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George Osborne: Tories must back same-sex marriage or risking losing like US Republicans

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  1. The time for talk about legalising gay marriage is now over Mr Osborne and time to put that talk into action.

    I sincerely hope that this will be in the next Queens Speech and the law is changed.

    1. That There Other David 13 Nov 2012, 12:05pm

      I have a feeling it’s going to be. For a while it looked extremely doubtful, but events in France, Spain and the US appear to have seen our government regain its backbone.

    2. Damned Right. And well done George. It’s nice that you oblige us with thinking that we suddenly deserve our rights as equal citizens. I have to say George, though, I especially love the fact that you believe our rights should be given to us not because of the merit that equal rights should be afforded to all and sundry and because of moral humanistic reasons, but because it will make sure the Tories might be in with a winning chance at the next election. Reducing the discourse of equal rights to winning an election and to political point scoring doesn’t make you sound like a wanker toad at all! And if anyone does say so, just take a deep breath on the lily pad. There, there. It’s okay now.

    3. ...Paddyswurds 13 Nov 2012, 5:21pm

      @D.McCabe…
      …. One sincerely hopes that they don’t legalise “gay Marriage” because that is simply not what anyone wants and the only people talking about “gay marriage” are the religious crazies. Gay people want equality nothing more or less and Marriage Equality is what this is all about……

  2. Paul Halsall 13 Nov 2012, 10:34am

    Don’t be deceived.

    The Tories are attacking the NHS and the benefits system – the safety net that all people, but especially gay people who are still undergoing the AIDS epidemic depend on.

    We need to object to Tory pinkwashing.

    1. Cardinal Capone 13 Nov 2012, 10:47am

      It’s possible to support them on this issue, and oppose them on others if we want.

      We should thank George Osborne for his forthright, uncompromising support for equality.

      I seem to remember Mr. Cameron flew to the US some time ago and warned the Republicans they should stop gay bashing and combine social liberalism with their economic policies if they wanted to win. Turns out he may have been right, though their economic policies may also have lost them the election.

    2. Craig Nelson 13 Nov 2012, 4:01pm

      You have hot a nail firmly on the head (even though your comment is so poorly rated it now doesn’t appear!!).

      What is clear to me is that this is a very right wing government indeed and yes the gay marriage thing is really important to their detoxification as a party because, yes, it does pinkwash them to a certain extent and makes them appear moderate even when they aren’t.

      One could argue that that is what they are trying to do and oppose them. Ultimately supporting this issue is important and for a change they have managed to get themselves onto the right side of history on this one issue in a way the Republicans haven’t figured out how to do yet.

  3. GO GEORGE! Mr Osborne makes exactly the right case at exactly the right moment. The Tories really do need to get their act together on this issue. I think it is a shame that the PM has said that he will not whip his MPs when the proposed bill is eventually brought forward (will that be before 2015?). Hopefully Mr Osborne’s astute comments here demonstrate a renewed vigour to see this through with a bit more command than the govt has been showing since the consultation.

  4. I don’t think it’s the LGBT vote that’s going to cost them the next election….

  5. Why are these Tories STILL talking about equality?

    The time for talk is over.

    Where is the draft legislation?

    Why are we still waiting?

    1. Because that is what politics is!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s waiting till one bureaucratic department gets the get go from another bureaucratic department whose minister agrees with the prime minister who has to leverage this politician to agree with him who will only do so if they join forces on this other issue, and also if they get this other politician on board who will only do so if he knows he’s going to get voted in at the next election, who runs this other bureaucratic department. Things take time! If only government were about morals! Jeesh

    2. Sister Mary clarence 13 Nov 2012, 2:37pm

      You’re right David, I mean if we’d had a Labour government, it would of been in the bag by now, wouldn’t it. They were so strongly in favour of marriage equality when they ran the country and were doubtless on the verge of introducing the necessary legislation.

      Oh …..

      Wait…..

      No …..

      That’s right … its coming flooding back …..

      They were doing Jack Sh1t about it

      Yes, it is taking time, but hopefully that time will ensure they get it right.

      1. Spanner1960 13 Nov 2012, 4:00pm

        Exactly. Labour sat on it for years until the ECHR rattled their cage, so they did the bare minimum in order not to incur the wrath of the church, and gave us that pathetic excuse, the civil partnership.

