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Comment: The Conservative Party has come a long way on gay rights to legislate for equal marriage

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  1. Tell me. Colm, when this goes for vote, which party do you think most of the “no” votes will come from? Apart from the churches, where has most of the homophobic rhetoric come from?

    Nor can you so easily erase the record.

    It’s a step in the right direction, certainly – but the Tories have a long way to go and they’re still well behind the others

  2. Mike Homfray 25 Jan 2013, 5:05pm

    I think the evidence will come from the number of Tories who support this legislation
    If it is less than half, then I think the claims of the Tory party to have truly changed will be hollow
    But of course, it is always good when issues don’t become party political footballs

    1. Ben Bradshaw made an idiot of himself a few months back when he tried to turn it into a party issue!

      1. andy preston 26 Jan 2013, 2:06am

        - not exactly the whole story
        He spoke the unacceptable:
        ‘gays have all the rights of Marriage and equalities necessary in Civil Partnership…gays have never needed the word ‘marriage’
        And actually, quite a large number of gays who have taken up legal committed relationship, don’t want gay ‘marriage’ either, because they feel it is ‘demeaning and patronising’….
        …but for some reason their views are, like the way you camouflage Bradshaw’s, airbrushed out
        …by people who profess a devotion to ‘equality and fairness’

        1. Bradshaw was clearly just annoyed that it is the Conservatives (and Lib Dems) who are moving on equal marriage. I am no fan of the Tories or the Lib Dems but I’m glad they’re going ahead with equal marriage. I’d much rather have equality now no matter which party does it than wait a few years for another party (which I like) to do it.

          And I’m not airbrushing the views of people who don’t feel marriage is necessary – but just because some gay people don’t want it doesn’t mean those of us who do shouldn’t get it. Civil Partnerships will still be available for those gay people who want them.

          1. andy preston 26 Jan 2013, 8:00am

            ”Civil Partnerships will still be available for those gay people who want them.”

            - but only for gays, not for straights…
            Obviously in the world of ‘minority rights’, some are ‘more equal’ than others eh ?

          2. Andy Preston

            You have chosen to post on the blog of an LGBT publication, opposing the right of LGBT people to marry. You have every right to do this. But if you are going to become histrionic when your attitude and comments are criticised, maybe you should take up a different pastime.

          3. @andy preston

            Straight people could campaign for Civil Partnerships just like gay people have had to do for marriage.

            It’s funny how equality is suddenly so important to you when it’s straight people being denied it. When it’s only the gays who don’t have equal rights then it doesn’t seem to bother you. In fact, you seem to be getting awfully angry that we are gaining equality in marriage.

        2. andy preston

          I don’t have any objection to heterosexual people having civil partnerships instead of marriages if they want to. Neither do I know of any other LGBT people who would object. The decision not to extend CPs to hetersexuals was made by the Government. If you don’t like this, write to your MP, instead of your innuendo that LGBT people are to blame for impeding the rights of others. We have had enough disingenuous anti-gay propaganda from your camp, thank you.

          1. ”We have had enough disingenuous anti-gay propaganda from your camp, thank you”

            - wow…that’s a pretty patronising put down in an open discussion forum isn’t it?

            And who is this ‘we’ you’re talking about? …you’re the person who just criticised me ( rightly) for using the word ‘ordinary ‘ people
            Will you next assert that anyone who doesn’t agree with you is automatically ‘judgemental’ and bigoted’ ?

          2. Andy Preston

            You have chosen to post on the blog of an LGBT publication, opposing the right of LGBT people to marry. You have every right to do this. But if you are going to become histrionic when your attitude and comments are criticised, maybe you should take up a different pastime.

        3. I have never met a Gay person who is anti marriage. I do know a few who have held off legally bonding with their partner because they find CPs patronizing and insulting. Where are these Gays who don’t want equal rights? We hear ABOUT them but rarely FROM them.

