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Video: Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg says equal marriage no longer a matter of ‘if’ in @Out4Marriage video

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  1. marco genovesi 20 Jun 2012, 10:46am

    excuse my pessimist behaviour of not waving the rainbow flag as yet in victory, but was nick clegg not clear before he went to parliament about tuition fees?

    1. I agree with you, and this does not merit forgiveness. Maybe he will finally have learnt to stick to his guns….it is a step in the right direction.

    2. That was a Lib Dem promise, and admittedly a broken one. Both the other major parties wanted to raise tuition fees, which meant that the current graduate tax compromise was the best the Lib Dems could do.

      The equal marriage legislation however is coming from the Government, not just one of its parties. It’s not inconceivable that the Tories will have a change of heart and try to vote it down in the Commons or Lords, and I doubt they’ll be alone in trying that. But it’s coming from the Government after the election, not one party before it.

    3. Yes he was clear: that if the Lib-Dems won the election & Clegg became Prime Minister, then tuition fees would not be imposed. However, they didn’t & he didn’t, so they couldn’t legislate according to their manifesto on this and many other issues, but had to horse-trade with the Tories to get as much influence as they could. Having only 57 out of 650 seats in parliament, the wonder is they have influence at all. If the Tories had won an outright majority, I wonder where we would be now on equal marriage? Doubtless the Lib-Dems will obliterated at the next election and your wish to punish them for accepting the Tory policy of increased tuition fees will be satisfied, as we return to the 2-party oligarchy the tabloids are most comfortable with…

      1. More to the point, where would we be on tuition fees if the Tories had won? No cap, no graduate tax. If Labour had won? £15k cap, no graduate tax. Even now Labour’s only policy is to reduce the cap from £9k to £6k – which will only benefit the richest graduates at the expense of the poorest students.

  2. The most important name is not “Out4Marriage” – and that is David Cameron-the Prime Minister. I just still have a sneaky feeling he is waiting for “the long grass”. Of course-IF that happened the issue would explode in his face at the election in 2015 – risking portrayal of the conservatives as the “nasty” party-all over again.

  3. Paddyswurds 20 Jun 2012, 11:18am

    It’s news to me that it ever was an “if”…. I seem to remember CallmeDave saying at the Tory conference 2011 “So I don’t support gay marriage despite being a Conservative. I support gay marriage because I’m a Conservative”…… no mention of “if” there.

    1. Paddyswurds 20 Jun 2012, 11:23am

      …..So now it’s time to just “do it” and include Northern Ireland as well because the dinosaurs here will never allow it even though Sinn Fein fully supports it the Unionist backwoods men of the DUP and UUP will just dig their heels in. The Stoops (SDLP) aren’t much better; even the leader mof that excuse for a party is agin it…. So Dave Pleas include Ulster in your Equality pledge!!

    2. I recall Ms Featherstone saying that ‘it was not if but how’. We now have ‘not if but when’.
      What we want is ‘not if but now’.

  4. I suppose I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

    However the avalanche of truly disgusting bigotry that the unnecessary and offensive ‘consultation’ on marriage equality unleashed on our community is one of the more shameful and disgusting events of recent years.

    What is Nick Clegg and the LibDem Party going to do to introduce marriage equality by December 31st 2012.

    After the torrent of sickening abuse we have received as as result of this disgraceful and unnecessary consultation I think the politicians need a deadline by which to introduce equality.

    And it can be achieved before the end of the year.

    As Cleggy-boy says – it’s a matter of when and not if.

    Well Mr Clegg – the ‘when’ had better happen by year end if you expect to be taken seriously.

    1. Couldn’t agree more. Although I will allow the government the consultation, because it will at least reduce the risk of ‘come-back’ once the legislation is introduced, I still have absolutely no idea why this would only be introduced by 2015 at the earliest. The government can turn the NHS upside-down, reform the entire welfare system & cut the armed forces in half in a relative heart-beat, but introducing equal marriage apparantly requires the most amount of deliberation & debate I have ever seen. Although I think I am a positive person, I dread to think how I will feel after another 3 years of bile & hatred from religious organisations, dinasour MPs, Lords & conservative commentators and the lovely Daily Telepgraph and Daily Mail.

