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Public invited to equal marriage forums over coming month

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  1. Great idea…just such a pity that they give no information about where the events are to be held other than by town name!? WHERE in Birmngham is it supposed to be? Make a sentence using the following words – brewery, couldn’t, piss-up, organise, a, a, in!

    1. Paul roberts 23 Mar 2012, 4:01pm

      Hi there. Details of venues are On the events pages of our website. Thanks fOr the cOmments though. We are changing the info to make it a bit clearer.

      1. Thank you, Paul

  2. Dr Robin Guthrie 23 Mar 2012, 10:11am

    Why is this even up for f***ing debate.,

    Just implement it.

    The opinions of deluded “believers” holds no sway whatsoever.

    1. It’s not up for debate. They are discussions on “HOW” to implement gay marriage not “WHETHER”. If you’ve read the consultation documents and have nothing further to add then that’s fine but that doesn’t mean the discussion is over.

      1. Dr Robin Guthrie 23 Mar 2012, 10:32am

        Yes. And we all know what the “HOW” will be.

        The Catholics and CofE wanting various exemptions.

      2. A question of IF marriage equality should happen at all is included in the useless consultation. Does that question not sound WHETHER to you?

  3. Eeep!

    The Birmingham event is on 26th March – it’s 23rd now, so that’s only two days notice! I’;ve applied, of course: wouldn’t want them claiming a low turnout might show a lack of general interest.

    1. Sounds like three days to me to be honest

    2. Any idea where it’s to be held, Nick?

      1. Paul roberts 23 Mar 2012, 3:58pm

        Will be at queen elizabeth hospital. All details are on the events pages on consortium’s website. Thanks and hope to see you there

  4. You can imagine the kinds of people who will also be in attendance, the Christian Lobby and their small minded ilk for a start!

  5. Dammit, I would have attended the Birminham event had I know sooner, unfortunately now I can’t get out of a work commitment on that afternoon…..

    1. Paul roberts 23 Mar 2012, 4:03pm

      Sorry for short notice. We have had short lead in times with the GEO due to purdah which starts in a couple of weeks and prevents government doing certain things before elections.

  6. Why aren’t straight people mentioned in your article? That’s rather prejudiced. Shouldn’t they have a say?

    1. Dr Robin Guthrie 23 Mar 2012, 10:39am


      What does 2 gay men getting hitched in a CIVIL ceremony have to do with straight people?

    2. not really its about gay marriage

    3. “Events are being run by the Consortium of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Voluntary and Community Organisations in partnership with the government’s Equalities Office.”

      I think you’ll find that’s why it’s being aimed at LGBT citizens but I see no reason why our straight counterparts who wish to be involved in the discussion can’t attend, If anything I’d say it’s a good thing. It can dispel the myth that certain groups are “speaking for the silent majority” and would also allow the false claims of said groups in a very open and public manner

    4. No – not their business

    5. Actually, the article waivers on the point, starting “Members of the public are being invited …” but then continuing “Members of the lesbian, gay, bi and transgender community are invited …”. It subsequently refers again to “the public’s views” with regard to these events. In his statement, Paul Roberts says “We cannot stress enough the importance of LGBT people up and down the country responding to the consultation. We look forward to working with our members during the consultation to ensure the widest range of responses are submitted.” So, actually, it isn’t very clear at all just how open these events are. The religious freaks will undoubtedly try and get in on the act so I don’t see why straights shouldn’t either.

      1. Paul roberts 23 Mar 2012, 4:07pm

        Hi there. Paul Roberts, the Chief Exec of Consortium here. We are very open to supportive straight people booking in for the events. As an LGBT charity our core functions are for the LGBT sector hence the focus in my statement. We work alongside many non LGBT orgs however and our communities wouldn’t be where they are today without the support of our straight allies. Thanks.

    6. Robert in S. Kensington 23 Mar 2012, 11:35am

      Well, in a way yes it is prejudiced, but do you really think some of the rabidly homophobic “christians” won’t turn up to spew their venom? They shouldn’t have any place at the table. If that were to happen, I only hope they will be ejected while ranting about abuse of freedom of speech, abuse of religious freedom, the usual victim card players.

