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York: Attempt to block rainbow flag over Mansion House at Pride

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  1. “Chris Steward said his opposition was not anti-gay and he would oppose the flying of flags for other days, including the White Rose flag on Yorkshire Day. He added that the Conservative group supported Pride in the city”.

    Really, if that is the case let the flag gly high you idiot!

    1. Spanner1960 13 Jul 2012, 5:34pm

      That was my thought.
      What is wrong with flying a flag, whatever it is?

  2. Robert in S. Kensington 12 Jul 2012, 3:53pm

    Pathetic excuse by Steward, who else but a Tory. No surprise there of course. Even flying a flag they have an issue with.

  3. Pavlos Prince of Greece 12 Jul 2012, 4:02pm

    HRH Prince Andrew, Duke of York, is so attractive and gay-friendly person, He can help us, I am sure.

  4. Typical Tory C**t.

    1. Spanner1960 13 Jul 2012, 5:34pm

      Typical socialist response.

  5. Er he said the Conservative Group supported Gay Pride – he did not state he supports it, interesting choice of wording?

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 12 Jul 2012, 4:40pm

      And I bet the overwhelming majority of Tories don’t support equal marriage either. If it fails, it will be because of them, nobody else.

      1. And yet Gays in their thousands continue to vote for them.

        1. Robert in S. Kensington 13 Jul 2012, 12:26am

          Actually, Cal, I voted for them for the first time two years ago, but won’t ever again, no matter the outcome of equal marriage. They just can’t be trusted to deliver and even if we are lucky enough to have it pass in the Commons, the House of Lords will probably vote no, delaying it yet again. At least we can take comfort that the majority of Liberal Democrats and Labour support it.

  6. Chris Steward said his opposition was not anti-gay…

    Yeah, sure… and the sky is green

  7. plain mean-spiritedness for meanness sake. we won’t forget.

  8. Like the issue with another council (Cllr. Snowe) the other day, it all comes down to past practice. If it has always been the practice of the council to only fly the St. George’s Cross then I have no problem with denying the rainbow flag special privilege. However if they have ever flown ANY other flag as a salute to any other community then Steward’s argument is vacuous and probably based in anti-gay animus.

    1. No British civic organisation (local council / national government office) has ever flown / should never fly any flag other that a) the Union Flag (Jack at sea – but that’s something different); b) the Cross of St George, the Cross of St Andrew, the Red Dragon (and / or Cross of St David), Cross of St Patrick, Cross of St Piran, etc (i.e. national flags); the Royal Standard if HM The Queen happens to be inside the building.

      By convention, though, only the Union Flag is allowed to fly on government buildings throughout the UK and Northern Ireland, with the only (until recently, rare) exceptions being the national flags of England, Wales, Scotland and N Ireland on their patronal feast days/ national holidays.

      So, why should the gay pride be granted special status? In doing so, people will assume that homosexuals seek special privileges, or various special interest groups will demand the same right. In the end, all sorts of odd flags will be flying, with no room for the Union Flag!

      1. Thats untrue, John.

        You may say should never – and that would be your opinion (which I believe to be misguided and wrong).

        However, has never would be factually incorrect.

        I have seen a number of other flags fly from local authority and central government buildings including rainbow flags, their own flags, foreign flags, EU flag, flag of voluntary organisations and flags designed by school children – to name but a few.

        Here are a few pieces of evidence re the rainbow flag (and I can provide evidence of other flags if requried):

        Leicester Town Hall

        North Cumbria Hospital

        Manchester Town Hall

        Cardiff City Council

        1. Liverpool Town Hall

          Cabinet Office, Whitehall

          Southport Police Station

          Oxford Town Hall

          and I could go on and on

          Other flags have been flown on many occasions from many public buildings, including the rainbow flag. Your contention that “No British civic organisation (local council / national government office) has ever flown …” is incorrect and false.

          You, no doubt, will continue your view that no body SHOULD hoist another flag. You are entitled to your opinion – and others are entitled to strongly believe you are wrong.

  9. The homosexual Flag is an advert, and if you want to fly it you apply for permission and pay the appropriate submission fee.

    Personally the homosexual flag should not be flown on any Government buildings.

    1. What is being advertised?

      Where has Mansion House charged a rate for a flag previously, and what is the rate?

    2. “Personally the homosexual flag should not be flown on any Government buildings.”

      Don’t be so ridiculous.

    3. “The homosexual flag”

      Only a homophobe would describe it in such a manner.

