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Austin Mitchell MP: Ed Miliband must allow Labour MPs a free vote on same-sex marriage

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  1. Another miserable looking old bugger!

  2. Austin, you are a Labour MP and subject to the whip. You will have a chance to argue your case at the PLP; if you lose, you will be expected to vote with the whip.

    Get over yourself.

    1. Funny how those who think this is “Not important” get so excited about it? If it’s not important just vote it through as you do with countless other pieces of legislation.

      1. Well said. He’s no doubt so befuddled by his bigotry that he does’t appreciate the flawed logic of his position. Nothing chokes reason so much as hatred. He can be happily married but he doesn’t want me to be.

  3. Jonathan Harbourne 10 Dec 2012, 2:16pm

    Frightening – that people still don’t think that equality is “urgent nor important”. The most important job of an MP is to make sure that all the constituents are full citizens – treated equally under the law and with respect.

  4. Equality might not be an important issue to this old frat because he already enjoys it. I, on the otherhand, object to being treated as a second-class citizen. When I get a reduction in my tax bill because I do not enjoy the same benefits as other citizens, I may be happy to wait for equality.

  5. You might argue for more votes to be free votes in general, but allowing gay couples to marry is not something which should go against anyone’s conscience. People who approve or disapprove of it are not condoning it by allowing it.

  6. Jock S. Trap 10 Dec 2012, 2:29pm

    No indeed Equality to those that have it and have the choice to use it I dare say doesn’t seem ‘neither urgent nor important’!

    Such a shame those that take their own equality for granted feel keeping others as second class citizens is acceptable.

    Shame on all those that think so.

    1. Jock S. Trap 10 Dec 2012, 2:31pm

      Have to add, weren’t all MP’s voted in to represent those they serve, not to have their own conscience decisions?

      Their own thoughts are just that but when they are voting in Parliament they belong to those who voted for them!

      1. That is certainly a fact that MP’s need to remember!

        1. PantoHorse 10 Dec 2012, 5:43pm

          If only

  7. He is an old dinosaur who has made his name by arguing about everything. He sees his right to argue about everything as “personal freedom” even when he argues about denying others their personal freedom.

    To change a famous quote for him…

    I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend with my life your inability to get your way while I can get mine.

  8. He’s so out of touch. Presumably he just means that marriage equality isn’t urgent or important TO HIM. C’mon Grimsby LGBTs, write to the old fart and let him know just how urgent and important this is to voters in his constituency.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 10 Dec 2012, 4:29pm

      There’s a lot of complaceny among people who support us including gay complacency as evidenced by the poor turnout for the C4EM petition. Everyone of us should be involved in a letter writing campaign to the House of Lords to make our feelings, voices and demands heard. The C4M are already ahead of us. We need to counter them with a massive campaign targeting those who sit in the upper chamber where the fate of equal marriage lies.

  9. NutjobsareeverywheretheUNtoo 10 Dec 2012, 2:55pm

    ‘Personalfreedom’ of the straight majority Too decide on the apartheid of the gay minority he’s a disgrace to labour principles!! Old Tory in labour clothing.

  10. Dave North 10 Dec 2012, 2:55pm

    It might not be important to you Austin, and this is not about you, is it.

    Not keeping fellow citizens as second class however is important to many people.

    So sod off you fat old trout.

  11. Ed Milliband certainly need to keep the whip the vote. Politics is riddled with religious nutters who cannot be relied on to make responsible moral choices.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 10 Dec 2012, 3:15pm

      Absolutely! What annoys me is that party leaders or others with influence never counter them. They just let them rant and say nothing giving the impression that those in opposition are the majority. I’m sick of it as well as the complacency by those who are in support too. We should all be contacting the Lords in the upper chamber because that’s where the fate of equal marriage lies. C4M are already doing it. We should not take anything for granted. We must become proactive, start our own letter writing campaign to every member.

  12. Garry Cassell 10 Dec 2012, 3:01pm

    Too too old to know what anything is about anymore…just waiting and sitting for the paycheque…just erupting sometimes to prove to someone that he still matters…F****** sh**head.

  13. I’m getting thoroughly sick of hearing these unpleasant homophobes mouthing off about what they insist is so unimportant to them. If marriage equality is really so unimportant as they say then why don’t they shut their gobby and unattractive faces and leave off the insistent negative commenting, they claim to have better more pressing and important things to be focussing upon so go attend to those things Austin Mitchell.