    2. While this won’t change what has happened David, I regret any abuse members of the LGBT community have received during the consulation.

      I am one that opposes gay marriage / marriage equality and have given my reasons during the consultation. I hope I have done so respectfully and with grace.

      If I do find people giving LBGT folk abuse, I do (and have) confront them.

      As for the consulation being necessary or not, I am of the view it is and that many of our politicians are out of touch with what many people think.

      1. Tim Chapman 20 Jun 2012, 6:36pm

        With respect, whatever your reasons for your opposition, they’re wrong.

      2. I’d be interested to know what reasons you put against equal marriage, JohnB. I understand your Christian beliefs but I can’t see how equal CIVIL marriage will affect them or you in any way.

        1. Hi Iris, hope you are well :-) I have articulated my reasons but you will understand, I hope, that the readers section of PN is not the place to present what I have written.

          I have written a book about my community activism and included a chapter about gay issues. I would love to send you a copy. I’m in the process of setting up online: jrbpublications.com.

          The subject is a complex and often emotive one and I don’t pretend to have all the answers – but at least I’ve opened up what I see are the issues and done so in a way that is hopefully sympathetic.

        2. I’m very well, thank you, JohnB – I hope you are too. My concern was what your issues could be with equal CIVIL marriage as I’d – perhaps wrongly – got the impression you were re-examining your opposition to this. Your comment sounded like you were still against it which disappointed me – especially as when I filled in the consultation I defended religions’ right to choose who their faiths married.

          This is a CIVIL matter, and although I understand civil marriage wouldn’t coincide with your religious beliefs, the same could be said of ALL civil marriage as they’re not ‘marriages under God’ and they allow people like divorcees to marry. I don’t see religious groups fussing about that so I fail to see why they’re fussing about equal marriage. In my opinion, their view is discriminatory and irrelevant to civil matters. I also note that the end of the marriage statement ‘one man, one woman for life’ has quietly been dropped…

          1. Iris
            It is a complex issue and this is not the right forum to place my argument. If you want to contact me via the website link I gave earler I can send you a paper I have written on the subject – it is still work in progress and eventually when I get my act together I will put it on the web.

            While it may disappoint in places I hope there will be a lot you will find helpful and even agree with with. Conversations with folk like yourself and Stu have helped me come to a view and are appreciated.

            Btw my local MP has responded to my views on the matter saying he will vote for marriage equality as he feels it right to encourage committed couples in this way regardless of their sexuality.

          2. Thank you, JohnB. I understand that you don’t want to get into long discussions in these comment threads. I WILL look up that website you linked to in your earlier comment – hopefully sometimes over the weekend (been a very busy week at work).

            I was interested and pleased to read of the response from your MP. Even if I was straight I’d still support equal marriage as I believe that’s it’s the right thing to do, and I hope many more MPs agree too.

            Let’s get equal civil marriage and move on. I think you’ll find that if it happens in the UK, it won’t be such a big deal as you’re thinking – at least, only a big deal for the couples involved, that is. :D Other countries have gender-neutral civil marriage and it’s worked fine.

      3. Jock S. Trap 20 Jun 2012, 10:16pm

        No matter how you put it, JohnB, suggesting that love between two people based on their orientation is less important, less meaningful than others is never respectful and cannot be done with any level of grace.

        To suggest your chosen religious beliefs and lifestyle is somehow more superior over how people are born and who they are is, in itself, a form of abuse.

        The only people ‘out of touch’ in this are those, like yourself, who won’t accept that the majority of people in this country don’t see why we cannot choose to marry. This is only because people with your beliefs cannot and will not accept a change because of your pathetic need to have control over a society that doesn’t believe in you nor needs you.

