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Exclusive: Nick Clegg dismisses ‘bigot’ row and defends reshuffle changes

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  1. Craig Denney 12 Sep 2012, 1:56am

    What’s the Problem?

    They are bigots.

  2. Peter Robertson 12 Sep 2012, 2:23am

    If the shoe fits…

  3. Landmark ????

  4. How come a few months ago he said it’s not a question of “if” we have marriage equality its “when” and in this article he is saying “hope”.

    I could be me being a bit pessimistic but with comments like this and who they are appointing with the reshuffle I personally don’t hold much hope.

    Hopefully they will keep to their word and announce their answer at the end of the year…fingers and toes crossed

    1. The new radical “Conservative Voice” right lead by people like Dorries and Fox, might slow things down. How galling to be denied equality by people like that. Still, the tories tearing themselves apart, as they always do, with resulting election of a labour government may be the quickest way to gain equality. And it will leave the tories with the legacy of having denied equality when they next pretend to be the nice party.

      1. I wouldn’t rely on Labour to introduce marriage equality, when the best they managed in 13 years of Government was a watered-down version of the Lib Dem bill for Civil Partnerships.

        Fact is there are supporters, and opponents, of equality in all the major parties, and we need to work together to deliver it. If Labour could adopt marriage equality as party policy and promise to whip their MPs and peers on the matter (rather than have individual MPs pledging support), that’d help.

        1. lets not forget it was during labour years that britain became less homophobic preparing safe ground for tories to evolve its attitudes towards lgbt and it was labour that first had openly gay mps in parliament, beside everywhere else it started with partnerships so not sure whats with your nagging attitude towards labour

          1. During Labour years, yes. Due to Labour, no. Labour spent taxpayers’ money trying to keep LGBT servicepeople in the military closet, and most of their LGBT legislation was introduced at the demand of the European Court of Human Rights.

            Besides which, we’ve seen Labour vote against their policies and “principles” on issues like AV and Lords reform just to destabilise the Coalition, so there’s no reason to believe they wouldn’t do the same over equal marriage.

            That’s why I want the Labour Party to step up to the plate and make a positive commitment as a party, not as individual MPs, to marriage equality – because I want to maximise our chances of getting equal marriage as soon as possible.

          2. Dave, Labour made during their 1996/7 political campaign many promises to the LGBT community. At that time their ideas were the most progressive and viable you could find. All of their promises have been duly fulfilled, despite the fierce opposition of the Tory party. It also paved the way for the LibDems to come out in strong support too. The LibDems are now in bed with homophobes, but that doesn’t give you any reason to lie out of your arsse about the facts just to justify the present LibDem’s “coalition” adventure.

          3. Beberts – you should really go back and refresh your memory on LGBT rights from the 96/97 era. Labour only ever made vague warm noises to the pink press; the Liberals said the right things to the pink press but crucially they put it all in their manifesto too.

            Labour in that first term blocked repeal of section 28, propped up the military ban defending it in the courts, and generally played to the Daily Mail audience on LGBT equality. Everything that got delivered in the Blair and Brown years ultimately came from the Liberals or the EU.

  5. I spoke about this on LBC last night. Bigot is exactly the right word. Religious people think their doctrine lets them off the hook with the “firmly held beliefs” bull. If they are anti-equality they are bigots. Americans in the 1960s who were kind to their maids but were against inter-racial marriage = bigots. Just the same. No excuses.

  6. casparthegood 12 Sep 2012, 8:08am

    If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck what is it ?

  7. Again Nick Clegg proves what a gutless politician he is by removing the word bigot from his speech, when clearly those who are against equal marriage are bigots. That would be like not using the word racist for those who were against inter-racial marriage years ago.

  8. I’m finding it hard to know why there was a reception for marriage equality at this time when the govt is still dawdling and we still don’t have any specific/additional news to celebrate. The consultation ended ages ago.

    France yesterday unveiled their equal marriage bill, it’s not like we had something like that to have a reception on, is it?

    And only in Britian would the headline news be about a word that wasn’t used in a speech rather than the actual subject matter of SS marriage.

    And as an aside there are still plenty of lib dem MPs who still haven’t show their support for equal marriage. WHY?

    1. The only way marriage equality will be introduced into this country will be when we are shamed into it by countries like France and Scotland and hopefully some others in the far east. Meanwhile we will continue to lecture the world on human rights and 26 unelected bishops will continue to sit in the House of Lords.

      Yes you are right, a reception for marriage equality which has badly back fired and when we are no where near marriage equality?