    4. Hmmm

    5. ‘erection of the flag’?


    6. Spanner1960 13 Jul 2012, 5:39pm

      May I ask why?
      Don’t gay people vote for government and local councils?
      Don’t gay people pay Income tax, rates and council tax?
      Aren’t there gay people working in local and national government?

      You make out like we are some bunch of outsiders.
      We are PART of society and we demand inclusion.

    7. The Rainbow flag was first used by African-Americans. It signifies equality of diversity, although it is undoubtably true that that many gay people would wrongly think it was their’s alone.

      It would be insanely ignorant for a Conservative to oppose its use.

  10. I love York. My last trip I based myself there.

    Such a shame as I have met some hot guys at the Minster arms. Probably changed now.

    1. Spanner1960 13 Jul 2012, 7:43pm

      I remember that place, and The White Horse I seem to recollect.
      Lovely city and a really fun crowd.

      1. The Little John, Monster Arms or The White Horse are places I have been known to frequent in York.

        Fantastic city, fun crowd and great vibe, I agree.

        1. * Minster

  11. Has he nothing better to do with his time as a counsellor?

  12. On an entirely different issue (but one of homophobia by the establishment in England):

    It appears that the CoE are engaging in clear homophobia in who they permit of officiate in their services (against the will of their congregations). It appears that they are even trying to pretend that having a gay priest officiaiting is an issue under child protection by scurilously referring to safeguarding matters.

    PN can you run this story too please?

    1. Jock S. Trap 13 Jul 2012, 9:58am

      Absolutely appalling!

    2. This is quite dreadful bigotry. I hope that this is more widely publicised. Tweet it everyone! (Though why any gay person would join the CofE is beyond my comprehension.)

      1. I agree.

        What makes this one worse for me is the fact that the parishioners want the priest to officiate at their services. They have tried to explore the established channels to seek authorisation for this to occur (after the diocese debarred the priest due to issues connected to his orientation) and then when the congregation collectively support the priest, the diocese ramp up militant and aggressive homophobic hatred against both the priest and the will of their congregation.

    3. Its laughable that the Diocese of Chichester (who have been vilified by the police and others for their failures to engage with safeguarding would try and maliciously link this to a gay partner).

      Here are extracts from comments from Changing Attitude:

      “In 2008 the Revd David Page retired as Vicar of St Barnabas Clapham Common to Chichester Diocese, to Winchelsea. David was a founder member of the Southwark Diocese Lesbian and Gay Support Network in 1991 and the first Chair of Changing Attitude trustees, resigning when he retired from Clapham. For some years Changing Attitude’s office was in St Barnabas’ Vicarage.

      David lives with his life partner in Winchelsea, which is in the domain of the soon-to-retire Wallace Benn. Chichester is, as David says, a fairly dysfunctional diocese (on gender issues even more than sexuality, not to mention safeguarding policies).

      Events have been unfolding in Winchelsea (a very gay-friendly community) to suggest that local churches and communities

      1. are not prepared to tolerate current official Church of England policy on Civil Partnerships. Both the parish and the diocese seem to be in considerable turmoil.

        When David retired in 2008 and moved to Chichester Diocese he applied to Bishop Wallace Benn for permission to officiate. The bishop refused to grant it on the grounds that David is in a Civil Partnership and had declined to answer Benn’s intrusive questions as to whether the relationship was a sexual one. The Rector, Fr Robert Hargreaves, and churchwardens appealed but their appeal was ignored and so the Rector encouraged the PCC to pass a resolution inviting David to preach and lead worship regardless of the bishop’s refusal. They voted unanimously to do this and David has willingly done so ever since. This arrangement continued unchallenged until the present time but, with the retirement of the Rector approaching, David sought permission again for a PTO.

        David sees all this as a result of the Church of England’s

      2. exemption from anti-discrimination legislation. Faith groups are allowed to discriminate against partnered gay clergy and to demand assurances from them about their relationships that would be illegal if asked for in any other context.

        The response this time has been to ignore the new PTO request and to file an official complaint in the name of the archdeacon under the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003 – against David for officiating without permission and against the Rector for allowing it. The documents arrived in the middle of last week. Both Fr Howard and David have received formal notification from the Diocesan legal officer that a complaint has been laid against them by the Archdeacon under the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003. David is complained against for officiating at services without the bishop’s permission and Fr Howard for having authorised this.