  5. Thanks Nick, I know you always have our back.

    1. Which is the reason that the ‘by the time of the next election’ deadline is an unnecessary delay.

      The LibDems and Cameron need to understand that any further delays on introducing marriage equality simply means that the Tories are the same revolting bigots that they have always been, and that the LibDems are utterly powerless in this coaltion.

    2. Paddyswurds 20 Jun 2012, 4:17pm

      Is that the same way he had the backs of the students when he made the promises on fees…….

  6. Craig Nelson 20 Jun 2012, 11:30am

    I do think the consultation has effectively shown there is very little support for the proposal to prevent religions marrying same sex couples where they wish to do so.

    I am not sure anyone has supported it and opposition to this division ironically unites both sides of the argument.

    1. The consultation was utterly unnecessary.

      To invite every Tom, Dick and Harriet in the country to give their opinion on marriage equality, instead of just consulting legal experts on how to introduce equality is simply incomprehensible.

      1. David
        This is a democracy and to my knowledge the government was not voted in because of a commitment to marriage equality (it wasn’t even in the Tory manifesto) – so the people should be consulted.

        1. If the issue is “when and how” and not “if” then why do the people need to be consulted? Do the people have a better understanding of parliamentary procedure and practice that parliamentarians? How are the people going to know better than lawmakers HOW best and WHEN best to enact this law?

          Unless it was really more about “if” rather than “how and when” all along.

        2. Jock S. Trap 20 Jun 2012, 10:21pm

          Actually JohnB that is incorrect. David Cameron Did say that he would have this discussion before the election so your claim is an irrelevant distraction to somehow desperately deflect the issue.

        3. @ JohnB

          Your knowledge clearly doesn’t go very far: it WAS in the Tory manifesto.

          The manifesto titled Contract For Equalities states: ‘We will also consider the case for changing the law to allow civil partnerships to be called and classified as marriage.’

          See Page 14 of http://goo.gl/Q8OMI

          1. Thanks Gerry, I stand corrected. I do feel though that is the case often among politicians that the goal posts have been moved. Considering the case is not the same as a government comitment to introduce gay marriage. But also in fairness to the current debate, considering the case does mean that people should be consulted.

          2. correct me if I’m wrong but as I understand it the manifesto committment was to consider whether to introduce gay marriage. What I’m hearing from the likes of David Cameron and other senior figures is that it is now a matter of “how” rather than “whether”. Methinks the goalposts have moved.

    2. @Craig Nelson: Absolutely.

      This bizarre idea of barring religions from preventing same-sex couples was always bad law and cowardly politics.

      It was supposed to keep the CofE on the fence, but it didn’t. If Ms Featherstone came up with that particular “strategy”, then she deserves the sack.

      But I doubt she had much to do with it – it always reeked of no. 10. I wonder if it was dreamed up in all those meetings with the church that took place before the consultation was drafted. I rather suspect the coalition thought they’d done a deal with Lambeth. Apparently they hadn’t; the church decided to slap us in the face anyway and start blathering about disestablishment, claiming religions have always recognised all legal (i.e. civil) marriages (which they don’t).

      Hopefully future governments will learn that there’s no point trying to give the church special exemptions as it’s going to stick its nose in anyway. Better to get the legislation right, and take the flak.

    3. I’m embarrassed to say that when the consultation started, I was so pleased they’d done it that part of me was like “OK, religious marriage can come later” and said that it seemed like it wasn’t the right time with the Church’s instant opposition of it.

      As the last few months have gone by, I’ve realised that what I originally thought was a load of tosh and I resubmitted it my response with amendments!

      Its so SO wrong for the law to prevent someone of faith doing something that is important to them, like having a religious marriage. In some ways I think the current state of things is more offensive to those LGBT religious people than it is to those of us who aren’t.

      It’s been an interesting few weeks..

