderful John Amaechi.

    Re the comments about David Isaac – one thing which nobody seems to be taking into consideration about the whole gay marriage episode is whether people like David Isaac and organisations like Stonewall for example even believe in the concept of marriage full stop.
    For many of us growing up in the 70s the whole idea of marriage (gay or straight) seems unnecessary. To have a state sanctioned tickboxing of what is in fact a private relationship is philosophically and spiritually unnecessary.
    Personally though inspite of that I still believe that gay people should have equal access to the institution just as str8 people do. But I can understand the dilemma of an organisation deciding whether to launch a costly fight for something they don’t (perhaps) believe in in the first place. The same could be said for celebrating an Honour which had the words ‘British Empire’ in it! These things are never black and white lol

    1. Don’t think of it as marriage equality, think of it as legal equality. The same laws should apply to everyone, straight or gay. If you recall, the campaign never actually called for Stonewall to spend money or effort on campaigning for marriage equality – just to endorse the very simple principle that there shouldn’t be segregated institutions!

      In any case, I doubt when it comes to Stonewall it has very much to do with principle! After all, Ben Summerskill admitted he was concerned about how much marriage equality would cost the taxpayer (and the private sector pension companies bankrolling Stonewall?). It’s hard to know though, because we never did get a straight answer out of Stonewall about just what the **** they were up to.

      1. There was meant to be a rude word between “what the” and “they”. But apparently asterisks aren’t allowed in comments here!

      2. Dan Filson 14 Jun 2011, 3:05am

        I wish people would stop harping on about Ben Summerskill CBE – Stonewall is not a one-man show and is a damned sight bigger operation than just him. It’s plain naive to think Stonewall just does what Ben wants and doesn’t do what he doesn’t want. Equally it’s insulting to David Isaac CBE to suggest he soft-pedalled on marriage equality in view of an impending honour.

  4. I had the very great pleasure of meeting John on Saturday night in Mcr city centre. The man is generous, kind and warm. This is an honour WELL deserved.

  5. I’d like to see John speak out on marriage equality. I’m not convinced StonewallUK is totally supportive had it not been for outside pressure. Summerskill was quite content to keep CPs reserved only for gays and viewed them as equal to marriage prior to that. Delusional at best. How can an organisation which purports to represent LGBT people in the UK with only a 20,000 membership really believe that it speaks for roughly 2-3 million of us? Since when? Why did it ignore the poll that indicated 61-63% of the British public supported it, probably higher now.

    Still no word from them on the consultation, not a word.

    1. “Summerskill was quite content to keep CPs reserved only for gays”

      If you look at the wording of Stonewall’s policy, they still think that. They are only campaigning (or “campaigning”) for same-sex marriage, not full marriage equality. Gay-only CPs are special apparently.

      Today is the deadline for an FOI request to the equalities office to discover whether Stonewall or other organisations have in fact been doing any campaigning about same-sex marriage, so there may be more information out soon.

    2. Dan Filson 14 Jun 2011, 2:39am

      Feel free to set up your own Stonewall-type organisation if you think the existing one doesn’t meet your standards

  6. For anyone who’s wondering, I just checked and yes Kath Gillespie-Sells is Dan Gillespie-Sells’s mother.

    1. Who and who?

  7. two gays lasds in the list vs one Brian Souter – sounds good to me!

  8. two gays lads in the list vs one Brian Souter – sounds good to me!

    1. You think a man who supported section 28 and is openly homophobic getting a knighthood sounds good? Why?

      1. I agree its not good Souter being knighted – thats just plain wrong …

        But there is some sense of bizarre pleasure knowing there are two gay guys also in the list with him …

  9. Congratulations,to John Amaechi.

    As for David Issac. Maybe he got wind,that he was in line for a gong and his position on gay marriage was prejudiced,because of this.

    It was Europe,that gave us civil partnerships,not any political party,in Britain,or Stonewall.

    Finally,maybe someone will advise us what is the purpose of Stonewall,now,except,for giving jobs to friends and friends of friends,in my opinion. Great salaries and for what?

    1. Dan Filson 14 Jun 2011, 2:49am

      It was not Europe that gave us civil partnerships, that is just wrong. It was many people lobbying OUR parliament.

      Incidentally a significant factor was the death in 2001 of actor Nigel Hawthorne and the inheritance tax consequences – it was blatantly unfair that a spousal home could pass on the death of one spouse to the other without IHT cutting in but not on the death of a gay guy to his partner (pre-CPs) or of a lesbian to her partner. But it still took a government to bite the bullet and go for it, and – without making this an unduly party political issue – one political party had the bottle in 2004 to enact the law (effective 2005) and the other didn’t.when they had the chance.

  10. Andy, I doubt if StonewallUK has lifted one finger on same-sex marriage. If it had, we would have heard about it by now. Bullying is its number one issue I believe and having religious support for civil partnerships. Last time I checked their agenda, same-sex marriage ranked number 4 or 5, way down there. I expect it to remain so low on the pecking order of things. Maybe if more of us made noise, they’d get cracking. If Labour adopts it as official party policy, I think we’ll see some movement, StonewallUK not being one to be outdone. I’m astounded that we’re not seeing any of our celebrities calling for it like we see in America. It’s just puzzling. My cousin who lives in Dorset complains that she never hears or reads anything about it in the papers and other media and relies solely on me or Pink News for information.

    1. Dan Filson 14 Jun 2011, 3:00am

      Stonewall has consulted supporters on what its priorities should be, and anyway politics is the art of the possible.

      I happen personally to think that (a) secularising the entire marriage process as in France, (b) enacting that such marriages can be between any two persons not already married or closely related, and (c) enabling faiths to do whatever they choose to afterwards in terms of re-conducting marriages is the way forward.

      But I suspect that at present that wouldn’t have public support in the UK and wouldn’t get through Parliament, as many people like the idea of church (or synagogue/temple/mosque/whatever) marriages with the civil registration just a technicality after.

      Scotland may shortly paddle their own canoe and this may make matters more complex still, if they were to enact equal marriages and England and Wales had not done so. If nothing else, in due course the chaos of different nations all doing different things may force harmonisation, at least across Europe

  11. Dan, I concur. Civil marriage for all in the UK won’t happen, much as I’d like to see that happen. I believe at one time the C of E was mulling the idea of only marrying straight couples who were regular church goers. What happened to that I wonder. Either way, I think that’s how it should be. I don’t understand why many straight couples who choose a religious ceremony never attend services regularly or ever and if they have children, have them christened. Makes no sense. I bet if the C of E actually carried out what they’d mulled over, there would be few religious marriages conducted which could portend civil marriages for all. I don’t think the C of E and others would have any reason to object either.

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