I thoroughly agree with BJ. Push it through now while the momentum for it is there. Bugger the opposition, they’re a bunch of losers.
I wonder how many of the opposition will actually vote against as opposed to being “off sick” on the day. They must realise that this will affect their vote at the next election.
Can someone explain to this American why UK gays aren’t more active in supporting this historic change? You guys had an opportunity to dominate the consultation and you didn’t. You have an opportunity to correspond with your MPs and to demonstrate. But you don’t. I read that one of the anti-gay MPs is justifying his vote because he received several hundred negative letters and just 2 or 3 positive ones. That obviously doesn’t reflect public opinion, but it does reflect the apathy and indifference of the UK gay community.
The opposition, which is confined to about 1/3 of one major party is dominating the discussion. Do you all not care about marriage equality or are you just reluctant to do anything that might help a Tory government?
This is a chance for a better future for all gay people in the UK. Please wake up, drink some coffee and get working to ensure that this happens.
We don’t have rabidly foaming-at-the-mouth Republicans like you do, that’s partly why. Your immense organisational skills in the US LGBT community are a response to your lack of rights and the extreme hostility from the religious right and GOP. IF we had that, I’m guessing we’d have done much, much more. As it is we have almost all the legal protections we need. You can’t be fire for being gay here, you can’t be denied goods and services, we have Civil Partnerships, and Labour got rid of most of the discriminatory legislation. We can even adopt as couples.
Marriage is the last big right we need to feel included in society, to feel like we have a stake and are not second-class citizens. Many of us went on marches and did protest back in the 80s and 90s, but come 2000 things started getting much better for us, so we stopped where we were, with just one main LGBT advocacy group, Stonewall. I think if the Tories had won again in 1997, things would have been very different.
… having said that, I am not satisfied with Stonewall’s behaviour. They didn’t want to fight for equal marriage and had to be forced, they were unaware that WE wanted equal marriage — which begs the question as to how in touch with us they are. We still have a problem with homophobic bullying in schools, which I don’t see evidence is being addressed, despite all parties saying they would do. Some grassroots members have done just as much as Stonewall for equal marriage. The organisation appears lacking drive and determination so perhaps we have the wrong person / people leading it. I follow US LGBT politics in great detail and see the incredible work you’re doing there, and it’s just in a different league to ours. But, our society is far more secular, less polarised around religion, and most of our MPs wouldn’t dream of making some of the appalling anti-gay remarks that yours do — although clearly we’re being surprised just now. You WILL get your FULL rights in the US.
Gulliver, thanks for writing that, I found it really insightful.
And I have to agree about bullying in schools. It seems as if nothing is being done despite the fact it was in all 3 parties’ election manifestos. I believe gay marriage is taking up discussion time and political capital. That’s why it’s time to get it legislated so we can move on to other matters.
I don’t really follow the big LGBT groups very carefully, but Stonewall seems to have been taken over by (or maybe always was run by) a fairly radical group of people who aren’t very representative of the community. Their nomination of Julie Bindel (who says that trans people are a myth invented by men to put women in their place, and that bisexual women who choose to have relationships with men are betraying women) for that award a few years ago, their opposition to same-gender marriage until recently, and their continued insistence that civil partnerhips should be kept as a gay-only institution because of how different and special we are, seem to have alienated almost everyone. It’s sad how disorganised we are, but I suppose there are enough prominent LGBT or LGBT-friendly politicians that it hasn’t done too much harm.
in addition to the other replies…also in this country, once we get we will get it. there’s no state by state or county by county battle. the law gets passed and thats done. no one will repeal it or overturn it. the prime minister wants it. the leader of the main opposition wants it and so does the third party (and coalition partner) its pretty much a done deal in that respect. mainly i think the general lack of urgency comes from the fact that our current system of civil partnership pretty much means the same in law as marriage…having said all that it will be nice to finally be the same instead of same but different.