    7. Spanner1960 23 Mar 2012, 11:40am

      Well you can bet your arse they will be there, probably wittering on about God, Allah and all those other fictional characters. Maybe Harry Potter too.

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 23 Mar 2012, 12:25pm

        The majority of them have devolved brains, not much going on in them either since they are incapable of discerning what is civil and what is religious, simple as that. They’re losing the argument the more they rant, in fact they’re helping us achieve marriage equality by their stupidity.

      2. Why the hell are you and so many others talking about religious people when the question is about straight people??

        All straight people are not homophobes.
        All homophobes are not religious.
        All religious people are not straight.
        All straight religious people are not homophobes.

        Did I manage to cover all the bases.

        We need straight people like Amanda below to speak out, so stop alienating them with hostile rhetoric.

    8. I am a straight married woman. I think I have have a right to be heard because the Christian right is claiming to speak for us. They’re attempting to hijack marriage, its history and its future, and we all have a say in that, don’t we?

      1. Thank you

    9. You’ll have to do better than that Degs ! What a pathetic comment !

      Please try harder in the future. No sport in responding to you …

    10. “Why aren’t straight people mentioned in your article? That’s rather prejudiced. Shouldn’t they have a say?”

      Forgoodness sake, get over your “Heterocentricity”

      I understand that you feel left out, but your heterosexual narccissm is your issue not ours!!!

  7. I wonder if this is a signal that the anti-LGBT lobby are swamping the online consultation.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 23 Mar 2012, 11:36am

      It’s quite possible, they’re that underhanded . I bet many of the signature on their C4M petition are from overseas, especially from America.

      1. I don’t. I suspect a lot of them will be over-65s ambushed as they leave church though. Fed a load of lies about how they’ll be forced to watch gays having sex in their front room or how children will be forced to be gay in order to pass their GCSEs, then a pen will be reached along with the phrase “and of course YOU OPPOSE THAT, DON”T YOU???!”

    2. Equality Network 23 Mar 2012, 3:07pm

      In Scotland, the anti equality lobby certainly worked hard to encourage responses to the Scottish Govt equal marriage consultation last autumn. The Catholic Church in Scotland collected 28,000 members’ names and addresses for a petition against equality. Equal marriage supporters submitted over 20,000 proper consultation responses in favour of equality, and we think the other side may have done around the same, or more? Multiply these numbers by the population difference between Scotland and England / Wales (a factor of 10) and you get an idea of how important it is to respond to the consultation.

  8. Rights under civil law are not about pandering to what it is popular, it is what is RIGHT. And no one has ever offered a cogent legitimate secular argument against marriage equality. The opinions of people who have no skin in the game, whose lives will not change, who have nothing to gain or lose and will only be displaying animus against LGBT people are meaningless.

  9. Paul Halsall 23 Mar 2012, 11:20am

    Why are they not having one in Manchester – surely with London and Brighton one of the major areas of LGBT population in the country.

    1. Spanner1960 23 Mar 2012, 11:42am

      Or Bristol. Who the hell lives in Exeter anyway?

      1. A few hundred thousand people I presume…

        @Paul I wondered that to. Not even the North West…

      2. Paul roberts 23 Mar 2012, 4:14pm

        We chose Exeter as there is a history of the far west being left out of consultations. We felt Exeter, being the home of The Intercom Trust who are the largest LGBT agency in the South West, was a good fair location. Apologies ut isnt in Bristol but would be happy to work with Bristol LGBT Forum for example if they wanted to co-organise something.

    2. Paul roberts 23 Mar 2012, 4:09pm

      Hi there. LGF in manchester are coordinating an event with the GEO over this, hence Consortium isn’t. Please do get in touch with LGF about details of their event. Thanks

  10. Useless smoke and mirror events, designed only with the purpose to postpone equality as much as possible. Are the consortium queens also receiving public money for their magic tricks?

