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UK Youth Parliament votes not to campaign for same-sex marriage

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  1. Dave North 23 Nov 2012, 3:20pm

    “I need to think of the young people who won’t benefit from this policy.”

    Someday those young people will grow up and WILL benefit from this policy.

    Stupid child, and what are these brats doing in parliament anyway.

    I always adhere to Billy Connolly’s maxim.

    “The fact that some one wants to be a politician is the very reason why they should be denied it”

    1. What a nasty thing to say. BYP has been fantastic for engaging young people in the political process.

      1. Even so their top 4 votes out of 5 were for spending more money on young people. Nice priorities.

    2. Spanner1960 24 Nov 2012, 5:13pm

      All you can see is the nose in front of your face, you selfish, blinkered twat.
      If I was a 15yo straight kid, gay marriage would be at the bottom of my list too. You should know by now kids live for today, it’s what affects them NOW.
      Even the gay ones wouldn’t be too bothered as marriage is something in the distant, hazy future.

      Sure, same-sex marriage is important to a lot of us, but please get some perspective, there are only around 6% LGBT people in the population, and maybe 20% of them are thinking of getting married. meanwhile the country is up to its neck in debt, has employment, education, defence and immigration problems threatening to drown us all, so you tell me if these kids have their priorities right?

      1. If you take that attitude, then it’s never going to be the right time for equality. There’s always going to be problems in the economy, foreign policy, education, healthcare, the list goes on.

        Yes they can only pick one issue. But in the real world putting equality at the bottom of a list of priorities is a disgrace.

        1. I completely agree, if you look at the Mail website people are often saying “there are more important things to worry about.” The truth is the time would never be right for these people.

          1. I agree with you Chris however these young ppl had to take that attitude as they can only pick one thing.

            The daily mail commenters are disingenuously claiming that equality is preventing the government from focussing on the economy, which is a just thinly veiled homophobia.

      2. It’s those bloody immigrants again – ruining it for everyone.

  2. To be fair, if they are only allowed one issue then this probably isn’t it. Surely a bigger scandal is why they can only have one campaign a year.

    1. Fair enough that they only have one policy but to chose a curriculum to prepare young people for real life, what a crock of crap!

      Preparing for real life is something that you do everyday, you don’t need to debate it!

  3. Another unfair headline. BYP didn’t vote “against” anything, SSM just got beaten by four other extremely important issues, all more likely to affect young people.

  4. Misleading headline. They didn’t vote against the equal marriage campaign, they voted in favour of a different campaign. Subtle but important difference.

  5. 18-year-old openly gay BYP for Cornwall, George Poole was among the many who voted against the motion. He told PinkNews.co.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,

    George, George, how wrong you are!

    Do you not think that there are people who are campaigning on this issue already, what do you think organisations like C4EM are doing?

    You are clearly one of the younger LGBT who seem to think that there is nothing left campaigning for as we’ve done it all for you already. Well wise up, there is still a very long road to go before full equality is reached.

    1. George Poole 15 Nov 2013, 10:19pm

      I hope now a year after I made the decision to vote for a different campaign and having read my comment you understand my choice. It was my job as an MYP to chose a campain for the young people I represent. If it was purely about what I wanted I would have voted for equal marriage without hesitation. A few weeks after our once a year sitting in the HOC equal marriage wa passed proving my point that we would have been left with an obsolete campaign. I know this world has a long way to go before a equality is reached . As a proud member of the gay community I will always fight for our minorities rights but as an MYP I must also realise that my commitment are to those young people who chose me to represent them. And if it means I must go against my heart I will.

      So here’s something for all you “adults” why don’t you take a second to look at a group of young people not politicians that just want to build a better future and reach equality for young people and all communities in the uk.

  6. I was just about to get on my soapbox and decry the BYP (I’ll leave that for another time), but upon reflection, the other four priorities are arguably more important to young people than SSM.

    I agree with the sentiments of others, the headline is misleading, aimed at stoking sensationalism from misinformed readers.

