Following a day of debates and votes held at the House of Commons, the UK Youth Parliament has voted to reject same-sex marriage equality as its campaign for 2013. It came bottom in a vote of priorities by delegates.
Today, young people representing each part of the UK debated their priorities for the coming year in a session presided over by the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow.
Just one campaign could be chosen as a priority by members. The votes received were: 154 for a curriculum to prepare young people for real life, 50 for an equal minimum wage (under 21s are currently paid less than over 21s), 46 for better training for the workplace, 23 for cheaper transport and in last place with 22 votes, ‘marriage for all’, a policy to promote equal marriage..
15-year-old, Jack Lewis, MYP (Member of the Youth Parliament) for Richmond-Upon-Thames in London told PinkNews.co.uk: “The reason I don’t support it is that it is an issue that primarily effects adults. Less than one percent take place for under 20s. Considering there are so many unemployed young people or so many young people who aren’t well educated about sexually transmitted infections, I don’t see how we can justify campaigning for something for equal marriage.
“There are more urgent issues for the Youth Parliament to deal with. I don’t see how we can justify campaigning for equal marriage when there are young people leaving school without the knowledge of how to have a successful relationship. “
Kate Moore MYP for West Sussex spoke in the main debate about the transgender arguments for marriage equality. She voted for the motion and told PinkNews.co.uk: “I don’t know why they voted this way. I feel passionately about this issue, it is an issue that needs to be debated as we are the future. Calling it an issue for the adults is a bit trivial because it isn’t the case. We are going to be the adults of the future.”
“I think it’s the main way of beating homophobic bullying. If it’s not recognised as equal then how do we end this?”
“I have worked with LGBT groups in my area, this is a big issue for young people.”
18-year-old openly gay BYP for Cornwall, George Poole was among the many who voted against the motion. He told PinkNews.o.uk: “Equal marriage is really close to home to how the rest of my life is going to be. But I think this is an issue and not a campaign, it’s a leap forward for our rights. It’s not an issue for us, the Youth Parliament, it’s being dealt with by politicians already.”
“Only eight percent of the population is LGBT, an even smaller percentage inside of that are young people. I need to think of the young people who won’t benefit from this policy.”