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Labour MP Austin Mitchell: The equal marriage debate was moving — I had to vote for the bill

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Reader comments

  1. Leigh Hamilton 7 Feb 2013, 2:36pm

    It’s always good to see common sense triumph over ignorance. :)

  2. bobbleobble 7 Feb 2013, 2:40pm

    This is lovely to hear. He actually listened to what was being said and understood and realised that this was the right thing to do. If only some of the others had done that instead of heading into the debate close minded then the vote in favour would have been even higher.

    There was another MP, a Tory, who intervened in one of the speeches given on Tuesday by a gay Tory MP. He said something similar to Mr Mitchell, that he’d intended to abstain but couldn’t bring himself to do that after hearing the speeches of gay MPs. It warms your heart.

  3. Garry Cassell 7 Feb 2013, 2:49pm

    Good man, cheers..

  4. Isn’t the just the normal “actually these gays are not so scary when you getting know one of them….or even better two of them”. I’m pleased anyway that Austin Mitchell has an open mind.

    1. bobbleobble 7 Feb 2013, 2:59pm

      Absolutely, if people actually get to know us, understand us and listen to us then they realise we’re not out to destroy society but form an integral part of it. They should stop pretending to have gay ‘friends’ who surprisingly happen to hold the same opinion as they do and get out there and actually talk to real gay people in real lives.

  5. Democracy in action.

  6. It’s admirable that he’s taken the trouble to say so – good man!

  7. I taped most of the debate & watched it at my leisure. I never thought that I would find a Commons debate so involving & yes, at times moving. It showed that society & parliament has moved such a long way in relatively few years. Obviously there is more to be done (homophobic bullying etc) & we
    should never be complacent, but to witness debate where the moral tide is very much with us & even amongst those like the northern irish mps, they daren’ t wallow in the mire of homophobic language where the focus always seemed to be about anal sex ala Norman Tebbit et al. I really feel that I was witness to an enlightened sea change for society which will hopefully go down in history as an historic benchmark for us & society as a whole. I feel that the
    extremists have been marginalised to such an extent that they are now seen as being just that, extreme, & that thankfully religions grasp is on the wane. I also have to say that my Toryphobia was challenged by some of

    extremists now aee just

  8. …The speeches made by Tory MPs, both gay & straight.

  9. Peter & Michael 7 Feb 2013, 4:16pm

    But, after several letters to our Conservative MP, Edward Timpson and with my partner having been together for over 30 years in a loving stable relationship with children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren without the need for any church to bless or give us their blessing .as ‘Mrs Brown’ says ‘who are the church to say who or what is ‘Love’ between two consenting adults, he decided to abstain. Shame on him !

  10. Robert in S. Kensington 7 Feb 2013, 4:31pm

    Oh my, who would have thought. Absolutely wonderful. People can and often do evolve. I concur with him, some of those speeches were deeply movning especially MIchael Freer’s. It brought a tear to my eye. I’m going to write him a letter of thanks. I totally misjudged him last year. Well done, Austin Mitchell and thank you.

  11. RedDevil9 7 Feb 2013, 4:36pm

    Nice to see that some politicians can weigh up the facts and be swayed by debate, rather than those who think ‘they know all about something already’, even thought they’re often miles off, and remain ignorant.

  12. Tim Chapman 7 Feb 2013, 5:51pm

    Well, there I was critisizing him, then he sees the light. When someone agrees with me, I stop arguing with them and give credit where credit’s due. Well done, Mr Mitchell.

  13. I usually have a bit of time for Mr Mitchell. He usually, though not always, propounds a sensible view of things, and it gratifies me to hear that he changed his view, especially so after hearing from his political opponent Mr Freer.

    But, listen up, people. We have only just won the first skirmish in this battle to attain equality with our straight contemporaries. There will surely be amendments proposed both in the Committee Stage which is next, and also at Second Reading, for which I understand that two full days of debate have been scheduled, though I don’t know the dates. Then it will have to go to the House of Lords where further opposition can be expected. We are not “out of the woods” quite yet, though the First Reading majority of 225 does bode extremely well for us.

    It can, I think, be reasonably expected that our opponents such as the Catholic Church and the Coalition For Marriage etc. will be as vociferous and vile as they have been previously. The fight continues.

  14. Used to like Austin Mitchell but lost respect for him when I heard his views on equal marriage. New found respect for him now!

    Much respect too for John Prescott for his pro equal marriage tweets/support. I’m sure he will fight our case well in the House of Lords.

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