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Gay former cabinet minister Ben Bradshaw mocks Government’s plans for marriage equality

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  1. He doesn’t even understand what the differences are. And he’s a politician! I am aghast at the lazy thinking this shows. One need only spend a moments thought on it and can come up with a couple of important differences (especially around transgender rights).

    Disturbing and just shows how misinformed Labour can be on LGBT rights issues. *gives a long sharp look in Stonewall’s direction*

    1. It’s the sheer egocentricity of people like Bradshaw that appalls me-I’m happy in my CP, why should anyone else want or expect equality?-

      Try telling your ethnic constituents that they should be happy with less than equality.

      1. Absolutely right. Egocentric and thoughtless.

        1. Hi Iris,

          Good to see you on here. Happy Easter Holiday.

          Thoughtless and pointless is how I see it!


      2. Robert in S. Kensington 7 Apr 2012, 1:56pm

        Its called “selfishness”. Hooray for me and to hell with the rest of us. Who is he speaking for other than himself? What he has said is utterly despicable and unforgiveable. The sad thing is in all this is that he believes he has full equality which wasn’t the case when he whined about his CP not being on an equal footing with the Prime Minister’s marriage.

    2. Rashid Karapiet 6 Apr 2012, 5:52pm

      How pathetically predictable is the reaction to Ben Bradshaw from the LapTop Lancers. He has done more
      for LGBT rights and equality than the whole whingeing lot of them which is why he’s pilloried like this. Gay marriage is of far less importance than the death threat to homosexuals in some parts of the world and Ben Bradshaw isn’t afraid to say so, however indirectly. And his comments about David Cameron are merely stating the glaringly obvious.

      1. He is the one playing political games with gay rights and claiming to speak for LGBT people. Most LGBT poeple want marriage – if he doesnt, fine … but he has no right to speak for me or to say that LGBT people in ENgland & Wales should settle for sub standard equality.

      2. It’s not a zero sum game, some of us are able to support marriage equality, oppose bullying and violence, support overseas rights AND oppose the blood ban. To prioritise is to put the dreams of some on hold for others. Why can’t just fight for everyone’s right to love freely?

        His comments aren’t just hurtful, as some have expressed here, but WRONG. There are differences between civil partnerships and marriages. So stop defending him and start educating him.

      3. Talk us through what he has done exactly – to my recollection, his claim to fame is fiddly … sorry utilising the expenses system.

        He is a member of a party that enacted legislation from Europe that our signature to the Treaty of Amsterdam required us to, so enabling various equalities measures.

        More notable though I think is that he and his party did not provide us with anything not required by Europe – hence the continued deportation of gay people to countries where they faced torture or dead, and of course the lack of full marriage equality.

        Also worth noting though is that some equalities given to us were under duress – I’m sure you’ll recall gays in the military was contested all the way to the European court, who didn’t side with Ben & Co.

        So, other than his expenses shame, Ben only seems to have hit the headlines for spouting cra@p about civil partnerships being good enough for us.

        Pray tell, what exactly do you think he’s done for us then?

    3. And the saying for Me Bradshaw…

      … Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt…

    4. Staircase2 7 Apr 2012, 9:44pm

      …And what exactly are the ‘differences’ then? (Because to be honest Im not sure what they are either…)

      1. I am responding to a post of yours later in this discussion and detailing the differences.

        1. Great blog, just noticed you had put this here whilst I was posting below!

          You cover some great issues there

          Its clear CPs are not equal to marriage and that it is more than semantics.

          1. Years ago I got bored of repeating myself, much handier just to have a link. :) Saves so much time, even converted a Bradshaw supporter yesterday with it. Keep fighting the good fight!

          2. I am sure it will not be the last of the Bradshaw supporters who recognise the untruths that he has said and the hurt he has caused.

      2. CPs are not equal to marriage.

        There may still be differences in society in relation to how civil partners and spouses are perceived. In particular:

        the term “civil partner” may be regarded by some as having less resonance than the terms “spouse” or “husband” and “wife”;

        the fact that civil partnership is a separate status may mean that some people view civil partnership as not equal to marriage;

        the lack of a religious service to register a civil partnership may reinforce distinctions between a civil partnership and a marriage;

        although civil partnerships were established in 2005 and have gained widespread acceptance in society, there may still be some lack of comprehension about what a civil partnership is. This may lead to practical difficulties when obtaining goods or services; and
        a civil partnership is not the same as a marriage.

        In pensions, civil partners were recognised in pension schemes from 5 December 2005. Eligibility for civil partner survivor benefits depends …

      3. … on the scheme concerned but civil partners of members of contracted out schemes ( i.e. contracted out of the State Second Pension) are eligible for survivors’ benefits based on their partner’s service from 6 April 1988.

        Other differences between marriage and civil partnership include:
        In relation to marriage, irretrievable breakdown of the relationship (to obtain a divorce) may be established by proof that the defender committed adultery although this is now rarely used. The definition of “adultery” relates to heterosexual conduct only.

        There is a difference between notification of proposed civil partnerships and notification of marriages. Proposed civil partnerships are deemed to have been notified once the first form is received whereas proposed marriages are deemed to have been notified after the second form is received.

        There is a difference as to when and how the civil partnership is formed. A civil partnership is formed when the second of the two parties sign the …

      4. … partnership papers. By contrast, a marriage happens when the parties exchange spoken words and also sign the register.

        There is currently a requirement for third party evidence in simplified dissolution proceedings in civil partnerships although this is not insisted on in practice. The requirement is absent from simplified divorce proceedings.

        Powers of a guardian of an adult lacking in some level of mental capacity has decision making ability on marriage, it is unclear if this is extended into civil partnership.

        Also, titles which would bestow an equal title on married partners (whether hereditary or not) do not bestow them on civil partners. I personally think titles are outmoded and outdated but this is a further demonstration of the inequality of CPs.

  2. This is very disappointing, but only confirms that Ben Bradshaw has become an eccentric figure of late.

    Any visitor to PN knows that Mr Bradshaw does not represent the gay community on this.

    This legislation is very important. It will have significant practical implications, and substantial cultural implications – which is exactly why some are so strongly opposed.

    Mr Bradshaw represents nobody but himself and should pipe down.

    1. No one can really represent the community because we don’t all agree on every single issue. There will be others that feel the same way as him. We’re not a homogenous group, all sharing the same views on absolutely everything. We just happen to share a penchant for members of the same sex and a common experience of minority status.

      (This isn’t to say I’m against marriage equality, just realistic about the nature of group politics/dynamics.)

      1. Spanner1960 6 Apr 2012, 11:19am

        So what you are saying is we are *not* a community, but simply a bunch of people that happen to be travelling in roughly the same direction. I’ve been trying to say this for years.

        1. We are a collection of communities and have some common interests.

          Communities tend not to agree on every issue – disagreement does not mean the community does not exist.

  3. GulliverUK 6 Apr 2012, 10:33am

    Some of the differences in terms of pensions and benefits, particularly surviving widows benefits, have a big impact. Also, as gay people are the only people who can have a Civil Partnership, it’s an excellent way for people to discriminate. I’ve seen many forms with marital status where marriage and civil partnership are listed separately. Do people really think this is a good idea? If you tick that civil partnership box you’ve immediately revealed your sexual orientation, giving any insurer, employer or company a way to treat you less favourably – whether that’s against the law or not. And it’s a priority for many gay people whether they plan to get married or not, because it’s one huge discrimination which cannot be justified – everybody else, whomever they are, can get married, gay people cannot. It will have a change on attitudes over time. Nobody can give any reasoned argument why we should continue to be treated as second-class citizens in our own country.

    1. Polly Conroy 6 Apr 2012, 11:59am

      Yeah, well he won’t have needed to fill in application forms, will he?

    2. Andrea Woelke 6 Apr 2012, 12:14pm

      GulliverUK, I’d be really interested in the forms you have come across. Let me know some as that’s a very strong argument please.

      1. 6 Apr 2012, 12:51pm

        You have to tick that box when apply for insurance, job, tax forms etc

      2. This is what Ben Summerskill said in 2009

        ” Forty million people are getting a tax return that acknowledges that laws for gay people exist in long term relationships, they’re actually kind of learning something that they wouldn’t if all you had to do was ticked a ‘married’ box. They would have continued being able to be in denial.”

        The box on the tax form (at least used to say) spouse or civil partner but BS comment clearly shows he wanted us to remain distinct NOT the same as married and he wanted forms to show that difference.

        1. And that is not what he is saying now, nor is it relevant.

          Why do you feel the need to introduce quotes from 2009, when its perfectly clear from media interviews with Summerskill in the last month or so that he is fully behind the campaign for equal marriage?

          Has you opinion on everything remained the same in the last 2-3 years?

          1. It was really more of a reply or confirmation to Andrea and Guillver’s comment – “If you tick that civil partnership box you’ve immediately revealed your sexual orientation, giving any insurer, employer or company a way to treat you less favourably ..” which BS confirms and I agree with Guiilver it’s a way of having to out yourself all the time if we have to always say we are CPs.

            But I do think BS still has not “got over” his idea that CPs are special to gays and I didn’t like Stonewall reply in the consultation which said that only a FEW gay pople would want to convert their CPs into marriages. I totally disagree with this and I think the majority will! I BS can now come out and say the majority of people want marriage then I will be much happier, wouldn’t you?

          2. @John

            I agree about the comment about forms, about whether BS still wants us to remain “distinct” I disagree.

            His comments have been strongly in support of marriage, for example:

            Mr Summerskill said: “Stonewall fully supports extension of the legal form of marriage to lesbian and gay couples.

            “We’re told that this will undermine the nature of marriage. However there’s no evidence that, if marriage is available to gay people, a single heterosexual will end up choosing to marry someone of the same sex, either by design or by accident. Those people who do not agree with gay marriage should not marry someone of the same sex.”

            I do agree there will probably be many more who wish to convert CP to marriage, though.

            We need to concentrate on the issue of marriage not concerns with BS or Stonewall.

    3. Couldn’t agree more GulliverUK – Whilst we are treated differently in showing our commitment to the one we love we will always be discriminated against. How can we be seen as equal when there are so many differences in law between Marriage and CP!!! The man’s a fool in my opinion!

  4. The guys a moron who seems to know nothing about LGBT people.

    1) shows how selfish he is that he doesnt care what people want as he ‘ knows ‘ whats a priority

    2) shows he never talk to LGBT people and is making this statment without asking anyone what they want.

    3) if only 1 couple want to be married it should be made law, equality is a priority and shouldnt be based on public demand or opinion.

    4) shows how out of touch he is that he doesent see the demand for equality. Its him who needs dragging into the 21st century.

    5) he accuses call me dave of playing a political game yet he is the one launching an attack truing to score political points. Saying Daves after our votes is like telling me the sky is blue, we know he wants us to vote for him. You all do ! Its how it works… You serve us and do stuff for us and in turn we vote for you.

    Im sure theres more points i could think of given time but he isnt worth it. The fact is equality is the foundation society is build upon.

  5. Has he never heard the saying, if you can’t say anything positive, then say nothing! Bradshaw is an idiot pure and simple!

    1. Scot Lovely 6 Apr 2012, 11:22am

      Calling him an idiot is pretty negative. Why not follow your own advice?

      1. @Scot

        Do you agree with Bradshaw?

        1. It would appear that he does Stu! Scot, the simple fact is he made a negative comment about something he clearly knows nothing about so in turn I called him something negative.

          Had he made a positive comment, I would have called him something positive. Pretty simple to understand that really don’t you think?

          1. @D McCabe

            Your interpretation seems perfectly reasonable to me.

            Of course, as I have said elsewhere on this thread, Bradshaw is entitled to his opinion but he should expect to be criticised when he claims to represent LGBT peoples views and the views he expresses are not the view of the vast majority of LGBT people.

            My only conclusion is Scot must agree with Bradshaw! Disappointing!

  6. This makes me so angry. Ben Bradshaw is just an idiot. Doesn’t he understand that he is handing ammunition over to the homophobes to beat us with?

  7. Peter & Michael 6 Apr 2012, 10:52am

    This is a situation whereupon Gay turns against Gay, he must know that Civil Partnerships do not give the rights of Civil Marriage, no doubt we shall be hearing that ‘his remarks were misrepresented and taken out of context’. He should be ashamed of himself !

  8. I’m glad Mr Bradshaw is enjoying his civil partnership. Clearly that means that every LGBT person in the country feels the same way.

    1. I thought he was trying to make a case that he believes he knows whats best for us, and its irrelevant whether we agree or not (the sort of approach Beberts might take!)

      1. Sister Mary Clarence 6 Apr 2012, 12:59pm

        Yes, were is Beberts in all of this?

        I’m sure he’ll be able to twist this round to the Tories being at fault somewhere along the line

        1. @Sister Mary

          It will either be the Tories fault, something to do with “CallmeDave” or something to do with his obsession about colonialism.

          In fact its Bradshaws words that are at fault (and his actions when Labour were in power, in believing that CPs were an acceptable by persisting with inequality) …

  9. *Groan*

    “We’ve never needed the word ‘marriage'” – who’s “we”? The evidence suggests many people think otherwise.

    1. Quite. I’m waiting for Rupert Everett to wade in again and explain how we “all” feel.

      1. The back seat is going to be an interesting mix with Chris Biggins and Bradshaw sharing with Rupert Everett ….

        1. Horrors.

    2. Ditto Rehan!! Like I said, I don’t remember him knocking on my door to ask my opinion on the matter!!

  10. GulliverUK 6 Apr 2012, 11:08am

    98 per cent of readers want full marriage equality


    Currently, a male civil partner enjoys the same basic state pension entitlements on his partner’s death as if he had been married to a woman. But a gay woman is financially worse off in this instance than if she had married a man.

    Helen Baker of Sackers told IFA Online: “There are two discriminations here; one against widowers and another against civil partners.

    Who could have possibly thought Ben Bradshaw was so ill-informed and out-of-touch ==== and he is even IN a Civil Partnership – wouldn’t you expect him to know these things ??!!!!

    1. Bradshaw is a traitor to LGBT people and his party

      1. de Villiers 6 Apr 2012, 9:40pm

        I am always cautious branding people as traitors. It is a strong word which a user must feel morally superior in order to use it.

        1. @de Villiers

          How would you descibe Bradshaws words and acts in the Washington Post and his response to the reaction?

          I appreciate traitor is a strong word, and it was chosen specifically for that reason.

          I dispute that a person using the word has to feel morally superior in order to use it.

          The definition of the noun is “One who betrays one’s country, a cause, or a trust”.

          Bradshaw was regarded as a politician who supported LGBT people. He betrayed that trust. That is an observation. I am not saying that I am superior to him – merely that the trust he was regarded as being in, is betrayed by his hurtful, thoughtless and bizarre comments.

          1. de Villiers 7 Apr 2012, 12:38pm

            The user must consider themselves the moral arbiter to define what is traitorous.

            Traitor is a loaded term. It is based on the French ‘traitour’ derived from the Latin noun ‘traditor’ from the Latin verb ‘tradere’ meaning to deliver (note the link with the English word to ‘trade’).