        Whatever your politics, most people will agree that Cameron has fought our corner tooth and nail on this one, and he has refused to be browbeaten into submission by the right-wing religionists or the Tory blue-rinse brigade, which is more can be said for Blair, Brown and that sad facsimile of a gay man, Peter Mandelson.

        1. I agree with you about Cameron. I harboured a view that he deserved the Stonewall Politician of the Year Award this year for his efforts on LGBT rights but was too scared to say it when it came along!!! I guess its probably a bit premature – should wait until the man has actually got equal marriage in the bag. It would be a travesty if he didn’t win it after that. [For the record, I vote LibDem].

    3. Ben Foster 13 Nov 2012, 9:57pm

      David you are becoming a stuck record on this subject, which is losing you respect here on the commnts boards. Give it a rest.

  6. I have never seen any inconsistency in centre right parties supporting SSM. If their claims to support small government and “freedom” are to be believed. Unfortunately they tend to become infiltrated by the religious right, as happened to the republicans. They should adopt policies of social progression with fiscal responsibility, they are not mutually exclusive.

    1. Spanner1960 13 Nov 2012, 4:02pm

      I would say they are doing precisely that.

  7. It’s all a bit cynical really, isn’t it? In effect, he’s saying, “Let’s support marriage equality or we will lose votes.”
    .
    How about saying, “Let’s support marriage equality because it’s the right thing to do?”
    .
    Anyway, I won’t be voting for them because of all their other policies, especially their shameful treatment of people with disabilities, but I am glad they are embracing marriage equality, whatever the reason.
    .
    I just hope that religions (Unitarians, Quakers, Pagans, Liberal & Reform Jews, Metropolitan Community Church) that want to perform same-sex marriages with legal standing will be allowed to do so.

    1. It would be better to leave religion out of it completely.

      Allowing those minor cults which support equality to perform marriages is a minor detail that can be rectified easily.

      Civil marriage equality is required,

      Why are we still only hearing talk about it.

      The Tories need to get their finger out and start taking some action.

      1. Spanner1960 13 Nov 2012, 4:02pm

        Oops. There goes that favourite “cult” word of dAVID’s again…

        1. ...Paddyswurds 13 Nov 2012, 5:14pm

          Oh for phuck sake get over yourself Spanner. Get a dictionary and look up cult….

    2. He is already saying both. As the article says, from his personal perspective he “strongly support[s] gay marriage on principle”, and puts emphasis on “people and how they want to live their lives.”

      But then he goes on to justify how it’s the most popular position electorally too, presumably to win the support of the more old-fashioned, Christian, small “c” conservative Tories, who otherwise would probably kick up a bit of a fuss.

      Clearly his piece is written with a dual purpose, firstly to make his own pro-gay opinion clear, and also to convince the cynical members of the party who couldn’t care less about gay rights and just want more votes.

  8. Osborne must surely be aware that if draft marriage equality legislation is not before parliament within a few months then there will not be sufficient time left in this government’s lifetime to make sure the legislation is in force by the time of the next election.

    If we do not have marriage equality by the tme of the next election then the Tories are the same lying bigots they always have been.

    The clock is ticking Osborne.

    1. Craig Nelson 13 Nov 2012, 2:49pm

      Yes I do worry about the govt simply running out of time, especially it the bill s rejeted in the Lords. If it proves contentious (it is already contentious with the lying approach taken by Christian Churches) the it is entirely possible to be defeated in the Lords and unlikely to be enacted in the runup to a general election.

      When you add these things together the timetable is already very tight. A bill would have to be introduced this autumn and complete its passage in the Commons by Spring 2013 at the latest.

      In addition to which there will need to be a Bill (potentially the same one) making the laterations to the Equality Act requested by the Scottish govt without which they are unlikely to be able to proceed.

      All I am saying is the sooner you start the sooner you finish; the longer you delay the greater the danger of things being very frantic and in that scenario the greater danger of it being postponed/dropped.

  9. How wrong can he be. Mr Osborne, if you continue to go against the wishes of the majority then you will continue to lose voters.

    I think you need to re-evaluate your statement there sir.

    1. Matt, you didn’t read the article, had you done so you would know that there is clear majority support across Britain for marriage equality.

