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Ben Bradshaw defends marriage priority comments

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  1. He still has not acknowledged that he has caused a lot of hurt to LGBT people.

    He has not recognised that he gave the Telegraph, Mail and their AntiGay Institute friends a means to issue publicity that they tried to undermine those seeking equal marriage with.

    He fails to address the differences between CPs and marriage – instead he is either in denial or ignoring the repeated examples of the differences that have been discussed since Bradshaws comments.

    He made no obvious response to why he has changed his view since his comment “The implication is gay people in civil partnerships are not equal.” (in 2009).

    Nor does he recognise that his leader believes that CPs “are not good enough”.

    At least he will vote for equal marriage.

    The harm he has done leaves a bad taste in the mouth. His lack of apology or contrition is severely disappointing.

  2. Polly Conroy 11 Apr 2012, 3:52pm

    Squirm squirm squirm.

    Backpedal backpedal backpedal

    He is entitled to his own views. It is just a shame that he doesn’t seem to know what they are today.

    Stu has nailed it in his comments.

  3. What parts of his comments were taken out of context. I want specifics. Otherwise we can just assume that the bigotted rat Ben Bradhsaw is continuing his lies.

    Because he came across as an opportunistic and homophobic scumbag who was willing to throw our community under the bus for cheap political gain.

    He has reiterated his initial lie that Civil Partnership Apartheid is sufficient for our comnunity.

    His ‘clarification’ is inadequate as his original comments

    He is still a disgusting wretched Uncle Tom who has betrayed the LGBT community in a truly appalling manner.

    1. I have been struggling to understand what was taken out of context, and can only surmise that Bradshaw is trying to minimise the harm he has caused himself and his own personal interests by his own comments. I can see no obvious way in which his comments could have been contextualized differently.

  4. And why hasn’t Ed Miliband condemned Ben Bradshaw’s opportunistic homophobia and the fact that Ben Bradshaw has given enormous ammunition to the religious and right wing homophobic bigots.

    Ben Bradshaw is clearly an amoral minnow of a politician through his betrayal of his own community.

    But the fact that Miliband and Labour are refusing to distance themselves from Bradshaw’s homophobia, indicate they they endorse his homophobia.

    In which case Labour is now officially the most homophobic of the 3 main parties, and no LGBT person could even consider voting Labour again.

    1. I would think the LGBT vote is insignificant. How many are they again?

      1. According to government statistics there are 3.6 million people in the UK who are LGBT (figures from 2008).

        According to Tear Fund (evangelical charity and think tank) statistics from 2007 the number of people attending church at least once every two weeks (which is probably a reasonable description of regular churchgoing – although not the one they use, they try to pretend attending church monthly is regular (I would call it occasional!)) is 1.7million.

        So clearly the LGBT electorate is significantly larger than the regular church going population (which will include many who are too young to vote).

        In any event – even though there are more LGBT people – that is not the real reason why Ed Milliband should take notice. It is because equality and humanity matters. Homophobia and bigotry is abhorrent and Milliband has already himself stated “Civil Partnerships are not good enough” and that he supported same sex couples marrying in civil ceremonies.

        1. I like the way you manipulate statistics. You quote the figure for LGBT but quote a figure for regular ‘churchgoers’ rather than the figure for Christians. I would have thought that LGBT figures would best be compared to Christianity figures while the figure for church attendees ‘every two weeks’ would best be compared to the proportion of LGBTs who are sexually active ‘every two weeks’.

          1. Mumbo Jumbo 11 Apr 2012, 7:17pm

            You do realise you don’t have to be gay to vote for gay equality just as you don’t have to be black to be against racism or a woman to be against sexism? You simply have to be a normal empathetic human being – which you are clearly not.

          2. You would think wrong. The number of nominal Christians in this country who a) have never seen the inside of a church other than for perhaps a wedding or funeral, b) have no knowledge of the Bible and c) actively support equal rights for LGBT people including civil marriage is phenomenal.

            Suggesting that the number of people identifying themselves as “Christian” should be compared with those who are LGBT is false.

            If you want to compare those who identify as Christian (without even knowing a singlie Bible verse, having been in a church for many years or agreeing with any aspect of theology of the church) with a population mass that could be LGBT – then the appropriate comparitor would be those who have either had or considered a sexual encounter or relationship with someone of the same sex. That figure is WAY in excess of 3.6 million.

            According to Durex Global Sex Survey for 2003, 12% of Norwegian respondents have had homosexual sex and a further 38% admit to homosexual fantasies.

          3. What has Norway got to do with this? In any event, you are also wrong to think that every LGBT supports the gay ‘marriage’ lobby.If they did, we would not be having this discussion. There are a lot of Ben Bradshaws out there! As such you are WRONG to think that a politician would lose LGBT votes because he rightly said gay ‘marriage’ is unnecessary.

          4. @Ken

            Norway are the only stats that are easily obtainable where a country has been recently surveyed on the proportion of the population that has considered same sex relationships etc. Norway in terms of society is not massively different to the UK.

            I have not said that every LGBT person supports same sex partners marrying (the fact only 98% of PN readers support it, demonstrates in itself there is a miniscule minority who do not)> However, its not about referndums, opinion polls or petitions – its about equality.

            Where are all these other Ben Bradshaws then? Provide the evidence to support your claim.

            If you look at the reaction to Bradshaws comments you will see many (including some from Bradshaws own constituency) have said they will not or would not vote for him again.

            Ken – look forward to seeing the “evidence” to support your latest rhetoric – is it going to be as dodgy as C4M data and evidence? Probably.

          5. @Ken

            I think if you read the article Ben Bradshaw is supporting the proposal

  5. So he either said “This isn’t a priority for the gay community, which already won equal rights with civil partnerships. We’ve never needed the word ‘marriage’, and all it’s done now is get a bunch of bishops hot under the collar. We’ve been pragmatic, not making the mistake they have in the US, where the gay lobby has banged on about marriage.” or he didn’t?

