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Guildford: Council votes against ‘inappropriate’ equal marriage view

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  1. They either are seeking to deny equality (and trying to disguise it by pretending they do not wish to make a decision)


    The are too cowardly to stand on the right side of history and support equality.

    Either way their conduct is reprehesible and odious.

    The legacy of this decision will be that the council and councillors stand against equal civil rights for LGBT people.

    1. it wouldn’t surprise me if its the latter or the 2, heh im reminded of a t-shirt i saw a little while back that had the phrase ‘Apathy – just say maybe’ on it :D

  2. Further proof that that you are only welcome in Surrey is you are a married heterosexual.

    Shame on the councilors for being too cowardly to stand up for equality!

    1. A pity as one of the best gay bars I frequented as a youth was almost underneath that clock in the picture.
      When a bomb went off in a pub a little further up the road it was locals from the ‘gay’ pub who were among the first on the scene.

  3. Jock S. Trap 16 Jul 2012, 4:27pm


    Since this will have everything to do with local councils it is unthinkable that this is more about silencing than debating and progressing.

    Shame of Guildford Council!

  4. Lily livered and fence sitters in the council.

  5. Robert in S. Kensington 16 Jul 2012, 5:15pm

    It’s not a matter of conscience, it’s about fairness and equality, nothing more. Just because I don’t like CPs, doesn’t mean I don’t support them for those who so choose and woudn’t vote against them. That’s why a free vote is not a good thing in this instance. It will allow all of the bigotry to step forward and vote against it. If it is defeated in Parliament, it will be down to the Tories who seem to have the monopoly on bigotry in Parliament and in the House of Lords I’ve no doubt. This is taking far too long to legislate and enabling the bigots to become more emboldened. This is nothing more than veiled homophobia in Guildford and elsewhere.

  6. I did’nt realise that Guildford was a seperate state from the rest of the UK!!! Passport please!

  7. Big cathedral in the middle of Guildford. I guess they don’t want to upset the Bishop and all his minions.

  8. Is it any wonder that rights and equality took centuries to establish, even to the extent they are established now?

    It’s quite likely that the jobsworths, cap doffers and the- lets not rock the boat- brigade were a greater obstacle to progress than the various oppressors themselves. Makes me appreciate even more, the brave souls who in years gone by made a stand

  9. Councils are meant to provided facilities for the public and general upkeep of public grounds.

    They should certainly not get in the way of things like this.

  10. Spanner1960 16 Jul 2012, 6:29pm

    Much the same comment as the one regarding Cotswold District Council:
    It has absolutely nothing to do with them. Leave them to fixing roads, empting bins and all the minutiae of life and leave the real politics to the professionals whilst they squabble over what colour the dustcarts ought to be.

    1. One significant difference between Cotswold DC and Guildford Council is that Guildford council provides a registry office and registrant service for marriages/CPs, whereas in the Cotswold area this is the responsibility of Gloucestershire CC.

      It would seem reasonable to expect the council providing a service that is directly relevant to the government consultation to comment upon it rather than be cowardly and refuse to comment or hide the intention of (either at a senior officer, elected official or corporate level) supporting inequality for LGBT people.

      1. Spanner1960 16 Jul 2012, 8:01pm

        It’s irrelevant Stu. The registry offices still have to follow the rules set down by Parliament. These petty-minded councils full of jobsworth little Hitlers can puff and strut all they like, acting like some state in the US, when in fact they have no major power whatsoever and have to do what they are told. This is a total non-story.

        1. In your opinion, irrelevant.

          I completely disagree.

          The fact dozens of other local authorities have shown support for equal marriage demonstrates those who decline to are either homophobic and do not wish to support equality for LGBT people – or they are complete cowards.

  11. Mumbo Jumbo 16 Jul 2012, 6:40pm

    And yet Guildford council has happily voted to be one of those who say CoE prayers before each meeting so taking a partisan, exclusive and sectarian view on a matter of personal conscience.

    I wonder if the two issues are connected.

  12. Are the local Tories and Lib Dems maybe scared of losing some bigoted local donors in leafy Surrey?

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 16 Jul 2012, 10:51pm

      Sounds like it doesn’t it, whether it’s in their remit or not. All of those representing us at whatever level should be held accountable to the people who elect them or support them in any way shape or form.

  13. I’m afraid i can’t get too worked up about this: a local council is a not an appropriate vehicle for this debate because Equal Marriage it’s not within their remit.

    There was a lot of posturing by councils such as Lambeth who wasted a lot of money erecting ‘Nuclear Free Zone’ signs all over the place. They were totally meaningless because Lambeth didn’t actually have the power to do anything at all.

    If every council debated every national and international issue, they’d all grind to a halt very quickly indeed.

    It would be have been far better to have directed efforts in a more productive direction, such as lobbying the Guildford MP Anne Milton to vote at Westminster in favour of Equal Marriage.