David …I kindda agree with you, there really isn’t much excuse not to send off a letter to your MP and with email, theyworkforyou, twitter etc etc all at hand it really is a very simply thing to do nowadays, so why not do it?
At the moment I think MPs would be really, really , really grateful for a sensible positive letter on equal marriage as opposed to the rants they get from the other side.
I also think we should continue to send our responses in to C4M so they can keep us all updated.
There kind of is a country-by-country battle in the UK. The Civil Partnership Act covered the whole UK, but devolution has progressed to the extent that marriage will have to be decided separately in England and Wales (by the UK government), Scotland (by the SNP-run government who are also in the process of introducing it), and Northern Ireland (who might not introduce it for a long time, given how virulently homophobic the DUP are). The decriminilisation of homosexuality and the equalisation of the age of consent also happened separately in the three jurisdictions I think, with NI only going along with these because the European Court of Human Rights forced them to.
There’s an article out today about an MP (who is in favour of equal marriage) who is holding a public meeting on the subject who says although he is in favour he will not ignore his constituents feelings. So you are right David , if no gay person attends and speaks out for it, then our side of the story will get ignored.
The same with emails and letters to your MP. There is no reason not to send an email to them, it takes a few minutes.
Here te article about the MP
I appreciate all the comments in response to my query, but the bottom line is that if the MPs conclude that the opposition is inflamed and that you are indifferent, their natural inclination will be to give grease to the squeaky wheel. That is the way politicians work on either side of the Atlantic.
I know I have no right to lecture any of you or to tell you how to run your affairs, but I fervently hope that you will increase your efforts. This notion that it is a done deal and that you can simply sit back and watch the government pass it is erroneous. When it comes to gay issues, and especially marriage equality, it is never a done deal until it is done. Please take 5 minutes and write your MPs. If you don’t and if this all goes off the rails, you’ll regret it for years to come.
Actually, I should point out that the Commons vote is pretty much a done deal. With the leaders of the three main parties in favour of the move; with a majority of MPs supporting it; with the consultation being about ‘how’, rather than ‘if’ to implement Same-Sex Marriage; and with a majority of the public in favour of it, the Commons will pass the bill, even without Labour being whipped into support (i.e. forced to toe the party line).
The main battle now is the Lords, which is where our efforts should be refocused, since it’s stuffed with dyed-in-the-wool conservative Conservatives and the Bishops who will no doubt vote against it.
We also have a press that is giving totally out of proportion coverage to the anti voices.
Sometimes I wish the more liberal newspapers were as shrill and unprincipled as the likes of the Mail and the Telegraph. The BBC’s coverage is terrible, though: on the pro side you have all the major, and most minor, political parties, a plurality of the population, all the significant LGBT groups, virtually all LGBT people, various secularist and human rights groups, various unions and businesses, and a few small religious groups. On the anti side you have UKIP, the BNP, the leaders of the major religions (though perhaps not even a majority of their followers) and some evangelical pressure groups that want to ban pretty much everything that isn’t specifically encouraged by the bible. Yet somehow the BBC have decided to portray the opponents as the moderate, sensible majority and the supporters as a small group of whinging PC warriors.
We did write to our Conservative MP and we received a favourable reply !
I basically agree with you, and have written similar exhortations on PN many times!
But I think there is a British suspicion of intense lobbying; Britons generally feel more comfortable with policies which come from a broad base in society rather than those supported by one group, and loud campaigning by a special interest group can create the impression that a policy “belongs” to them.
By the same token, I think a lot of people expected that MPs would be so horrified by the extremist vehemence of the anti-gay crowd that they would come to see the pro-equality position as the moderate, centre ground (and I think this has happened, to some extent). And I think some on the pro-equality side were concerned not to put those same fence-sitters off by being noisy in our own defence.
Stonewall’s way of working in the past has always been discreet discussions behind the scenes with a supportive government, and they have neither the expertise … (cont.)