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 12 Sep 2012, 12:46pm

      Plus, we will need a sufficient number of Tories to vote for it if it’s going to pass in Parliament. I just don’t see the numbers, not even 100 of them. We don’t have the good fortune as France’s President Hollande whose government has enough votes to push it through without any input from the conservatives and others. Would that be the case in the UK. What disheartens me even more is that fact that Nick Clegg has now gone from “if” and “when” and now to “hope”. To think that only 228,000 responses were received for the consultation doesn’t sound a lot does it, compared to the whopping 550,000+ at C4M. I wouldn’t mind betting that a large portion of the opposition were among the 228,000 respondents.

  9. Why does he say the “the Liberal Democrat Equality Minister Jo Swinson “, what happenned to Helen Grant? Did she refuse to promote equal civil marriage or something? are we going to get actual confirmation from Helen Grant of her support?

    ““I think it is incredibly important that the values of all ministers around the cabinet table are tolerant, liberal and open…” I think it’s important that they are all made to support a key policy like marriage equality to prove that!

    1. Jo Swinson was announced as a Lib Dem addition to the Equalities Team last night, it was covered on Pink News.

  10. I don’t think attacking people who are against equality is a smart move, so I think that eliminating the word ‘bigot’ from the speech was the right thing to do.
    Ok, so they might be bigots, but p*ssing them off doesn’t help anyone, ESPECIALLY not right now when people are fighting for equality.

    1. but they can p*ss gays off, can’t they?

      1. I didn’t say that, but coming down to their level doesn’t help

        1. It’s true that if we get too aggressive we will look like disgruntled militants, which British society has always abhorred. However, it is important to be clear and not allow people to think that their bigotted views are acceptable in any form. No intelligent case against Civil Marriage has been put forward by anyone. Opposition to it is pure prejudice and should be identified as such.

    2. There are angels and bigots but hard-line language perhaps makes it harder to win over some of the ‘swing’ MPs in the middle?

  11. “the government is now sifting through 228,000 responses…”. The consultation promised that it was not interesting in the numbers of responses, (I hope this wasn’t a poll , especially since many of the responses are probably from the US or made up or duplicated) and we were told that equal civil marriage was a case of WHEN not IF. So all negative responses should be binned!!!, that would quicken things up a bit for you.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 12 Sep 2012, 12:51pm

      228,000 is a pathetic number and probably comprised of opponents from C4M. The consultation for this was a total waste of time. The most important thing right now is gathering sufficient numbers of Tory MPs to vote “yes”. Without them, equal marriage is dead on arrival in Parliament. I think the current number for them is roughly 30 and I suspect we’d need at least 100 of them to see it pass safely.

    2. That’s still 228,000 responses that each have to be read to work out whether they belong in the bin though! Gonna take a while that…

  12. Those who are against same-sex marriage, that is: equality for all, are bigots, so I really don’t know why bigots are offended when they are called by what they are. I am gay, they are bigots, simple.

  13. Shame, I might actually have voted for someone who calls a bigot a bigot, openly and without remorse.

  14. If we don’t have equality by the time of the next election then no LGBT person can vote either Tory or Lib Dem.

    This interview by Clegg is alarming.

    He is too scared to call the Tory opponents of equality the bigots they are.

    He has no timetable for equality.

    And he has no problem with the bigot Miller being equalities minister.

    This is not good enough Clegg. We are watching for progress. A proper timetable for equality is demanded right now.

    1. But can we vote Labour when they didn’t deliver equal marriage during 13 years of Government?

      Should we all vote Green instead?

      1. I don’t know whether voting Labour is an option.

        But they never made a promise to deliver marriage equality during their 13 years in power.

        David Cameron made a SPECIFIC promise to have equality by 2015.

        If this has not been achieved then he is a liar whose party we cannot vote for.

        1. No, that’s true, they made a promise not to. That’s part of why I didn’t vote for them :)

  15. it looks like ss marriage law is being sidelined to save cameron’s bacon, bring on labour government i say

  16. Quite frankly I don’t believe that the Tories have the remotest intention of legislating for equal civil rights for LGBT people.

    Is there any prospect of an MP who supports equal civil rights, introducing a private members bill to introduce marriage equality?

    The point blank refusal by Clegg or Cameron to give us a timetable for equality is unacceptable, and coupled with the appointment of an extremist bigot like Maria Miller as equalities minister means they are simply playing politics and have no intention of legislatying for equality.

  17. Clegg should have stuck to his guns, called them bigots and refused to apologise !

    Splendid leading article comment in today’s Evening Standard (scroll down to the third one).

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