          1. andy preston 28 Jan 2013, 2:28pm

            - try Ben Bradshawgay Labour MP and gay rights veteran who was one of the first in CP
            ”gays have all the rights of Marriage and equalities necessary in Civil Partnership. Gay’s have never needed the word ‘marriage’ ” March 2012
            In fact it is the naff vote chasing scam of the Tories’ gay ‘marriage’ proposal that is a patronising fake -
            the ‘new marriage’ institutions turns out to be Civil Partnership for all (whether they like it or not) re-named ‘Civil marriage’…so gays end up exactly as they are no, except for a word ( and if that’s not patronising I don’t know what is)
            and everybody else has to change
            and traditional Marriage is abolished ( it seems on the politically correct assumption that majorities don’t have rights, they can only have them in so far as they give them away to minorities)

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 25 Jan 2013, 10:12pm

      Right now, it is far less than half of the Tories are voting yes, so we already know. The bulk voting yes will be Labour and Liberal Democrats. I give full credit to David Cameron and those in his party who vote yes, but essentially, the success of passage of this bill is really not down to the Tories. Change is slow, especially when it’s the Tory party. I think once it passes into law, the next generation of Tory MPs are going to be significantly different. Those who currently claim they support CPs but not equal marriage, will probably be the ones who will be saying after 2015 that they now support equal marriage. Some won’t of course, but I think a substantial number will once they realise that none of the nonsense they were promoting has come to fruition.

    3. andy preston 26 Jan 2013, 2:15am

      - ironically, Cameron has ( cynically, using gay rights as a totem) sought to ‘re-brand’ and ‘prove’ the Tory Party is ‘modern’ to gain Votes…..in a pathetic imitation of Tony Blair’s ‘clause 4′ rebranding of Labour ( Cameron admires Blair and calls him ‘the master’).
      The result has been exactly the opposite of what was intended
      and he has ended up losing shed loads of Votes to UKIP as well…..

  3. Great article, we tend to hear what Tory opponents ( Some seem to be straight from central casting) say more than anything else and sometimes forget the Tory big beasts who have already given public support for SSM. In the medium to longer term I really believe that this proposed legislation, if it gets passed, will be of great benefit to all involved and to society as a whole and not just a benefit to LGBT.

  4. I would say it’s the current leadership of the Conservative party which is comitted to equal marriage rather than the party as a whole. Even then, Cameron has only come around in recent years. It’s fantastic that the Conservative/Liberal Coalition is legislating for equal marriage – when it cones to equality, I don’t really care which party does it – but I would hesitate to say the Conservative party is a champion of equality.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 25 Jan 2013, 10:19pm

      Totally agree. If they were, the numbers voting yes would be significantly far higher.

      1. andy preston 26 Jan 2013, 8:26am

        - quite right…
        Cameron has played a PR scam of trying to ‘rebrand’ the Tories as what he thinks is ‘modern’ , using gays as patsies., when anyone can see that it’s just an out of date extension of the ’80′s ‘Unisex’ idea . This fad soon died out because it was just boring. ‘Equality in diversity’ is what brings real dignity and respect to gays, not a shallow mimicking of straights to try to achieve ‘equality in sameness’, where an apparent insecurity and inferiority complex is dressed up as an ‘equality ‘ issue, and equality is deliberately confused with ‘sameness’.

        1. I am fascinated to hear that my own desire, shared by the overwhelming majority of my fellow gays in CPs or long term relationships, to embrace equality and be married is some sort of inferiority complex. it’s not. It is a demand for equal recognition and equal treatment.

          Like most ordinary gay couples of my acquaintance we want to get on with our lives with our relationship recognised as no different from that of a married straight couple. it’s not mimicking because it is in all material ways the same.

          if you want to practise your equality in diversity, Andy, feel entirely free. But please don;t dismiss the quiet majority of LGBT people who feel that the enactment of this Bill is a key milestone on the road to equal treatment.

          1. andy preston 26 Jan 2013, 3:38pm

            ”to embrace equality and be married”

            Harry- no offence intended to your relationship.
            But why, if you have ‘all the rights of Marriage and equalities necessary in CP’ ( Ben Bradshaw gay Labour MP March 2012)
            do you feel that it is necessary to desire the word ‘marriage’ ?
            This is simply the word that opposite sex couples have had for their relationships. How would having that make your relationship any more valid ?
            And, when you consider that the new same sex marriage constructed for the Government by Stonewall turns out to actually be simply Civil Partnership for all with a word change – ‘Civil marriage’, and that straights would lose their opposite sex institution of Marriage which would be abolished
            the whole thing surely looks like on this one gays are chasing their tail for no reason or benefit, and to the detriment of straights.

        2. @ Andy Preston

          Yeah, right…

          Just like those blacks in Alabama, most of whom really didn’t want to sit at the front of the bus, they were just incredibly grateful and happy if the bus company allowed them on board, if there was room and if the driver didn’t throw them off…

          No doubt you’d have been happy there.

