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Stonewall to lobby for gay rights abroad

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  1. Roz Kaveney 1 Sep 2011, 1:00pm

    Perhaps while Stonewall is doing this, it could change its attitude to issues surrounding the trans community which it currently regards as none of its business.

    Obviously, homosexuality is a sexual orientation and trans-ness is a question of identity, so that the reasons behind this decision are not entirely invalid. However, both homophobia and transphobia deal in assumptions about identity and presentation to an extent that means that the rights of all parts of the LGBTQ community overlap and defending them ends up being the same struggle. In addition, of course, a large proportion of trans women and trans men identify as lesbian and gay, and Stonewall has always dragged its feet about working in the area of colossal overlap.

    This is even before we get onto questions like Stonewall’s preparedness to honour lesbian journalists whose work is proudly transphobic, clearly indicating that the current administration of Stonewall not only doesn’t defend, but doesn’t value, trans rights

    1. Holly Grainger 1 Sep 2011, 1:36pm

      Ya know Roz. Was about to mention the same thing. I sent an email to Stonewall sometime ago asking why they didn’t support the transgender community, so far it’s gone unanswered so I figure they don’t really have an answer or they have one they can’t defend. Well I suppose they have the right to choose who they represent just as everyone else has the right to say “actually, no I don’t support Stonewall”. Not to worry though, stonewall, we’re only a small minority, why should you defend us?… Wait a minute, arnt gay people in a small minority?. Just cos we risk losing our jobs, getting ridiculed in the street, risk violence when we walk down the street, get refused service and generally get treated like an underclass. Wait a minute though!, don’t gay people get treated like that?. Never mind though, we’re not gay, so that don’t matter, if someone was gay and treated like that it would be awful.

      1. Do not expect those self-loathers to help you. They are a sad organization with money. Death before dishonour. Give them the finger, one day they will come crawling to have you on their team.

    2. You need to be fair, this a gay organisation. You might as well complain that Greenpeace or The Vegetarian Society aren’t promoting transgender rights. If you want to promote fairness and equality for your community (which I fully support) then you should start an organisation to do so. You make a really valid point about sexual orientation vs. identity. I think (hope) most gay people are trans friendly but I also think the average gay man or woman doesn’t consider trans to be part of the gay community.

      1. I don’t think the concern is that Stonewall are LGB not LGBT per se. The issue is that when it suits them, they’re happy to dabble in trans issues or present themselves as the face of LGBT people, but more often show blatant disregard for trans issues and refuse to cooperate with or consult trans organisations.

        The Fit video (distributed by Stonewall to all schools) was a case in point. Great on homophobic bullying, but contains a scene about transphobia that’s pretty clueless. The author of the video apologised and was really happy to talk about how to tackle trans issues better in future; but Stonewall themselves stand aloof and refuse any criticism.

      2. Hodge Podge 1 Sep 2011, 9:46pm

        Plus they gave nominated Julie Bindel for an award. “Journalist of the year”, nice. Even if you’re not a trans right organisation, I hear a load of the EDL have rainbow flags but you don’t commend them.

  2. Jack Holroyde 1 Sep 2011, 1:16pm

    +1 Roz.
    I’m more interested in finding out whether we can send Summerskill to Uganda for some rights work.
    Then he might 1) Learn a little about LGBT rights that doesn’t involve lobbying and arselicking, and 2) not come back.
    An amicable solution for all?

  3. Stonewall says it has no plans to send staff abroad. Instead, it will work with other gay rights organisations to advocate for equality.

    In my view Stonewall should work more closely with organisations and campaigners in this country as well. I think better cooperation would improve things for everyone.

    1. For example, a bit more support for LGBT History Month would be a good idea.

  4. …”we retain our ambition to make Britain a worldwide beacon for equality.”

    Really? According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the UK and the US are among the least equal countries according to its members’ statistical information. This doesn’t include gay equality either, something that still has not been resolved. I would have thought StonewallUK could have found out why the marriage equality consultation was delayed until the Autumn.

  5. Go for Stonewall, every little bit helps

  6. 1. Who decided that Stonewall should start lobbying abroad?

    2, What was the consultation process – were Stonewall’s 19,000 supporters consultedm on this change?