      1. He doesn’t mention that voters in 31 other US states have soundly rejected the redefinition of marriage, as recently as May this year in North Carolina. He doesn’t mention that redefining marriage campaigners outspent their opponents by a ratio of 4:1. He doesn’t mention that, despite the mismatch in campaign spending, redefining marriage only scraped through by the skin of its teeth.

        He also ignores UK polls that show the real picture – that redefining marriage is a huge vote loser. Leading polling company, ComRes, has said the Tories stand to lose up to 30 parliamentary seats and 1.1 million votes because of their plans to redefine marriage.

        A chancellor’s job is to fix the economy, not play politics with marriage.

        1. You forgot to mention the tsunamis, Matt ;)

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 13 Nov 2012, 2:38pm

      Maybe in your delusional world the majority of your party are not in support of it, but Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the vast majority of the British public are. Even George Osborne is aware of that which is why he made the statement. The recent success of President Obama is further proof that the more extreme the opposition becomes, not just on marriage rights but on other social issues, means utter defeat for them. Your opposition will guarantee defeat and your worst nightmare will come to fruition, a Labour government. It’s not just the economy, stupid not this time around as evidenced in America and France. Be very careful what you really wish for. So don’t vote for Cameron, stay home and let more people vote for Ed Miliband, dumb arse.

  10. I would much prefer that Mr Osborne was in favour of Marriage Equality because it is the RIGHT thing to do; rather than just a means to achieve electoral victory … but I’ll gladly take it, however it comes!!!

    1. But he IS in favour of it because it’s the right thing to do. That is what he said – he believes in it as a matter of personal principle. He is merely adding that it will harm his party’s electoral chances if they oppose it.

  11. Paul from Brighton 13 Nov 2012, 2:11pm

    Who would have thought this was possible, say ten or twenty years ago that a Tory Chancellor would come out and publicly declare that unless his party get behind Gay marriage, they’ll loose the next election.

    What an achievement we have all made. Those of us who remember those long, dark days being hounded our of our jobs and homes, will appreciate how significant this statement is.

    This must come as a hell of a blow to the Christian and religious leaders who oppose SSM.

    Faced with ever falling church attendance numbers, property having to be sold off to fund abuse cases and compensation, it must be pretty lonely these days wearing a black frock or similar costume as the UK is a changing place.

    I

  12. They were unable to secure a Parliamentary majority against one of the most unpopular PMs in my lifetime. They are hoping by holding on to some of the l&g vote that they will not lose too catastrophically in 2015.
    But they need to ignore their right-wing loonies and the whinging churches and get equal marriage onto the books.

  13. Dan Filson 13 Nov 2012, 3:27pm

    If I read the Archbishop-designate’s words correctly, he may be accepting that government is entitled to legislate the civil law, including equal marriage, and the church takes its own position but implicitly won’t block the civil legislation provided there is no coercion on the churches (something made clear by Lord Alli some time back).

    1. Craig Nelson 13 Nov 2012, 3:52pm

      That would be a sensible path to pursue. The other path is suicide for the Church – an exit ticket from the modern world. Already too late perhaps.

    2. That was my interpretation of what he said also.

    3. That is not at all what the nasty bigot said. he endorses the Cof E’s current position, which is to oppose the civil marriage equality proposals.

  14. ‘Slasher’ opens his mouth and all I hear is, “Blah, blah, blah.” The Tories will lose the next election, not because gay guys like me want to get married, but because we believe in a better and more equitable society. The Tories have systematically ignored us for years; tried to remove our basic human rights; treated us as 2nd class citizens. I’d rather vote on the chances of that snowball making it through hell, than the Tories getting in for another term – the legalisation of gay marriage happening or not.

    1. Spanner1960 13 Nov 2012, 4:12pm

      So vote Labour, and guarantee that jack Sh|t will happen.
      Then you can live in your ” better and more equitable society” whilst the government piss yet more money into the wind on social causes instead of fixing minor details, like a £1.04 trillion national debt.

      1. Spanner, are you really sure that when you are on your deathbed, you’ll still be moaning about the costs of that life machine that is keeping you alive? Is that really who you are?

      2. Are you really one of those who, having your lover in a coma, you decide to switch his life-machine off because otherwise you’d be worrying too much about not having enough money to keep your credit rating and pay for your next new pair of shoes?