    Backtracking much anyone?

    1. He is a lying opportunistic, self-hating, homophobic scumbag.

      And he’s a practising Anglican so that should not come as any surprise.

  6. I really find it hard for him to justify his not a priority remark. If he waited for his other concerns to be addressed he would be waiting for a very very long time. He seems to fail to understand that we need equality NOW and that this very act of equal marriage will help to cultivate a climate whereby his other concerns will hopefully be better addressed. Until we are seen as being completely equal in the eyes of the law, people will continue to treat us as second class. Ben Bradshaw is in an extremely fortunate and privileged position. It is such a shame that his privilege and dare I say arrogance has made him blind to the importance of this. From his position it’s as if the desire for marriage is nothing more than a whim or a wish to have curtains rather than blinds. I really feel that he has displayed qualities that make him unfit to represent the people he serves if he feels that this human right is not a priority. His ivory tower lifestyle is evident in his comments.

    1. I don’t know if he is actually aware of how damaging his remarks have been in serving the campaign for marriage. He really is complicit in this.

      1. He doesn’t care. Thanks to his own privileged position he clearly lacks any awareness of what is important to our communities.

        No LGBT person should EVER vote for Ben Bradshaw again.

        1. The last time no checked, no MP has won an election on LGBT agenda and support.

          1. The last time I checked, no MP has won an election purely on the support of fundamentalist religion and/or homophobic bigots.

          2. You need to check again then. Ever heard of the name; George Galloway?

          3. Are you calling the Bradford population, homophobic bigots – I think that is a generalisation and offensive to the population of Bradford.

            Is that what you are trying to say, Ken?

          4. George Galloway.

            I suspect he will lose the Bradford West seat when the next general election occurs and this will be a mere protest vote.

            He also won Bethnal Green and Bow as a protest vote and lost it at the next election in the newly created seat which now served much of the population of Bethnal Green and Bow.

            He lost the next election in Scotland that he fought.

            He will lose the Bradford West seat at the next election (unless he is suspended or expelled from the Commons (again!) before this).

            In any event Galloway is a strong supporter of gay rights, including campaigning to improve LGBT rights in Iran, voting in the Commons in favour of allowing gay couples to adopt and is on the record as saying that same sex partners should be able to marry.

  7. FranklyBewildered 11 Apr 2012, 4:10pm

    “He said of the paper’s investigations: “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.”

    That’s why marriage equality is needed. So that everyone’s partners are considered equal to Samantha Cameron

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 11 Apr 2012, 4:33pm

      He just doesn’t get it even though he deludes himself that CPs are entirely equal. They are NOT marriages just because his family and friends construe them as such and the sooner he accepts that the better. It’s truly regrettable that he’s failed to issue an apology. As long as he doesn’t consider equal marriage a priority, he’ll continue to be treated as a second class citizen and he won’t have any reason to complain about him and his partner being treated differently. If he really cared about equal marriage, he would have kept the negative comments out of the statement he made. It was totally irresponsible and uncalled for. I can’t believe for a moment he did not believe this wouldn’t give credence to C4M and their message of hate and that there are “many” gay people who don’t want equal marriage. Words have consequences and he needs to take responsibility for them.

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 11 Apr 2012, 4:36pm

        He can bang on all he wants about bullying and homophobia which are important issues and are in some way linked to not have equal marriage. CPs are all fine and good for those who want them but treating one group of people differently than any other doesn’t exactly send a positive message to those so inclined to bash, bully or worse, kill us. In fact, they target us for discrimination and give the impression that our relationships are less than straight marital unions so they shouldn’t be taken seriously or treated equally.

        1. Absolutely, Robert.

          You know what really irritates about the comments Bradshaw makes in his interview with Gaydar radio is the arrogance of Bradshaw in that he still seems to believe that he speaks for LGBT people about this issue. The response to his hurtful comments demonstrates that Bradshaw does not speak for the LGBT communities when he says marriage is not a priority. Maybe not for him, but for many others it is.

          His reaction to this demonstrates he is out of touch with LGBT opinion. He lives in a fantasty land divorced from reality.

          He also has not explained why CPs were not called marriage (if his contention that the difference is merely semantic).

          Bradshaw is backpedaling but hardly scratching the surface of the grievance he has caused to those he has hurt in his thoughtless comments which were clearly motivated by a combination of seeking to score political points and an allegiance to the church.

          My opinion has not changed – Bradshaw should be ashamed of himself.

          1. Robert in S. Kensington 11 Apr 2012, 5:25pm

            Stu, yes, he is backpedaling probably as a result of the influx of all those emails he received. He still refuses to apologise for the harm he has caused. He doesn’t even see a correlation between not being treated equally and bullying, let alone homophobia. Both are priorities in my view and are intertwined. It’s all about perception. He’s also rather hypocritical after his tirade in 2009. If he were so concerned about being treated equally in his CP, why wouldn’t he consider equal civil marriage a priority? Had we had it at the time, he wouldn’t be in the situation he now finds himself, at odds with the majority of us, even though he says he’ll support it either way. It’s absolutely shameful that he refuses to apologise and take responsiblity for his actions. He has no shame.

      2. As even Eric Pickles pointed out on Question Time, civil partnerships are really civil marriages and they should be called marriages, the separate classification as presently stands is actually bogus and discriminatory trying to pretend same sex couples in civil partnerships aren’t really married at all, this simply to protect the sensitivities of homophobic bigots.
        Civil partnerships are really civil marriages and the law should enable both opposite sex couples and same sex couples to have civil marriages and to call them marriages.
        Marriage equality.

    2. Spanner1960 11 Apr 2012, 10:15pm

      ““They have also referred to my partner as my boyfriend – did they refer to Samantha Cameron as David Cameron’s girlfriend?”
      No, they referred to her as his WIFE, whilst you still have a second-rate civil partner as opposed to a husband.

      Is anybody actually starting to get the message out there about the difference, or does it need banging in with a bloody mallet?