    1. Benjamin Cohen 23 Nov 2012, 3:40pm

      headline tweaked anyway!

  7. Think this is a slightly misleading article. The BYP quite rightly put other things ahead of SSM. Can’t fault their arguments.

    Need to be v careful about not appearing to be to “me, me, me” about things. This piece leaves me rather unsettled.

  8. I think they made the right decision. Curriculum for real life is more important as an issue for the youth parliament. It doesn’t mean to say that they don’t think marriage equality is important – I am sure it is supported enthusiastically by them, but if they have to choose on issue for focus that will have the biggest impact on young people then they have to follow their remit.

    1. What on earth is a curriculum for real life?

  9. It appears, as always, that some young humanlings want to live off the back of their elders.

  10. Not totally sure what a curriculum for real life might be, but I can certainly see why these young folks would campaign for something that directly affects them.

    Rather mean-spirited reporting from PN.

    1. Me neither. I ask the question and get thumbed down for asking!

  11. Merseymike 23 Nov 2012, 5:30pm

    I think the reasons given are reasonable. Homophobic bullying as an issue – yes. But if the Youth parliament doesn’t focus on issues directly affecting young people here and now – noone else will

  12. Given the article suggests this is for a campaign to be run in 2013, choosing an issue that could very well be resolved in the early months of 2013 could easily end up being a total waste of time. Even if it doesn’t it is patently clear the marriage issue is only a question of how long, not if.

    Not really convinced by the choice of a “curriculum to prepare young people for real life” though. What, precisely does this mean? Is there much purpose in campaigning for something so vague?

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 23 Nov 2012, 6:28pm

      I agree, I would have thought that many will probably go to Uni, so I fail to see what the “curriculum” is they’re alluding to? While in Uni, you start thinking about a good job after graduation. This makes no sense at all. I wonder what the political affiliation of these young people is vis a vis Labour, Liberal Democrat and Tory?

      I’m a bit disappointed in their decision though. A campaign by the youth of our country would have sent a very strong message to the government and successive governments, not to mention the anti equal marriage hatemongers. If they can’t multi-task, can any of them believe they’d make a career in politics?

    2. A curriculum that prepares us for life refers to SRE, Finance, Political Education, Skills are the real world.
      As it stands the education system prepares us to pass exams, and many YP get left behind.

      A curriculum that prepares us for life would ensure all YP are taught basic skills to help them in life, and it would also teach about LGBT issues too. Tackling homophobic attitudes, teaching about same sex relationships. This is something that would help ALL young people instead of a select few. As an openly gay young person I feel this was the best campaign UKYP could have adpoted.

  13. This is a disappointing result. The other topics are of undoubted importance to the age group but the one that got the least votes happens to be a human rights/equality issue. Oh, well. Probably we were all a little shallow in our youth.

  14. This is the type of thing that is going to come back and burn them in a few years.

    They are not very good a politics and image building.

  15. Bill (Scotland) 23 Nov 2012, 8:46pm

    I tend to think that, as they could choose only one topic, they got it about right.

    What did depress me in an interview earlier today with one of those who took part was that she suggested (it happened to be a ‘she’, but it could equally have been a ‘he’) that after studying politics at university (& graduating) she plans to stand for Parliament. I deplore the idea of going straight from school to university to parliament, without any proper job experience intervening, whether it be academic, professional or technical. A few years, at least, working in some other sphere would provide much more rounded individuals. We already have far too much of a ‘political caste’.

  16. There are too many militant gays on this site willing to shout down others who don’t rate ‘gay’ as the biggest most important issue in the world.

    As much as I want to see equal marriage rights for same sex couples I fully agree with the youth parliaments decision on this. They represent the young people of the UK on youth issues primarily, not gay issues. They have made a decision that to campaign on an issue that will benefit all young people irrespective of their sexuality or relationship status. An altruistic gesture that is for the greater good and yet some of you call them stupid children, brats and shallow.