            To be a traitor is to betray and the word “betray” is similarly loaded. It shares the same derivation as the word “traitor” in that it comes form the French ‘trair’ – note ‘traitour’ above, again from the Lain root ‘tradere’.

            The ‘be’ in betray comes from English, meaning all or thoroughly as in the other English words because, behave, berate, beleaguer.

            Delivery or handing-over relates to the original meaning of delivering secrets or people over to the enemy. It both reveals information and exposes to danger.

            Ben Bradshaw has expressed a political view that he sees no reason for gay marriage. He considers that CPs are enough. That is insufficiently strong for him to be described as a ‘traitor’.

          2. I disagree with your view, De Villiers.

            The word traitor is loaded but is perfectly appropriate for the behaviour Bradshaw is displaying.

            That aspect is semantics however, and the important issue is the hurt and damage that Bradshaw has wrought.

  11. gaetan fryer 6 Apr 2012, 11:10am

    EQUALITY: what part of this word do you not understand Mr Bradshaw

    1. Bradshaw clearly doesnt understand the meaning and importance of words since he thinks the word marriage is merely semantic.

  12. Ben Bradshaw may not need the word marriage, he clearly does not speak for LGBT people in Britain.

    Ben Bradshaw may be happy with half hearted equality, I am not and am damn sure that most LGBT people in the UK are not.

    Its clear that when people leave government and go to the back benches (whether in opposition or with the party in power) that they often make bizarre comments that lack sense or an understanding of what the people affected by and new policy proposals may be.

    He might be right about Camerons motivation and intentions – I don’t care if he is – as a gay man I want to be able to marry and I don’t care what the motivation is of the politicians who introduce it.

    Is Bradshaw saying this because he realises that when he was in power he brought in a half hearted attempt that was a fudge to try and appease gay people and religious people at the same time? Does he realise he got it wrong? Or is he just incredibly out of touch?

    His views are clearly not those of all 3

    1. … major parties leadership. He is out of touch with the labour leader, deputy leader and LGBT Labour.

      I used to respect Bradshaw as a politician who spoke up for the LGBT communities – how wrong I was!

      Bradshaw may be happy in his CP – fine! That does not mean he should say that all LGBT people should have to make do with a second class form of relationship recognition by the state.

      Equal marriage is crucial. Bradshaw clearly fails to understand either human rights, equality or the mood in the nation. He certtainly does not represent me or LGBT people generally.

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Apr 2012, 12:33pm

        Stu I agree entirely. Bradshaw doesn’t consider CPs as second class, just look at his comments. I enjoin you in the hope that Pink News, StonewallUK and others hold Bradshaw accountable for this very harmful missive which has emboldened C4M even more. He’s a disgraceful , self-serving, selfish man who does NOT represent the majority view of gay people. Exactly who does he think he is?

        1. @Robert

          We all need to hold Bradshaw to account.

          Who does he think he is? He thinks he knows best, and he doesn’t.

          I agree he is disgraceful, self serving, selfish and abhorrent – he is also an arrogant tosser who is completely out of touch.

          1. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Apr 2012, 4:16pm

            Exactly, Stu. We should all contact Bradshaw and let him know how out of touch he is and the he does NOT represent the majority of gay people in the UK. Bombard his email address and let him see how words have consequences. He’ll regret ever saying it after this debacle.

          2. If you are on twitter he is @BenPBradshaw

            He is receiving some strong responses but is replying with things like:

            “My recent comments on whether gay marriage is a priority have caused a stir.”


            “So it’s semantic honesty at last is changing a word greater priority than homophobic bullying hate crime & world lgbt rights?”

            He clearly does not care about equal marriage or what LGBT people in Britain think about it.

            If it was semantic (which it is not) then why did Labour not use the semantic word “marriage” if it really makes no difference?

          3. Robert in S. Kensington 7 Apr 2012, 6:15pm

            Stu, he obviously didn’t think it was a question of semantics when he had his hissy fit in 2009 in regard to how the media didn’t construe his CP to be on a level footing with David Cameron’s. He’s not only a tosser but a self-serving hypocrite. I don’t trust hime one bit and in my view is a loose cannon in the Labour Party. I’ve already contacted the Labour Party about this latest tirade.

          4. @Robert

            Absolutely, his hypocracy demonstrates that he is a traitor to the LGBT cause and is using marriage as a tool to play political games with – that is reprehensible.

  13. Bradshaw does not speak for me, or anyone else other than himself. The LGBT community has no elected head, no accepted spokesman, no bloody agenda other than the most basic of beliefs – Equality. That’s all.

    1. and I don’t think Labour want to be tarnished with his word as well!

    2. Actually we do have representatives and a “our leader” appointed by Obama (Lady Caca), our reps are Dan Savage, Joe Jervis, Peter Tatchell, and many others, and they have said MANY times that they REPRESENT the gay community all the time.

  14. Scot Lovely 6 Apr 2012, 11:29am

    It really doesn’t matter what Ben Bradshaw thinks, since the government is clear the legislation is going ahead, as a matter of principal. Thet should however impose the party whip, as human rights should never be a popularity contest.

  15. He really needs to explore what the differences are! CP and Marriage is not Equal and this shows he needs to “Think” before he speaks! I think we need to suspend his “Gay” membership until he can show he has studied this topic further LOL!

  16. Jock S. Trap 6 Apr 2012, 11:44am

    If Ben Bradshaw is happy being treated like a second class citizen then fine but most of us wish to be treated equally.

    The man’s an idiot and lets not forget that had his party remained we wouldn’t even be having this conversation let along this consultation.

    Personally I don’t care if it’s modernising parties, political or whatever so long as it get us treated like human beings equally.

  17. I have no doubt this story is going to have a significant volume of comments, such is the disgust of most LGBT people that Bradshaw is so arrogant as to think his view is that of most (or all) LGBT people.

    He might not want marriage – many of us do.

    I think PN (when the comments grow) should approach Bradshaws office to get a comment regarding the affront and disgust he has caused by these impetuous comments.

  18. George Broadhead 6 Apr 2012, 12:00pm

    I wonder if Bradshaw’s stance on this has anything to do with the fact that he is an Anglican and doesn’t want to upset his fellow Anglicans, Including the bearded one, who are opposed to it.

  19. Paul O'Neill 6 Apr 2012, 12:04pm

    The man is entitled to his opinion for goodness sake. He’s an intelligent adult and forcing all gay people to think the same by beating down any opinion that differs from our own is as good a definition of fascism as I can think of. Pink News describing his comments as ‘bizarre’ because they go against its editorial policy is bush league journalism that wouldn’t be out of place in the basest tabloid. And yes, I agree with gay marriage.

    1. Being entitled to an opinion doesn’t mean he can’t be criticised for them. If we live like that no one would ever criticise anyone else’s opinion…

      Beating down equal consensus against. Doesn’t mean he can’t say it so hardly fascist.

    2. His comments are indeed ‘bizarre’. Whether he wanted marriage himself or even if not all LBGT want marriage (and they apparently do indeed want marriage), it was simply bizarre that a gay man, a member of a party that supports equal rights, should hand the christian Institute and the ill-informed Cardinal Obrien a propaganda victory like this. This goes way beyond equal marriage – this is a battle for the cultural heartlands. It’s SO important. Look at the forces lined up against this – The Telegraph, The Mail, the big churches.

      We have GOT to win this legal fight for total equality.

      Bizarre, bizarre, bizarre.

      Have you signed the petition? Have you completed the consultation? Will you get out onto the street outside parliament when the time comes?

    3. @Paul O Neill

      He is entitled to his opinion, for sure.

      He is entitled to expect to be criticised when his opinion is bizarre and he claims to represent LGBT people.

    4. If you think that being critical of Bradshaw’s opinion on equality is ‘as good a definition of fascism’ as you can think of then you need to go and learn a little more about fascism, because to say what you have is illiterate.

    5. Sister Mary Clarence 6 Apr 2012, 1:06pm

      “This isn’t a priority for the gay community, which already won equal rights with civil partnerships.”

      His comments are ‘bizarre’ because they contain the above statement of fact. From every poll and every piece of research and consultation that has been done recently, the statement is false.

      Why would he go on record making such vacuous and stupid comments?

      The guy is a t1t – even amongst heterosexual voters, the majority are in favour of equal marriage. I can’t for the life of me think why he would be sounding off in the way he is. Its hardly a vote winning position to take and frankly it plays into the hands of people like me who have long thought that Nu-Labour are a bunch of opportunistic chancers.

    6. Yes, he’s entitled to his opinion. Yes, he’s entitled to voice his opinion. Yes, we’re entitled to speak out as to why we think he is wrong and an idiot for saying what he’s said without considering the consequences.

  20. I know this may be a daft question but if a Civil Partnership gives all the same rights as a Civil Marriage why was it not called Civil Marriage in the first instance?

    If it does not give the same rights, then we are still discriminated against, and the pursuit of equality continues.

    Ben Bradshaw is an idiot if he thinks he is representative of anyone other than his own misguided view.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Apr 2012, 12:28pm

      You’ve hit the nail on the head. Even if they were totally equal, it still would be discrimination . Why segregate one specific group with identical rights under a different name is bizarre but obvious as to why. If Bradshaw believes they are fully equal, then why aren’t they allowed for straight couples who may want an alternate union? Bradshaw’s outburst is nothing more than an exercise in selfishness. I hope he’s taken to task over this, he should not be allowed to get away with his very harmful comments that have only given the hate group C4M more impetus. Gays betraying gays is nothing new. Just look at the republican party in America, it’s infested with them in the form of that disgusting gay group GOProud and to a lesser extent the Log Cabin group who donate to politicians who vote against equality legislation. They are both going to support homophobe Mitt Romney. Bradshaw is no different.

      1. Mumbo Jumbo 6 Apr 2012, 5:58pm

        Indeed. this came up in the Prop 8 hearings in California. If the institutions are identical then thee only reason for giving them different names has to be one of discrimination.

        1. Fantastic point, Mumbo Jumbo – another one I am sure Bradshaw will evade or refuse to answer.

    2. Keith Farrell 7 Apr 2012, 8:42pm

      This is great, clear thinking, I am in a civil partnership and I don’t think we are treated the same as any married couple. I also hate being told that I’m not married I’m in a civil partnership and the civil partnership is not the same as being married, this is what I get from government employees.

    3. Here’s a link to a web site that tells you the differences between CP and CM!

    4. Sorry confused I didn’t read your posting correctly! lol You make a very val;id point! But take a look at the link anyway as it makes for interesting reading :)

  21. Andrea Woelke 6 Apr 2012, 12:15pm

    Here’s a clear explanation (with the help of LEGO figures) on why civil partnership isn’t equality (pensions, inheritance, recognition):

    1. Excellent video, makes the point brilliantly, even to a dolt like Bradshaw who puts petty, point-scoring party issues above LGBT equality.

  22. Ikenna David. 6 Apr 2012, 12:16pm

    Pure madness, arrogant and sellfish… Where does the “WE” comes from? Mr bradshaw or badsaw shoult just shut up.. Marriage and CP are quite different to me… Learn Mr badsaw..

  23. This is your last chance to Vote and the Christians are beating us!!!

    1. By cheating.

      Not that human rights are about securing a majority in a petition (especially a rigged one!)

  24. Nathan Thomas 6 Apr 2012, 12:21pm

    What a wanker this guy is.

    Equality is a priority.

    What a stupid thing for him to say.

  25. Carl Rowlands 6 Apr 2012, 12:21pm

    Ben Bradshaw has just given the Coalition for Marriage a very big stick to beat us with. Whilst we could argue the finer points I think I should be blunt and state that Ben Bradshaw has just earned the label ‘knobhead’!

  26. Don Harrisoin 6 Apr 2012, 12:22pm

    I agree with every word you say to condem Ben Bradshaw. I want Equal Marriage as much as the rest of you.
    I am still supprised how quickly that Cameron and some of the Tories joined the LibDems after the then Delga had the motion passed at the LibDem Liverpool Conference.

    1. It might be better to allow heterosexual couples to form civil partnerships – and to do so in place of civil marriage, which should cease to exist. All civil marriages should automatically be converted into civil partnerships.

      Religious married couples could be given the option of converting to civil partnerships or to relinquish all the tax and other privileges of being married.

      If the churches wanted to continue having ceremonies to solemnize civil partnerships, they would of course be free to do so.

    2. Hardly. It was in the conservative manifesto before the 2010 election.

      Stop assuming all Tories are the same as in the 1980s.

  27. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Apr 2012, 12:39pm

    Christopher Brocklebank, is there any way Pink News could contact Bradshaw and let him know how harmful his comments are. He does NOT speak for us, the majority of whom support and want equal civil marriage. Just because he doesn’t believe in it shouldn’t mean that the rest of us should be denied the right. He is totally out of touch and has made himself an enemy of his own community. It’s beyond bizarre.

    1. I agree…Pink News really do need to pass this on to him!!! Just to show him how out of touch he really is with the gay community!

  28. Has someone from the alliance of extremist anti-gay hate groups and individuals called the Coalition for Marriage (C4M) bunged Ben Bradshaw a few thousand pounds to say this by any chance.

  29. So that’s another one we can add to our list of gay uncle toms, such as David Starkey, Milo Yanopoulis, and Christopher Biggins.
    The back of the bus is getting pretty crowded.

    1. Sorry, that should be Milo Yiannopoulos the gay correspondant for the Catholic Herald who went on 10 O’Clock live and announced to the world that there’s no great clamour for gay marriage in the gay community.
      A man who’s self-loathing is big enough for all of us.

      1. Milo’s evident homophobia and self loathing in that interview with David Mitchell and George O’Dowd was very sad. Someone who feels that his natural feelings are “wrong”. The problem with people like that is that their homophobia is dangerous to others as well as themselves.

    2. Ben Bradshaw seems to believe in the sort of equality where sitting at the back of the bus or having access to a drinking fountain is entirely appropriate …


      1. Robert in S. Kensington 7 Apr 2012, 6:17pm

        Obviously he doesn’t think he’s sitting at the back of the bus but very much upfront since it’s only a question of “semantics”. Absolutely disgusting to put it mildly.

    3. Micheal Portillo and Antony Sher are also tom tits.

  30. No, it isn’t equality. I’m due to be civilly partnered next week, but I’m not legally allowed to use the word “marry” or “husband” (both of which got torn from our vows by the registry office who have effectively censored parts of what we want to say about how we feel to each other).

    While people call it “marriage” (my friends and family do) it isn’t. While I may call my fiancé my “husband” in future (and friends and family will too), legally he won’t be.

    While civil partnerships are similar, they are not the same. They are not truly equal. We may be allowed on the bus with all the married folks, but we have to sit at the back, like second class citizens.

    My “partner” and I will be upgrading to full marriage as soon as we have the opportunity. If it isn’t for Mr Bradshaw then that’s fine for him. But I want to legally be what people will call us. i.e. “Married”… Because, quite frankly, it gets tiring really quickly having to explain that we’re not getting married because we can’t.