          1. andy preston 26 Jan 2013, 3:13pm

            ”No doubt you’d have been happy there”.-that’s a bit of a sideswipe gerry…

            But what would you have thought if, 7 years after Civil Rights legislation had been passed in USA, less than 4% of those blacks had bothered to take up the opportunity to get on the bus? – unthinkable isn’t it?
            Yet 7 years ago, after a campaign about how ‘essential’ it was for gay relationships, society legislated same sex legal relationship, but since then , 96% have not bothered to ‘get on the bus’ !
            Doesn’t exactly show an unfulfilled demand does it?
            So, are you saying that society should now legislate again to give gays an unnecessary add on to something that they are already uninterested in anyway? – and, in the process, force all heterosexuals to adopt a completely new institution – Civil Partnership -renamed ‘Civil marriage’ , whether they like it or not, with the threat of prosecution if they dissent?

          2. andy

            Your analogy is inaccurate. Black people under Segregation were already able to get on the bus, but had to sit at the back. Your analogy only has any resemblance of working if you posit that only 4% of black people decided to sit somewhere other than the back of the bus after the legislation.

            Even if that had happened, would that have meant it was wrong to change the law and let black people sit wherever they wanted? What about the 4% who availed themselves of the new opportunity? Should their rights be disregarded?

            And what about the 96% at the back of the bus? Why would they still be sitting there? Force of habit? Lack of confidence? You should look into the behavioural research on rats that have been repeatedly abused. They end up staying put with the aversive stimuli, and depressed, even when the barriers are removed. It will take a long time to undo the harm caused by religious homophobia.

          3. An extremely well-made point, Gazza.

  5. The problem is not political conservatism, but dogmatic religion.

    The Conservative Party without the historical effects of dogmatic religious influence would be a much better organisation.

    In the same way that the Republican Party would be a much better outfit without the religious nutters.

    The fundamentalist religious crazies are on the way out of the Conservative Party, encouraged by David Cameron who wants a modern, progressive and fair Conservative Party.

    In my view, Conservatism has a lot going for it, so long as the dogmatic (and homophobic) religious influences are taken out of the equation. The baby need not be thrown out with the bathwater.

    Colm – an informative article – and I sincerely hope that your future husband turns up soon! Often, it is worth the wait.

    1. andy preston 28 Jan 2013, 2:57pm

      sorry Gazza – I actually wanted to post you a reply to your response above…but there’s no ‘reply’ option.
      ”Your analogy is inaccurate” ….analogies are just that. Not facts. In this case it depends what the correlation is.
      If the ‘bus’ is society – then my point holds, because where before only heteros could have legal committed relationship, now gays can ‘get on the same bus’ of all the rights and equalities of Marriage.
      The correlation you have chosen is not to do with equality or rights, it is to do with being able to use a ‘word’ , a label , applied to those rights. You are hung up on form over substance, as though gays need a ‘word’ in order to feel valid.
      The patronising fakery involved is obvious once you realise that the ‘new marriage’ gays are being offered by Cameron is not marriage at all, it is simply Civil Partnership dressed up with a change of a ‘word’ and renamed ‘Civil marriage’.
      Sadly no gays posting here seem concerned about the rights of straights.

    2. andy preston 28 Jan 2013, 3:11pm

      Again Gazza- about your posting above:
      ”And what about the 96% at the back of the bus? Why would they still be sitting there? Force of habit? Lack of confidence? ”
      Gazza – more phoney ‘victimhood ‘pleading…. it is most likely that they are uninterested…did that never occur to you?
      ”You should look into the behavioural research on rats that have been repeatedly abused.”….OMG do you really think that the behaviour of intelligent human beings can be equated to rats as a way of apologetics??
      ”It will take a long time to undo the harm caused by religious homophobia” – but only 10% of the 45% currently against are ‘religious’ objectors…why do you keep bashing religion. In Russia which is most irreligious, they have anti-gay.rallies and hunt down and beat them up. Does that happen is this Christian country…because according to your logic, it should?

  6. Politicians are bad people 25 Jan 2013, 8:29pm

    In my experience, gay rights has never been a party political issue and it does not follow the left/right dichotomy. The most ignorant person I’ve ever known with regard to gay rights was a Labour voting socialist, who seemed to think that our ‘purpose’ in life as humans was to have as many kids as we could, and that the main purpose of the state should be to support us to that end. As gays did not fit into his weird world view, he considered homosexuality unnatural. People are weird and will believe all sorts.