    3. Who is Stonewall answerable to? Because clearly Stonewall is not answerable to the LGBT community.

    4. Has Ben Summerskill been fired as head of Stonewall yet? If not then why not? He was caught red-handed engaging in a homophobic campaign against marriage equality. He has proven that he is not fit for purpose as the headn of Stonewall. Yet he remains in his 100,000 quid plus a year job.


    1. Dan Filson 1 Sep 2011, 2:52pm

      Stonewall has an imminent supporters’ meeting – if you were one, you would know that

      1. Evidently you appear to be the only one who may move amongst the upper echelons of the kingdom of gaydonia then.

        Dan, people are angry. They have a right to be – we deserve equality and it still bugs people that we don’t have it. In addition, the people that should be fighting for it seem to be dragging their feet.

        1. Menderin it’s the government that are dragging their feet on equal marriage. They promised a consultation in July and it hasn’t happened yet.

          1. And the silence from Stonewall on the subject of marriage equality remains deafening.

            What are they doing to achieve marriage equality?

            Considering Ben Summerskill’s homophobic campaign against marriage equality, and the fact that he remains the head of Stonewall, it cannot be trusted on any matter.

          2. I understand what you’re saying but I disagree. The government is only dragging its feet because organisations such as Stonewall allow it to.

            It answers to money and power, not to gay men and women. Making token gestures to overcome homophobia in schools (albeit valid and admirable) does not address the problem. It merely treats reacts to symptoms – it doesn’t address the cause.

      2. An ‘imminent’ supporters meeting eh?

        So this policy change was made BEFORE consulting with their supporters.

        My questions remain perfectly valid then.

        This simply shows the utter contempt in which Stonewall holds the LGBT community.

        While Ben Summerskill remains as head of Stonewall and while Stonewall remains so secreiive about its agenda-setting, it cannot and should not be trusted.

        With anything.

        And under no circumstance should any LGBT person financially support Stonewall. There are more transparent organisations to support.

    2. Dan Filson 1 Sep 2011, 2:54pm

      Stonewall has an imminent supporters’ forum, if you were a supporter you would surely know that.

      The trustees set overall policy and clearly retain confidence in Ben Summerskill.

      1. So Stonewall sets its agenda WITHOUt consulting its members?

        Thanks for clarifying that – if they announced this policy change before the supporters meeting, they are effectively stating that they are not answerable even to their supporters (let alone the LGBT community).

        Personally I do not want a group of unelected, unrepresentative trustees deciding the LGBT agenda.

        And seeing as the chair of Stonewall – Ben Summerskill – is a homophobe, this otganisation deseerves nothing but contempt.

        No LGBT person should donate money to Stonewall.

      2. Don Harrison 1 Sep 2011, 6:52pm

        I stopped after Ben Summerskill’s comments on David Laws after the election.

      3. @ Dan

        If I recall correctly, Stonewall used to argue that their 20,0000 supporters didn’t particularly want marriage equality. How was that decided?

    3. Black Hawk Down 1 Sep 2011, 3:35pm

      In answer to your first question, the answer is obvious.

      All you need to do is follow the money.

      I’m sure they’ll be making very large funding application bids to the European Parliament…

      1. Cynic! …. but you’re probably right though

  7. Chester36 1 Sep 2011, 2:16pm

    Stonewall won’t even seek equality within the UK

  8. yawn

    1. You work for Stonewall though Confused.

      That was established last year when Ben Summerskill was exposed as a homophobe at the LibDem Party confereence.

  9. They need to sort equality out here before going abroad still a long way to go what about marriage equality!! No more donations from me then !!

  10. SteveC, quite! The only reason Summerskill caved in on marriage equality was a result of pressure from many of us who aren’t even StonewallUK supporters and not wanting a large demonstration during it’s annual gala. I was chastised by one of his lacky’s when I emailed their office about supporting marriage equality before he even reversed support. At the time, I was told that the majority of us were content with just having CPs and marriage wasn’t necessary and had no place on its agenda, nor did it consider it important. He should have been sacked for that alone.

    1. …but Stonewall changed their position! They responded to the enormous amount of gay people that wanted a different priority. Thats a good thing. I really don’t understand this spiteful ankle biting of an organisation that has moved mountains for us.

      1. They only changed their position on marriage equality to avoid LGBT protests at their Annual Rubber Chicken and Lumpy Mash Awards Dinner Celebration.

        Since then they have done nothing. Absolutely nothing.

        And the homophobe Summerskill remains in charge of Stonewall.

        Their time is up.