    Before you decry others consider what you were doing at the age of 15, 16, 17 etc to improve the lives others.

  17. I fully agree with their decision that having same sex marriage should not be their campaign for 2013, compared with the other proposals. I was able to watch the debate on same sex marriage and not one of them said it wasn’t an important issue or disagreed that there shouldn’t be equality which is hugely admirable, but to young people the other issues would be more important to them.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 24 Nov 2012, 7:00pm

      The other side of the argument is that the reason why they don’t consider it important is that the majority of them are heterosexual and marriage for them is a birth right, so they never have to think about inequality for themselves or have to worry about being treated differently or discriminated against as far as their relationships with the opposite sex are concerned. I respect their decision not to campaign for equal marriage, but at least make some public declaration that they do while not actively pursuing it.

  18. Would have been nice for the UK Youth Parliament to actually have a social function or seminar with same-sex couples. Probably many young people have never had the opportunity to meet any. I know my partner and I stopped to thank young protesters in Melbourne for campaigning for Marriage Equality, had a great chat about the issue and it was mentioned by several that we were the first long term same-sex couple they had ever met! I think we should do more to get out there and make ourselves more visible, especially to the younger generation.

  19. I would have voted for “better training for the workplace”, which should incorporate what they voted for and hopefully would have campaigned for proper apprenticeships for young people.

    I think it’s pretty awful to expect these kids to fight for your rights when everyone in the country seems content to sh¡t on young people.

  20. This is modern youth politiks?
    This is the actual system used by our youth to raise awareness?
    Waste of money, waste of time, waste of every voice.
    I’m sure the youth of UK will see how rubbish this is and I doubt many will feel the issues important to them is being raised.
    What a load of absolute bollocks.

  21. Ah, Bless.

    The little dears are learning how to weasel already.

    The MPs of the future, oh yes indeed.

    1. Thanks to all those here who support the democratic decision of these young people. All of the young people quoted here, if you watch the debate, support same sex marriage. They have simply chosen a different issue to campaign on this year, one that immediately affects them. As it is looking extremely likely that same sex marriage will be legalised before Christmas this year (http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/nov/22/gay-marriage-vote) many young people felt they would then be in a situation where they had nothing to campaign for in the year ahead. I wonder why so many people take a decision to criticise these young people without watching the debate? It seems to me that hitting out against potential politicians is pure cynicism. Why not respect this democracy – these young people have been elected by their peers?

  22. I would like to explain to the readers of this article that Same Sex-Marriage was NOT the bottom voted issue. It was second to bottom. And the reason that it came this low was because of one compelling arguement. UKYP represent the 11-18 year old young people of the UK. The law states that UK citizens can get married at the age of 16. Therefore, it was voted as the UKYP national campaign… The UKYP would be turning their back on 5/8 of their constituents. Also, the fact that David Cameron is bringing the bill forward to the House of Commons next week springs to mind on the reason this would be a wasted campaign. UKYP need to decide what would be best for all young people, whether they are Gay or Straight. 11-15yo or 16-18yo. Oh and Dave North, these “brats” we’re thinking about what was best for their constituents. Not just you! Thanks for reading.

  23. Siobhan Brasier 24 Nov 2012, 3:32pm

    As a ex-MYP I find it disgraceful that adults on here are being as discriminating against these Young People!

    The UK Youth Parliament SUPPORTS same same marriage! Its the the manifesto. Just because it was chosen as the main national campaign doesn’t mean that YP arent passionate to change it. UKYP are inclusive, and was the only place I felt comfortable to come out. The percentage of LGB MYPs is rather high. The reason is didnt get chosen is because it was felt it isn’t an issue that affects all, doesn’t mean we still won’t support the campaign and get involved!

    PLUS a curriculum for life will include teaching YP about Same Sex relationships, and that everyone is society is equal.