        The Winchelsea community are up in arms about this, seeing it as, in essence, a homophobic act. This persecutory and homophobic

      3. exercise of episcopal authority is so out of tune with the views of our local church and community and, increasingly, of the nation as a whole. However hard the Diocese tries to muddy the waters, the truth is that this is only happening because David is gay.

        David was due to preach at the Patronal Festival Service at Winchelsea last Sunday (mayor, corporation and London choir all present) but was forbidden. An announcement was made at the start of the service and, when the moment came, the Rector read David’s sermon on his behalf.

        None of this relates in any way to recent news items about the woefully inadequate way the Diocese has handled the issuing of permissions and in particular their failure to check that all clergy had current Criminal Records Bureau clearance as best practice requires. That involves clergy who have permission but who were discovered not to have CRB clearance. David’s case is the opposite. He has CRB clearance but not permission.”

    4. This statement was read to the congregation at St Thomas’ Church, Winchelsea at the start of the Patronal Festival Service on Sunday 8th July 2012 in the presence of the Mayor and Corporation of Winchelsea.

      I regret to have to announce that the preacher this morning, The Revd David Page, is unable to preach because he has been prevented from doing so by the Archdeacon of Lewes and Hastings on the grounds that he, David Page , does not have the Bishops license to officiate. Because, over a period starting in 2009, David has preached and presided at the Eucharist at my invitation and with the knowledge and consent of the Church Council both he and myself have been cited under the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003 – David for exercising ministry and me for permitting it.

      David Page had applied for a permission from The Bishop of Lewes (The Rt. Revd Wallace Benn) but was refused on the grounds that he is in a Civil Partnership and was not prepared to discuss the nature of their

      1. relationship finding the questioning intrusive. While the matter is being dealt with by the Bishop of Horsham, the Bishop of Lewes is strongly antagonistic to such relationships.

        The sermon this morning has been prepared by David but will be read by myself. The whole business is deeply deplorable, and does not reflect well on Diocesan authorities when the whole question of licensing could have dealt with in a pastoral and Christian manner.

        People have asked whether the complaint was originally made by someone in the local community. I am quite certain that this is not the case and that it originates at diocesan level and not locally.

        The Revd Howard Cocks
        Rector of Winchelsea
        Sunday 8th July 2012

    5. Here are some of the comments about this by some CoE priests online:

      “I understand that some years ago Wallace Benn instituted an enquiry into the sleeping arrangements of his single male priests. He was told to stop when this came to the notice of the wider diocese but it looks as if this Winchelsea scandal is the fall out from this.

      I am amazed and disgusted that the law officers of the Diocese should now be involved, what does the Archdeacon think that he is doing? Benn is leaving, God know when but it can’t be soon enough. Looks like he wants to go out with a bang. He is already in sufficient trouble over the child abuse issue and if he had had any decency he would have gone long ago.”

      “Benn probably won’t retire until he is 65. This will be in Aug or Sept. He will more readily give PTO to pedophiles than good priests in honest, open loving relationships. He has two CDM’s against him and should have been sacked, why hasn’t the Archbishop of Canterbury sacked him?”

      1. “I thought the Church of England was in favour of civil partnerships? That’s at least what various bishops have been going round saying recently, in defence of their opposition to the Government’s plans to allow gay couples to marry……”

        “I’m appalled
        let’s hope that +Mark can sort it out, he licensed me, and cannot have not known that I was partnered,
        lets hope +Wallace goes soon and Martin Warner takes the opportunity to appoint an inclusive Bp.
        well we can but hope, meanwhile prayers for Fr Howard, the Parish, Fr David a his partner”

  13. Jock S. Trap 13 Jul 2012, 9:56am

    Pathetic… This is for one day so I don’t see why the bigotry.

    Well done Neil Barnes for wanting to make the gesture and I hope he wins through.

    As for Steward… all this does is should up his nasty bigotry.

    If the government of the country can do it I don’t see why they have to be challenged with such hate.

  14. York Pride Press Officer 13 Jul 2012, 11:57am

    We are delighted that the Tory amendment was heavily defeated at last night’s Council and there was a strong majority in favour of the motion by Cllr Barnes. This means that the rainbow flag will, for the first time, fly over the Mansion House to coincide with York Pride on the 21st of July!!!
    We would be delighted to welcome any of you to York to join the Pride Parade, which leaves from York Minster at 12-00. Ironicially, given other themes in the above debate, our focus for this year’s Pride and the Parade is marriage equality…

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