  7. They are only doing this to beat Labour to the punch. I will never give them my vote. Tories will always be a religious nutter party.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 25 Jan 2013, 10:15pm

      Well, once this passes, and it will I believe, religion in the Tory party will eventually prove to be a detriment to attract a younger generation of voters, especially among those who aspire to higher education.

    2. andy preston 26 Jan 2013, 2:44am

      ”They are only doing this to beat Labour to the punch”
      - quite right.
      Cameron may not have much up top, but he has political cunning.
      And he knew that Labour couldn’t vote against , without looking totally stupid…..

      Of course, he was only flat footedly imitating Tony Blair’s ‘clause 4′ rebranding of Labour….unfortunately for him, he has nowhere near Blair’s intelligence, and is now losing shed loads of precious Votes to UKIP
      - hence the panic stricken last minute ‘triple locks and quadruple locks’….
      Blair got rid of the dead wood…dumb Cameron is trying to burn the green wood.

  8. Be grateful that some Tory MP’s will vote ‘YES’ to Marriage Equality. Here in Australia not one of our Conservatives voted for the Marriage Equality legisiation! You are light years ahead in Britain.

  9. lots of hope. here in the USA lots of repubs support marriage but the repub party leadership is sold out to the southern evangelical / baptist xtians for whom Obama is a nightmare come true

  10. andy preston 26 Jan 2013, 1:56am

    ”Some are also quoting the European Court of Human Rights as the looming bogeyman waiting to take away religious freedoms. This again is a red herring.”

    - quite right……the whole religious vs the rest argument is bogus.
    The Poll figures are:
    55% for
    45% against – only 10% of these are religious objectors
    …that leaves a massive 35% of the population against , who are not objecting on religious grounds.
    There is no ‘legal protection’ proposed for this massive number of UK citizens, who, if they disagree are likely to find themselves in the position of LA Housing Manager Adrian Smith…who nearly lost his job, and was demoted for merely discussing on his private Facebook account that ‘forcing Churches to marry same-sex couples was a liberty too far’
    It is surely an odd situation that around 50 yrs ago gays could be prosecuted for their lifestyle- and now, ordinary people , but who merely don’t endorse same sex marriage are under threat of prosecution or losing their job.

    1. No, the remaining 35% are just homophobic @-holes. It’s just that very few of them have the courage to admit it.

      1. andy preston 26 Jan 2013, 2:30am

        -a bit extreme Qtoktok…doesn’t have someone have a right to disagree without being abused? For instance, some may be pro gay rights but feel that Marriage is simply an opposite sex institution and that Civil Partnership is a same-sex institution and that this situation is satisfactory and provides ‘equality in diversity’- the original gay rights slogan….and that they don’t want Cameron’s out of date ’80′s ‘unisex marriage’ formula of Civil Partnership for all (whether they like it or not) renamed ‘Civil marriage’

    2. I really believe that most people aren’t obsessed with this issue. They are quite rightly worried about jobs, mortgages, pensions etc. Personally however I think that the the freedoms and civil rights of consenting adults is an important issue and that applies whatever your sexuality.

      What makes me laugh is that often those in favour of a continued ban will in the next breath huff and puff about the nanny state or the nanny eu apparently unaware of the contradiction. It’s as if they are saying that they are freedom loving as long as your freedom is one that they approve of;-)

      1. andy preston 26 Jan 2013, 3:59pm

        ”a continued ban”
        - this is playing the ‘discrimination/victim’ card Ray.
        Are men ‘discriminated against’ by not being able to be treated in a Maternity Ward? – of course not; it is simply gender specific for a reason.
        Likewise Marriage is gender specific because it is the acknowledgement of countless generations of opposite sex pairings; it doesn’t ‘discriminate’ against gays – it just doesn’t apply to them because it has always been gender specific.
        Recently (in historical time scale) , gay relationships which were previously hidden/unacknowledged/and persecuted, have ( rightly) been finally acknowledged and given legal rights and equality in Civil Partnership.
        Why then, having all the rights of Marriage and equalities necessary in CP, should gays feel the need to adopt an opposite sex institution’s name?