        Stonewall are no longer welcomes or needed to represent LGBT people,

        Their point blank refusal to campaign for legal equality in Britain makes them a completely irrelevant and unnecessary organisation.

  11. Just Another Young Gay Activist 1 Sep 2011, 5:41pm

    How about civil marriage for same sex couples and civil partnerships for different-sex coules here at home first stonewall – remember the old saying;

    “charity starts at home first!”

    Stonewall is certainly stonewalling on marriage equality!!!!

    What a joke Stonewall is in 2011!!!!

    They are now part of the KKK in America!!!!

    1. “They are now part of the KKK in America!!!!”
      You should realise that you undermine your point by making such preposterous statements.

      1. I think a white hood and a burning crucifix would nto be Ben Summerskill’s costume fo choice.

  12. Robert J Brown 1 Sep 2011, 6:35pm

    Such a shame that Stonewall are looking into this issue when there is already a UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group in existence which should surely be given more support.

    Once again Stonewall are not living up to the ideals I would expect from an equality organisation.

  13. Ben that is good news. UK Boarder agency are still trying to sending back asylum LGBT people back to countries where they are tortured despite what the Tories said after the election.
    I having to keep emailing Theresa May

  14. typical. lecture other countries while we’re still not equal here. hypocrites.

  15. Reb Kean, it didn’t change out of its own volition. If it hadn’t been from outside pressure, people like us, then it would still not have changed. Even so, it doesn’t appear to be as pro-active as it should be, didn’t even bother finding out why the consultation was delayed since it has direct access to government people.

    1. Yes, absolutely I acknowledge that but Stonewall have been very effective in gaining equality for gay people

      1. In the past maybe.

        In 2011 Stonewall is past its sell-by date.

  16. Xaria, quite!

  17. Samuel B. 1 Sep 2011, 8:47pm

    Wherever there is an opportunity to expand and boost its funding, Stonewall will be there rattling their tin.

  18. Never mind gay rights abroad – I want to know WHY there has clearly been NO action whatsoever from Stonewall on marriage equality in the UK.

    I DO NOT want a civil partnership with my partner – for me Only marriage will do. I refuse to be fobbed off with the second-class status that is a CP.

    Get your finger out Stonewall – we want marriage equality and I’m getting fed up of waiting for it.

  19. Hodge Podge 1 Sep 2011, 9:48pm

    I had a sign at Manc pride saying S’onewall should support trans rights. When they walked past they awkwardly smiled, it was great.

  20. Yet again we are obsessed with interfearing in other countries business.

  21. Very wise move, the only way to change the world is to expand and move out to all corners of the world. After all there are gays all around the world just dieing to be free.

    1. True

      And we can help.

      Anyone who currently donates money to Stonewall UK should stop immediately due to the organisations utter irrelevance ans the homophobia of its chief – Ben Summerskill.

      Instead make a financial donaton directly to a gay group in a country like Uganda.

      Or if you want to only donate money to a UK organisation then give it to an organisation campaigning for full LGBT equality (unlike Stonewall).

  22. Russ T, agreed! Just wait and see where StonewallUK will place gay rights abroad ahead of marriage equality which isn’t even on its priority agenda. Absolutely shameful. Our rights come first over those in other countries. We still are unequal when it comes to marriage.

  23. Samuel B. 2 Sep 2011, 2:51pm

    This smacks more of a money-grubbing exercise than a desire on Stonewall’s part to increase equality overseas. I mean, when it is against gay marriage on its own turf, who is it trying to kid that it is the moral arbiter of all things gay rights-related elsewhere? Stonewall really is getting above its stations. Truly, pigs, snouts and troughs are three words that spring eminently to mind…

  24. – Men who engage in sodomy are 860% more likely to contract a sexually transmitted disease (STD), increasing up to 500% their risk of contracting HIV/AIDS. Men who commit acts of sodomy with men that have large numbers of anonymous partners, which can result in rapid, extensive transmission of STDs. Control of STDs is a central component of HIV infection prevention in the United States; resurgence of bacterial STDs threatens national HIV infection prevention efforts.5

    1. Jock S. Trap 8 Sep 2011, 8:49am

      Yet again this has no relivence on the subject. We and who we are is NOT up for debate.

  25. Jock S. Trap 8 Sep 2011, 8:47am

    I think Homophobic bullying and marriage Equality at home should be top priority, really.

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