  11. Robert in S. Kensington 23 Mar 2012, 11:41am

    I don’t understand the “how to implement” marriage equality question. What exactly is so difficult to implement it? The consultation already has said, NO religious denominations will be forced or allowed to officiate same-sex marriages. Just open civil marriage across the board, could it not be any simpler? The footwork has already been done with CPs, I just don’t understand why we need this prolonged, drawn out process since the rights of CPs and civil marriages are almost identical. Who would have thought there would be so much consternation substituting one word, Partnership for Marriage?

  12. Birmingham on a Monday afternoon? How are ordinary working people supposed to make it? I can just imagine who WILL turn out – retired ultra-Christians with time on their hands. What kind of consultation is this?

    1. Paul roberts 23 Mar 2012, 3:56pm

      Apologies for the times of these events. They have been deiven by the availability of the government equality office. Apologies.

  13. @Degs: Do you also go by the user name alias “Jean” (amongst others), by any chance?

    Am individual (likely a PN regular) has taken to posting provocative, straw man arguments under a pseudonym. The purpose of which, as far as I can gather, is to illicit a response contrary to the one displayed in the original post. In other words, by manipulating people into a reactionary, left-wing position by fielding issues they’re guaranteed not to like.

    Somewhat disingenuous, as the debate quickly veers off into hysteria and (sometimes) outright nastiness from the very people the user would otherwise claim to support! This kind of politics is better suited to websites of a more bigoted persuasion; through lack of reasoning, right-wing commentators fall into a naturally hostile position to cover their base.

    If this person genuinely wanted a nuanced, well-reasoned debate he/she would post under a real, consistent username and stop the pantomime catcalling.


    1. Robert in S. Kensington 23 Mar 2012, 12:21pm

      This is the nature of C4M supporters, a hate organisation.

  14. How come they’re not having an event in Wales? It affects us too you know!

    1. I thought that but then I thought doesn’t the Welsh Assembly need to organise that?

    2. Paul roberts 23 Mar 2012, 3:54pm

      Hi there. The excellence centre are running an event in wales which is why consortium isn’t. Please do get in touch with them re the date.

      1. as far as I can see, it isn’t on their website – more obvious publicity for such a meeting is surely needed

  15. are online petitions subject to any official rules and regulations and if yes, what is required in terms of safeguards to prevent the abuse of the rules?

    can c4m prove that all the signatories to their online petition reside in uk ?

    what is the procedure in place to validate online petition in terms of eligibility of those who signed it before it is accepted by authorities as legitimate?

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 23 Mar 2012, 2:13pm

      I suspect there are many signatures on their petition from overseas, primarily from their American masters in the various hate groups running rampant and meddling in the political life of that country.

      I’ve said this before but most internet providers allow several accounts under one master account. There’s nothing to stop them from using all of their accounts using different email addresses and user names to give the impression that the signatures are not from the same person, thereby bolstering the numbers. So no, there is probably no rule or regulation to avoid this type of fraudulent abuse which really means e-petitions make no sense or are reliable.

  16. This consultation is a sham. It’s no good saying it’s just about gay marriage: it’s about re-defining marriage for everyone. It’s no good pretending it hasn’t got anything to do with other people. The whole point of marriage is that it is not a private contract – it has to be an institution recognised by everyone. That means there has to be agreement about it.

    In English law marriage has hitherto be understood in the categories defined by the Church of England. Civil marriage provided only for a civil ceremony – it did not change the legal definition of marriage. Nor did civil partnerships.

    The reason it is wrong to redefine marriage is that lots of people have already committed themselves to marriage. And they have done so in good faith. Whatever the merits of same sex relationships, they cannot share the most obvious and critical aspect of marriage as conventionally understood which requires a male and a female. To re-define ‘marriage’ when so many people have irrevocably committed themselves to it and which has become a principal part of their identity means the legislation is in effect retrospective and offends against the most basic principles of natural justice. To refuse to take any notice of the views of people who are already married is gratuitously offensive and counter-productive – it will service only to confuse and undermine the very institution that is suddenly and unexpectedly being embraced by people who one might have thought would find it rather unattractive. After all, why should people committed to such radical notions of equality want to embrace what originates as a highly patriarchal institution?