    1. Congratulations, Colin. Hope you and yours have a glorious day.

      And yeah – it’s about equality, justice and choice. And the amount of intellectual dishonestly displayed by Mr Bradshaw by failing to notice the difference between marriage and CP.

    2. @Colin

      Good luck and Congratulations.

      Hope you and your “husband” are very happy together and that you get real and meaningful equality soon.

      Hope its a fantastic day

    3. Lumi Bast 6 Apr 2012, 6:03pm

      Congrulations! :)

      I hope that someday very soon that you are allowed to marry (completely equally)!

    4. I’m with you on this, the difference in the ceremony and vows isn’t for me, I want us to have the legislative oomph that the legally binding marriage vows have. Signing a bit of paper for me reminds me too much of administration at my desk at home.

      I want come July, for Steve to be my husband and me his.

  31. bobbleobble 6 Apr 2012, 12:53pm

    I’m just about to fire off an email trying to explain to him that he doesn’t speak for me nor the rest of the gay community, that he has just handed our opposition a massive propaganda boost and how disappointed I am in him. Please join me if you feel strongly enough.

    1. bobbleobble 6 Apr 2012, 1:00pm

      Thought I’d post the story and say also that Bradshaw does say that he will support the measure. Still I’m extremely disappointed that he has done this. I am a Labour voter and I know that my MP will be voting in favour but if I lived in Exeter I would truly consider staying home if Bradshaw stands again in 2015.

    2. Email sent.

      Anyone know hope bradshaws twitter account has been affected by this?

    3. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Apr 2012, 2:55pm

      I’ve just emailed Bradshaw, we all should. Thank you for posting the link.

      1. bobbleobble 6 Apr 2012, 3:01pm

        You’re welcome

        Another suggestion if you’ve got time is to email your own MPs and reassure them that Bradshaw doesn’t speak for the gay community.

  32. Ben Bradshaw is a member of the Christian Socialist Movement (is his perception of his faith interfering with his ability to recognise human rights or fairly represent LGBT people?)

    Ben Bradshaw is the son of an Anglican vicar (could he be being influenced by dad or dads ex or current coleagues?)

    It does appear that there is some religious bias in Bradshaws comments particularly his comments about getting bishops hot under the collar.

    But it is reassuring to read this quote in the Huffington Post:
    “Changing the words civil partnership to gay marriage when for most people they’re interchangeable anyway – is not my priority. But I’ll vote for it and hope we get it – if only to further expose the prejudice of some of those who oppose it.”

    I thank Bradhsaw that he will vote for it. He is not a supporter of C4M, but I would ask him to stay out of the debate as he is damaging LGBT rights by his intervention.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Apr 2012, 1:23pm

      Stu, I don’t get the “interchangeable” thing. To me it means that heterosexuals can access civil partnerships and gay couples civil marriage. Am I missing something or misreading his statement? Bradshaw should have kept his mouth shut instead of opening up yet another can of worms in favour of C4M. It’s a destructive comment to say the least. I’m holding my breath to hear what Ed Miliband has to say about this latest tirade coming from one of his own party. Maybe all of us should contact Miliband and demand a retraction from Bradshaw.

      1. I think emails to Milliband would be a fantastic idea (goes off to find Millibands email address) ….

        I think the interchangeable bit is damaging and wrong.

        The bit I welcome is his intention to vote for equal marriage.

        Although he kicks us in the teeth further by saying “if only to” … demonstrating that he believes LGBT people do not need equality – truly shocking and self loathing.

        1. Here is a form to contact Ed Milliband:

    2. George Broadhead 6 Apr 2012, 2:52pm

      See my earlier post.

      1. Fine balance to tread here.

        Its important to expose the bizarre and false nature of what Bradshaw has said, but equally it is important to not give C4M any more ammunition.

      2. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Apr 2012, 3:15pm

        George, whether he’s an Anglican or not, he should have kept his mouth shut. I can’t believe he wasn’t aware how much harm this could cause. He needs to apologise or even better, retract his selfish comments. Anne Widdecombe’s tirade at the outset of the consultation in which she said there are gay supporters of C4M is now bearing fruit. I don’t know if Bradshaw supports them or not, but what he has done has added fuel to the fire, emboldening C4M to continue its campaign of hate, misinformation and spurious assertions and lies, not just about equal civil marriage but about gay people. He must be held accountable.

        1. Absolutely. Bradshaw should have kept his mouth shut. He needs to retract his comments.

    3. I was wondering when some one was going to mention the “C” word,

      Mr Bradshaw is well known in his support of the CofE as a practising Christian.

      How far this relates to his comments about equality in marriage is unclear.

      1. I bet you didnt expect me to use the C word, JohnK lol

  33. Let Bradshaw be content with crumbs from the master’s table if that’s what makes him happy. There are others of us who believe that equality should mean equality – not a parallel and supposedly equal system that still bars people because of sexual orientation. The fight for marriage equality is not a fight for any “special” rights – we already have special rights in that only same sex couples can enter into a Civil Partnership and only mixed sex couples can enter into marriage. What those of us who want marriage equality are aiming for is equality. Nothing more, nothing less.

    1. If Cameron’s government bring in same sex marriage, then for me the motivation behind that is unimportant. When the world doesn’t end it may well cause those who resisted social progress to review their position.
      I question why Bradshaw would thing that dragging the Tory party “kicking and screaming into the modern world” is such a bad thing. Surely one of the criticisms levelled at the Tories is that they live in a 19th Century bubble where Britain had The Empire, foreigners were kept safely arm’s length by the Channel and everyone at home knew their place? Perhaps Bradshaw’s comments about Cameron’s pure politicking are themselves little more than politicking. Sabotage the government’s initiative now and then claim it as progress for Labour when they are back in power. When people come out with statements that obviously make no sense it pays to question their motives.

      1. You’re on the money there, David. It’s exactly the position Summerskill was taking until we warmed up his seat.

        Theses comments from this excuse for a man are despicable.

        1. He needs to urgently apologise and retract (although he will have a lot of ground building to do to regain trust from me!)

          Milliband needs to publically disassociate the Labour party from Bradshaws comments.

  34. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Apr 2012, 1:12pm

    For what it’s worth, we could also contact StonewallUK and see if Ben Summerskill can intervene. What Bradshaw has done is despicable to put it mildly.

    1. April 1st was last Sunday.

    2. Patrick Lyster-Todd 6 Apr 2012, 1:28pm

      The interesting thing is that Stonewall (well, Mr Summerskill) was originally against marriage equality, possibly as this might mean that what they’d originally achieved (ie Civil Partnerships for gay people only) in concert with the Government of the day (then Labour) would be seen for what it really is ie nothing other than a fudge. If this campaign had been properly fought in the first case then I suspect we’d have achieved equal marriage some time ago – and I wonder whether, as in quite a few other progressive countries, civil partnerships (whether just for gay people or also for straight people) might never have been required anyway.

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Apr 2012, 3:10pm

        People can evolve on the issue of equal civil marriage and I suspect some in opposition will do just that as the consultation concludes and legislation is introduced. Summerskill didn’t necessarily evolve but was under enormous pressure from the majority of us across the UK demanding equal access to marriage. Civil Partnerships, though well intended, were nothing more than a “cop-out” for fear of a backlash from the religious nutters and hatemongers as we’re now witnessing. If you recall, it was Tony Blair who admitted that “we didn’t want to go that way” because of strong opposition from the church. Every one of the ten countries where we can marry went through the exact same hatermongering. They all had their versions of C4M and who would have thought three catholic countries would have legalised it? There is absolutely no excuse we shouldn’t. Bradshaw will regret his destructive comments. I urge everyone to contact him.

  35. I have just heard the interview on Radio 4 and Bradshaw just said that he thinks allowing gay marriage is necessary, but not a priority. Surely if it is necessary that means it needs to be done. If it needs to be done why not get on and do it?

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Apr 2012, 1:26pm

      He’s probably feeling the heat from a backlash against him. He should have kep this mouth shut and not given C4M another victory, utterly despicable. He opened his mouth not realising the significant harm this could cause. I don’t care if he doesn’t want to marry, he should care that many of us do. Even if society’s problems were minimal, I’ve no doubt he still would say equal marriage isn’t a priority just because he thinks he has all of his rights which is nothing more than a selfish approach on his part.


    People should make their feelings known to Ben Bradshaw.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Apr 2012, 3:00pm

      Exactly right, Dromio . Ed Miliband should be contacted too calling for Bradshaw to retract his harmful statement.

  37. Warren Alexander 6 Apr 2012, 1:33pm

    Poo bitter Bradshaw!

  38. Warren Alexander 6 Apr 2012, 1:33pm

    That was meant to be: Poor bitter Bradshaw.

    1. I thought you were comparing Bradshaw to Keith when you said Poo … I could see Bradshaws comments being seen as being troll-esque!

  39. “ This isn’t a priority for the gay community, which already won equal rights with civil partnerships”

    How is a civil partnership an equal right? straight people cant get civil partnership.

  40. Ben Bradshaw: “This isn’t a priority for the gay community, which already won equal rights with civil partnerships. We’ve never needed the word ‘marriage’.”

    But if this is really just about a ‘word’, then the strength of (mainly religious) opposition to gay people being able to call themselves ‘married’ surely speaks volumes.

    The right to be called ‘married’ is an important milestone in equality and most importantly in state/social recognition of equality: otherwise there wouldn’t be such vitriolic opposition to it.

    This issue may not be important to Mr Bradshaw, but by speaking out in this way he has provided ammunition to those who oppose LGBT equality.

    And to use this as an opportunity to try to score poltical points against the Conservative Party on the basis of pure conjecture as to what David Cameron’s motives are, is pretty low in my view.

    1. It is disappointing that Bradshaw is using gay rights as a political point scoring opportunity .. demonstrates the respect he has for human rights (and for himself)

      1. I agree that it is disappointing. This is really a time for LGBT people to pull together. Stonewall and other organisations and individuals have been putting in so much work: what Mr Bradshaw has done feels like him throwing a metaphorical hand grenade into the campaign’s barracks. He is entitled to his views if he feels that not upsetting traditionist clerics and religious observers is more important that acknowledging how important this campaign is to so many LGBT people, and the work that has gone into it. But this does not reflect well on his insight. Instead, we have been characterised by him as being engaged in a trivial campaign, and our feelings about it as far less important than keeping traditionalist religionists happy. I think I would trust the PM to be more in tune with how important this issue really is.

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Apr 2012, 2:58pm

      It’s beyond despicable what Bradshaw said. Everyone should email him and let him know who wrong he is and the harm he is causing.

  41. There’s an old adage that goes “Don’t like gay marriage? Fine, then don’t get one, but don’t stop others from having them”. This is usually aimed towards homophobic heterosexuals, but in this case I’m gonna have to say the same to Ben Bradshaw. He’s entitled to his own personal opinion of course, but once he starts talking about “we” and using his own personal opinion to talk for all of us, then I have to take exception and call him out.

  42. Pink News new pro Tory anti anyone else view point is breathtaking. Very sad for someone who has loved it for years to see it has become so one sided.

    1. @Paul

      I have never voted Tory in a general election in my life.

      I think PN have got the tone EXACTLY right on this story.

      Bradshaw is using gay rights to score political points. Its wrong and needs to be exposed.

      1. or here

        Ed Miliband calls for marriage equality describing civil partnerships as “not good enough” Pink News (25 Aug 2010)

        or here

        or here

        or here

        Clearly, PN are biased – BIASED in favour of equal marriage and will publicise those in favour and against regardless of political affiliation.

        Suggesting otherwise seems to be using the subject matter to score political points (like Bradshaw)

    2. So Bradshaw didn’t say that then? Please enlighten us.

      1. No Ray, I think Paul is saying that pinknews put him up to saying it.

        I think its probably something similar to the second Johnny English film isn’t that right Paul? There’s this drug that can give people disguised as Cranberry juice, although it could be some sort of raspberry, but that’s not so important right now, the key thing is they (in this case pinknews) get someone (in this case Ben) to drink it and after a short (and comical) fit, they then do whatever you want. A few minutes later they die though, so if the next headline is Ben’s dead, its definitely that.

        Of course it might be some kind of Paul McKenna mind control hypnosis thing, although Paul’s fees are quite hefty and I’m not sure the pinknews budget is up to that ….

    3. This site isn’t pro-Tory, it’s pro-LGBT equality. Therefore, it’s not unreasonable to expect this site to therefore be anti-anyone who speaks against equality, whatever political party they’re in. They’re only reporting on what Ben Bradshaw has said, if you consider it to be “anti” – as in negative – maybe that’s because of what Bradshaw said, rather than because PN have merely repeated what he said.

  43. Shame that the ‘Yes’ vote is larger, but it shows that Christian belief is no way down from the 72% or whatever that it was in the 2001 census.

    In other words, politicians that ‘do’ God are alienating almost as many people as they are pleasing, and doubtless the religious ones are those that are dying out, literally.

    Not a good idea to hook up to a regime on which the sun is rapidly setting.

    1. Typo! Should have been… “but it shows that Christian belief is noW way down from the 72% or whatever that it was in the 2001 census.”.

  44. The point is Ben that even if you wanted a marriage you couldn’t have one under the present law. You have less marriage rights than a serial killer.

    Perhaps it doesn’t matter to you though as your situation is settled. Never mind that it may affect the future well being of many younger LGBT!!

  45. Perhaps Ben Bradshaw ought to consider what his leader says:
    (Headline: Ed Miliband calls for marriage equality describing civil partnerships as “not good enough”)

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Apr 2012, 3:17pm

      Absolutely right, Stu. It would be interesting to hear from Ed Miliband about this bizarre but hurtful outburst from Bradshaw.

  46. Paddyswurds 6 Apr 2012, 3:21pm

    He is just another xtian idiot doing what what comes naturally to xtian idiots, accepting the word of ignorant illiterate desert herdsmen of 3 or 4 thousand years ago. This and he is just the latest salvo from C4M …. and he will look even more idiotic if Call me Dave sticks to his word and gives GLBs the equality the crave and deserve. On that point I am no longer as confident as i was a week ago, unfortunately.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Apr 2012, 5:15pm

      I’m also feeling less confident. He must be held accountable for the damage he’s causing. He’s a traitor to gay people and echoes exactly what Anne Widdecombe said prior to the consultation that there are many gay people who are opposed to equal marriage. We have to make him pay for this in some way or other. Unless he retracts and apologises, he’ll remain an enemy of equality and we shouldn’t let him forget it.

      1. I remain confident.

        We are going to win. Even though he blusters Bradshaw is going to vote for equal marriage.

        We easily have a majority of MPs and that is only likely to improve as the C4M and RC church fail to justify any of their bizarre claims.

        We should not becopme complacent but remain determined but we are going to getr equal marriage. (whether Bradshaw thinks its a priority or not)

        1. Dr Robin Guthrie 7 Apr 2012, 2:56am

          The churches have BIG money. We do not.

          Given the number of U turns from the coalition to date, I hold small hope in this proceeding.