  15. Spanner1960 13 Nov 2012, 4:08pm

    “expose” gay friendly companies.
    LOL. That’s like revealing that some charities freely give away money to the needy and poor. How disgusting!

    All these people do is polarise their arguments still further and lose support, simply leaving a hardcore bunch of sad nutcases.

  16. Garry Cassell 13 Nov 2012, 4:17pm

    Time to get on with it…enough double talk to last a life time…the world has changed…get onboard or be left behind to wallow in your hatered..

  17. “I strongly support gay marriage on principle” but if it was going to lose us votes, you wouldn’t hear another peep out of me

  18. That There Other David 13 Nov 2012, 4:44pm

    Do NOM honestly believe that Starbucks would cave to this? Brian Brown made the point that Starbucks are looking to expand into Qatar, and therefore highlighting their pro-equality stance would cost them dearly.

    Qatar has a mainly transient population that numbers 1.8 million at its maximum.

  19. ...Paddyswurds 13 Nov 2012, 5:10pm

    For once Osborne speaks the truth but only when he thinks his own arse and job are on the line. This is exactly what I have been saying all along. The Tories will be history if they fail to enact Marriage Equality now for the ENTIRE UK. Now is the time for the talking to stop and get some action. There is no earthly reason why the Bill cannot be tabled in a few weeks. What is this shyte about waiting til 2015. Just phucking get on with it and make it UK wide, same as equal Age of Consent, Otherwise we here in the North of Ireland and in Scotland are condemned to the whims of the religious crazies and will have to wait another 100 years…..

    1. Are you for real? In a nice way, get a grip.

      Most people are NEUTRAL about gay marriage and it won’t influence them either way. There are other more important things, you know.

      (watches as hysterical gay marriage supporters mark me down)

  20. Pavlos Prince of Greece 13 Nov 2012, 5:12pm

    Sounds very nice and I am very thankful for Mr. Osborne. But I am not shore… (anti-gay Conservatism still is very strong across all Europe, even in France and Germany). Anyway, when comes the next Queens Speech? In November?

  21. In fairness, out of all the tories you could criticise, Osborne has a relatively good record on the gay rights issue unlike Cameron or May

  22. George Osborne’s best friends: Tories must reject same-sex marriage or risk losing their electorate and subsequently re-election.

    1. How many votes will they lose if they u-turn again?
      Pro-equality voters wont vote for the party because they have rejected equality in favor of bigotry.
      On the fence voters will just see another U-turn. Why vote for a party that cannot stay in one place on so many issues.
      Bigots are stupid, but not completely retarded. They will still remember the Conservative party was supportive of gay marriage.
      -
      So that’s 3 groups that can and will be alienated by a u-turn. Compared to just 1 that would be alienated by them sticking to the plan.

    2. How many conservative “pro-equality” voters there are out there? Most “on the fence” conservative voters are too preoccupied about foreigners and immigrants and considering UKIP and BNP. Do you really think they are preoccupied about u-turns? Tories will u-turn whenever it’s convenient for them to navigate through their usurped time in number 10, and their electorate think that’s an asset. Bigotry and stupidity are two separate concepts although I agree sometimes both can characterize the same person. Conservative voters are still the same progress-resistant lot, unless, of course, the culture of this country has changed totally beyond recognition in less than 3 years, and that would, if you believe, be a miracle.

      1. As a former BNP supporter and nationalist, I think this is a very minor issue and yes most ‘Right-wing’ Tories and others ARE more concerned about the EU and mass immigration.

    3. How many people lie awake at night worrying about whether two consenting adults should be able to legally marry or not? Those that do worry about this issue even though they will have no direct involvement may have deep personal issues to deal with.

  23. I am still never voting tory.

  24. Emma Furness 14 Nov 2012, 9:50pm

    ‘Because you’ll lose if you don’t’ isn’t a reason to adopt a policy. ‘Because you think it’s right’ is. I still won’t vote Tory – they’re supporting policies to win votes when they should be winning votes because of the policies they genuinely believe in.

    I don’t need everyone to agree with me. I can respect people who disagree with me politely and for an informed, thoughtful reason. I have, however, no respect for power-hungry, fickle politicians who put more value on them being in power than on what people want, need and deserve.

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