    1. Do you seriously consider equality to be a ‘radical notion’? I’m afraid it says more about your ‘argument’ (for want of a better word) than your 3 paragraphs of waffle.

      The existing marriage is going to be affected by same-sex marriage, any more than the availability of divorce has altered the meaning of marriage for most people.

      1. Sorry, that should read ‘No existing marriage is going to be affected by same-sex marriage …’

      2. Equality is a metaphor. Everyone agrees all people are equal. But it is also true that all people are not equal. If it were not so, governments would have nothing to do.

        The problem is that most people don’t see this – and it is when people don’t see it that their notion of equality becomes radical. Equality then becomes a blunt tool and anyone who questions it is called a bigot. Nothing is advanced by the trading of abusive language.

        If redefining marriage doesn’t change the nature of it, then you really haven’t reflected very hard on what it is you’re asking for. Because for very many people, marriage has a content that is very long established. If definitions mean nothing, why bother to discuss?

        1. For all your verbosity, you seem rather slow at reflection yourself. Marriage has changed definition many times already – from one man and several women, as in the OT, and from being an exclusive lifelong contract to the present-day definition which puts no particular emphasis on either exclusivity (judging by present-day divorce statistics) or the lifelong aspect (ditto). So, in turn, I fail to understand your purported point about ‘long-established content.’

    2. the worst that can happen to you when gay marriage is legalized is someone asking you whether you are married to woman or man. is that enough reason to deny rights to others?

    3. Lots of people were committed to owning slaves on the principle that black people were physically and mentally inferior to whites. Do you think that the abolition of slavery, which occurred when THAT lie was debunked, was wrong too?

    4. Dr Robin Guthrie 23 Mar 2012, 1:19pm

      The only way gay marriage will change in the minds of heterosexuals is if they see gays as somehow lesser beings and not worthy of the institution.

      Is that what you believe.

      Gays are NOT good enough for your precious institution and will sully it?

      Call a spade a spade and be done with it.

    5. Robert in S. Kensington 23 Mar 2012, 2:08pm

      So provide the factual evidence for your ridiculous claims? There are 10 countries, soon to be 11 that have legalised same-sex civil marriage. Kindly produce the evidence as to how this has redefined and impacted marriage negatively? Why do heterosexuals around the world continue to marry if same-sex marriage has undermined marriage? You can’t even produce one shred of evidence to support any of your absurd claims that are nothing more than pandering to fear and hatred. Why aren’t you more concerned about the harm done to marriage by your fellow heterosexual adulterers and philanderers, the real threat to undermine marriage with their serial adultery and divorce? Why aren’t you calling for a ban on heterosexual couples who choose not to or cannot procreate? You’re an idiot.

    6. Your argument is the usual kind of brain damaged dribbling that we have seen, and it proves nothing. Was “voting” re-defined when it was made gender blind? No. Where is your proof (that is a FACT not an OPINION – those things are not bloody synonymous) that anything actually changes? You have no skin in this game, nothing is taken from you, you neither gain nor lose anything. All this is about, all this is ever about, is pandering to your bigotry.

  17. “it has to be an institution recognised by everyone. That means there has to be agreement about it.”

    if that was true just imagine how many marriages would have been annulled thanks to a disproving mother in law lol

  18. The government needs to get a move on with this legislation in case the House of Lords tries to veto it.

    1. There’s always the Parliament Act which keeps the old farts in check.

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 23 Mar 2012, 2:43pm

      Exactly. My only fear though is even if it passes in Parliament, what happens if the HoL votes against it? What next I wonder? With that awful catholic bishop summoning like-minded MPs to a meeting to influence their vote against marriage equality, I’m not so hopeful we’ll win. Why isn’t anyone in authority countering these religious hate mongers?

      1. The Archbishop summoning like-minded MPs isn’t a worry. If he’s summoning those that are on the fence that’s a bigger issue.