          1. I am certainly your pessimism will be proven wrong.

  47. Trevor Diamond 6 Apr 2012, 3:24pm

    What a loose cannon you can be Ben! We don’t need own-goals now do we? Marriage may not be important to you – but to many gay people it is. Moreover, there’s a principle involved – equality. That’s worth a fight.

    1. It appears that Bradshaw is happy not to have equality … well, thats his concern, but he has no right to claim that he represents LGBT people in saying that equality does not matter.

  48. Dear Mr Bradshaw,

    I was extremely disappointed today to hear that you’ve criticised the coalition government’s plans to legalise same-sex marriage.

    It is fine for you to have an opinion and to say that you personally aren’t too bothered by the prospect of having a marriage over a civil partnership. However, is it simply wrong to say that it “isn’t a priority for the gay community, which already won equal rights with civil partnerships”. Do you really believe that? If so, it is baffling that you’ve not been aware of the many, many gay people who are delighted at the prospect of same-sex marriage and who are vocally supportive of it.

    Firstly, as a 25 year old engaged, gay man, I have said for a number of years that I want to get married, and not have a civil partnership. I see CPs as actually quite damaging in the context of promoting equality and tackling discrimination in the UK.

    1. I was quite angry to read your comment, specifically that it isn’t priority for the gay community. As a politician, shouldn’t you be careful not to generalise and talk for a WHOLE community when, quite clearly, there are many who think otherwise to you? 98% of readers are in favour of equal marriage. This also strongly goes against what you’ve said. You have misused your position and influence and misrepresented me.

      Secondly, legally, marriage and CPs are different when it comes to pensions. So the rights AREN’T the same.

      I’m not sure why you said what you did and I wonder if it was attempt to undermine the opposition, in this case the Conservative party. Perhaps you need to choose your battles better, as you have done a massive disservice to the gay community for the sake of political point scoring. And to support the notion of a ‘gay lobby’? Do you not realise that the very phrase is a tactic to put all gay rights campaigners in a box and dismiss them easily?

      1. And you, as a gay man, have reinforced the notion and therefore potentially hindered their work just a little bit more.

        This is what happens when you search for your story:

        As you can see, you’ve fuelled the Daily Mail and Telegraph too. I don’t need to explain the significance of that.



        Just a little e-mail for him. Made me feel better!

        1. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Apr 2012, 5:11pm

          James, well said. I sent him one too and I hope he’ll be inundated with many more. He needs to retract and apologise for his destructive remarks. He’s a self-serving, selfish arrogant invividual who needs to be taken down a peg or two. He’s a disgrace to the gay community and a traitor to full equality. I wish Ed Miliband would speak up and give him a good dressing down.

          1. Thank you, Robert. I hope more e-mail him too. Not abuse or anything, just how they feel about it, to show him he’s wrong.

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Apr 2012, 4:39pm

      The very terminology, Civil Partnership, denotes being apart from the rest of society, no matter how many rights are comparable to marriage. If they’re so equal, why aren’t heterosexuals who don’t want to marry not allowed them? I wonder how many of them would choose marriage over a CP? My gut feeling says, not many and the reasons are obvious, something that Bradshaw would be incapable of realising. He deludes himself into thinking this is just a question of semantics. If he lived in another country without CPs he might be singing a different tune. At least we have ten soon to be eleven countries allowing us to marry. How many are there with identical CPs to the UK’s? Arguably only two and the second, Ireland, does not even confer every right under the British model. They will never be the acceptable union across the EU or around the world because of their inferiority and unpopularity elsewhere.

    3. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Apr 2012, 4:42pm

      And I bet if a poll were taken in the UK to replace civil marriage with civil partnerships for everyone, there would be public uproar, and we all know why. How many would accept them I wonder. My gut feeling says, not many.

  49. Ben Bradshaw is a bigotted homophobic scumbag.,

    How DARE he try to defend the horrible bigotted CP apartheid scheme we have in Britain.

    I sincerely hope he loses his seat at the next election.

    CP Apartheid was a stepping stone to marriage equallity – it was NEVER the end goal .

    Bradshaw is such a pig that he will throw the entire LGBT community under the bus to promote his own crappy party.

    F*** you Bradshaw, you revolting bigot.

    1. I support the tone of your post! Definitely appropriate in this case.

    2. johnny33308 7 Apr 2012, 12:04am

      He is apparently filled with self-loathing but still thinks he can speak for the entire gay community! Get him, boys! He is a creepy scumbag! How about a nice pillory party for him?

  50. Well done Ben for joining others like Chris Biggins and Julie Bindel to speak the truth regardless of which ox is gored. Marriage is for heterosexuals, get over it!

    1. It’s not the truth is it, though? He said it isn’t a priority for the gay community…when for many, it is. That not an opinion; that’s fact.

      And who cares if it’s a purely political move? I will NEVER vote conservative, but very happy for them to introduce SSM. I’ll benefit from it.

      Gay people who think marriage is for heterosexuals? Don’t get married; have a CP instead. Let people who want it have it though.

    2. Ben,

      With allies like Ken, who needs enemies …

      Birds of a feather seem to flock together. Ken seems allied to the thoughts of Mugabe too.

      Its clear that the vast majority of LGBT people would not see you as an ally or ambassador, Ben!

    3. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Apr 2012, 4:32pm

      Well, it seems you have it wrong. 11 countries have said otherwise and that number will continue to grow. Provide with factual evidence one rational statement to justify why gay couples shouldn’t have access to civil marriage and how it affects your ability to marry, assuming you are “straight”?

      1. 11 countries out of 196 does not make me wrong. If the UK should copy anything, should it be from the minority. In some of the 11 countries (eg spain) gay marriage have created even more anxiety for the LGBT community.I think the energy used in fighting for gay marriage should be put in fighting for LGBT rights in countries where they are currently criminalised and in addressing the more important challenges facing the LGBT community here in the UK.

        1. False dichotomy.. why can’t we campaign for both gay marriage and decriminalising it abroad?
          Are you suggesting there’s a quota on equality?

        2. Well, there are at least another 15 countries are actively pursuing equalising marriage to LGBT people and others will follow.

        3. “In some of the 11 countries (eg spain) gay marriage have created even more anxiety for the LGBT community.”

          What anxieties has equality in marriage created for LGBT people in Spain?

        4. @Ken — “gay marriage have created even more anxiety for the LGBT community”

          Can you substantiate that ?

  51. With friends like these…..!

  52. Davevauxhall 6 Apr 2012, 5:01pm

    Uncle Tom Bradshaw. It is him playing politics and selling the rest of us for a cheap dig at the Tories. Dispicable

  53. Mr. Ripley's Asscrack 6 Apr 2012, 5:12pm

    So I’m the only thinking he has a point! This issue is a low priority, personally speaking! Devil’s-advocate-icious… That Bradshaw has played into “CARE[less]” hands (pun intended) is obvious but I admire the truth from anyone – and Cameron IS pushing buttons right now.

    But I really don’t know why CARE is so chipper either. They have a huge mountain to climb of public opinion, so as they rejoice over a careless, tactless personal opinion by a has-been politician who happens to be gay, so what?! Their religion in this country meanwhile, continues to crumble!

    It’s just what their god intended, of course!

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Apr 2012, 5:19pm

      Equality is always a priority. Bradshaw deludes himself into thinking he has all the equality he needs, but selfishly ignores the majority of us who don’t. He doesn’t speak for the majority of us so he should have kept his big mouth shut. What he has done is unforgiveable. He’s aided and abetted C4M even more whether he supports that hate group or not.

      1. Mr. Ripley's Asscrack 7 Apr 2012, 7:10pm

        For you RinSK perhaps equality is a priority. It is a yawnsome thing, marriage – please don’t ram it down my throat when I can be equally vocal of my general hatred of the lack of individuality that comes from being shackled. Hence all the jokes about it in hettyland – it’s not a word, it’s a sentence; you get less for manslaughter; et al. But can I just ask why anyone should keep their mouths shut about this?! If we all thought like you, I’d shoot myself. And please don’t overstate the damage this has done; it’s tedious speculation!

        1. Please don’t minimise the hurt that has been caused to LGBT who seek marriage.

          Just because you are in the 2% of PN readers who feel marriage is not a right to be championed, does not mean those who do were not hurt by Bradshaws remarks or that the remarks he made were not damaging to the campaign for marriage. My perception is the damage to the campaign is short term, we will still win the vote in parliament. My view on the hurt and sense of betrayal is that this will last a long time and Bradshaw has lost a great many LGBT allies (or potential allies).

    2. bobbleobble 6 Apr 2012, 7:21pm

      As you say though for you the issue is a low priority. But Bradshaw didn’t say it’s a low priority for him, he took it upon himself to declare that it is a low priority for the whole gay community. I think you’ll see just from the comments on these pages that he’s wrong.

      Cameron may be simply pushing buttons but I don’t care how marriage equality is obtained, just that it is. CARE are chipper becuase they will now start contacting MPs left right and centre who are waivering in their support and tell them that gay people don’t even want marriage – look Ben Bradshaw says so.

      This may be the only opportunity that we get to achieve marriage equality for a generation, if this attempt fails you can bet neither Labour nor the Tories will have the bottle to try again for a good long time. That’s why it’s important.

      1. Mr. Ripley's Asscrack 7 Apr 2012, 7:20pm

        Yeah, I’m still kinda thinking “big deal”, sorry. Generalising in a negative way about how this is being perceived by MPs and the wider population, is a pointless, paranoiac activity. Perhaps you all should bash off a stern letter to your MPs where you declare this a high priority for the gay community; but don’t mention the debate is being stifled because there are some who refuse to get with the program! Must… try… harder…

        1. Mr Ripleys Asscrack

          You might not want marriage – 98% of PN readers want the right to be able to choose to get married …

  54. Lumi Bast 6 Apr 2012, 5:47pm

    I don’t want a civil partnership

    1. I want to be able to call a woman my wife and have it be true
    2. I want a real wedding
    3. I want to have my relationship recognized on the same level as heterosexual couples
    4. I want the benefits that come marriage

    Separate but equal does not work

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Apr 2012, 5:51pm

      Obviously, he thinks they are equal. Music to the ears of C4M and their supporters of hatred and bigotry.

    2. Well said Lumi.

    3. You cannot have a ‘real’ wedding with an ‘unreal’ relationship.

      1. Believe me there is nothing imaginary about the love between my boyfriend (and future husband) and I.

      2. Something isn’t unreal just because your teeny little brain can’t cope with reality.

      3. Lumi Bast 7 Apr 2012, 3:45pm

        My relationships with other woman are very much real :)

        1. Lumi Bast 7 Apr 2012, 3:46pm


  55. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Apr 2012, 5:49pm

    Bradshaw is also a hypocrite. If you recall, he attacked the media in 2009 for not describing his relationship on equal terms with the Prime Minister’s marriage.David Cameron.

    No Bradshaw, because they’re not, hence the name Civil Partnership that you’re now saying is an issue of semantics? The man is delusional and a fool. He has the gall to attack David Cameron and the government for trying to put right a very bad wrong. Shame on Bradshaw. He’s made himself into an enemy of full equality. We won’t forget it and we have to make sure he won’t either.

  56. Ben Bradshaw has issued a statement:

    He still doesn’t get it.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Apr 2012, 7:10pm

      No, he doesn’t and he won’t. Let’s hope he lives to regret his bad choice of ill-timed words by helping C4M flourish. We have to keep reminding him, be persistent. If he thinks there will be no fall-out for him he’s mistaken, deeply mistaken. It’s up to us to make sure that happens.

      1. You know, I half hoped (realised it was unlikely, but still hoped) that he might see the strngth of response and withdraw his comments, or at the very least apologise for the hurt and distress he has caused.

        Alas, no. He remains unrepentant, and ignores concerns about his claims to speak for all LGBT people in the UK when the statements he make are clearly the opposite of what most LGBT people think.

        He also fails to respond to questions about his claims, continuing with bluff, fluster and appeasing the homophobic C4M.

        We will be persistant and we will see equal marriage.

        Will we trust Bradshaw again – I doubt it ….

    2. I note the comments section on the website you posted is closed! Seems he doesn’t want to listen to our opinions.

      1. No seems he is reluctant to engage with questions …

        He is very quiet on twitter too

    3. So when Ben says

      “So this in summary is why, while I’ll support gay marriage, it’s not for me the priority. The fact that teenagers are still driven to suicide by homophobic bullying is a priority. Hate crime, homophobia in the workplace, against elderly lesbians and gays, in sport, are priorities. Good healthcare and health and sex education should be priorities”

      He appears to misunderstand that civil partnerships introduce a second class mentality system, just like homophobia seeks to undermine and assert our humanity as second class.

  57. GulliverUK 6 Apr 2012, 5:51pm

    He gave a response.

    but he’s totally not understanding how government works, despite being an EX-minister.
    Gay marriage = home office,
    tackling homophobic bullying = education department
    tackling hate crimes = local councils + regional / local police forces + ministry of justice.
    tackling homophobia overseas = foreign office and international aid / development departments

    ALL those issues can be pushed forward, INDEPENDENTLY, and SIMULTANEOUSLY. Bradshaw seems to be unaware that these can be, and are being pushed forward, separately and simultaneously.

    PLUS, by sending a message of TOTAL equality, the government is creating a society where homophobia is sidelined even further. Keeping a separate partnership law, just for us, keeps the homophobia going, and segregation also damages about well-being.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Apr 2012, 5:56pm

      GulliverUK, your last paragraph is absolutely spot on. Equal marriage will also help to diffuse bullying in our schools and elsewhere. The fact that our legal unions under a totally different name than the rest of society enjoy sends the wrong signal to those so inclined to homophobia and the subsequent negative results that result from it. Clearly, Bradshaw doesn’t see the larger picture and the implications for not legalising equal marriage. He is so wrong on this, dead wrong and should apologise.

      1. “PLUS, by sending a message of TOTAL equality, the government is creating a society where homophobia is sidelined even further. Keeping a separate partnership law, just for us, keeps the homophobia going, and segregation also damages about well-being.”

        ASBOLUTELY! It is about children being born into a world where the straight gay relationships are recognised as the same in the law, it will help normalise being gay for people, help young gay people, help deter gay bullying.

        HOW does he not understand this? Fool.

    2. bobbleobble 6 Apr 2012, 6:57pm

      It’s interesting that he doesn’t address his original comments. At first he said that gay people didn’t want marriage. Now that it’s been shown to him that gay people do want marriage he’s now decided it’s not so much that we don’t want it as that it isn’t a priority.

      I still cannot believe that a gay man has deliberately sought to undermine an equality campaign in order to score cheap political points against the Coalition. And that statement is pathetic showing that he clearly has no idea why people are upset with what he said.


      1. He also fails to respond to questions of if his contention that the word marriage is mere semantics (which is far from the truth), why the word marriage was not used when Labour introduced legally recognised same sex unions in the UK.

        Surely if the words is merely semantic, then Labour would have had no problem calling them marriage?:

        Clearly they thought the issue was more than semantic then, what has changed?