  8. ‘Remarks taken out of context’? Which ones?

    ‘Quoted selectively’? Evidence.

    Ben Bradshaw is an utter disgrace – an appalling example of how revoltingly dishonest and opportunistic politiciians.

    Nothing short of acknowledgement of the huge damage he has knowingly inflicted on the LGBT equality campaign; and a grovelling apology for his opportunistic bigotry can suffice.

    Although even if he does that (and he would appear to lack the courage or integrity to do that) I don’t think any LGBT person could ever vote for Bradshaw in good conscience again.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 11 Apr 2012, 5:28pm

      What is ‘grotesque’ is his refusal to consider equal civil marriage a priority. If we’d been fortunate enough to have had it instead of CPs, he wouldn’t be in the situation he now finds himself and none of us would be having this discussion.

  9. he said there “isn’t a difference, at least not one that I can detect, between civil partnerships and gay marriage in legal terms”.

    another instance of people completely forgetting that transgender people might have to get married/civil partnered 2 or 3 times (as they change their legal gender) to stay with the same person. Does this really seem like a fair and equal system to anyone?

    1. If civil partnerships are the exact equivalent of civil marriage then they are marriages and must be called marriages.

      1. Absolutely.

        Bradshaw fails to address this point – if semantics do not matter – then why did he choose an unequal name for CPs when he was in power (a point he accepted in 2009).

        If there are issues of inequality (which I and many contend there are – then CPs must be equalised and part of that equalisation is calling them marriage).

  10. Robert in S. Kensington 11 Apr 2012, 4:27pm

    There is also a big difference in regard to pension distributions for a married spouse and a civil partner, the two aren’t equal.

    I emailed him the link below and still he doesn’t admit that CPs aren’t entirely equal.

    Ed Miliband’s silence is deafening and if he thinks this isn’t going to damage Labour with gay voters, he’d better think again.

    1. Why should Ed Miliband care when the number of gay voters is insignificant?

      1. More significant than the number of church goers – why should Ed Milliband be concerned about what church goers or religious fundamentalists have to say?

      2. Robert in S. Kensington 11 Apr 2012, 5:13pm

        And why do you keep coming here? You contribute NOTHING positive to the discussion. Why aren’t you out there trying to save marriage from the straight serial adulterers and their serial divorces for a change, the real threats to marriage that you straights have been doing a good job at wrecking for decades? Gay people have played NO role in any of it as evidenced before the first country legalised equal civil marriage eleven years ago. Nine more have followed and another in June. They can’t all have it wrong.

        1. Don’t expect an answer, Robert – trolls aren’t terribly good at those.

  11. “n an interview with PinkNews.co.uk in 2009, Mr Bradshaw said the Daily Telegraph’s exposé into MPs’ expenses had a “clear strand of homophobia” running through it.

    He said of the paper’s investigations: “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.””

    Thats the point of the new legislation to make them treated as being equal … what an idiot!

  12. Peter & Michael 11 Apr 2012, 4:46pm

    ‘His remarks taken out of context’, in an earlier post on PN this is what we stated. Bradshaw has found that his remarks about civil marriage have not had any basis and have been detrimental to his view that civil partnerships are equal to marriage. If he is happy in his civil partnership so be it, but the Gay community realise that Same-Sex Marriage is par with hetrosexual marriage. all we ask for is Equality to love the person we have chosen and have a marriage, not a second best ‘patch up’. It seems that Australia may beat us in establishing Same-Sex Marriage in most of that country.

  13. I Tweeted Ben about this. Within two Tweets he went from ‘Not my words’ to ‘My words, but quoted out of context’. Clearly, he (at the very least) requires media training.

  14. He’s hardly clarified anything, he’s just repeated himself. Through contact on Twitter with me and others it would seem he is labouring under the misunderstanding that we don’t understand what he is saying. I certainly do.

    He is saying there’s no difference between civil partnerships and marriage. This is incorrect but he fails repeatedly to acknowledge this, which feeds the anti-marriage campaign and is one of their main arguments!

    His defence is just to repeat comments we’ve already heard. Not the best defence I’ve ever encountered, that’s for sure.

    Worse he goes on to state he wants a serious debate on LGBT rights. How can we have one when he is spreading incorrect soundbites?! A serious debate would be where we acknowledge truths and look to see what we can do to solve them. Marriage equality is one part of the solution to homophobia, and this is an argument we can’t afford to lose.

  15. In my view, Ben Bradshaw has completely undermined the good work that he was involved in starting on LGBT rights when he was in Cabinet.

    Whilst others can be proud of many of the achievements (although they could have and should have gone further); Bradshaw will be forever remembered in LGBT circles as the gay former cabinet minister who said gay people did not want marriage – that will be how he is recalled.

  16. Mumbo Jumbo 11 Apr 2012, 6:02pm

    “Ben Bradshaw ….said his comments….have been taken ‘out of context rather grotesquely’ and ‘quoted selectively’.”

    So that must be why he repeated them exactly on the World at One the following day.

    “Bradshaw clarified his position, saying….he had not “yet heard an explanation as to how what the Government is proposing would be different or better” than civil partnerships….there “isn’t a difference….between civil partnerships and gay marriage in legal terms”.

    As the judge in the Prop 8 case said, if there is no legal difference, then the only possible reason for having two separate institutions has to be one of discrimination.

    Understand now Ben?

  17. Do all the commentators here really think that equal marriage law will solve all problems, that homophobic bullying in schools and work places and violence in the streets, some priorities mentioned by Mr. Bradshaw, will automatically stop? Do you think that when gays and lesbians in UK can get married instead of civil partership, beaten and jailed gays in Jamaica or Nigeria or Russia will feel better? That all lgbti politacal campaigning and other efforts should should target only marriage equlity and anyone who does not totally agree is a homophopbe to be vilified?

    1. Dr Robin Guthrie 11 Apr 2012, 6:09pm

      You do not help equality elsewhere by maintaining inequality at home.