  7. Then get on with it. The situation at the moment is nurturing a culture of homophobia that is sickening and dangerous.

    I feel less safe today than I did a year ago because this consultation period has involved a lot of anti-gay mob incitement.

    Get on with it, get it over with.

    1. I saw you name-calling at someone decent on Twitter last night, Valsky. Shame on you. Get some perspective.

      1. Shame? Cobblers.

        Do you mean the bloody fool who had the nerve to equate faith to sexual orientation? Given that one is innate and immutable and one is learned? The one who conveniently overlooks history?

        The one who perhaps didn’t realise that when we were in the trenches fighting to make sure issues like the Age of Consent were normalised across gender/sexuality HIS church obstructed the effort? (and accused gay men – like him – of being immoral and damaging to society)

        The one with his head in the bloody sand, conveniently able to overlook the harm his church has done and is STILL doing.

  8. Jock S. Trap 20 Jun 2012, 12:04pm

    Well Done Mr. Clegg… A voice in the right direction… It’s good that so many are being vocal about marriage equality.

  9. He was doing so well until …

    “your freedom to love who you choose is a fundamental right in a liberal society”

    And there is it folks, the word we all love sooo much ‘choose’. Pedantic? Yes but so are the bigots!

    1. I’d take that more to do with the choice of forming a relationship than orientation to be honest

  10. Thank you Mr Clegg but I shall believe it when it actually happens! it’s amazing how quickly the governmoent moves on getting a legislation out there when THEY benefit from it! We have to wait another TWO years for this! Why?

    Also..people are always going on about labels, so why the blazes do we have two here!? I am a woman and I am gay!! lol I do not see myself as lesbian (I hate the word…makes me thing of straight blokes wa@%*@g off to apparent ‘lesbian’ porn *shudders*), and I do not see why we have to have two different ‘labels’! the only difference between us as sex! We are still gay!

  11. “when and how” is no better than “if” if the “when” is undefined and open-ended.

    For example, I believe that it’s a given that even Poland will have equal marriage eventually. It’s not an issue of “if”; it’s an issue of “when”, but in such a case what’s the difference?

    It’s time to move NOW; not “sometime” by 2015.

  12. GulliverUK 20 Jun 2012, 5:18pm

    I can’t see how it won’t be done by 2015, so I’m optimistic, but clearly it should be done by the end of 2013, at the very latest. I’m saying that as we all know how slowly government moves, generally.

    They have to make a decision on whether to go forward – that appears certain now, then they have to draft changes to the existing legislation, argue over it some more, it has to go through various draft stages, and amendments being proposed, then final voting.

    It can’t be left too long or the momentum will dissipate.

    Tories have nothing to loose by supporting this, and everything to gain. I see the ape in a suit, Peter Bone, is off on one today – he is certainly someone who needs to be put in his place.

    Nick Clegg’s video did make me feel good, confident, and a bit happier. The sooner it is done the sooner people will start planning weddings, and spending money in the economy. That alone should make politicians want to hurry up.

  13. Kornelijus Norvidas 20 Jun 2012, 6:16pm

    I suspect, beautiful David will participate on Equal Marriage project just together with The Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, Prince William and King Constantine of Greece…

    1. Paddyswurds 20 Jun 2012, 6:39pm

      Eh???

  14. Thank you, Nick, now let us see the action bit, in other words make it happen.

  15. I have another question.

    If it’s true that the consultation is about “how and when” and not “if” to legislate marriage equality are they going to discard any and all submissions that don’t offer suggestions for how best and when best to enact the law?

    Are they going to discard submissions that say that marriage equality shouldn’t be enacted due to religious disagreement or out of dislike of gay people (which I suspect will be at least 50% of them)? It seems that such suggestions should be thrown out since they don’t address the “how” and “when” that the consultation was intended to address.

    Something tells me that the “ifs” responses will be given a lot of weight and that will show that their claim was bogus from the start.

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