  58. TO Ben Bradshaw

    The word marriage is important. If you can’t understand the power of language you’ve no business being in politics.

    You have played directly into the hands of homophobes.


    1. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Apr 2012, 6:10pm

      Exactly. What convincing argument does he need though? This has nothing to do with semantics one iota. There is no evidence to suggest that CPs will ever be the standard for gay couples anywhere in Europe or beyond. I made reference to that in my email to him earlier today. The law as it now stands does not allow us to marry, in fact we are banned. He said…”For gay marriage to be a “priority” it needs to be better than or different from Civil Partnerships. I haven’t yet heard an explanation as to how what the Government is proposing would be different or better.” Poor man, he doesn’t realise the priority for a better than or different union than a CP is Marriage, the universal gold standard. What a tosser and an idiot to boot.

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Apr 2012, 7:08pm

      If you recall, back in 2009, it was Ben Bradshaw who attacked the media for failing to regard his civil partnership on an equal footing with David Cameron’s marriage. Obviously, he was angered by that and felt inferior, rightly so but now he’s claiming “we” have our equality? What an idiot. His response in Exeter was very poor but predictable. He’s really dismissed the comments many of us have made basically. He insists on the full equality of CPs even though he says he’ll vote for equal marriage. Not good enough in my view.

  59. Lumi Bast 6 Apr 2012, 5:59pm

    It won’t let me hit reply for some reason

    To whoever said “Marriage is for heterosexuals, get over it”

    “Marriage is for whites, get over it”

    Look how stupid that sounds (because it is stupid)

    Besides using religion, there is NO reason why homosexual couples can’t get married (even then there’s freedom of religion in the UK)

    1. Dr Robin Guthrie 7 Apr 2012, 2:51am

      Unfortunaltely there is not yet, “Freedom FROM religion”

  60. I think it is sad that Ben Bradshaw choses to play party politics with this issue. He is more keen to score points against the Tories than he is to support equality.
    He is obviously entitled to his views, but he should think carefully about what he says.

  61. bobbleobble 6 Apr 2012, 8:56pm

    You don’t think that the arguments against polygamy are different to those against gay marriage?

    Perhaps you can provide these statistics but in any event one of the arguments to allowing gay people to marry is that it will create the same kind of stability in gay relationships that you claim exists in heterosexual ones.

    And if you keep getting poo on your penis then you should either make sure your partner cleans themself a bit better or else wear a condom. You keep complaining about it and yet you don’t take these simple precautions.

    1. Homosexual marriages and polygamous marriages are two separate things, it’s like apples and durian fruits.

    2. bobbleobble 6 Apr 2012, 10:22pm

      I asked for your study first.

      You don’t think there are different arguments for saying that three or more people should marry than saying two people of the same sex can marry? You should really think about it. And if you think that there’s only one reason been put forward as to why gay people should be allowed to marry then again I’d ask you to think a bit harder and maybe do some reading.

      As for polygamy (which as far as I’m aware is a heterosexual construct and therefore a completely separate argument), well I’m not entirely sure that I’m against it. I do think that the legal arrangements could be a complete nightmare and I’d be worried about potential exploitation of one of the people involved in the relationship. I’d have to give it some more thought.

      1. @bobblerobble

        The troll doesnt deal in evidence – just hot air and rhetoric.

      2. @Keith — 4 simple and direct questions for you in the main comment thread: I dare you to answer them.

  62. Lumi Bast 6 Apr 2012, 9:18pm

    Marriage should be between two consenting adults not related to each other. A homosexual marriage is between two adults, not three, four, five, etc..
    There are no legitimate statistics that prove homosexual relationships are inferior to heterosexual ones. My relationship with a woman is no less than a woman and a man’s relationship.

    1. Marriage should only be between two adults, plain and simple. While I disagree with polyamory, a marriage is the joining on two individuals.
      The two consenting adults model hasn’t failed, sure the divorce rate is about 50%, but it’s not my fault some people have horrible marriages- I still deserve a monogamous marriage to another woman.

      I’m not having children, so I don’t care about anything about children.

      1. AIDS are in a high proportion among homosexual men, I’m a homosexual woman
      2. The group with the most AIDS is actually heterosexual women

      Homosexuality isn’t immoral. There’s nothing wrong with it.
      There’s no legitimate proof homosexual relationships are inferior (stuff from groups like NOM don’t count because they are false). Like I said, my relationship with a woman is no less than a woman’s and man’s relationship.

    2. @Lumi, @Keith

      AIDS is not disproportionately higher amongst gay me worldwide. Some countries it is, some countries it isn’t. In some countries AIDS disproportionately affects straight people.

      Please provide us with a link to support your claim that homosexual relationships are inferior to heterosexual ones.

  63. If civil partnership is apparently identical to marriage on legal terms, then why won’t they just call it marriage? THEY’RE the ones making a fuss because of a label, surely?

    1. Exactly wasn’t Bradshaw in teh cabinet when civil partnerships were brought in?

      If its just semantics why didnt he call it civil marriage then?

      1. Spanner1960 7 Apr 2012, 8:49pm

        Lie we said before, if there is no difference, can we demote everyone that got married in a registry office to civil partnership instead?

        Everyone knows if they did that there would be a riot.

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 7 Apr 2012, 2:15am

      If they’re so equal, ask a straight couple if they’d rather have a CP than a civil marriage and I think the answer would be a resounding NO to a CP. Bradshaw needs to ask the governments of the ten countries that allow us to marry why they allowed same-sex civil marriage if he wants a convincing argument. He’s in denial and delusional. Even though his Twitter account has been inundated, he is still insistent that nobody has provided him with a convincing argument. This man owes the gay community a huge apology and a retraction of his statement. He is not our spokesperson and he doesn’t represent the majority opinion of gay people.

  64. Can you demonstrate an increase in polygamy in any of the following countries:

    Argentina, Canada, Belgium, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Netherlands, Norway, Iceland, South Africa ….

    No, thought not …

    So, clearly same sex couples marrying have no link to polygamy …

    Next …

    1. You impled it nonetheless.

      Crayons. Don’t give enough expression for me.

      Are you still finger painting, (although thats about all they will let you do, padded rooms are needed for your own safety aren’t they?)

      1. In your own mind your have proved such things.

        Your lies are clear for all to see – and you (if your demented beliefs are true) will answer to you Father in heaven for your many and grievous sins.

        Keep watching out for that knock on the door. The police will be there – when they are ready and their case is gathering pace. Its fantastic to know they are coming to get you.

      2. @ Keith

        Marriage also used to be
        -Between white people
        -Between people of the same race
        -The woman was the property of the man
        -A woman couldn’t sexually refuse her husband

        Things change for the better, what we’re trying to do is redefining marriage between two humans for the better

  65. I think he’s missed the point. We do have more or less similar rights to married couples but married couples don’t get their relationships described as abnormal, an abomination, immoral, unnatural. obscene, grotesque and a shame on the UK. And whether they are a threat to the family, children and the whole of society.

    Surely it’s this continued discrimination and attitude towards gay people that he is encouraging by telling the world that gay people are only good enough to have CPs and not marriages.

    1. @John

      There are differences between marriage and CP – not just the name.

      Nonetheless, why have different names if not to promote segregation and discrimination?

      The reasons you given are also extremely important and Bradshaw fails to address these.

  66. Keep looking for that knock on the door, its coming – I will party the day you are arrested. Its coming.

    Im glad its not just me and PN who are now co-operating with the police.

    The net is tightening.

    Happy for you to live in your delusional view that you will never be arrested. You day is coming and I will relish testifying against you in court.

    1. Hey I would have liked the police to have acted sooner …

      Nonetheless they are moving forward now and the day is coming when you will be in the custody suite and held to account for your hatred.

      Time to crack open a bottle of Veuve then I should think.

      No lies to tell. My regular telephone calls and emails with the Met keep me up to date.

      You bravado that this will will not happen – will be shown up as the hot air that you spout about everything else. When I stand up in court and look you in the eye, I shall relish telling the court the destuctive, hateful and insiiduous creature that you are.

      My day in court giving evidence agianst you will be a day of joy.

  67. @ Keith

    Your God threatens you with eternal torment if you don’t believe in its made up stories. The Bible you believe in is full of stories of murder (millions committed by your God), sexism, homophobia, slavery, abuse/violence, rape….. all condoned by your God. THAT is demented. I suggest you read

    1. I get my morals from my conscience.

      I don’t need a multi thousand year old book full of evil that was made up to manipulate and control people to guide my morals.

      1. Btw Keith if you’re against homosexuality and same sex marriage you have horrible morals if they can even be called that!

    2. @Keith — morals are genetic. See Mark Hauser’s Moral Minds. It seems to me this inherited mechanism goes wrong sometimes, and people are born without the innate moral compass that most people have. We call such people religious as they have to rely on books to tell them what is right and what is wrong. Often these books are immoral.

    3. Sister Mary Clarence 7 Apr 2012, 12:55pm

      I was born with my own moral compass, and I don’t need someone else’s to show me right from wrong.

      I try very hard not to look down on people like you, that need someone else to tell you what is good and what is bad, because my moral compass tells me that it is wrong to do so.

      I have to say on this particular occasion I fail – I absolutely look down on you mate, you are a total bottom feeder in my book.

    4. @Keith — when you say “i cannot be bothered to address the misconceptions in your post” is that because your reliable source doesn’t exist ? Are you just imagining things again ?

  68. chris lowcase 6 Apr 2012, 11:29pm

    this is actually ‘you cant do right for doing wrong’. i know i complained to a similar tune the other day but hearing somebody else say it makes it sound ridiculous. whats wrong with a party leader making changes to please their voters? it makes a nice change from the usual soundbite based politics.

    1. chris lowcase 6 Apr 2012, 11:29pm

      or should i say reading :)

  69. johnny33308 6 Apr 2012, 11:48pm

    Nice, that he takes it upon himself to speak for the entire LGBTIQ community! I didn’t vote for him so he does not speak for me or any other American. How about you people; does he speak for all of you as well? He takes great liberty with his words which seem to have no bearing upon our struggle…something is wrong with him, obviously…..
    self-loathing, perhaps?

  70. I call myself married but I’m not. We have a line in the Education bill that says the importance of MARRIAGE to family life and bringing up children, when the HoL debate marriage yet again we know they don’t mean CPs, when the Tories offer tax breaks to married couples it’s only by accident that we are included.

    Call a spade a spade and gives us the correct name for our relationship and that’s marriage.

    1. Dr Robin Guthrie 7 Apr 2012, 2:50am

      Anything other smacks of it being deemed as something “lesser”.

      Not quite “as good as”, “Pretend”

      I have smacked an E-Mail of to this pr!ck, clearly stating that he does not speak for me.

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 7 Apr 2012, 1:02pm

      John, did you communicate that to Bradshaw? I’ve sent him several emails. He’s been inundated with emails and hasn’t conceded anything. The idiot forgets his 2009 tirade against the media, complaining why his CP wasn’t regarded as being on an equal footing with David Cameron’s marriage. Then he goes on to say how his family and friends consider him married, which he isn’t of course, another delusion, yet here he is, asking for a convincing argument why equal marriage should be a priority or even necessary. He’s not too bright.

  71. The need for the word marriage does not depend on whether very comfortably off ex-government ministers who enjoy hob-nobbing with the bishops feel they have sufficent human rights already

    Its about how society treats young people embarking upon life.

    If Ben Bradshaw can’t make the connection between the statements of his church leaders on the subject of marriage and why we still have homophobic bullying i suggetc he thinks a bit harder.

  72. You can’t “reclaim” something that you were never allowed to have in the first place!

    We have to “claim” marriage before we can even think about “reclaiming” it!

    1. Same sex couples married regualrly in history.

      Including in church in Ireland, the Vatican, Greece and many other places.

      It is reclaiming.

    2. Sister Mary Clarence 7 Apr 2012, 12:48pm

      Yep, Stu is entirely right. Same sex marriages were conducted by the Christian church for many centuries.

      Read up on St Bacchus and St Sergius and it will show how hypocritical the current church stance is

      1. Although same-sex unions existed in pre-Christian Europe, I’m afraid there’s actually very little incontrovertible evidence with regard to church ceremonies – not surprisingly, as priests didn’t have to be involved in marriage ceremonies until 1563.

        1. Sister Mary Clarence 8 Apr 2012, 12:56am

          The references to ceremonies conducted in the Vatican do seem to involve clerics however

        2. They were what were regarded as marriage celebrations and comparable to them, Rehan.

  73. Dr Robin Guthrie 7 Apr 2012, 3:36am

    I sent an E-Mail to this idiot, explaining the great diservice he has done.

    He has fuelled that Mail and the Telegraph with this statement.

    And thus there readership fuelled with this nonsence also.

    It may be true that in the wealthy parliamentary circles he operates in that his CP is seen as fine and dandy, but in the reality the rest of us live in its still second class, or not existant, and still looked down on.

    I have been told that my “pretendy” marriage is meaningless by some, and enough is enough, and to have this TWAT accomodate such vitriol is beyond the pale.

    I call for his dissmisal from the party.

    1. He should either apologise, withdraw his comments and step away from publicity (and Labour leadership distance themselves from his remarks) or he should have the whip removed or be severely censured by his constituency party

      1. in fairness to him there is a 3 party policy of free vote on this issue so therefore he is allowed to express his views freely without having the whip removed or be severely censured by his constituency party. lets not get too unreasonable about it

        1. Ok.

          He is entitled to his view.

          Ok there is a free vote policy.

          The Labour leadership and his constituency party should make a clear and public indication that they do not support Bradshaws views.

          1. Robert in S. Kensington 7 Apr 2012, 12:55pm

            Absolutely right, Stu. Ed Miliband MUST censure him. It was extremely irresponsible and a slap in the face of the majority of us whom he does NOT represent.

        2. Sister Mary Clarence 7 Apr 2012, 12:51pm

          There is, but as an elected representative he is there to represent the views of his electorate surely. His position would seem to be at odds with the electorate at large – I trust they will remember that (and his expenses) at the next election

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 7 Apr 2012, 12:53pm

      I second the motion. He’s a disgrace and a detriment to full equality. Ed Miliband should take him to task. Labour are delusional thinking it has a chance of election with idiots like Bradshaw. Just like the Tories, Labour needs every gay vote it can get. I just don’t see gay Labour supporters who want marriage staying loyal to their party with people like him throwing a spanner in the works. He needs to go!

  74. I was never that keen on Mathew Parris but having listened to him debate this issue with Ben Bradshaw on the Radio 4 world today prog yesterday I think he is spot on.

    That comment from Ben Bradshaw about the CofE currently debating whether to hold CPs in churches as though it just about to happen and that the debate on SS marriage would jeopardise all that is just delusional. Anyway no-one wants to do a secular CP in a church, that piece of legislation was as dead as a dodo before it even got passed.

    He hasn’t come out with any good reason not to make marriage equality a priorty. Wheras we’ve come out with loads of reasons to make it a priority.