    2. Who has EVER said we should only target marriage equality? Please do name some names. I personally think it’s part of a broad front attack on homophobia. But some seem to want to downplay it because it doesn’t fit in with their own ideology and their own personal preferences. That’s the real scandal.

    3. Does the commenter above think that by giving into religious extremists, anything will be solved, or that they will be satisfied, instead of pushing ahead with other aims such as banning abortion, ruining sex education, teaching creationism, and so on?
      Will the commenter also be posing the same question to c4m about Christian priorities?
      Defeating the forces of theocracy and protecting reason and the enlightenment is always a high priority.

    4. @Krister

      Are you suggesting that because someone is critical of Bradshaws remarks (which were hurful and damaging), this means that they do not seek to reduce levels of homophobic bullying and advance LGBT rights in other areas?

      You seem to adopt a mindset similar to Bradshaw that seems to suggest that they are mutually exclusive issues – when the truth is that they actually work best together. Anyone who supports LGBT rights would seek to prevent bullying, reduce cyber trolling, tackle hate crime, improve education AND ensure marriage is fair and equal.

    5. Krister, whatever you do, don’t bring common sense into the argument-it has no place here. I mean everybody knows (just knows) that homophobia and torture will disappear overnight because gay people in the UK can get married. All those nasty homophobes of various religious beliefs will down tools, stop the torture and send heart-shaped cards to be mawwied couple. Aw, aint it sweet?

      But then when you’re accused of dissing gay people because you dare suggest that marriage law as it stands is going to be pretty tough to apply to gay people-a fairly reasonable point, I think-you do start to believe that some people have experienced lives of such sweetness and acceptance of their sexuality they really do believe that gay marriage will solve everything. Such is the naivety.

      1. Sall

        What are you seeking to achieve by the lies and rhetoric that you are seeking to perpetuate?

        1. I am actually hoping that I may convince some people to grow up and realise that marriage is not some kind of wonderful thing that will magically make everything better. It is a heterosexual union of a man and a woman and even if it IS just a legal contract in this day and age then as civil partnerships provide same rights (if rights not exactly equal, then campaign for cp’s to become the same in terms of pensions. The adultery and consummation aspect I would advise leaving well alone. Gay people actually have the better deal in this respect as their sex lives are not pulled apart in dissolution of cp’s.
          But because you’re all so blinded by equality, you fail to see that cp’s are really up-to-date marriage.
          You’re all so determined to be married (ridiculous for ANYBODY-gay or straight, this) that you have lost sight of the fact that:
          a, Nobody who is non-homophobic cares either way
          b, Those that are will continue to mock the idea of gay marriage whatever you do

          1. So Sall to clarify are you a heterosexual church goer?

            It seems to me you are blinded by indoctrination.

            CPs are not equal.

            No one has said they will solve everything but they are a step towards equality which is a very good thing.

            You would only disagree with equality if you wanted to prevent people being treated humanely.

          2. Same-sex marriage opponents’ biggest argument was empty from the get-go: the idea that the primary purpose of marriage is for procreation, hence gay marriage is wrong.

            I’m far from the first and I won’t be the last to point this out, but it bears repeating: by that logic, heterosexual couples who don’t or can’t reproduce shouldn’t be allowed to marry either. Yet we don’t forbid the sterile, the elderly, or the childless by choice to marry. Why? Pure sentimentality? No—it’s because we as a society consider marrying to be a fundamental right. (Not to mention the fact that doing so would lead to all sorts of absurdities.) Children are beside the point.

            The cultural phenomenon of marriage may be rooted in evolutionary processes that helped protect children. But we are not living in the stone age. Marriage in our civilization has long been an essential right afforded to all heterosexual couples. Extending that right (“the chance to be equally miserable,” as rapper Eminem put it) to same-

          3. -sex couples is the logical and obvious next step in the advancing visibility and acceptance of LGBT people. If a same-sex couple in an emotionally committed relationship want to publicly, legally [and let's face it, financially] declare that commitment, but are prevented by the state from doing so, primarily because of a religious taboo, they are being denied the pursuit of happiness.
            Every system that plays politics with the rights of other group of people, be it equal rights for the other races of the very same nationality, gender-specific rights, is IMO a hiddeously latent fascist system!

            We don’t forbid two extremely obese adults from marrying each other.
            We don’t prohibit swingers and gangbangers from marrying each other.
            We in fact don’t even forbid mass murderers in jail to marry someone outside.
            But we are constantly stepping on human rights and violating the constitutional rights of consent adults to marry, based on a book most people do not believe. All that while we

          4. are ignoring the scientific fact that homosexuality as with heterosexuality is just another important but for us yet not fully understandable side of nature, which thus naturally appears in all creatures on this planet that are sexual? Are we now going to forbid the nature of all things based solely on religion-infused ideology?

      2. @Sall — your arguments:

        1. Straw man: this is your claim, no one else’s.

        2. No evidence: please provide some.

        both dressed up with ad hominen relish. Unconvincing.

      3. marriage law as it stands is going to be pretty tough to apply to gay people-a fairly reasonable point,

        ‘Reasonable’ in what parallel universe?

        In addition, please provide even one piece of evidence that anyone, anywhere, thinks equal marriage will magically rid the world of homophobia. (I think you might struggle to do so, but you seem full of conviction so prove your point.)

        1. Absolutely Rehan

          If more than a dozen territories can manage it and over 20 more actively looking to progress in that direction, why should England be overwhelmed by how “tough” it is claimed to be to include same sex couples in marriage. I reckon the British people will manage as well as Dutch, SPanish, South African, Icelandic, Mexicans, Nepalese etc

  18. Ben Bradshaw was extremely foolish to wade into the debate like this. If this were some kind of game, in Jimmy Hill parlance, he’s been a bit naive at the back, and given the ball away. But It isn’t a red card offence. When someone lets the side down, the thing to do is show annoyance, but also to keep a bit of perspective and unity,and save energies and venom for the real opponents. His voting record on LGBT issues is very good.