        1. Because many people do NOT see marriage as an opposite sex institution. If you personally do, that’s fine – don’t marry. But I have never seen marriage like that. To me, it’s a legal union of two people. Their gender is irrelevant, their sexuality is irrelevant, their race is irrelevant. It’s just two people who wish to make a committment. So, in my opinion, only one name for that union is needed – ie one name no matter what your gender and/or sexuality.

          1. andy preston 27 Jan 2013, 1:11am

            Iris – I like your reply. It is straightforward, not devious ,and has integrity.
            However, I would suggest that it is wrong.
            In fact not many people worldwide see Marriage as anything other than an opposite sex union.
            Biologically it is simply the formal name and extension of millennia of opposite sex pairings and has never included same-sex relationships. Marriage is gender specific.
            You say ”To me, it’s a legal union of two people” -and I quite understand and agree that it is fundamentally right that gays should have this recognised institution – and they do…it’s called Civil Partnership (could be much better called ‘Wedded Partnership).
            So, I would ask you – what rights and equalities do same sex relationships not have in CP that are available to opposite sex relationships in Marriage?
            And secondly – do you understand that, in order to give gays the word ‘marriage’, that opposite sex couple’s gender specific institution of Marriage would have to be abolished?

    3. andy preston

      The Religious Right have been feeding propaganda and disinformation about equal marriage to the population at large. Without this, support from the non-religionists would be even higher.

      As for the Housing Manager you refer to, you overlook the fact that his claim was rightly upheld by an industrial tribunal, and that there was universal support for this outcome in the gay community. Take a look at the PN comments after its article covering this. This case actually proves that the sky really isn’t about to fall in, and its outcome will make it even more unlikely that such discrimination will take place in future.

      You say, “50 yrs ago gays could be prosecuted for their lifestyle.” Since when is having sex with someone of the same gender a “lifestyle”? It is an action. You then refer to non-LGBT people as “ordinary people.” I think that, despite the reasonable tone you try to adopt in your post, you are actually pretty prejudiced.

      1. andy preston 26 Jan 2013, 8:39am

        ”You then refer to non-LGBT people as “ordinary people.”

        Quite right Gazza, this gives the wrong impression.
        I should have used the word ‘others’.

        In fact I am on record as being pro- gay rights
        but not gay ‘marriage’; which is really just Civil Partnership with a ‘word’ added -.’Civil marriage’…and legislated for everyone (whether they like it or not), with the treat of prosecution for ‘discrimination’ if they disagree…
        …some ‘equality’ that eh?

        1. andy preston

          You shouldn’t have needed to be challenged on referring to non-LGBT people as “ordinary people”. The fact that you wrote that so automatically speaks volumes for how appearing rational, reasonable and progressive, does not come naturally to you, and how your true attitude slips through when you let your guard down.

          Do you remember Section 28? When teachers did not dare to say anything that could be construed as condoning LGBT relationships in case they lost their jobs? I remember it, because I was a teacher during that period, and I recall the harm it did and how LGBT students were denied proper sex education and information as a result of it. Assuming this belonged to your era, were you as vociferous in campaigning against Section 28 as you are in campaigning against equal marriage?

          …some ‘equality’ that eh?

          1. andy preston 26 Jan 2013, 12:51pm

            ”how your true attitude slips through when you let your guard down.”
            Gazza – I made a mistake, and I admitted and corrected it.
            Why are you so keen to do do a character assassination when someone has a different point of view to your own?
            It is surely you who are the one ‘getting histrionic’ and huffing and puffing about ‘we have had enough….of people like you…” daring to post on a LGBT website …rather reminds me of those Moslems in East London warning people ( esp gays) that they are ‘in a Muslim area’ and had ‘better be careful’..
            Is your ‘modern’ idea of freedom so restricted that you can only tolerate fellow yes men crawling all over each other bashing Christians.and anyone who doesn’t swallow the current fashion of equality dogma worship as automatically ‘bigoted’?

          2. Andy Preston

            Well, your analogy of the East London vigilante Moslems is another glaring example of your histrionics.

            The vigilantes were telling an apparently LGBT man that he should leave a “Moslem area”.

            I have not told you to “leave”. On the contrary. What I said was this:

            “You have chosen to post on the blog of an LGBT publication, opposing the right of LGBT people to marry. You have every right to do this. But if you are going to become histrionic when your attitude and comments are criticised, maybe you should take up a different pastime.”