  14. I really wish some MPs would grow a brain and realise that ‘gay marriage’ is NOT a matter of conscience, nor is it a moral issue … unless of course you vote against and thereby deny your fellow-citizens FULL equality under the law!!

  15. Robert (Kettering) 10 Dec 2012, 3:09pm

    Frankly, Mr Mitchell, if this were about the equality of women or black people would we even be having this discussion? Of course not. I object to being treated like a second class citizen Mr Mitchell! Sorry if you just don’t give a damn about the LGBC.

  16. Robert in S. Kensington 10 Dec 2012, 3:12pm

    Perhaps he should defect to the Tory party or perhaps the UKIP where he’d be a lot happier. It’s bad enough there are so many like him in the Tory party.

    Even if the economy were in tip-top shape and unemployment at an all time low, he’d still regard equal marriage as neither urgent or important. A bigot is a bigot.

    What makes these morons think it won’t pass of late? They’re all on the same page, same script. Do they know something that we don’t? Hopefully not.

    If the shoe were on the other foot, he might be singing a different tune. That’s the trouble with a lot of straights in opposition. They’ve never faced discrimination, been marginalised or had rights denied them. They take everything for granted. Stupid old bigot!

  17. Why do all the homophobic MP’s and priests/vicars/bishops look so evil?

    1. PantoHorse 10 Dec 2012, 5:47pm

      I know. They sit there in their ivory towers, making proclamations about who can do what with whom, with what and for what purposes, yet not giving a second thought to the stomach churning notion that…. oh wait no, I can’t go there, it burns…. it burns….

      1. sounds like Stephen Fry in his ivory tower … :)

      2. Ivory Towers? Retirement bungalows, more like.

    2. Dave North 14 Dec 2012, 4:46pm

      The hatred rots them from within.

  18. I’m from the area and I can safely say that Austin Mitchell is a renowned idiot who only cares for his paycheque and not the people he represents.

    He has zero credibility.

  19. Rather conveniently (and as usual) it’s a straight (and married) person telling us it’s not important that same-sex couples be afforded the same right to marriage as them, saying it’s not a priority.

    I can guarantee that these same people would suddenly consider it a hell of a lot more important if it were them being told they’re not allowed to marry the person they love. It’s always easy to callously dismiss something as unimportant when it’s not you who is directly affected by the existing discrimination.

    1. Absolutely. They are like the home-owners of his generation who say other people should be happy renting because that’s what people have to do these days.

  20. Calling ‘gay’ marriage a ‘moral issue’ or a matter of ‘conscience’ is anti-gay bigotry. It should be called what it is. People who use that rhetoric will be like the once socially acceptable racists looked back on by future generations with ridicule.

  21. In effect he is saying that equality and civil rights are not important.

    If it’s “not important” why get in such a lather Austin?

  22. I suggest you add an amendment that withdraws all family rights from vile nasty dinosaurs like him. See if he likes “personal freedom” then.

  23. Chris Hassall 10 Dec 2012, 4:34pm

    I’m sure the Governments in 1918 & 1928 had lots of “urgent” & “important” matters to consider but they still found time to extend voting rights for women

  24. Mitchell says that “gay marriage is neither urgent nor important”

    Whatever, but it is coming up for a vote. So whether or not you think it’s urgent you’ll be voting in favour. Right?

    “It’s also a moral issue therefore a free vote..”

    All the major parties agree that it’s a moral issue and not a party political issue – that’s why all the parties support it. But somehow you think that because it’s a moral issue, you want the option to be immoral. I don’t get it.

  25. mickie_newton 10 Dec 2012, 5:00pm

    Well Sir your straight and married(one assumes) so it’s not really that important….To you!!! But we’re not talking about Mr Austin Mitchell are we!!

  26. What is it with all these prejudiced and out of touch politicians in the last few days? It’s always the people who think that it’s “not important” who are so vociferously against same-sex marriage and constantly go on and on about it. Head to the Mail or the Express site and you’ll see lengthy posts typed by people who think that the politicians should be dealing with “more important” issues”. It seems to me that what’s really important to these people is seeing others unhappy.

