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Comment: Equal marriage is a step towards a fairer society

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  1. Subject to getting this done, this is a pretty good summation of what this change in the law will bring. Over to you Stephen…..

  2. It’s a start but why oh why have the government awarded carte blanche for religious places of worship to refuse to marry couples solely because they happen to be gay? Conversely, if I were to open a cafe and to put up a sign in the window which read: ‘No Catholics, No Protestants, No Jews, No Muslims’….whatever then I’d be (rightfully) lambasted as a bigot and would probably be jailed or at the very least have my cafe closed down and be fined as this has been illegal in europe since the end of World War II. So, bearing in mind that LGBT people were also amongst the main victims of the holocaust, how come it’s still regarded as legally respectable and okay to continue to refuse to serve people because they are gay?

    1. I think the fact that a Catholic can refuse to marry a Jew renders your point moot.

      1. Can a Catholic refuse to marry people of different skin colours? Your answer will render Katie’s point very relevant indeed.

        1. de Villiers 9 Dec 2012, 1:49pm

          A different skin colour is not a characteristic that falls within a necessary requirement for a Catholic marriage. So the answer to your question is no.

          No doubt this will be very relevant indeed.

        2. The answer is obviously a resounding NO. Catholics cannot refuse to marry people of different skin colours, and not because they or any other religious organisations have their own internal skin colour policy (or lack thereof). They all must follow the rule of law, which is quite clear regarding this subject, but is still very unclear, unfair and unequal regarding sexual orientation.

  3. “The extension of the franchise to women hasn’t yet delivered equal pay for women and the end of apartheid hasn’t yet ended racism but these steps did change the debates. Legal equality for LGBT people will send a clear signal that being gay, lesbian or transgendered is not wrong.”

    Ps….maybe one day non-gender recognition certificated transwomen who get paid less than their cis male colleagues for doing exactly the same work if not more may get the right to be paid equally within a revised so-called Equal Pay Act which at the moment does not recognise this as sexist and transphobic discrimination?

    1. Yup, Labour screwed the trans community over and over. Even the much-loathed Maggie never touched trans peoples’ rights at all, but Labour started by slashing trans employment rights by statutory instrument in 99 and finished by stripping trans rights out of their final equality measures too.

      Sadly this probably isn’t the parliament that will unpick that, though the trans action plan is more than we’ve got out of any previous government, red or blue.

  4. Pavlos Prince of Greece 8 Dec 2012, 10:05pm

    On the map of gay rights in Europe by ‘Ilga Europe’ is United Kingdom already for long time in the first place. After same-sex marriage will became law – will Great Britain have a maximum of 17 points? It looks very possible, I think.

    1. In fact I think 12 points is the maximum in Eurovision, no?

    2. I don’t know which map you are looking at, but on the 2012 map, the UK has 21 points and loses points in a few other areas – laws on hate crimes and asylum don’t specifically cover trans and intersex people, same-sex couples can’t adopt in Northern Ireland (this was recently struck down by a court, but I think the NI government is still in the process of appealing), and the process of obtaining a Gender Recognition Certificate is unnecessarily difficult (you have to have lived full-time in your preferred gender for two years, as well as obtaining permission from a gender specialist). The UK also loses points for failing to include protection for LGBT people in its constitution – though of course that wouldn’t make sense in a British context (the ILGA report points this out).

  5. You should start by making your own mea culpa Mr Gilbert, instead of trying to sell your fish here. As a LibDem, you should have protected tuition fees and you should have protected the most vulerable, but instead we all know where you are right now, and the smell of rottin’ fish coming from your stall is evidence of what really is going on.

    1. Tell us how much you have paid for your education Mr Gilbert, and lets compare that to what you are making students pay today. That’s a good starter if you wish to be taken seriously.

      1. The issues of university tuition fees and equal marriage are quite different, and one wonders if anyone who cannot see that is bright enough to go to university in the first place.

        1. Yep, they are different issues, no one will disagree with that Mark. That does not mean they should be treated differently, and the LibDems’ record on tuition fees is right now nothing less than appalling. Perhaps Mr Gilbert could enlighten us about his academic life.The Wikipedia page lists Mr Gilbert as being educated at schools in Lostwithiel, Fowey and St Austell. He went on to study at University of Wales, Aberystwyth and did a Masters Degree at the London School of Economics. How much has he paid for his education?

          1. How is the Lib Dem record worse than those of the other parties? Some Tory MPs signed and broke the pledge too, while a huge proportion of Labour MPs signed it and then went on to support a graduate tax, which is pretty much the closest you can get to a tuition fee increase without it technically being one. The official Labour position now is that they would only cut fees to £6000, while increasing student loan interest rates. The last Labour government introduced then repeatedly increased tuition fees after promising not to. I don’t approve of the Lib Dem’s behaviour, but I don’t see how they are any worse than the other two main parties.

          2. Lib Dem record appalling? Let’s check the numbers, eh?

            Labour planned £15,000 fees
            Tories planned £15,000 fees
            Lib Dems planned to move to £0 fees over two parliaments

            Result: £6,000 to £9,000 fees depending on the uni.

            As the Liberals have about 1 in 12 of the parliamentary seats, that sounds like they hacked out a pretty good compromise.

          3. No one has yet answered my question. How much has Mr Gilbert paid for his education?


            I’m sure Mr Gilbert is intelligent enough to know how much his education aided his political career.

            I’m sure he is also intelligent enough to know how poor people will be totally priced out of education because of his decisions.

            Let’s have a transparent government and let the people he claims to represent, know how much he paid for his education.

    2. de Villiers 9 Dec 2012, 1:51pm

      Shut up, really. This is a discussion about gay marriage, not tuition fees. Given that every single person and organisation does something with which we could disagree, we could all derail good announcements by harking back to something else.

      1. Don’t you think gay people would also be interested in getting an education, apart from a marriage? Don’t you think gay people can have multiple discussions at the same time? Indeed here we have a politician who has personally benefited from subsidied education, but is now telling the next generation to pay for debts he created.

  6. There’s a Tory gay MP versioun of this lib dem one in the telegraph

    Well said to both of them , I’m now waiting for the labour version!

    1. It’s quite shocking to read the rabid homophobic comments under Telegraph articles, often left by people of faith..
      Here’s a reply I liked:
      “When MPs read articles such as this by one of their colleagues, and choose to have a look at some of the readers’ comments, they will get a good sense of the level of ignorance about and scornful hatred towards LGBT people that still exists in sections of British society.”

  7. You forgot to mention bisexuals, Gilbert… *sigh* otherwise, good article

    1. I saw that too.

      Mind you, as the law stands, bisexuals often *can* marry the person of their choice, as can transgender people.

      The situations for bi and trans people throw the debate around equal marriage into much sharper relief – and they would make for a rather more complex and involved article. Shame PinkNews never commissions that more involved version of the debate, leaving it to BCN and suchlike to cover.

  8. Mr. Gilbert, your father is going to kick the bucket so soon and you deserve it! If I were you, I would spend some days with my father instead of talking about rubbish. You, queer!

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