    This article is ill informed and very negative. These YP are hardworking and trying to change stuff in their society instead of being YOBs. Have some respect.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 24 Nov 2012, 6:50pm

      Well, I understand what you are saying, but just because some of them are under 16 doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect all. Those youngsters are going to get older, some of them gay. If they can’t campaign for equal marriage, then why can’t they make a declaration to the nation that they do support it and the reasons why. Words have consequences, good or bad. Silence in the face of opposition to equal marriage only gives consent and only enables further opposition. The younger generation are the future of our country. They need to speak out and the time is now irrespective of campaigning.

      1. Siobhan Brasier 24 Nov 2012, 8:38pm

        That was a comment that has been taken out of context. The house of commons debate is all about UKYP finding their national campaign, BUT this isn’t the only thing they will campaign on. UKYP are pro-equal marriage, its an issue on the manifesto. Just because MYPs didn’t vote it as their top priority (as there are more important issue that affect ALL YP and the UKYP is about getting the voices of young people heard) doesn’t mean they haven’t worked to try and promote LGBT equality and equal marriage – because they have and are. Theyve done it gets better videos, run equality workshops and just the fact YP were debating equal marriage on national TV is a big step. This article is very negative, and I urge you to watch the HoC equal marriage debate (its about an hour in on iplayer) and see that these young people are trying so hard with many different campaigns, including promotion of equality and equal marriage!

  24. I am a supporter of LGBT rights and have some very good LGBT friends.

    However I am also a family member of one of the MYPs involved in yesterday’s debates and am dissapointed about PN’s stance on the way the vote played out.

    I admit I didn’t watch the “Marriage for all” debate but let’s face it, LGBT rights is a niche issue and there are other groups out there to campaign for those. The YP’s top priority is to help young people.

    I cannot blame the very impressive MYPs for thinking that they have bigger fish to fry.

  25. In the US, most people under 50 are strongly supportive of gay rights. Even young conservatives are. It doesn’t seem that way in the UK. Am I correct?

    1. No you really are not, but it’s not your fault, PN has twisted this tale quite considerably.

      They could only vote for one thing
      They felt they had to represent everyone
      They thought that since equal marriage laws are likely to be passed in early 2013 anyway, it would lead to a lot of thumb twiddling later on in the year when they no longer had anything to campaign for.
      They did not vote AGAINST equal marriage they voted FOR other things.

      Statistics in the UK are similar to that of the US re. age and support for LGBT issues.

  26. Don Harrison 24 Nov 2012, 8:41pm

    That is disappointing It is being done for the youth too.

  27. As an LGBT member of the UKYP I support the decision. It’s not my job to represent my own views. As with any constituent MP my duty is to the people in my constituency. They elected me to represent THEM, not to have my own agenda. To go against their wishes after they voted for me would be selfish, irresponsible and, quite frankly, incredibly childish. I’d love to be allowed to marry the woman of my dreams. Yes, it’s MY top priority in my personal life. But I voted for transport, as that was the top issue for by the young people in my region.

    So to the charming man who referred to myself and my colleagues as “stupid brats” – I defy anyone to watch the debate and tell me that the mean IQ in that chamber was below average, or to say that my motivations were selfish. And FYI, I don’t want to be a politician either.

  28. George Poole 15 Nov 2013, 10:05pm

    I am George Poole the one who’s words this article twisted and broke. I am an avid supporter of Gay rights and equality I will be travelling to Russia to work with oppressed LGBTQ young people.

    I find it unbelievable D.McCabe that you feel after reading this you are able to judge the reasons why I made the vote I did. It is the job of the UKYP to represent all young people and as much as I would like to vote for equal marriage I used my brain and important vote to get a campaign in that will effect this ENTIRE generation namely the campaign “curriculum for life”. And seeing as equal marriage was being debated the week after this I saw no point in voting in a campaign that could become obsolete so soon.

    I used my head unlike most people arguing against us on here! The campaign was only for equal marriage which is now in and we have successfully completed our mission to feed in on the education reforms. Equality for ALL is of utmost important to me & UKYP and always will be.

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