            If you are going to attribute views and words to others that they do not have, and have not uttered, then you clearly still have a lot of growing up to do.

            And I speak as I find. You strike me as a prejudiced person hiding behind a veneer of pseudo-rational arguments and reasonable demeanour: a veneer that
            soon slips when your spurious logic gets challenged.

            You and your superficial arguments are no threat to anyone here. Do stay.

    4. Please don’t be silly. Adrian Smith took his employers to court and won.

      By the way, my own view is that anyone who uses the word “lifestyle” in relation to gay couples, as if they had some sort of choice in the matter, shows their bigotry. Do you believe that being gay is some form of choice Andy?

      1. andy preston 26 Jan 2013, 2:49pm

        So, you don’t find it disturbing, that even before same sex marriage legislation is enacted, that someone could actually be threatened with dismissal for merely discussing it on his private Facebook account? And, that he had then to go to Tribunals and High Court to get this overturned?If this is the case now, what do you think it would be like for any dissenters after legislation were enacted?
        Isn’t this the same kind of insidious persecution that only 50 years ago, gays were (rightly) complaining about?
        And no, I don’t think that homosexuals have a choice in their feelings and needs; there are however some who by nurture adopt homosexual relationships who are not really homosexuals, and they often experience mental disturbance and emotional problems as a result. With the best rights and equalities for gays in the world here in UK, homosexuals can at last be themselves and live out the original gay rights dream of ‘equality in diversity’, rather than conflicting with heterosexuals.

        1. Wow, Andy :s “conflicting with heterosexuals”? I don’t like the sound of that because it in no way represents reality. We are PEOPLE first and foremost. My sexuality doesn’t put me in a separate box. It’s likely that I have more in common with some of my straight friends than some of my LGBT ones. People’s sexuality is irrelevant. That’s what equality means to me. I long for a future when no-one cares what colour people’s skin is or who they prefer to sleep with. We’re all the same underneath – same hopes, same fears.

          If you believe that LGBT people should be separated by having separate institutions then that’s not right because there’s no need. I don’t have a gay ‘mortgage-that-mustn’t-be-called-a-mortgage’, I don’t have a special ‘something-like-a-bank-account-but-called-something-different’ and I don’t see the need to call my civil union a different name rather than simply civil marriage.

  11. andy preston 26 Jan 2013, 7:48am

    …what is it with this sudden obsession for gays to be able to use the straight’s word ‘marriage’? It obviously is a common institution simply because 97% of the population are not gay…..50% of the population are female, but you don’t see men demanding to be treated in Maternity Wards otherwise they will feel ‘unequal’. Gays in UK already have the best worldwide equalities and rights, and in CP have all the rights of Marriage and equalities necessary. This just looks like an inferiority complex dressed up as a ’cause’. In fact many gays actually don’t want it because they regard it as patronising and demeaning

    1. andy preston

      Has it not occurred to you that one of the strongest motivations to campaign for equal marriage is because people like you are so strongly opposed to it?

      The fact that being able to exclude LGBT from this core social institution is so important to those who denigrate LGBT people is the thing that has inspired me most to campaign for it. I certainly believe in principle that LGBT couples should no more be excluded from marriage than interracial couples, but it is the fact of how odious, spiteful, dishonest and vile the anti-equal marriage campaign has been, that has been the fuel to my engines, as I am sure it has been for many others.

      I think the issue is so important to the religionists (as practically all the C4M activists seem to be) because they rightly sense it is going to be the key to undermining social discrimination against LGBT people. That’s why the campaign for equal marriage has been so energetic and successful.

      1. andy preston 26 Jan 2013, 1:58pm

        ”Has it not occurred to you that one of the strongest motivations to campaign for equal marriage is because people like you are so strongly opposed to it?”
        No Gazza – I have always thought that it was a misguided attempt by a certain lobby playing on insecurity and identity problems purportedly pretending to get gays ‘equality’, which of course that they already have in CP
        …and since 96% of gays during the past 7 years have been uninterested in taking up legal committed relationship, and the fact that many who have don’t actually want gay ‘marriage’ because they find it ‘patronising, demeaning and unnecessary’ (Ben Bradshaw). Bearing in mind the understandable antipathy of gays towards religion, then those who would actually take up gay ‘marriage’, especially in a Church, would actually be tiny – and CP can anyway since 2010 be performed legally in a Church..Since same sex marriage turns out to be simply Civil Partnership.with a ‘word’ change ‘Civil marriage -what’s the point?