  75. GingerlyColors 7 Apr 2012, 6:24am

    There are some gay people who are happy with Civil Partnerships which give most of the same rights as marriage in the UK. John Barrowman who is also in a Civil Partnership rejects the idea of ‘marriage’ as he considers marriage to be a part of a faith system that hates people like us.
    Again we have to point out that the Church does not have a monopoly on marriage and marriage equality will be the final and ultimate endorsement of the rights of LGBT people and our roles in society.

    1. But the govt hasn’t said they are going to scrap CPs so both Barrowman and Bradshaw will continue to remain “happy” wheras the majority of LGBT will continue to ask for marriage equality.

      The overwhelming evidence from around the world is that LGBT people are rejecting civil unions in favour of marriage. I’m from Australia , we have the same rights as married couples, yet we don’t have a federal civil union or marriage. No-one over here wants a British style CP, the only thing we want is marriage.

      The church should be told to butt out of “civil” marriage, full stop!

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 7 Apr 2012, 12:49pm

      He’s another one who can’t distinguish between religious and civil. Since when has civil marriage had anything to do with faith? Not all faiths “hate” us as he claims. Even Lord Carey admiited the church does not own marriage. Barrowman is ill-informed and is another nail in the coffin of equal marriage if he starts mouthing off irresponsibly like Bradshaw.

  76. The Hon Betsy Trotter 7 Apr 2012, 7:39am

    So David Cameron is only playing politics by bringing in marriage for same sex couples.

    Well, guess what Ben Bradshaw, IT WORKS!!!
    I’ll vote for Cameron if he goes through with it & I’m certainly never going to F’ing well vote Labour again. I can still remember how their last PM kept telling us we weren’t worthy of the M word.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 7 Apr 2012, 12:45pm

      Exactly right Betsy. He’s an idiot and a detriment to FULL equality. Nobody can convince me he wasn’t aware how much ammunition his statement would give to C4M and their hatemongering comrades in arms. The man has no place in politics. Words have consequences and he needs to learn what being responsible for one’s actions incur. He’s also damaged the image of his party and could well alienate gay voters who want marriae and who would vote Labour. I’d never voted for a conservative until the last election. I will continue to vote for him if equal marriage succeeds, deservedly so. Bradshaw has definitely made me less confident that we will win. He’s wrought damage to the campaign and he should be held accountable by his party leader.

  77. GulliverUK 7 Apr 2012, 7:54am

    Nearly fell of my chair this morning when I discovered he received a “politician of the year” award from Stonewall in 2009.

    When he was in government we’d have to ask what he did for the LGBT community when he was at health? Did he commission and publish copious research and reports which show the affect of homophobia on the LGBT community? NO, he did nothing. He could have worked with Education to tackle homophobia, saying that it was causing anxiety, distress and suicides in young people – BUT DID NOTHING.

    What he has done is muddied the waters and got his name in papers across the pond and here, and his words WILL harm us all. Ben Bradshaw is a total pr**k who doesn’t represent us. What’s that saying … better to be thought a fool and remain silent than to open your mouth and remove all doubt !

    Jesus loves you Ben, everyone else thinks you’re a tit. :(

    1. Well actually I contacted Ben Bradshaw a few yrs ago when I had problems having my British CP recognised in France. After sending him a letter explaining that if the UK had given us marriage in the first place we would have been recognised in France (France has always recognised/given rights to foreigners in a gay marriage) and the fact that France didn’t recognise CPs at all at that time and therefore if my partner was to die I woud have to pay 60% IHT etc.

      He duly wrote back to me with a standard letter form the Europe minister saying soemthing like I’d have to sort it out with the French govt and that Fance was a soverign country,

      So from the experiences I related to him a few yrs ago he should now that at least internationally there are huge advantages to having a marriage certifcate and not a CP certificate. But basically he was no help at all.

      1. Well said John and GulliverUK

        Clearly Bradshaw is only happy to play political games with LGBT rights or promote them when they affect him and has no interest in how they impact on others.

        He clearly does not represent mainstream LGBT opinion.

        Stonewall should note the damage and hurt he has caused in this matter and rescind his 2009 award publically.

  78. GulliverUK 7 Apr 2012, 8:10am

    Radio 4, World At One, Friday 6th.
    From 29mins 30secs onwards.

    Bradshaw + Parris.

    ps. Can’t even seem to pronounce “homophobia” properly !

    ps. Bradshaw says LibDems desperate to prove they are MORE progressive than Labour —- WAKE UP DIPSTICK BEN, on this, they are miles ahead of Labour — and I’m a Labour supporter (or was).

    1. @Gulliver

      LibDems have consistently supported equal marriage and for Bradshaw to try and play party politics with this shames him and demonstrates the level of his disingenuity.

      I used to respect Bradshaw – he lost that entirely yesterday, both in his damaging, hurtful and untrue comments and how he responded to the reaction (more deception, failing to tackle facts and arrogance)/

      If Labour were progressive and the issue of equal marriage was one of semantics then he would have sought the use of the word marriage when in power (why didnt he?). Of course the reality is that his smokescreen that this is mere semantics is a lie.

      He is clearly at odds with his leadership who have publically stated CPs are “not good enough”. Which rather begs the question- what was the motivation behind Bradshaws outburst in the media, and why did he feel the need to portray it in the Washington Post ….

  79. George Broadhead 7 Apr 2012, 9:09am

    227 comments so far. Is this a record?

    I suppose it indicates how seriously gay marriage is taken as a further step on the road to complete equality.

    I and my partnet of 48 years standing registered our civil partnership in 2006, but I am not clear what advantages marriage has over this besides equality.

    Can anyone enlighten me?


    2. Several issues, and sounds like pensions might be one that would affect you (I’m not calling you old [honest!], but the time you’ve been together means you fall under a little known downside of civil partnerships).

      This video spells them out:

      Also see my blog post on the differences here:

    3. George

      The number of responses is very much on the high side for PN – but certainly not a record.

      The highest I can recall was over 530 on the subject of racism.

      It does clearly demonstrate the strength of feeling and hurt Bradshaw has caused.

      1. Sister Mary Clarence 7 Apr 2012, 12:44pm

        Not bad for a weekend though – I’m sure it will continue to run for a little while yet as well

        1. Absolutely, SIster Mary

          This story will run and run.

          Bradshaw thinks he can ride this out – but he can’t.

          And for a weekend this is a collosal response to PN

    4. What advantages do CPs give over marriage? What’s the point of CPs if in actual effect they are supposed to be regarded as marriages and the press ,friends etc call them marriage anyway. Why the hell do we have CPs and not marriage in the first place, answer that question and you’ll probably get the right answer to what advantages marriages have over CPs.

    5. Robert in S. Kensington 7 Apr 2012, 12:30pm

      You sound as if you endorse Bradshaw’s destructive statement. Don’t you see the larger picture? Marriage is the universal standard around the world. Ten countries have more or less abandoned the varying degrees of legal unions for gay couples because of their inequality. There are differences between CPs and marriages. If they’re so equal, why would ten countries have abandoned theirs? We are now at ten countries, more will follow, such as Denmark this June. Then there is the portability issue. Since all of the different forms of legal unions for same-gender couples aren’t uniform in so far as the number of rights and privileges they confer, it is quite obvious that there will never be a universal standard for them as they are gradually being confined to the dustbin of history. In the UK, CPs will remain in tact for those already registered and they won’t be affected by civil marriage equality. Most I think will probably upgrade to marriage.

    6. Robert in S. Kensington 7 Apr 2012, 12:38pm

      The problem with Bradshaw’s statement is that it is purely UK centric. He doesn’t see the larger picture. His comments are made out of pure selfishness to the exclusion of the majority of us who want access to civil marriage. He has yet to convince me that CPs are identical and equal to marriage. If that is the case then why separate us from the rest of society under a different name. Why do you think straight couples aren’t clamouring for them as an alternate to marriage? I think the answer is obvious. Bradshaw just doesn’t get it. It’s all very nice that his family and friends consider him married, but that’s delusional. If he doesn’t want to marry why would he want others to consider his CP a marriage? Why would that bother him? Under the law, he is not married and the law is quite clear about that. and never will be. Why was he so bothered in 2009 attacking the media for not regarding his partnership at the same level as David Cameron’s marriage?

  80. @Keith — I’m confused ! The only way any person can guarantee not to get AIDS is to never have sex, and yet I should have thought that someone as erudite as yourself would have been beating off potential partners with a stick.

    The only way any person can guarantee not to be arrested is to not commit a crime. Sometimes very arrogant people think they are blameless and incapable of doing wrong. I am sure you are a deeply humble man of course, and as you state yourself “I am smart”, so even if you had committed a crime, the Police would never catch you, you master criminal you.

    1. @Harry

      Very funny! ;-)

      He might be beating his partners with a stick – a la Stephen Green.

      As for being smart, well, the net is tightening as they say.

      1. Thanks @Stu !


        He was sentenced to 18 weeks in prison last September after admitting two “trolling” charges – a term used to describe the trend of anonymously seeking to provoke outrage by posting insults and abuse online.

        1. The interesting thing about the case you refer to is that the Scottish and English police services worked together to ensure that the troll was brought to justice. There have been other cases where European, UK and US authorities have also worked together.

          Another interesting case re trolling is:

    2. Spanner1960 8 Apr 2012, 1:51pm

      Oooh! You silver-tongued devil you.
      I bet you’ve got the hots for Keith haven’t you?
      Hey Keith, look’s like you’re in there boy! ;)

  81. @Keith

    You are becoming tedious. Can you tell us:

    1. Why no country that has marriage equality also has polygamous marriage ?

    2. Why hasn’t heterosexual marriage led to calls for polygamous marriage ?

    3. Why do some heterosexuals need to be in polygamous relationships ?

    4. If you believe that polygamous relationships are beneficial to all the people involved ?

      1. Good stuff Robin !

        “This study shows that if you are feeling that kind of visceral reaction to an out-group, ask yourself. Why? Those intense emotions should serve as a call to self-reflection.”

        Something else for you Keith:

        “Homophobia is apparently associated with homosexual arousal that the homophobic individual is either unaware of or denies.”

      2. Robin

        Thanks for the link to the new study just about to be published in the Journal of personality and social Psychology.

        Great to see some emprical research linking homophobia to parenting styles, and a lack of self awareness of ones sexual orientation.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 7 Apr 2012, 6:21pm

      Harry, what the idiot Keith doesn’t realise is that polygamy is an heterosexual phenomenon, always has been. My goodness, it’s even condoned in the old testament. Solomon had hundreds of wives and concubines. His intellectual graps is virtually nil, just like the haters in C4M and their absurd statements and lies that there isn’t much support for equal marriage among gay people. Bradshaw only enforces it.

      1. Exactly — and it seems to me it’s nothing to do with mutual love and respect between two adults. It seems more to do with exercising power and control over weak, vulnerable people.

        I don’t understand why people like Keith / Skinner / JohnB think it is an argument against marriage equality. It’s more an argument against heterosexual marriage !

        If there was a real desire for polygamous marriage by some people, why have they not been calling for it already ?

  82. Not all of us are fortunate enough to be in a financially secure position e.g being on full pay from the BBC despite being on leave to pursue political ambitions. All we ask for is equality !

  83. He certainly hasn’t done himself any favours – I had some respect for him but that’s all gone now. He’s also stupidly painted a target on his own back, because if this fails, people will be quick to point to his unhelpful ill-advised comments as part of the reason why.

  84. GulliverUK 7 Apr 2012, 10:24am

    Someone was asking for an example of forms which separate out “marriage” and “civil partnership” under ‘marital status’.


    Hope that works. Or try;

    See how the two are separated out. This allows an insurer to offer a different rate based on type of partnership. NOT saying they do, but they could. I haven’t checked to see if rates are different based on marital status. But you can see that with just gay couples in CPs, they could be used to discriminate – they’re a perfect weapon for a homophobic employer or company to treat you differently.

  85. In the photo PN has used Ben Bradshaw looks like he could eat an apple through a tennis racket.
    If it looks like a rat and talks like a rat then…

  86. GulliverUK 7 Apr 2012, 11:28am

    “They have also referred to my partner as my boyfriend – did they refer to Samantha Cameron as David Cameron’s girlfriend? All partners have shared income rights.

    “The implication is gay people in civil partnerships are not equal”


    ^^ short memory of what he said back in 2009. What’s changed that he is now saying “This isn’t a priority for the gay community, which already won equal rights with civil partnerships. ” (from this article)

    1. He’s been totally sprung now, well done GulliverUK!
      He’ll probably say anything that he thinks is politically convenient to himself at any time.

      And if he was actually married he could legitimately demand that they call his “boyfriend” his spouse or his husband.

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 7 Apr 2012, 3:06pm

        I reminded Bradshaw about that in the last email I sent him yesterday. If he’s not so bothered about equal marriage why would he have reacted to the media the way he did in 2009? Now he thinks it’s about semantics which of course it isn’t and he’s utterly wrong about that. He’s a selfish, self-serving idiot kow-towing to the Anglican cult of which he’s an active member. Saying he’ll vote in support of equal marriage doesn’t get him off the hook either, he’s placating both sides. Who can believe anything he says now? He’s nothing more than a snake in the grass, a traitor to equality. I’ve provided a link to Ed Miliband and urge all of you to let him know what we think of Bradshaw and why needs reprimanding.

        1. Message sent urging Labour and Ed Milliband to rebuke publically Bradshaw’s comments and the hurt and distress he has caused LGBT people.

  87. Robert in S. Kensington 7 Apr 2012, 1:05pm

    The problem with Bradshaw is that his statement is far too UK centric in terms of his own CP. He doesn’t see the larger picture. I asked him why ten countries have abandoned other forms of non-marital unions for gay couples, none of which are indentical, and have legalised equal civil marriage, not that I expect a response.

  88. Gay marriage: The fight is on, but who is calling the shots?
    One side appears well-funded; the other is a shoestring operation. Nina Lakhani looks at the key figures in this vitriolic battle (well worth reading)

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 7 Apr 2012, 1:33pm

      My confidence in our winning this battle is diminishing day after day. Bradshaw has only made matters worse. We were not prepared for this onslaught by the right wing bigots and hatemongers. They’ve been planning this months before Cameron made that speech last October. They’re on a bullying campaign, to force those on the fence to vote in their favour and they’re doing a spectacular job. They have over 400,000 signatures. What do we have? Just over 38,000. How on earth can we expect to win the argument with such a dismal, apathetic turnout? I just don’t see us winning if that petition is anything to go by. Meanwhile, the Daily Mail and Telegraph are making a lot of hay out of Bradshaw’s disgusting comment and I get the impression they are winning. Nobody seems to be fighting back at them and now this idiot comes along and throws a spanner in the works. He’s a traitor to equality and to us. I hope he is unseated in the next election. He’s not fit for office.

      1. A lot of those signatures are collected in person, often under rather forced conditions. Considering 2 million Christians attend church and other events each Sunday the real surprise is how FEW signatures they’ve gotten. Less than a quarter of the church going public, let alone the non-church going public!!

        Personally feel most people in favour of it aren’t aware marriage equality doesn’t exist right now. I know most people at work think I can get married (I educate them, don’t you worry about that). The real trouble is that civil partnerships have made people complacent.