    Bradshaw was a fool though. He should have realised that the Christian Institute and co are experts at pumping out quote mined press releases. And they must be gleefully enjoying the resulting infighting. What we really need to do is blog and expose the real hate on websites, Facebook pages and comments sections.

    1. Not sure I agree with you on this. The likes of Melanie Phillips and the other haters will have their devoted followers. No-one will persuade them to support us.

      I’d say the real problem is the people who, on the face of it, seem reasonable. Like the Guardian’s Michael White, for example, or all the gay people who say what Ben Bradshaw is saying. Those, in my opinion, are the ones who will persuade MPs that it’s OK to vote against marriage equality.

      1. Aside from Bradshaw, I would say White is not being reasonable. He isn’t on our side. Of course we argue like hell with people like that.

  19. Craig Denney 11 Apr 2012, 6:26pm

    The problem with people of that age, is they have seen many laws change and now they just cannot be bothered any-more. Laws have come and gone and they are so selfish they feel enough has changed (for them) not to bother doing anything further.

  20. A ridiculous own goal by Bradshaw for the sake of tribal party point-scoring. He has ended up giving a boost to the Tories when they were floundering on all sorts of issues. And the notion that it has to be either/or in terms of gay marriage vs. tackling homophobic discrimination and violence is nonsense. What a fool.

  21. So the gay labour MP supports the christian right, alongside the Coalition for Marriage and The Christian People’s Alliance Party.

    http://www.alansangle.com/

    Ben Bradshaw is a tool.

    1. Alan Craig is an absolute idiot

    2. Meet Alan Craig? I’m going to have to pass on that one sorry

    3. Robert in S. Kensington 11 Apr 2012, 10:56pm

      Yes, traitors in the Labour party, who would have thought :)? Not that I would vote for any of them.

  22. Craig Nelson 11 Apr 2012, 8:16pm

    I think Ben’s comments are a bit all over the place. Nevertheless he has said very clearly he will vote for the government’s legislation.

    He has clarified his position and I very much welcome that.

    I don’t think his comments will have done any harm to our position in the long term and there is a danger of us focusing on the wrong target and making more of his comments than is warranted. Any campaign has hitches and slips along the way – this is not a serious one in my view – I think we are still on course, provided the government holds its nerve and presents a Bill to the house of commons.

    If it does so, it will pass.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 11 Apr 2012, 11:04pm

      Craig, it was unnecessary, unhelpful and downright damaging to say equal civil marriage is not a priority. Do you mean to say Bradshaw was unaware just how much ammunition his negative comments would give to C4M and their fellow hatemongering homophobes? He’s nothing more than a self-serving, selfish, despicable man, in spite of his decision to vote for equal civil marriage. His comments were extremely hurtful and he does NOT represent or speak for the majority of us. He still has not offered any apology. What does that say about his character? Has he ever asked himself why ten countries have legalised equal civil marriage and why more will do so? How can he say it’s not a priority just because he in his delusion believes CPs are equal? Obviously they are not if ten countries have abandoned them as more pursue full marriage equality.

    2. The fact that Bradshaw is gay himself gives those who are against marriage equality an argument to use against us. They’ll say why the need when even gay people don’t see it as a priority?

    3. Craig – why’d you drop the T. as your middle inital? I loved you in Coach, by the way!

  23. Read the comments on this article here and see just how many within the Labour party (straight or LGBT) embrace Ben Bradshaw’s comments.

    http://labourlist.org/2012/04/should-ben-summerskill-learn-to-swim/

    They view separate but equal as a positive!

    1. Labour clearly are becoming the weak political link on LGBT rights.

      1. I’m glad you NOW know that the politicians and their parties care less about an insignificant LBGT vote.

        1. Ken

          I know the vast majority of politicians do support LGBT rights (as the Comres poll for the C4M demonstrated)

          Why do you feel its necessary to manipulate and twist my words in order to win your argument – can you not do it any others way … hang on, thinking about it – you don’t even stand a chance of winning even if you use perverse and deceptive tactics (oh wait, thats what you are doing anyway!).

        2. Does that thrill you, Ken?

    2. My god that is depressing to read.

    3. Yeah read that ysterday and was appalled. If this is the main website for grassroots labour ,as it claims ,it’s worrying.

    4. Robert in S. Kensington 11 Apr 2012, 10:54pm

      Well, Labour can kiss any chances of getting elected in 2015 goodbye, deservedly so! Now we know why Miliband has remained silent in regard to Bradshaw’s harmful and unhelpful comments. Miliband has some explaining to do in spite of his support.

  24. The fact he thinks it’s not a priority shows how out of touch he is with the gay men and women on the street. As usual, we don’t get a proper apology just an excuse of being taken out of context. Labour should get rid at the earliest oppurtunity and I’d like to see some real leadership from Ed Miliband on Bradshaw’s comments and marriage equality.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 11 Apr 2012, 11:06pm

      Don’t hold your breath on Miliband coming forward. Labour can kiss gay support goodbye come 2015 if he doesn’t.

  25. What’s even more astonishing is that Ben Bradshaw complained in 2009 that people in Civil Partnerships were not treated as equal to those in heterosexual marriages, yet he still came out with this “not a priority” rubbish last week. I get the impression he only thinks so because it’s the ConDem coalition who are doing it and not Labour.

  26. Ed Miliband’s silence on Ben Bradshaw’s reckless stupidity grows ever more deafening.

    Thanks for nothing Miliband.

    It will be remembered.

  27. Is he even aware that he made a statement and then contradicted it? He said that there was NO difference between civil partnerships and marriage and then complains that his “partner” was referred to as his “boyfriend” and the PM’s wife would NEVER be referred to as Mr. Cameron’s “girlfriend”. Well that’s because THEY are MARRIED and YOU are NOT. NOW do you see a difference between marriage and civil partnerships?