… nor, I fear, the will to undertake large-scale popular campaigning. And I think they thought that the same tactics which worked in the past (over CPs etc.) would work this time too.
This “word in your ear” approach neglected four issues: 1) the social acceptability of homophobia among the older generation; 2) UKIP’s readiness to campaign to the right of the Tories, worrying Tory MPs in marginal seats; 3) confusion among the public (and many gay people) about why we need this change; and 4) the willingness of the Catholic Church to fund an American-style campaign full of lies, with support and tips from US anti-gay groups.
I think a better campaign by the equality side could have countered these issues more effectively. Stonewall has failed, and we need a new group.
But, after watching the debate in Parliament yesterday, I’m confident this will go through anyway. The PM is betting big on reform. We’ll get equality, though the campaign will leave nasty scars.
“If gay marriage was OK – and I was uncertain on the issue – then I saw no reason in principle why a union should not be consecrated between three men, as well as two men; or indeed three men and a dog.” :Boris Johnson.
“Marriage should be open to all, regardless of sexuality.” – :Boris Johnson. Brother & brother ?, father & daughter , three men and a dog or just two men ? Necrophilia in ‘equal marriage’ ? – if you disagree you must be a necrophobe, a dinosaur or living in the ‘dark ages’ ! It won’t change ‘traditional marriage’ and we won’t force churches to marry 3 men, two men, a dead woman and 4 men , or a sister and sister etc etc….
Listen folks , lets just not distort marriage for so called ‘equality’ and remember marriage is between one man and one woman.Pseudo marriages sanctioned through state interference for the sexual polymorphic deviant groups who make up less than 1% of the population is a warped policy by a warped government with zero mandate .
Since when was marriage between one man and one woman ? Not in the bible, they marry multiply, including their sisters and slaves; not to mormons, moslems or some other religions; just a little narrow, recent group of people in most western faiths -most of whom have no objection to same-sex marriage. Two people who assent: which the dead, and animals, cannot do. Which is why corpses and doggies don’t… And why it’s basically demeaning and insulting to suggest that would follow.
Boris added the dog idea – not me .Funny how the revelations of Operation Yewtree has Cameron and his Bullingdon Club chums bending over backward to forward the homophile agenda – coincidence ?
A person could in theory give consent for someone to ‘marry’ them after they die if marriage is distorted by this lunacy.Surely you would not deny them ‘marriage equality’ just like any other person since it would be unfair to discriminate them because of their sexuality (necrophilia) – and you could use the deep south racial discrimination analogy to get your idea across(as you do with same-sex ‘marriage’ !) – and you must be a bigot, a dinosaur , living in the dark ages – hello it’s the 21st Century you are behind the times etc – don’t impose your ideas of marriage on us etc etc …
Regardless of faith or creed or culture no society in the history of humanity has ever had same- sex ‘marriage’ – because marriage can only be fulfilled between one man and one woman .
Ray: don’t like gay marriage? Don’t have one. It’s that simple.
He’s just upset because the days when bigots like him held sway in government. Just ignore this sad throwback and/or click thumbs down.
Yeah those damn Tories… how dare they bring in Marriage Equality…. I am of course being sarcastic.
I don’t much care who bring it in, the fact is it is and I for one am completely happy about it.
This legislation is so we get this equality for Spring 2014… and it’s about time!
“Polymorphic”? Are we talking about object-oriented programming or the existence of different sexes in a species? Or maybe you are referring to polymorphous perversity, Freud’s absurd theory that infants derive sexual pleasure from everything, then narrow their tastes as they get older?
“Listen folks”? Are you strumming a banjo and chewing a blade of grass to go with your, shall we say, unevolved views?
Good ol Boris!! :)
Please send some of your politicians over to Aus – even your conservatives! Ours are all bloody awful!!
I’ve had enough of this. Just put it through for heaven’s sake. Christ who cares if gay people get married? No skin off anybody’s nose. My life won’t change.