        But I think the Government realises this too and any fairly worded poll backs it up… the haters are on the back foot and no show of numbers will put the Government off. Worst case scenario: Coalition breaks down, marriage equality legislation gets delayed then majority Tory/Labour administration throws it into long grass. That’s what I’m worried about!

        1. The polls are with us, public opinion is with us and the government is with us, the opposition (excepting Ben Bradshaw) seems to be with us.

          Yes, there will be some no votes but the parties will vying with each other to see who can be most supportive of it.

          Its been made abundantly clear to the churches that this is a civil matter and outside of their remit. The have been told in the firmest terms to but out.

          There will be no going back, and no U-turns.

          Ben is right to an extent that it is about Cameron showing the Conservative party has joined the modern world – but that is after all what many of us have been wanting and its hardly a criticism.

          There is far too much riding on this for Cameron to allow it to fail. I absolutely believe it will go ahead – but I would also say that we can expect the Tory party to bask in the glory of this equality milestone for many many years to come (and why wouldn’t they to be fair).

      2. Robert

        Even the idiot Bradshaw is going to vote for equal marriage

        The reality of winning in Parliament has not changed because of Bradshaw. He has just made the fight (as we say in the north east) more claggy.

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 7 Apr 2012, 1:50pm

      Doesn’t bode well, does it? We need transparency as to who the major donors are to these hate groups. I suspect some come from their American counterparts, probably the Mormon cult and National Organisation for Marriage. Over 400,000 signatures are huge you have to admit and its getting free coverage from the Daily Mail and Telegraph of course. Somehow, I just don’t see us winning. I was a bit more confident prior to Bradshaw’s comment but not so much now. This is so heart-wrenching.

      1. They are insignificant. Its like all these appeals against the Equalities Act by bigots funded by religious groups. Let them waste their money.

        Mass opinion supports marriage equality and the politicians will follow suit.

        This is a fantastic piece of legislation for the Tories. It has public support across the board, it dispels the uncaring and outdated reputations of the Tory party, and it leaves Labour forced to support them, or likely to alienate one of their key support groups. It is political genius!

      2. Robert

        The petition of the C4M is fluff and irrelevant.

        What matters is winning the parliamentary vote and the moral argument – we have won the moral argument already and the parliamentary one is undoubtedly going to be won if we remain determined.

  89. Robert in S. Kensington 7 Apr 2012, 2:07pm

    C4M’s statement that traditional marriage should stay put is absurd. Civil marriage is NOT traditional marriage. There is a big difference between a religious and a civil marriage. I don’t understand why there hasn’t been any substantial retaliation against this hate group to debunk their spurious, often offensive comments. It seems they are getting all of the coverage, the air time, free press and what are we getting? They are drowning out any opposition to them and it gives the impression they are winning the argument with the help of some of our own as homophobe Anne Widdecombe predicted prior to the consultation. I’m very disturbed about this and my confidence is waning.

  90. GulliverUK 7 Apr 2012, 3:16pm

    I signed the C4EM petition, which had a “proper” disclaimer, which said they were collecting the information for this campaign only, whilst the C4M one has no disclaimed and a PRE-TICKED “Keep me informed” check-box. I’m unclear as to whether they intend to re-use those email-addresses / contact details for further campaigns, unrelated to marriage, or whether they will destroy them after this matter is settled.

    You cannot keep data and process it for any old purpose, any way you like, for any length of time, unless you have made that clear. I believe they may have breeched the Data Protection Act. This is a concern because The Christian Institute, an anti-gay hate group, is managing the servers and the data.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 7 Apr 2012, 4:40pm

      Nothing would surprise me GulliverUK. Petitions aren’t the only thing we need. We need aggressive advertising through social media, videos with celebrities sending a message in support of equal marriage. It worked very well when New York state enacted equal marriage last June. There’s no reason why we can’t do the same. I’m hoping StonewallUK’s plan to produce such material will come to fruition and soon. We are in dire need to counter the venom and hate coming from our opponents. Blow them out of the water once and for all and get the message across to the nation that C4M and all the other hate groups are nothing but that, hate groups whose campaigns are based on bigotry, fear and a total pack of lies about who we are and what equal civil marriage entails. It can’t be said enough. Nobody has asked them to support with factual evidence their outrageous statements.

    2. Did you sign the C4M petition? If you did not, then I think its really none of your business!

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 7 Apr 2012, 7:24pm

        Why would anyone sign that piece of hatred unless they’re a self loathing closet case or homophobic as you appear to be? It is OUR business when we’re being defamed by a group of hatemongers and bigots who can’t even produce one shred of evidence to support their lies and spurious comments by trying to impose a religious belief on what is purely a civil matter. Civil marriage isn’t traditional. It’s only been in existence in the UK since the 19th century, you jackass. If you don’t like gay people and you don’t like gay people marrying,then don’t marry one. It’s none of YOUR business. Get over it and go spend your precious time trying to fix the heterosexual serial adulterers and divorcees, the real threat to marriage, people like Sir Roger Gale as an example, three times married. Who caused that I wonder?

        1. Why would anyone who supports equal marriage sign the C4M, – suggesting they should is demonstrative of the lack of intelligence of people like Ken.

          Suggesting that by not signing a petition means you are unable to make observations about its dubious methodology, deceptions and breaches of criminal law – is bogus in itself.

    3. I know several people have contacted the Information Commissioner about a likely breach of the Data Protection Act by the C4M.

      I would urge others who believe their personal data either appears on the petition without their consent or that their personal data has or may be misused to also contact the Information Commissioner.

      Not only is the C4M (aka the Anti Gay Institute) deceiving people about signatures by using names which either do not exist or they do not have permission for – they are also pressurizing and manipulating people into signing without the full facts. Its deceit to the highest level, immoral, illegal and imprisonable.

      I expect nothing else of the Anti Gay Institute and their allies – they are full of lies. They need to be held to account

  91. Robert in S. Kensington 7 Apr 2012, 4:56pm

    Scotland’s government are supposed to be voting on legalising equal civil marriage this Spring. It will be interesting to see how it pans out and the impact this will have south of the border if the vote is positive after which a bill will be drafted for further analysis, consultation and a final vote. We could be seeing the first marriages taking place in 2014.

  92. So what if it is purely politics! At least it’s beneficial to the gay community

  93. Spanner1960 7 Apr 2012, 8:46pm

    Nearly 300 comments in a day.
    I think that says something:
    Ben, you are a twat, and not only let down your party, your constituency and LGBT people in general, but have demonstrated that some people can only see as far as the end of their noses and that to be a politician you need to be able to put yourself in other people’s shoes, which have quite obviously not even considered.

    You sir, are a complete and utter sh|t, and are below contempt.

  94. I heard him speaking on BBC radio’s Any Questions, and I was absolutely gobsmacked by what Ben Bradshaw said.
    What planet is he on? As a gay man myself I fell absolutely betrayed by his stupid comments: his views certainly do NOT represent my opinions or those of ANY of my gay friends. We ALL understand Civil Partnerships to be significantly different to Marriage, which is why we want the option to marry. It won’t be compulsory for Mr. Bradshaw and his Civil Partner to marry, but how dare he try to suggest that it isn’t important for so many other gay and lesbian people.

    1. de Villiers 8 Apr 2012, 12:25am

      > how dare he

      1. how dare he patronise? hmmm??

      2. How very dare he!

    2. Sorry, I didn’t mean Any Questions, I meant Friday’s The World at One from about 29.5 minutes (clearly, I listen to too much Radio 4 . . . if that’s possible!!)

  95. I never liked her.

  96. Staircase2 7 Apr 2012, 9:47pm

    I agree with Ben Bradshaw’s position on a number of key points:

    1) that to all intents and purposes Civil Partnerships are pretty much exactly the same as marriages
    2) that this is David Cameron’s (and the Conservative Party’s) attempt at trying to show how far they’ve moved on from the (reality of) ‘Toxic Tory’ concepts.

    I do however disagree that its not ‘needed’. Purely in terms of equality a marriage should be called ‘a marriage’ even if the shades of difference between ‘Civil Partnership’ and ‘Civil Marriage’ are in reality almost invisible…

    It is odd in his timing though – although maybe its more about pointing out that David Cameron (and IN PARTICULAR Boris Johnson) aren’t quite so reconstructed as they would have gay voters believe…

    1. CPs are not equal to marriage.

      There may still be differences in society in relation to how civil partners and spouses are perceived. In particular:

      the term “civil partner” may be regarded by some as having less resonance than the terms “spouse” or “husband” and “wife”;

      the fact that civil partnership is a separate status may mean that some people view civil partnership as not equal to marriage;

      the lack of a religious service to register a civil partnership may reinforce distinctions between a civil partnership and a marriage;

      although civil partnerships were established in 2005 and have gained widespread acceptance in society, there may still be some lack of comprehension about what a civil partnership is. This may lead to practical difficulties when obtaining goods or services; and
      a civil partnership is not the same as a marriage.

      In pensions, civil partners were recognised in pension schemes from 5 December 2005. Eligibility for civil partner survivor benefits depends …

    2. … on the scheme concerned but civil partners of members of contracted out schemes ( i.e. contracted out of the State Second Pension) are eligible for survivors’ benefits based on their partner’s service from 6 April 1988.

      Other differences between marriage and civil partnership include:
      In relation to marriage, irretrievable breakdown of the relationship (to obtain a divorce) may be established by proof that the defender committed adultery although this is now rarely used. The definition of “adultery” relates to heterosexual conduct only.

      There is a difference between notification of proposed civil partnerships and notification of marriages. Proposed civil partnerships are deemed to have been notified once the first form is received whereas proposed marriages are deemed to have been notified after the second form is received.

      There is a difference as to when and how the civil partnership is formed. A civil partnership is formed when the second of the two parties sign the …

    3. … partnership papers. By contrast, a marriage happens when the parties exchange spoken words and also sign the register.

      There is currently a requirement for third party evidence in simplified dissolution proceedings in civil partnerships although this is not insisted on in practice. The requirement is absent from simplified divorce proceedings.

      Powers of a guardian of an adult lacking in some level of mental capacity has decision making ability on marriage, it is unclear if this is extended into civil partnership.

  97. Jamie, I just listend to the radio 4 any questions. What a motley group, Nigel Farage, John Rewood and Ben Bradshaw debating (in a very few mins) equal marriage. A bit top heavy on the negative side yet again by the BBC. The whole thing squeezed at the end of the programme was there to trivialise equal marriage.

    THe question was did the state own marriage and yet Farage seemed to think the whole issue revolved around the church.

    1. Sorry, I actually meant Friday’s The World at One from about 29.5 minutes.

  98. Todd the Lawyer 7 Apr 2012, 10:16pm

    You’ve got to see the beautiful photo they’ve got of him on This is Devon

  99. Craig Nelson 7 Apr 2012, 10:42pm

    I entirely agree with Staircase2 in every respect. I do support equal marriage (obviously) but of course CPs mirrored marriage in *every* respect. For a number of reasons (some minor, some not so) we now need to finish the job.

    That the Tories are now doing this is part of politics, trying (not very convincingly) to detoxify themselves from their past (and more extreme backbenchers).

    Anyway I still back the govt’s plans apart from restricting this to civil marriage, even though their pro gay commitment is open to debate. Good things can happen even if people’s motives are impure.

    1. Matthew Malthouse 8 Apr 2012, 2:18pm

      But CPs do not mirror marriage in every respect. Cross the channel and a civil partnership is not recognised: mainly because the legislation here recognises as equivalent only legal relationships that are restricted to same gender partnerships so the French PACS which is available to both gay and straight couples is not acknowledged.

      1. Craig Nelson 8 Apr 2012, 5:35pm

        Yes, I think there are issues such as international recognition, parity of esteem and allowing religions to offer same sex marriages where they wish to do so.

        Domestically CPs do mirror marriage but the points above are important in order to move to complete equality and parity. Equality is an intangible good that on its own does justify marriage equality.

        1. @Craig

          CPs do not match the rights and responsibilities of marriage (see my comment above)

          1. Craig Nelson 8 Apr 2012, 6:42pm

            No, I think you’re wrong on that. The legislation on Civil Partnerships was modelled on marriage explicitly and therefore does mirror marriage in every respect (pensions are only backdated to 1988, however, which is an issue where there is not a complete equality). I think that is not an argument against marriage equality, rather, if anything in their favour. International recognition is important as well but outside the UK. I also agree on religious freedom, but that is the extent of it – in every other area they are identical.

            This fact, as I say, doesn’t in anything diminish the importance of having full equality in the marriage law.

          2. @Craig

            Their modelling was wrong then and the outcome failed.

            CPs are not equal to marriage

  100. I wonder if Bradshaw is deluding himself and can’t bring himself to recognise that his CP is not equal to a marriage (although this does not explain his outburst about comparing his relationship to that of David and Sam Cameron and being seen as inferior).

    On reflection, maybe some days he is deluded and thinks he is equal – but generally I think this was a nasty political manipulation of LGBT people reasonable and moral demands for equality.

    1. bobbleobble 8 Apr 2012, 2:15pm

      In some ways I think it’s a fit of pique. He can’t believe that we uppity gays aren’t bowing and scraping before him and the Labour party for bringing in civil partnerships. He seems to view us as an ungrateful bunch for daring to wish to move beyond civil partnerships and achieve full equality. I think that’s also why Stonewall was slow to get on board, how dare we want to abandon their creation in favour of something else.

      I’m still absolutely astounded that a gay man could seek to undermine a gay rights campaign in such a way as this.

      1. I think there might be an element of pique to this.

        I know Bradshaw loved being in the spotlight and lauding the successes of Labour when he was in the Cabinet in progressing LGBT rights. Many of those developments deserve congratulations and thanks.

        However, on the issue of CPs – whilst it could be viewed as a stepping stone towards equality – it does not achieve equality. As Bradshaws own party leader states “Civil Partnerships are not good enough”

  101. Sorry, but even as a card-carrying atheist who is as cynical about marriage as they come (I mean, really, let us be honest here-it keeps nobody who wants to leave a relationship together), I find the concept of gay marriage absurd.

    Marriage is an age-old institution that exists outside the law and religion for two members of the opposite sex to get together and breed.
    The government chooses to recognise this by giving it legal recognition to protect the birth parent in event of death/divorce.
    Yes, not every married couple will reproduce but that is WHY the government recognises marriage.
    It’s not a subjective, lovey-dovey thing as you all seem to think; marriage serves a purpose in protecting the birth parent.
    With the greatest respect, gay people cannot reproduce.
    Now there are enough similarities between gay relationships and heterosexual ones to warrant civil partnerships-and right enough, too. I 100% agree with civil partnerships.
    But marriage? Come off it.

    1. marriage serves a purpose in protecting the birth parent</i?

      No, we won't come off it. Marriage is and always has been at least as much about property, and the protection of the 'birth parent' (whatever that has to do with anything I don't know, other than remarriage of people with children – which can happen with gay people too) is not the only reason WHY the government ‘recognises’ marriage.