        1. Andy Preston

          Well, you have been told “the point” repeatedly – especially if you are the same Andy Preston who posts on the Daily Telegraph blogs – but you just don’t listen. You are like a scratched record with a needle stuck in the groove.

          Even if there were no other benefits – which there certainly are – then the mere fact that equal marriage upsets the fundamentalist religionists so much in C4M and elsewhere, who have historically been the most vitriolic, hateful and ignorant opponents of LGBT rights and equality, would indicate that this is a battle worth fighting to the bitter end.

          It is high time that dogmatic religionists were taught that we are not living in a theocracy in the UK. Our civil marriage is none of their business, and they will not prevail.

    2. It’s not sudden, Andy. I assumed as a small child that you could marry ‘who you love’. I was quite shocked to find out you could only marry someone of the opposite sex. I was very young then and didn’t have the faintest idea that I was gay.

      When women were given the vote, some people argued that it was wrong because, by definition, voting was something only men did so how then could women do it? That’s a circular argument. But in the case of marriage, there have been same sex marriages in the past anyway, but even if there hadn’t there’s no reason to exclude LGBT people from marriage. Unlike your maternity ward example, by the way. If men had babies, I’d fight for their right to be treated in a maternity ward because they shouldn’t be excluded, but they don’t, so it’s not comparable.

      1. To add to what the repliers above have said, could I also suggest you look up – get someone to help you – the clinical meaning of the term ‘obsession’; you would avoid looking such a fool.

  12. Regarding some of the discussions above, perhaps it would be wise to stop feeding our new troll.

    As for Mr Howard-Lloyd’s piece, I am reminded of Dan Savage’s response when Christians tell him that not all Christians are homophobic bigots: “Don’t tell me, tell the bigots.”

    Mr Howard-Lloyd, please don’t spend your valuable time telling us about how pro-equality Conservatives are. We can watch Parliamentary debates and reach a judgement for ourselves.

    I suggest LGBTory concentrate on the reactionaries in your party and their spokespeople at the Telegraph. They are working hard to convince us that the grassroots of your party hasn’t changed much from the one which voted down Edwina Currie’s amendment in 1994.

    1. Well said, Atalanta. There there some very short memories on here. the Tories and their voters are the enemy of gay folks. Nothing has changed, nothing at all. I fled to Spain in 1989 after taking a degree in politics and being really scared of the way these animals were taking the country. On this last issue; a free vote; says it all.

  13. Matt Lincoln 26 Jan 2013, 1:48pm

    I’m a Conservative because of my monetarist economic principles rather than anything to do with my sexuality. I think it’s a great shame if this issue is viewed in a partisan way and we will all be worse off if it is.

    The average Tory Association activist is from a generation that was brainwashed with prejudice. Labour has suppressed similar views through its competing pressure to be PC (but don’t assume they are not there too). But it’s these activists who are putting Tory members under huge pressure to oppose equal marriage. Only a handful of MPs truly personally oppose it and usually for deeply held religious reasons, which I have to respect no matter how much I disagree with. For the rest it is a dilemma and many can be persuaded that Conservatives should promote the stability that marriage brings, the economic benefit of two people who self- insure one another to relieve the burden of their hard times on the state. So do write to your MP today!

    1. andy preston 26 Jan 2013, 2:22pm

      ”for deeply held religious reasons, which I have to respect no matter how much I disagree with”
      Why are dogmatic religious beliefs from scriptural religious writings the only objections you respect?
      Why not rational common sense ones?
      For instance: Marriage is an opposite sex institution because it is the modern acknowledgement in society of the legacy of millennia of opposite sex adult pairings which comprise 97% of the population.
      It does not ‘discriminate’ against gays any more than a Maternity Ward discriminates against men. It simply doesn’t apply to them.
      Gay relationships have only recently been acknowledged and that is why there has not been an institution for them until Civil Partnership was established.
      Why do gays then need to appropriate an opposite sex relationship institution, when they already have one of their own?

      1. Andy, your “common sense” reasons against marriage equality does not describe why you personally oppose it. Just because it hasn’t been done before is a strange motivation to get so hot under the collar about something that will not affect you AT ALL. My civil partnership is not recognized in other countries. Also, having a separate institution suggests that the usual form of loving commitment (marriage) is not applicable to us. There is no real HARM being done yet you are so upset. Strange.