  27. If it’s so unimportant, why is it so important that he gets to voice his opinion on it?

  28. He’s 79- and of course HE is married! So why deny that possibility to others?

  29. Robert Brown 10 Dec 2012, 5:49pm

    It’s because of MANY Labour MPs that we didn’t get an equal age of consent YEARS ago when Edwina Currie submitted it . . . nor equal marriage . . . nor many other ‘equality measures’ . . .

    Jumping on bandwagons spring to mind.

    1. Labour for the most part are supportive, but I can see the PLP playing politics with this one, just to sabotage that ‘nasty coalition’ just like they did with Lords reform. not-invented-here, so vote agaiinst it. They may be more subtle on this one. You wait and see how many ‘old’ labour vote with the barking mad tories on this one…

  30. Well Mr Mitchell , you can do one of two things if it’s causing you such angst ; 1) STFU, then bend over , spread your cheeks and take the party’s policy until your eyes bleed and also walk through the ayes lobby when TOLD to or , 2) Stop taking a paycheque , resign immediately and find some dinosaur enclave that’ll have pub bores like you .

  31. Good for you Austin – full marks for courage and common sense. The issue is being pursued on ideological grounds and has little to do with equality. The political parties should indeed be focusing on more important matters and should not be railroading over individual consciences.

    1. Jock S. Trap 10 Dec 2012, 6:28pm

      As I said before Equality is less important to those who already have it.

      It doesn’t entitled them to exclude others just because of the way we are born.

      It’s not an important issue for you because you have the choice however I have no doubt that if any ‘Equality’ was taken away from you and people like you you’d be creaming from the rafters about it. It’s what makes bigots such hypocrites.

      Just because you wish, out of choice, to follow and believe in religious texts, doesn’t mean you have the right to act as if you are superior to anybody else. It is your choice to believe, your right but it is personal to you and you alone.

      I wish to have the right to choice. You do not have the right to stop that. Any person getting married has nothing to do with you unless it is you yourself.

      1. The reason I say it is not an equality issue is because marriage has for millennia has been understood to be the union between a man and a woman. Same sex unions have been excluded, not on equality grounds but because it is not open to them by definition, as indeed several other types of union that are not currently being discussed. The government may wish to redefine marriage but I disagree, not because I am a homophobic bigot but marriage as traditionally defined precedes government and has stood the test of time as benefiting society – we redefine it at our peril!

        1. Tim Chapman 10 Dec 2012, 9:16pm

          What peril is that, then? Exactly what harm will it cause? No problems in any countries that already have same-sex marriage. What are you people so afraid of?

          1. It is a fair question Tim and I don’t know enough about those countries that have same-sex marriage to say whether that society has suffered as a result.

            What I believe to my core is that strong stable unions based on husband and wife and in which to have and bring up children is the best building block for society and to undermine that in any way (not that I am accusing you or others here of willfully doing that) will be to society’s detriment. Of course that is also happening now with the breakdown of heterosexual marriage.

            As for fear – I recognise I live in a pluralistic, multi-cultural society, but the more it strays from God’s standard the more there will be consequences – that is my fear – not I might add gay folk who would like to marry!

          2. Jock S. Trap 11 Dec 2012, 9:28am

            Strangle because it seems the fact that You very belief to your core has fail you.

        2. What about all those biblical characters with multiple wives?

        3. Jock S. Trap 11 Dec 2012, 9:23am

          Christianity has ‘re-definited’ marriage several times over several millennia or 3!!

          However Civil Marriage has nothing to do with Christianity nor any other religion.

          Your Religious Freedoms should also Never stop other more open minded religions that reside in the UK, who wish to perform such ceremonies, from doing so.

          Your bigotry is Your own. It has been taught from people who cannot and will not think for themselves. It will ultimately be your undoing.

          1. Jock S. Trap 11 Dec 2012, 9:26am

            If you agree that marriage ‘benefits societies’ then your argument for excluding is also flawed in the fact that marriage in the Western world is in decline.

            If two being given the choice to celebrate their union benefits society then what give you the right to exclude? It is your own homophobic bigotry that makes a fool of you.

        4. It has been considered for one man and one woman only for barely more than a millennium, and only in some parts of the world at that. For considerably longer, polygamy was considered normal (and still is in many societies): are you advocating it on that basis then?

    2. That There Other David 10 Dec 2012, 6:50pm

      It has EVERYTHING to do with equality.