    1. Yes he’s aware of all that.

      BUt as he was giving an interview to the Washington Post, maybe he suspected that he could throw the British gay community under the bus, without anyone at home noticing.

      It was an example of slimy political opportunism of the most damaging repellent kind, on the part of Bradshaw.

      1. It certainly seems that way, dAVID

  28. I think PN should run a mid term poll on which party they would vote for.

    I suspect the lib dems and cons would be way ahead of labour after Ben Bradshaw’s statement and a good poll may actualy encourage the Tories/lib dems to forge ahead quickly with equal civil marriage.

    At least BB has acknowledged today that it is a priority becuase of the prejudices and discrimination shown to us as highlighted by Cardinal o’brian’s comments.

    It disturbing that he can’t see any legal differences between cps and marriages and that he continues to say that he has not “yet heard an explanation as to how what the Government is proposing would be different or better” than civil partnerships “

    1. Ben Bradshaw needs to apologise for his reckless stupidity.

      His ‘clarification’ reeks of self-interest and displays his utter lack of understanding of what equality actually means.

      ‘Separate but equal’ is always separate and NEVER equal.

  29. He will still vote for equal civil marriage when it goes through the commons.

    I wonder which way William Hague will swing?

    1. Better ask his male assistant (who can possibly be foundn sharing Little Willie’s bedroom while on foreign trips.)

    2. William Hague will vote in favour of marriage equality and Ben Bradhaw will now vote for marriage equality but only because he feels he has to, not because he genuinely believes in it.

  30. STU,
    I’m an atheist.

    You don’t get it, do you? I’m not anti-gay marriage because I am a religious nutjob-I am anti-marriage- (other than it being a menu of legal rights)- or rather the idea of it being a panacea for a good life full stop.

    All it is from my view is a set of legal rights and what with gay people having access to the same set of legal rights (like I said, if pensions are different, campaign for them to be the same) I wonder what the ***** all the fuss is about? Although there is sound basis for it being a means of reproduction and I get that.

    It is the campaigners for gay marriage who are living in the last century not me.
    Do you seriously think marriage has any meaning today? What a joke. The whole idea of marriage for life died years ago. Look at the divorce stats.

    I disagree with gay marriage not because I’m religious but because I’m bewildered as to why it is important to anybody these days- other than legal rights, that is.

    1. There is nothing more idiotic than being ‘anti-marriage’ if marriage is something that it already denied to you because you are gay.

      I mean that is truly moronic.

      If you think that CP’s are adequate, then that’s fine (although the question remains why, if CP’s were the same as marriage, were they invented specifically to deny same sex couples access to civil marriage?)

      But for you to try to impose your opinion on the rest of us, then that it just as despicable as the churches’ behaviour.

      You don’t want marriage – fine. Other people do – why on EARTH would you want to stand in their way?

      1. Look, I’m not going to campaign for or against it, religious behaviour is more despicable because they most definitely are.
        I just find the whole thing unneccessary; it beggars belief that civil partnerships-which are really more fair than modern day marriage what with none of that consummation and adultery nonsense- should be thrown away for something more archaic like marriage. It’s like trading in a brand new car for an old banger. That’s another thing-will gay people have access to marriage AND cp’s while straight people don’t? Hardly equality if not.
        I really think that the solution to all of this is to call all non-religious weddings civil partnerships. And before I am accused of being anti- homosexual people, I would have absolutely no problem with my marriage being a civil partnership.
        All couples -gay or straight- would be treated the same so there would be no room for argument. Put any financial rights now available in marriage in civil partnerships. Problem solved.

    2. I have some sympathy for this view, it’s one reason I support “marriage privatisation” in the long run. But it’s illogical.

      You think we should fight to equalise our rights, but not seek marriage. So rather than push through an amendment to the law which would resolve pension issues, trans rights issues, international recognition issues etc. all in one go, you think we should fight for this bit by bit which would take years and cause needless harm.

      Why not do something constructive, support marriage equality as a step in the right direction towards an argument about society, and the state, getting out of our personal arrangements altogether?

      Holding on to special rights for LGBT folk rather than freedom for all is as conservative as it gets.

    3. So, Sall

      You are anti marriage and you choose to concentrate on making lengthy ramblings that marriage should not be extended to same sex couples? Sounds more anti gay than anti marriage to me.

      So you are atheist, you say – yet you spout almost word for word the approach of the Christian Institute to same sex marriage?

      Surely if you were anti-marriage then you would not be seeking to prevent others engaging in marriage but encouraging all people not to engage in it – where is your comments to heterosexuals not to marry?

      I don’t buy your comments one bit, Sall.

      1. Stu, I do have sympathy for the idea that marriage itself is a heterosexual institution. I can’t ignore the evidence: marriage is a union of two opposites. That is what a marriage means. Recognising the obvious does not make me anti-gay people.

        As for the religious, well even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

        I don’t, however, want to deny people legal and financial rights and think the solution to all of this is to make things truly equal and get government out of the marriage business and just make everybody who wants the legal rights of marriage have a civil partnership (with the financial rights of marriage thrown in).
        I think that civil partnerships for heterosexual people are a marvellous idea as there would not be any emphasis on consummation or sex.
        Now I fail to see how this is unequal-it is true equality. Nobody is being left out and for those who see marriage as being some kind of panacea and spiritual, they can find a sympathetic church to bless the union.

        1. Sall

          The historic evidence is the contrary to what you present.

          Same sex marriages were regualarly conducted both in religious and non religious ceremonies from BC years. They only began to be prevented (due to religious interference) in the 1700s.

          Your suggestions of equality are great but incomplete. Why do you seek to deny English, Welsh or Scottish LGBT couples access to marriage that exist in over 20 other territories worldwide and that many more territories are seeking to introduce? Why not in the UK, why can we not have that equality?