    1. The voice of common sense and reason in a wilderness of hysteria and faux rationalism.

      Thank you!

    2. Eh.

      You have to go to council offices to get your CP or Marriage Certificate.

      They are called “registrars” and under FULL control of the council.

  14. And with people like Sarah Creedy involved, is it any surprise…?

    A relevant quote from here:


    Cllr Sarah Creedy (Con, Holy Trinity) embarked on an odd homophobic diatribe about how the “gay community” (a grouping I’ve always found odd – we don’t have elected representatives or a national council/body) being unable to hold down monogamous relationships. She pointed out that marriage was defined in 1867 as “between a man and a woman”, missing the irony that as marriage pre-dates 1867, which would make it a redefinition. She said that there was no support for the petition in question and moved on to talk about children, suggesting that kids do better with a mother and a father (although without citing said studies)

    Nuff said!

  15. Chicken coup.We shall see who is voted for in the next elections.

  16. GingerlyColors 17 Jul 2012, 7:24am

    Local councils should concern themselves with local issues such as housing, schools, sanitation and roads. If the law is amended to allow gay marriage (which I hope will happen soon) then Guildford Council has no choice but to allow same-sex couples to marry in it’s registry office and other premises which they may own and hold a marriage licence for.

    1. Local issues include equality.

      many organisations legitimately make comment on many things which they have no control over and it is very cowardly for Guildford and cotswold council to fail to support LGBT people.

  17. Chris Ward 17 Jul 2012, 9:18am

    Hi folks,

    Just wanted to address a few points that have been made regarding the petition.

    You are correct in arguing that the council has no powers to change the rule. However, full council is quite often used for members and residents to raise external issues to request the council’s endorsement. This happened numerous times within my term on the council on tuition fees; on a motion Cllr Rooth put supporting a Tory green paper (the starting point for legislation – an act of Parliament the council would have no power over); and a cross-party motion condemning the govt insisting on a costly council tax rebill – once again something the council has no power to affect. This is entirely different to the Lambeth example as signage is costly – this would not have been.

  18. Chris Ward 17 Jul 2012, 9:21am

    Forgot to mention – the idea that councils have a huge agenda every full council and that they’d “grind to a halt” is not true, certainly not in Guildford anyway. In my term of office as a councillor, most full council meetings were over within 30 mins to an hour, with the August one often cancelled due to “lack of business” (read: cancelled due to councillors wanting to go on holiday and not being bothered turning up to a meeting).

    There’s also the point that most councillors weren’t arguing the point that it wasn’t within their remit. Goodwin and a couple of others argued that they weren’t certain their residents would support it. Creedy went on a long homophobic diatribe about how gays can’t hold down a long-term relationship and how they’re not good for children.

    1. Thanks for pointing out the facts, from within (as it were).

      I suspected that either homophobia or cowardice (or both) were at the root of this issue in Guildford.

      Clearly, some councillors would have been supportive (otherwise the issue would not have been raised) – its a shame that ignorant homophobes were able to dictate with their lies and deceptions.

      My relationship with my boyfriend reached its 20th anniversary last year (not bad for a 40 and 41 year old!). The 4 foster children we have cared for all seemed to benefit from our care and support. Creedy’s ignorance sounds like typical ignorant homophobic mantra. I hope other councillors in Guildford with expose his bigotry more publically (perhaps including a transcript of the comments in their diatribe!).

    2. Maybe we are also not fit to be paying full council tax then.

      If I am not being represented then why should I contribute.

    3. Why didn’t you remain a councillor, then? (You speak in the past tense.)

      Tuition fees, etc, are non-issues as most councillors would simply follow the party line. In that sense, those types of motions would just be posturing by any given council, especially if it was controlled by a particular party / coalition. Matters such as gay marriage, abortion, etc, etc, are normally matters of conscience and would be far too controversial and time-wasteful for a local council to debate – for I am sure that every member in the chamber would have a different view, and the debate would probably lead to unnecessary tensions and / or emotive arguments, etc. Not pretty, not necessary, and definitely not something that local councillors should bother with – back to road signs, traffic, licensing, planning, etc.

      Let the grown ups deal with issues of morality and / or rights and the law, and let local authorities make sure there are enough bin collections!

      1. Chris Ward 17 Jul 2012, 1:26pm

        Actually councillors don’t always follow the party line. These types of motions happen at full council – that’s the purpose of it. Abortion would be an odd debate to have now simply because there’s been no consultation on it and unlike on equal marriage the government has not specifically asked local authorities their opinion on abortion. I don’t consider equality to be a matter of personal conscience – that’s dubious fencesitting to avoid discussing something controversial. Everything in politics is a matter of personal conscience. Your point that everybody will have a different view and that it would be emotive seems odd – that’s the case for most things councils/all politicians debate.

        Planning is dealt with via the planning committee, licensing via the quasi-judicial licensing sub/committees, signage and bin collections by scrutiny committees. Full council is for things like this.

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