      I’m disappointed in Austin Mitchell because I thought he was better than this. However, I do note that he was absent from the Civil Partnerships vote so perhaps this shouldn’t surprise us.

    3. How dare you, JohnB! Would YOU like to be relegated to a separate not-marriage institution because of the colour of you or your wife? No! And don’t get enraged to that because that’s exactly how I feel when you you say it’s only about ‘ideology’.

      You of all people should know separate isn’t equal. I’m sure all those bigots against interracial marriage insisted it was a matter of conscience and morals too – and used the bible to ‘prove’ that.

      Equal marriage has EVERYTHING to do with equality. Why on earth do you think you and other straight people should lord it over LGBT people and treat us like cr*p. YOU can choose to marry but we can’t? Where’s your empathy?

      (and yes you have made me very angry – and I rarely get angry as you know)

      1. Iris: since when have I lorded over you or other LGBT folk or treated you in an untoward way?

        I am simply supporting an MP who has the courage of his convictions, which I happen to agree with, and who has been vilified as a result.

        I know several gay couples, some in CPs, some not, and I treat them as would straight couples, with dignity, respect etc.

        I believe as I do out of religious conviction it is true but never to do down folk who are different – loving my neighbour, even if he/she is gay, ever remains the great commandment.

        1. Anyone who denies others rights is implying that they are superior in a way. You can look back at examples in history and see that – eg in the way women were treated. It’s not your support for the MP that bothered me – you’re both entitled to your views – it was your comment about equal marriage rights being an ideology, a point-scoring exercise which I objected to. If Christians were being treated unfairly and being deprived of rights here or elsewhere, I’m sure you’d be just as irritated if someone described those Christians’ fight for equal rights as merely being done for some kind of ideology/ trouble-making rather than equality.

          LGBT people want the right to marry NOT to get one over on anyone else, but simply so we can marry the person we love if we choose to do so – just like you had that choice. It is about equality quite simply.

          Yes, I do believe you treat people respectfully, and I welcome that. But I still don’t understand why you’re against equal CIVIL marriage.

        2. I understand your religious views on marriage, but not how that impacts on civil marriage when every day people who are atheists/non-Christians/divorcees/adulterers/non-virgin brides are getting married in civil ceremonies. There are far more of those people, whom I’m presuming breach your religious views on marriage, than potential LGBT couples waiting to get married.

      2. Iris: changing the subject slightly although there is a tenuous link – I learned today that our mutual friend Stu, a prolific poster in PN and a most decent fellow passed away in the summer. I am v.sad!

        1. JohnB – That’s dreadful……I hadn’t heard that (I’ve only been on PN intermittently in the last few months). I’m lost for words…

          1. If you google “stuart ross durham” you will get info but only v.basic. I phoned Durham police but they wouldn’t release info – more detective work needed. I got wind of something when a book I promised Stuart was returned with the word “deceased”.

            I regard you and Stu in particular as friends on PN. His views, it seemed, were similar to your own, and I was always struck by his passion, desire to get to the bottom of issues, sense of social justice and courtesy. I will miss him.

            I did email Pink News sharing what I know and suggesting they should investigate and post a tribute. His contributions to PN were massive and his death tragic and untimely.

          2. I googled, JohnB. Sounds very sad… I don’t like to say anything when i don’t know the details, but I totally agree that Stu was a passionate, courteous commenter on PN. He seemed a very decent man. Really shocking…

          3. thanks Iris – sometimes it is helpful to share grief with a friend. I will try to find out more and would encourage PN to do something appropriate. We can only offer our condolences to his family (they seemed close) and pay our own respects. RIP Stu!

          4. I tried searching on local newspapers, JohnB, but could only find the obituary not details of what happened. It’s so desperately sad. He was a kind man – sometimes too kind as I often told him :D – and his early death is tragic. I assumed he’d stopped posting here because of the bullying that he’d suffered from some people. I never for a moment thought anything had happened to him.

            I echo your condolences and I also hope Stu’s at peace. He was a good man.

        2. Very sad to hear that – I had wondered what’d happened to him. Thanks for letting us know, JohnB.

  32. Can anyone find me a straight marriage in the New Testament?

    Can’t be that important in the eyes of God.