    2. “Marriage is an opposite sex institution because it is the modern acknowledgement in society of the legacy of millennia of opposite sex adult pairings which comprise 97% of the population.
      It does not ‘discriminate’ against gays any more than a Maternity Ward discriminates against men. It simply doesn’t apply to them.”

      Andy, try it this way: “Suffrage is a male institution because it is the acknowledgement in society of the millennia of male votes. It does not discriminate against women. It simply doesn’t apply to them”

      Marriage DOES apply to us & we should be as entitled to have one as you. I could equally have used interracial marriage in my re-writing above. Society progresses and injustices are corrected. Opening up votes to women didn’t affect men’s ability to vote, and opening up marriage to LGBT people won’t affect straight people’s marriages at all. In fact, we could all have married secretly overnight and you’d be none the wiser because your life wouldn’t be affected at all.

      1. Andy wouldn’t know an adjective if it bit him on the toe. Andy, ‘gay’ is an adjective. Your foolish use of it as a noun gives you away as a homophobe and bigot. Just a word to the wise (OK, so I’m an optimist, but since I’m gay you despise me anyway!) so that your future rantings will approach a semblance of sense.

  14. Andy Preston

    well hello there Andy, things a bit quiet on the comments pages of your usual haunts on the Telegraph comments pages – just a question, how much of the guff you post is coppied and pasted, coz I seem to have read it all over and over and over again and again and again.
    Now you have every right to come and post on a gay site – but please can you say something new as I’m bored of your quite prolific posts !

    1. andy preston 27 Jan 2013, 12:39am

      renevato
      - your usual mentally minimalist ‘shoot the messenger’ / character assassination …
      …no attempted logical rebuttal like those posters above of course…

      Anyone who has witnessed your attempted responses to my critique of your postings
      will know that your professing ‘boredom’ is just a fake cover, and that you just ran away because you couldn’t answer.

      If you’ve actually got something to say, c’mon…let’s hear what it is…

      …but I’m not holding my breath…..

      1. Andy, why don’t you just nip out a bash some poor gay guy on his way home from the pub or something? I’m sure you’d feeloads better.

        1. andy preston 28 Jan 2013, 3:34pm

          it’s ok Rr – he hasn’t got anything to say

          …and neither do you apparently…
          ”’why don’t you just nip out a bash some poor gay guy on his way home from the pub or something?”
          - is that the best you can do as a substitute for reasoned argument?
          Looks more like a projection of your own hatred I’m afraid….

  15. andy preston 28 Jan 2013, 1:36pm

    Dear gays,
    please realise that the current government preoccupation with gay ‘marriage’ is simply a PR scam by Cameron to try to get Votes by using gays as the patsies.
    It is deliberately targeted at those who want acceptance and integration – but will produce exactly the opposite.
    The result will be,and already is, conflict and division, and endless legal prosecutions of straights who might otherwise have been supportive.. It can set back gay / straight relationship by decades.
    It says it aims to give ‘marriage’ to gays – but it actually gives a patronising fake – Civil partnership for all, renamed ‘Civil marriage’. So, gays would get what they have already ..plus a ‘word’
    and straights lose completely what they have at present…together with a shed load of hybrid unknown and unintended consequences inserted into the natural social structure of society, akin to GM crops and genetically engineered animals in the food chain.
    This may look like a free lunch – but it’s not..

  16. Don Harrison 1 Feb 2013, 5:17pm

    I received a letter from Jim Paice, Tory MP South East Cambs today telling me he will not vote against the legislation.
    He tells me that he is not anti gay.
    I know there are a large number who will vote the same,

  17. Stephen Frost 6 Feb 2013, 12:37am

    They haven’t come far enough. They’re just SLIGHTLY less shit than they used to be. They still have a long way to go before they convince me they’ve changed. Tonight’s votes were nowhere near enough to make up years of anti-equality votes and retort.

  18. It was a significant development for the Conservative Party but it was due to Cameron and not really the whole party. He is trying to change the image of the party. While i respect that he did it and did not back down once he realized the sh1tstorm it caused for him i think it was because he is poor at gauging public opinion. You can see that repeatedly in his actions. Had he known the reaction he probably would not have taken this step.

    The wikileak cable by the American official described as a political lightweight and it is accurate.

    It is not a vote winner for the Conservatives but a net vote loser.

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