  19. Peter Purton 23 Mar 2012, 2:00pm

    The address for each meeting is on the LGBT Consortium pages – follow the link in the article.

    1. Paul Roberts 23 Mar 2012, 7:08pm

      Thanks for clarifying that for us Peter. We have tried to make it a little bit clearer on the website too now. Paul

  20. Dr Robin Guthrie 23 Mar 2012, 2:40pm

    Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 23 Mar 2012, 4:28pm

      Love that one! Spot on!

  21. Well if the gays can have one, I think its only right, equal and fair that the hetrosexuals have a consultation forum too.

    I’ll see about setting one up.

    1. Dr Robin Guthrie 23 Mar 2012, 2:54pm

      And which heterosexual inequality will this address.?

      1. He’s annoyed that he’s not persecuted and victimised enough.

        Have a little sympathy, you are a doctor after all. It’s bloody unfair for him.

    2. Excellent idea. And while you’re at it why not organise a Heterosexual Pride event. And then make sure to invite Daily Mail readers because it seems to be something they’re constantly moaning for. I’ll certainly be happy to attend and support heterosexuality, see my parents were hetero. Look forward to further announcements :P

      1. The Daily Mail readers are more specific.

        They usually want a parade for a white, Christian, heterosexual male, (some like to add middle aged to the list), as they feel they are unfairly victimised by feminists, homosexuals, black people, Muslims, Jews, Transsexuals, people who read the Guardian etc. etc.

        1. :O But that would mean that almost everyone else in the world was after them! Surely no right minded mentally stable individual could ever think along those lines………

          ……….scratch that, it’s the DM. Of course they’re not right minded or mentally stable :P

          1. Exactly :D

    3. Robert in S. Kensington 23 Mar 2012, 4:02pm

      Why aren’t you campaigning to ban divorce, you know, the thing that heterosexuals are so notorious for along with their serial adultery and philandering, the real threat to marriage between a man and a woman? Provide us with the facts to support any of the spurious claims coming from the religious cults and their constituents as to exactly how same-sex civil marriage has harmed or impacted hetero marriage? It seems that heterosexuals have been harming it long before we were allowed to marry in ten countries, soon to be eleven, and will continue to harm it with or without civil marriage equality. Now run along to C4M to report your latest findings, imbecile.

  22. If the gays can have a forum, then its only righ, fair and EQUAL, that hetrosexuals set one up too.

    I will look into setting one up.

    1. By all means, go ahead.

    2. Yes, Aiden, so you’ve said above; and only an hour previously.

      1. To be fair Keith he probably said it at the same time as the timestamps are pretty messed up. On my screen both his posts say 3 hours ago and this post will probably tell me I replied to your comment before you posted it.

    3. @Aiden — Good luck with that.

      Please report back your success.

      I hope you are more successful with it than you are keeping your posts from being deleted.

    4. If you addressed you “Heterosexual Narccissm” rather than wallowing in unfounded greivances, you might be more happy and accepting of difference.

  23. why is there no LIVERPOOL…..its too Catholic…..

  24. If religion is what’s holding this back, then please let us have civil marriages until a decision is made on that issue. I don’t want a religious marriage, I want a civil marriage.

  25. ShadedSpriter 28 Mar 2012, 6:11pm

    I will be attempting to attend the Durham Event to try and ask why religious marriages will not be allowed by churches who do morally approve of same-sex marriages.

    Really it is just lazy on writing of the potential law that they will not allow it. this is just what I can come up with with 2 minutes:

    “Section A. A same-sex marriage ceremony can be performed with a religious element in a church only if:

    1. The churches overseeing organisation believes it is in accordance to their faith, teachings or moral standing.
    2. The prest performing the ceremony also believes it is in accordance to their faith, teaching or moral standing.

    Section B: No discrimination proceedings can be brought against a church or any church official if it does not allow same-sex marriage ceremonies.”

    I am not of any religious faith at all but I believe that making it so same-sex couples have to have it away from any religious presentation will more than likely make them more-against

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