          1. Stu,
            I just feel that the campaign for gay marriage is wrong-headed. CP’s for all with same legal rights as marriage -gay or straight- would reflect modern times more. All that nonsense about consummation would be done away with. And, of course, equality would be achieved. If your straight neighbour also has a cp, where is the complaint? You would also have less opposition; as there would be no suggestion that anybody is hijacking precious marriage. Let the religious people get blessed in a church or whatever. There might be some opposition, but in truth all those who have non-religious weddings aren’t after a spiritual/religious union. More a legally biding agreement and a big party. Having cp’s instead of marriage would not prevent them having this.
            Sorry if you disagree but I’ve thought about this a lot and that is my solution.

          2. @Sall

            Sometimes in debates we have to agree to disagree.

            I have also thought long and hard about this and I believe allowing same sex couples to marry is important. Regardless of what any individual persons thoughts are about marriage – some people want to (LGBT and straight). Of those who do, very few want to have a religious component to their marriage and prefer a registry office/hotel etc. Straight people have civil marriages – so should LGBT people.

            We clearly are not going to agree on this, but I view your position as lacking humanity and fairness. I regard that as disappointing and damaging. You clearly disagree.

    4. So you have no religious objection to marriage – yet you seek to undermine others who make that choice?

      I don’t object to you not marrying – why should you object to me marrying the man I love?

      The experience in all territories where same sex marriage is now legal is that the rate of marriage either increases stabalises or the rate of decline falls. You might not get this – but whether you get it or not, is not the important point.

    5. Robert in S. Kensington 12 Apr 2012, 12:32pm

      Civil Partnerships for everbody will NEVER happen as much as you want them. If there were such a demand for them, why haven’t other countries opted for them instead of civil marriage? As far as I know, there is no desire to get rid of civil marriage by any society. I’ve not seen or heard of heterosexuals demanding them and you have to ask the question, why? Since you believe CPs are fully equal, which they are not, hence the name, why wouldn’t the government, any government for that matter support them for both orientations?

      1. So you as a gay person can dismiss my demand for a civil partnership but I am supposed to just accept your demand for marriage? Hardly equal.
        Maybe I want access to a system that doesn’t take my sex life into account-like cp’s apparently do. Why is that wrong?
        I’m also not sure that there is a major call for gay marriage from homosexual people, either. Not really.

        Trust me on this: David Cameron is going to regret his fight for gay marriage; the religions will play dirty.
        It would be far more progressive and sensible to cut the consummation crap and call all civil marriages -gay or straight- civil partnerships.
        If people don’t like it, tough-only utiliatarian civil partnerships for all should be held in non-religious settings- the religious couldn’t complain about marriage anymore and equality would be achieved. You may get non-religious straight couples whingeing for a while but as long as they can have their legal union and a party, they’ll be happy.

        1. You are clearly ignorant, naive, stupid, bigotted or a combination of these.

          Some facts.

          Civil marriage has NOTHING to do with religion so why are you mentioning religion?

          Civil Partnerships for same sex couples were creately SOLELY to avoid allowing same sex couples to enter a civil marriage contract.

          Civil marriage is not going to be abolished for opposite sex couples. On what planet are you living if you think this is a possibllity.

          The fact that you are arguing for the denial of civil marriage rights to same sex couples (a right which you yourself enjoy) by telling us that we should be happy with the conitract that was created solely to deny us access to civil marriage indicates your real agenda.

          And your real agenda has a whiff of homophobic bigotry about it.

          If you want to campaign for CP equality for straight couples then good for you. But your expectation that gay couples should suspend our campaign for marriage equality because YOU don’t like marriage…

          1. … is trully, truly moronic.

            Separate but equal is always separate and NEVER equal.

    6. @Sall

      If it gives the same rights, then I can see no reason for it having a different name. Different names segregate human beings. Your logic suggests you would support black-only shops and white-only shops.

      What is the sound basis of marriage as a means of reproduction ? I’ve got news for you: people can have children without being married, and even more disturbingly, people who are married don’t always have children.

      You say marriage has no meaning today, yet you are spending an awful lot of time defending the status quo.

      You disagree with gay marriage, and so feel it must be denied to LGBT people. But you don’t spend anytime removing the right from straight people.

    7. Your argument seems to be pinned on two beliefs: that marriage is fundamentally about procreation and that it is historically and culturally about a male and female. If the first was true then why do we allow infertile couples to marry? And the second is true only if you create cut of points into history that you don’t wish to look beyond. Marriage used to be about the coupling of one man and several women. It use to be about a male having ownership of a female. It use to be about a lot of thing we today don’t agree with.

      But today we have moved on. We believe that marriage is about love. And it is my opinion that the love between two men or two women is just as important as the love between a man and a woman. And if they are equal then they deserve the same name.

      Making a political movement out of concern over what other people call their relationship is the “politically-correct charade” at play here. It takes a lot of nerve to be that sensitive over how two adults want to define

      1. their relationship when it has zero impact on you then say they are perpetuating a “politically-correct charade”

        Not only is this an appeal to tradition fallacy, it’s factually flawed as well. Marriage has had many different forms and definitions including polygamous, same-sex, incestuous and even what we would nowadays consider underage.

        LGBT people want the same rights as the rest of mankind. They are humans after all, there is no reason why we should not be allowed to marry. The love and commitment of a LGBT couple is no less real than that of a straight couple.

        No two couples and no two marriages are the same. So why draw the line when it comes to gay marriage? Simply saying “cause your not the same” is not a justification unless you have some very specific definition of what marriage is and who can get married. Otherwise you are specifically targeting one group of people to discriminate against while allowing an otherwise open interpretation of marriage.

      2. Stu, marriage is not about love. I didn’t marry for love-nobody needs to get married to love one another. You’re sounding more old-fashioned than I am here. Marriage is about legal rights.
        The moan is about the lack of equality: I have listened to the complaints and come up with a perfectly sensible solution:

        Call all non-religious marriages regardless of the couple’s gender civil partnerships but add the financial /legal rights that are currently missing from cp’s in (apart from archaic sexual aspects).
        You would be equal to heterosexual people in every sense.