  33. I believe you Iris – for you and many LBGT folk you feel your love and commitment to your partner is best shown in marriage, which right now in the UK is not possible but if the government has its way will be soon.

    As I just posted to another reply, I see marriage by definition as only embracing hetero couples, Without wanting to split hairs civil marriage is something else, which I would be more inclined to equate with civil partnerships.

    I am concerned that in this time of grave economic crisis that politicians are pushing through a measure that they have no electoral mandate for, will have massive ramifications (some detrimental), will be costly as so much law will need to change and is a distraction from more important issues.

    While I do champion equality issues as part of my community activism, a more important issue if doing what is right. I realise you feel same sex marriage is right – I don’t!

    1. But I don’t believe in your religion, JohnB, but I would always support your right to practise it and not be treated unfairly under the law. SSM won’t be compulsory – no-one will be forced to marry ‘against their beliefs’ whatever they may be, and no church will be forced to marry same sex couples any more than their forced to marry divorcees.

      I don’t see equal marriage as a distraction, and I’d hope that the government can multi-task and deal with all the matters it needs to. I’d also politely add that equal marriage would be quicker and easier to enact if the opponents (polirtical ones not you) stopped fussing and delaying and wasting time complaining about supposed ‘bad things’ that’ll never happen.

      I did have a link somewhere showing that equal marriage had been beneficial to marriage in general in Scandinavia, but it’s late and I can’t find it now. I’ll look tomorrow if I can. But, regarding children, I’ve dealt with many damaged children and not one of them has had a gay parent

  34. Bill (Scotland) 10 Dec 2012, 11:28pm

    This is a useful reminder (not that I required it, frankly) that the Labour Party has its fair share of bigots. Remember the Labour minister, a few years back (a Catholic and Jesuit) who wanted to enshrine any-gay discrimination in employment law? Yes, the Conservative Party and perhaps even the LibDems (remember the rather disgusting campaigning by one prominent member some years back) have their bigots, but so too does the current main opposition. They all need to be looked at dispassionately and thwarted by reason.

    1. (a Catholic and Jesuit) – oh dear, are they not the people who are dinosaurs and believe marriage is between one man and one woman and not between trans/bi multi polymorphic couplings ? Should not catholics be barred from parliament as they once were , and perhaps jews too who don’t believe in so-called ‘equal marriage’ – Lord Sachs ? The jews and the catholics think the same way too ..
      Lord Sachs : “While Judaism teaches respect for others and condemns all types of discrimination, we oppose a change in the definition of marriage that includes same-sex relationships.”
      Catechism : ‘They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided’
      Yeah, if you don’t think trans/bi multi polymorphic couplings sanctioned by the state is a good idea you must be a bigot – repeat this to stifle debate -“If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes true” – Stonewall Uber Fuhrer Ben Summerskill

  35. The thing that has impressed me by labour in the last decade or so is how they have stuck together and taken control of their ranks. Compare this with the Tory party which is in total chaos and with very little control of a large section of their party.

    My advice to Milliband, compare yourself with the Tory party and keep a strong whip, don’t give in to the likes of Austin Mitchell!

  36. Horror , upon horrors – a free vote in democratic parliament – this must be homophobia at work – ! Austin Mitchell must face trial in the Stonewall bigot kangaroo court and be made to repent such an outlandish proposition or our LGBT brownshirts will have to teach him about ‘equal marriage’ and how making marriage for less than 0.5% of the sexually disordered must be ‘wack’ -ed through ! Oh dear….this is worst than McCarthyism .

    1. I expect you remember what McCarthyism was like from experience, don’t you?

    2. Dave North 14 Dec 2012, 4:45pm

      Can I have a vote on your rights?

  37. Looks like Mr. Mitchell has got his wish:

  38. damned filth 11 Dec 2012, 10:49am

    Miliband won’t be able to secure a whip on this, all Labour MPs are not north London socialist royalty like Eds and their chums, no way all the northern and Scottish catholic MPs will vote for it. Cue some major illnesses cropping up when the vote comes up.

    Will the left wingers on this comments section now be screeching about “same old Labour” and “Uncle Toms” like they do whenever a Tory says something they don’t agree with?

    These lefties love tolerance and diversity so long as everyone does as they say

  39. Miserable desiccated old creep.Should have been put out to grass years ago. Gives old people like me a bad name

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