      Why should formalised same-sex civil relationships have a different name? No reason.

    2. Eh ? You 100% agree with civil partnerships but disagree with gay marriage ? How would you feel about rebranding all marriages as civil partnerships ? Do you think that straight people should be able to have civil partnerships ? How exactly does marriage protect the birth parent ?

    3. Dr Robin Guthrie 8 Apr 2012, 12:47pm

      “Marriage is an age-old institution that exists outside the law and religion for two members of the opposite sex to get together and breed.”

      Please prove that. I would think that you cannot.

      It is an ever changing institution.

      1. Dr Robin Guthrie 8 Apr 2012, 12:50pm

        Oh, and as an aside. If you are married, I would like to see how far you get through life claiming that you are but not holding a State CIVIL marriage license.

        Not far at all,l would suggest.

    4. bobbleobble 8 Apr 2012, 1:10pm

      Your point that ‘not every married couple will reproduce but that is WHY the government recognises marriage’ makes absolutely no sense. Unless marriage is denied to those who cannot or will not reproduce then marriage cannot simply be about protecting the birth parent as you seem to suggest.

      Marriage was also created as a means of uniting property, it’s not just about procreation at all.

      Also marriage may not have originally been a subjective, lovey-dovey thing as you describe it but it certainly is viewed that way nowadays. To deny that is ridiculous.

      You also ignore the fact that many gay people do found families albeit not through direct procreation with their partners (as yet). Shouldn’t those families have exactly the same respect as heterosexual families. Those heterosexuals who adopt or use surrogacy or other means to have children are not told that they can’t call themselves married. What’s the difference?

    5. Sall

      You (either deliberately or out of a lack of understanding) fall into the trap that religionists and homophobes set in claiming that marriage is about reproduction.

      It can include reproduction within its existence – but is not ABOUT reproduction.

      Marriage is about love, commitment, support, nurture and devotion.

      Now, last time I checked neither heterosexuals nor the religious had a monopoly on love, commitment, nurture and support of a person they adore and love.

    6. Robert in S. Kensington 8 Apr 2012, 3:55pm

      Sall, why don’t you come off it? Not all heterosexuals who marry can reproduce. Some who can choose not to. If civil partnerships are so equal, why aren’t you and heterosexuals clamouring for them? Have you ever asked any why they wouldn’t want one? Where is the evidence that equal civil marriage has heralded polygamy and other non-marital unions? It’s been legal in Holland for eleven years and hetersexuals haven’t demanded polygamous marriages. You’re a stupidly ingnorant bigot.

  102. George Broadhead 8 Apr 2012, 1:31pm

    Staircase2 wrote: “I agree with Ben Bradshaw’s position on a number of key points:

    1) that to all intents and purposes Civil Partnerships are pretty much exactly the same as marriages.

    Can he/she, or anyone else, please tell me precisely how civil partnerships and marriages differ except in the names and equality. What additional and tangible benefits, if any, does marriage bring?

    1. bobbleobble 8 Apr 2012, 2:23pm

      Isn’t equality enough? The name is important too, language is important and if it wasn’t important then why was gay marriage not simply introduced in 2005 instead of the civil partnership half way house.

      However, I think you’re falling into the same trap that Bradshaw has namely that this is solely about legal rights. Certainly for me it isn’t. Civil partnerships could be exactly the same as marriage in every single way (and they aren’t quite) and I still would want the choice to be able to get married. Whether we like it or not, marriage is the gold standard, it’s the epitome of human relationships. It’s an understood and universal concept the world over.

      Civil partnerships aren’t either of those things. They make us separate. Whether Bradshaw likes it or not it does make us second class because marriage is that gold standard and we aren’t deemed suitable for it. Civil partnerships were a great step forward in that they do provide legal rights but we deserve to be allowed to…

      1. bobbleobble 8 Apr 2012, 2:25pm

        …to reach that gold standard and for our relationships to feel and actually be fully equal to those of heterosexual couples.

        1. Robert in S. Kensington 8 Apr 2012, 3:49pm

          Well said! Ten countries have abandoned non-marital unions and still Bradshaw and those of his ilk just don’t get it. It’s all UK-centric and none of them can see outside the box. Just look at the discrepanices all of those non-marital same-sex unions reveal. None are identical, there is no uniform standard for them which is why they will never catch on. Civil marriage is the only vehicle to resolve all of the inequalities and discrepancies both within and outside the UK.7

  103. @ George Broadhead

    “… please tell me precisely how civil partnerships and marriages differ except in the names and equality. What additional and tangible benefits, if any, does marriage bring?”

    This has already been addressed in an earlier post by Andrea Woelke a couple of days ago.


    In any case, even if the seats at the back of the bus are just the same size and just as comfortable as those at the front, I don’t want to be told that gays are banished to the back and should just be grateful they are allowed to get on board !

    Now can you see the difference?

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 8 Apr 2012, 5:41pm

      Well said, Gerry! It doesn’t get any plainer than that. Why do those with Bradshaw syndrome think more countries are legalising equal civil marriage and abandoning the inferior non-marital unions? Isn’t it obvious why? Why aren’t more imitating our CPs if they’re so equal? So far only Ireland and even theirs isn’t quite identical to ours.

    2. George Broadhead 8 Apr 2012, 6:01pm

      Many thanks Gerry.

      As a veteran gay activist who has registered a civil partnership, I fully support the campaign for equal marriage.

      1. Excellent !

        Happy to have helped.

        Hope you’ve both signed the petition at and completed the Government consultation at

        It’s a great video by Andrea Woelke, isn’t it? He’d be great on the box, preferably telling Ben Bradshaw how misinformed he is.

        Hope you’ll soon be able to enjoy a full marriage if that is what you and your partner wish.

  104. Ben Bradshaw will HAVE to be censured by Ed Miliband.

    If he is not then the impression will be that the Labour Party endorses his opinion.

    Which in the eyes of the millions of LGBT voters could mean that Labour is now the most homophobic of the 3 major political parties.

    I want Ed Miliband to condemn Ben Bradshaw’s homophobia.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 8 Apr 2012, 5:43pm

      dAVID, I totally agree. I emailed Miliband yesterday. Here’s the link that everyone should use. I strongly urge everyone to do it.

    2. Absolutely, dAVID

      Milliband has to take a strong stand on this and censure Bradshaw publically.

      I do not know who is duty spokesperson for Labour over the Easter holiday, but they should have made a clear statement yesterday or today to the media about this debacle and it is disappointing that they have not.

    3. Craig Nelson 8 Apr 2012, 6:52pm

      Even though I disagree with Bradshaw, he has to retain the freedom to express his views in this. In any case I don’t think he can be censured when in his statement he says “I support gay marriage. I will vote for it if this Government brings forward legislation.” In this way he is aligned with the Party leadership on the issue (although for him it’s not a priority) and therefore I don’t think there’s any reason for him to be censured.

      1. Bradshaw made his grotesque claims as an act of political opportunism to denigrate the Tories (despite the fact that in 2009 he made a completely opposite claim). And he’s given a huge stick with which the religions and the rightwingers can beat the equality campaign with.

        He has thrashed his reputation within the gay community.

        But if Miliband does not publicly condemn Ben Bradshaw’s homophobic bigotry on this issue, then Labour risks being tainted with Bradshaw’s treacherous bigotry. And I suspect gay voters will bear that in mind at election time.

      2. Firstly he has hurt a lot of LGBT people – Milliband CAN and SHOULD say publically that he does not agree with Bradshaw and that he regrets the hurt Bradshaw has caused.

        Secondly, Bradshaw said he would not vote for marriage to secure marriage but to have a dig at some political opponents. That is very wrong. Milliband should make his position clear and the position of the Labour party crystal clear (in the wake of the Bradshaw hurtful and offensive comments).

  105. Paddyswurds 8 Apr 2012, 6:31pm

    It occourred to me watching BGT on telly that i’m really pi**ed off about these people, mostly gay, who although they are sexually gay, is that they really are ethically straight or (forgive me) breeder and think in their world while they enjoy the life, the humor, fashion, and for the most part our ability to speak for ourselves and enjoy ourselves. But don’t ask them to support “queers”. They are still very conservative in their outlook. This idiot fits into that category very very well…….

  106. No I am not a bigot, just a realist. Gay marriage is absurd- a total oxymoron.
    Whether it is liked or not, the government recognises the ancient practice of marriage between a man and a woman because of the possibility of children through that union.
    Obviously, not every couple will reproduce but that is not the point.

    I’ve no religious axe to grind here as I am an atheist, nor am I stupid enough to think that love and marriage are inextricably linked, I am, however, a realist, and, to be frank, gay marriage is absurd.
    Even the word ‘marriage’ means a union of two different things.

    The reason why the coalition4marriage has done so well (though I’m not wasting my time signing it) is because people are sick and tired of gay marriage. Gay people have the same rights with civil partnerships and now they want to be called ‘married’ as well for no good reason but a name. It’s just whinge, whinge, whinge.
    If cp’s didn’t exist, then there would be a point.

    1. So tell that to the people of New York, Mexico City, Massachusetts, Sweden, Norway, Holland, Spain, Portugal, South Africa, Belgium, Iceland etc etc

      Tell them their marriage to their partner is “pointless”

      You are a bigot (and I suspect a supporter of C4M – and thus a homophobic bigot) .

      You might be sick and tired of “gay” marriage – its not “gay” marriage – its simply marriage and same sex partners are going to be able to marry.

      Whether you are sick and tired of it is irrelevant – human rights come about your comfort zone.

      Its happening, get used to it and you know what, I am sick of homophobic bigots shouting out on gay websites – you have no place here.

      1. For goodness sake, grow up. It’s so lazy on the part of gay marriage supporters to dismiss anybody who disagrees with them as a bigot. I am an atheist who is cynical as hell about marriage-full stop.

        But, really, I am not stupid. Marriage IS the union of a man and a woman to reproduce. The only reason the government legislates this is is because it has an interest in how the birth parent is treated in event of death/divorce.
        Marriage is inherently heterosexual-all that guff about consummation and adultery. It simply cannot be applied to homosexual people. Not bigotry to see this, just realism.
        What DO you want? What homosexual consummation is discussed in court? How retrogressive is that?
        You ain’t arguing for equality-you’re arguing for homosexual people to have their sex lives pulled apart in court! To be treated as shoddily as heterosexual people.

        Civil partnerships for all would be far more sensible and progressive.

    2. @Sall — how can people be ‘sick and tired of gay marriage’ when it hasn’t happened ?

      It is debateable whether civil partnerships confer the same rights as marriages. However if we take your view that they do, you seem to be making a very big song and dance for what you yourself describe as a renaming !

    3. Robert in S. Kensington 9 Apr 2012, 12:57pm

      So why have ten countries (soon to be eleven with Denmark in June) legalised equal civil marriage? Why haven’t they promoted CPs, why aren’t heterosexuals clamouring for them if they’re so bloody equal? Hypothetically speaking, if government decided to abandon marriage for all and replaced them with CPs, you can bet there would uproar and huge opposition. Ask any straight married couple if they had a choice between the two, which would they go for? You’re a deluded fool and a very bigoted one. Now run along to C4M and report the latest.

      1. I’d be more than happy to have my marriage called a civil partnership.
        The only fools are the ones who believe that marriage can be applied to homosexuality.
        I won’t run along anywhere as I find religious opposition to gay marriage as ludicrous as the misguided calls for it.
        Why are you all so keen to fit into a bourgeois institution anyway?

        1. Sister Mary Clarence 9 Apr 2012, 9:35pm

          That’s fine, but that’s about you though isn’t it, and I’m not going to lay into you for having a ‘view’ on the subject, but others have a different view and you belittling others and looking down on them for having a different position kind of puts you in the firing line for negative feedback.

          The church has sought to bury the fact that same sex marriage ceremonies where conducted around the globe until recent history.

          Google St Bacchus and St Sergius and you will seen that the church respected the (same sex) marriage of these two Christian martyrs to the extent that icons of them were installed in various churches across the Christian world. Their lives and deaths have been exaggerated somewhat over the centuries, in the way the church often does, but it wasn’t non-believers that broke into these churches to hangs icons of St Bacchus and St Sergius in the dead of night, it was members of the church itself who commissioned and installed them

      2. I would be more than happy to have my marriage called a civil partnership. What other people call my state-sanctioned-for-legal-rights relationship means nothing to me

        No, the deluded ones are those who think that the inherently heterosexual insititution of marriage (I mean surely all that consummation crap is related to paternity?) can be translated to homosexuality.

        I won’t run along to C4M; I find the religious arguments against gay marriage as absurd as the arguments for it!

      3. @Sall — so your argument is that gay partnership should be called civil partnership, straight partnerships should be called marriage.

        Do you think there should be further gradations ? For example a distinction between straight parnterships that can produce children and those that can’t ? What about mixed-race marriages ? Mixed-race marriages where there’s an age difference ? What about mixed-race marriages where there’s an age difference and no ability to produce children ? What do you want to call those ?

        To my simple way of thinking, a partnership of two people, regardless of sexuality, regardless of race, regardless of child-bearing ability or desire, formally recognised by the state, should be called a marriage.

  107. So now the Sunday Times are quoting Bradshaws comments as reason for them to view marriage for same sex partners as “unnecessary”.

    Bradshaw has a lot of explaining to do.

    The Sunday Times should see all these comments!

    1. Paddyswurds 9 Apr 2012, 11:48am

      To do that right click on a blank piece if the comments page in Bradshaws story and then Select All. then right clic again select Copy and then paste the lot into an email to The Sunday Times.

      1. Thanks Paddyswurds, will give it a go after dinner!

  108. If Bradshaw hoped to make any friends from his remark, he’s sadly mistaken. Yes, lots of homophobes will point to him as a way to justify their own belief in denying marriage equality. But they’ll all secretly despise him for being gay, just as they did before.

    1. Ben Bradshaw is such a contemptible little worm that he is willing to throw the entire LGBT community under the bus to try to score some political points.

      He is vile, treacherous, homophobic scum.

      Let’s make sure he loses his seat at the next election.

  109. Can all these posts be forwarded to Ben Bradshaw to point out the obvious?

  110. Mr Bradshaw is blissfully unaware that civil partnership and marriage are NOT equal and that is what it really gets down to in the end. We don’t have ALL the same rights as heterosexuals do!

    And since when does he know what the ‘gay community’ wants? He never asked my opinion on the matter! When I meet the right lady and I want to spend the rest of my life with her, it’s marriage I want not CP!!!

    I want to have the same rights as my parents, sisters and brother in the heterosexual marriages! So no Mr Bradshaw we don’t all think the same as you and so please stop acting as my mouth peace thank you very much!

  111. I used to feel that as long as we got the same rights I didn’t care if it was called Civil Partnerships.

    My view is very different now. Why should Gay people be treated differently or given a special type of marriage called Civil Partnerships? Only Gay people can enter a Civil Partnership and that separates us, sets us apart from the rest of society.

    Marriage Equality is important to me because I believe Gay people should be treated as equals in the eyes of the law.

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