        What is this really about for you if you won’t accept my solution? I can accept the not equal argument but even when a sensible solution is put forward, you won’t buy it.
        If it is just being called ‘married’, then I am sorry, but pfffft. So bloomin’ what.

        1. Sall

          No, you have made a personal decision that marriage is not about love.

          You say you didn’t get married for love – I take that to mean you are married? So, you have a love less marriage, or marriage of convenience?

          I want to marry (as does my boyfriend) as an expression of love for one another and our commitment to each other. The centre point and focus of our wedding will be love. I have asked many of my straight friends about this (some of whom are religious and some of whom are not) and they tell me that the most important thing in their marriage is the celebration of their love and commitment to each other.

          I feel deep sympathy for you if you think marriage is not a form of symbolism and expression of love. Its more than a piece of paper. Its not essential for a relationship to work. It is an expression of the love the couple feel for one another.

          Why change the name of the union that many heterosexual couples have (and that they sought when they married) – civil …

          1. Marriage absolutely does not have to be about love.

            It is a legal contract that is denied to a law-abiding, tax-paying segment of the population, solely because they are gay.

            it is 100% irrelevant whether Sall married for love, or money, or a residency permit.

            The fact is that he is allowed to get married.

            Whereas a gay couple is not.

            This idea of marriage being solely about love is a soppy, 20th century invention.

        2. marriage. Why should they have to change. Even if you only change it for new unions, why should the daughter of a couple who had a civil marriage in a registry officer not also be able to have a marriage? If we keep the word marriage for heterosexual couples then it should also be available for same sex couples.

          I know, (something I have suggested many times before)…. why not let those couples (straight or LGBT) who wish to have a civil marriage, have one (provided they are consensual etc etc) – why not let those couples (straight or LGBT) who wish to have a civil partnership, have one?

          None of this touches the legal differences between CPs and marriages – but why should same sex couples be denied the same rights and responsibilities as heterosexual couples in marriage?

          If it did amount solely to the semantics of the name – you may think “Pfffft so what” but, thats your opinion – and you claim not to value marriage (although it appears you are married) …

          I don’t accept

        3. your suggestions of solution when it continues a segregation of same sex couples being denied access to being married. Thats blatantly wrong.

          What is this about for me? Equality and your proposal segregates the word marriage for the religious and most people do not see thier marriage as a religious act (nor is it historically a religious matter).

          I want equality – what is wrong with civil marriage and CPs for those who seek them, consensually regardless of gender or orientation of the couple?

        4. Separate but equal is always separate and never equal.

          Segregation in the US in the 1960’s looked reasonable enough on paper – it never said that black Americans should be discriminated against.

          That was the consequence.

          LIkewise with CP’s – the very fact that their existence is down SOLELY to a refusal by the Labour government to make marriage gender neutral should ring immediate alarm bells.

          There is something quite sickening and homophobic about Sall’s idea that he is opposed to extending marriage equality to gay couples because we have CP’s (whose existence is due to a refusal to legislate for equality) even though he is married himself.

          Sall is an ignorant homophobic moron – he should apply for a job with Ben Bradshaw.

          1. david, sorry, mate, but you are moronic if you think that you can be some sort of a quasi-bride or something equally ludicrous.
            Marriage is a straight institution, get over it.

            You are so stupid to believe otherwise. You cannot just apply marriage law to gay people just like that. What exactly is adultery in homosexual terms? Go on tell me. I’m really interested to know.
            You lot don’t realise that what you have with cp’s is an egalitarian, up-to-date version of marriage.
            But, no, not good enough you- for some strange reason you want the possibility of your sex lives discussed in court. Dumbass. And I’m the thick one?
            By the way, I’m a bisexual female.

          2. @Sall

            I thought you were female.

            Are you married?

            If so, you had a choice to marry. You took that choice even though you dislike marriage and you seek to prevent others from having that choice.

            I find it hard to see that an atheist (which you claim to be) would use the words (almost exactly word for word that the Christian Institute use).

  31. The old “I was misquoted/taken out of context” ploy. Followed by attempts to double-talk his way out of what he originally said. I thought he was an idiot for the original statements attributed to him. I can’t see anything here that warrants a change in that conclusion.

  32. The Labout Party clearly endorses Ben Bradshaw’s reckless, irresponsible homophobia.

    Bear that in mind LGBT folks the next time that little no-mark bigot Ed Miliband slimes his way on here looking for your vote.

    1. Stu, you can’t accuse me of hypocrisy here (not that you are).
      Marriage is an archaic institution for the bringing about of the next generation. I suspect this is why marriage law contains references to consummation. I fail to see why else.
      To apply this to homosexual people makes no sense at all.
      It confuses me why supporters of gay marriage are so keen to have their private sex lives discussed in court.
      Maybe this is a gender rather than homo-hetero-sexual thing.

      To me gay marriage is absurd -although I do not mean this in a derogatory way (hard though it may be to believe).

      I genuinely think that all references to sex should be removed from marriage law, I am, however, well aware that this would make civil marriage effectively become civil partnerships for all-heterosexual or homosexual.
      So just bite the bullet and call them all civil partnerships regardless of whether or not it is a cp between MR Jones and MR Smith or a cp betwee MISS Jones and MR Smith.

      1. So what do you wish to do with religious marriage if all civil marriages became CP’s then?

  33. Benjamin Cohen 15 Apr 2012, 12:43am

    Hey I’ve seen all the various comments here. I should point out that on Thursday PinkNews was accused of an anti-Tory bias. Saturday a pro-Tory bias. In truth we don’t have a bias in regards to political parties. Both articles had the same author. Obviously all the writers and people involved in the site have their own political views but they shouldn’t be apparent. Because of my job on c4 I have to be impartial, but I feel it might be apparent from my Twitter where I’m leaning towards preference wise (still undecided though). I haven’t been writing any of the stories though.

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