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Stonewall boss: Civil partnerships haven’t reduced homophobia so we need equal marriage

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  1. Peter & Michael 12 Feb 2013, 5:32pm

    Exactly ! And that is why we need the word ‘Equal’ that was dropped from the Same-Sex Bill, otherwise this bill will still be second class to a Marriage. Equal Marriage. we say.

    1. You’re right. David Cameron’s bill is only a three-quarter-way house (the Civil Partnership Act being a half-way house). It ushers in the age of ‘gay marriage’, not equal marriage. This is definitely an improvement on civil partnership mentality but means that there is still a way to go before we achieve true equality and there is, finally, just ‘marriage’. Hopefully that will be in my lifetime.

  2. Spanner1960 12 Feb 2013, 5:36pm

    Oh put a sock in it Summerskill!
    I sometimes wonder how you can manage to be a mouthpiece and an arsehole at the same time.

    Stonewall didn’t just ignore the same-sex marriage scenario, they blatantly attacked it and bleated on about how wonderful CP’s were and how we should all be happy with our lot and sit back like good sheep.

    The man is a total hypocrite and Stonewall makes a mockery of everything equality and LGBT people stand for, and they should be shut down as not fit for purpose.

    It was only when the average gay in the street fought back and declared they wanted full equality that this bunch of mutual back-slappers begrudgingly came on board.

    1. Shut down?

      Who will take money from large corporations to award diversity badges then?

      No, no, no!

    2. Every statement he makes about equal marriage sounds like he’s just mouthing platitudes that he’s been told to repeat. He never sounds like he means it or really understands what the fight is for. Total sincerity fail.

    3. The Halcyon 13 Feb 2013, 10:44am

      His is a spurious argument – by that logic, Ben Summerskill’s leadership of Stonewall hasn’t reduced homophobia so we need rid of him.


  3. Robert (Kettering) 12 Feb 2013, 5:39pm

    Where was his voice when we were suffering attack after attack in the media over Christmas and New Year from all those religious and political homophobic bigots? Aided, I might add, by the Bigots Broadcasting Corporation.

    A deafly silence as I recall?!

  4. Robert in S. Kensington 12 Feb 2013, 5:42pm

    For several years now, I’ve been saying on this very site that CPs marginalise gay couples in spite of the benefits inherent in them. Being treated differently under a different name has nothing to do with equality. It gives licence to those so inclined to discriminate and villify our relationships. When you set a group of people apart from the mainstream, it’s sending a very negative message to those with a penchant to discriminate, such as religious nutters and ignoramouses in Parliament as we saw last week.

    I dare say, the opponents in committee would disagree with Summerskill and consider it a weak argument to support equal marriage.

  5. So the reason that he wants equality is not because equality is something that should be given to LGBT people but because equality is needed for some other reason. This seems a bit dodgy. Surely we want equality because we deserve equality and nothing less?

  6. Anyone any idea when we will be able to see a recording of these proceedings and WHERE?

  7. PantoHorse 12 Feb 2013, 5:59pm

    B0ll0cks. Stonewall’s support came on the back of outcry in the lgbt community at their refusal to support it, saying CPs were enough.

    1. GulliverUK 12 Feb 2013, 6:15pm

      Lately because it doesn’t seem representative of ordinary LGBT people on their committees. The number of people on the committee who say they had no idea we wanted equal marriage, and that we thought it was important, is staggering. Sure, they are working towards tackling homophobia in sport and schools, but they’re out-of-touch with many other important issues. I would love to work for them / with them but it wouldn’t be financially viable for me, and I’d be like a fire-cracker exploding in the office.

      1. I see this morning, or perhaps in the night, PN have changed the headline to one not *quite* as disingenuous as the previous.

      2. Spanner1960 13 Feb 2013, 4:50pm

        Lately? They were a bunch of chocolate teapots 20 years ago.

  8. GulliverUK 12 Feb 2013, 6:04pm

    The issues of homophobia in schools is, I believe, a separate issue. Some kids are always trying to be alpha males, and they’ll attention-seek, and use anything they can, to further that, including homophobia. When confronted, by programmes like LGBT History (proven to work) they realise the unfairness of what they’ve done, and stop.

    We’re achieving greater tolerance all the time, as people are 1. confronted with the issues. 2. think about it. 3. come to the conclusions that is is wrong to discriminate as some people being gay doesn’t make any difference to their lives.

    The only way to stop homophobia is to stop it at source, religion. You either bring in very repressive laws which curtail freedom to hate, or wait for the gradual change to peculate through religion (which is always behind conventional wisdom). I don’t see any need for repressive laws against religious views in the public space at this point because 1. we have excellent arguments on our side and 2. they don’

    1. So you want to bring in a law to stop people having an opinion?you dont have any arguments on your side at all, the decent people in this country will not stand by and watch you drag it down to your level.

  9. His statement is largely right though:the availability of CPs has not greatly reduced homophobia.

    However, even Equal Marriage won’t greatly reduce homophobia, in my view. It’s going to take decades and decades of people “getting on board” so that, one day, a same-sex couple will be able to walk hand in hand down any street in the UK without the justifiable fear we currently have.

    Equal Marriage is only another stage in the march towards acceptance.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 12 Feb 2013, 6:52pm

      I agree, I think it’s actually a weak argument for equal marriage. Summerskill needs to go, totally out of touch. I do agree though that equal marriage will be an important step towards acceptance by the majority. Ten, twenty years from now society will look back and wonder what all the nonsense and opposition was all about. Everything they’re now saying against equal marriage is almost identical to what they were saying about CPs when they were being legislated.

  10. Well at least he’s on the bus, if only to avoid being run over.

    When I put this exact point to him a couple of years ago, his answer was ‘many LGBT people don’t want it”.

    Got that wrong, eh?

    1. He may be on the bus, but he is still happy to sit in the back seat.

  11. Here is a video link to the evidence from @Out4marriage – Benjamin Cohen and James Walsh

    1. Thank you very much for the link, Dave.

      That was really interesting.

      Well done to Ben and John.

    2. Thank you for the link.

  12. Really? I don’t think the levels of homophobia has much to do with Civil Partnerships or Equal Marriage but society as a whole. Changing the laws is one thing changing peoples views is another…

  13. Mr Summerskill said: “An increasing number of young people want their family structures to be described in the same way as everyone else is.”

    What an ageist remark.

  14. Is this Stonewall’s contribution to this campaign? Where was this group during the consultation, when we needed a massive display of support? Where are they when we need spokespeople in the media to counter the deception of the other side? I don’t think there is a gay organization anywhere in the world as useless as Stonewall UK.

  15. So how is equal marriage rights any more likely to reduce homophobia than Civil Partnerships, Mr. Bu… sorry, Summerskill?

    Clearly a desperately spun manouvre to try to give the appearance of now being pro-gay marriage.


  16. I don’t think we need equal marriage ‘because’ bigotry wasn’t reduced by CPs. Even if CPs eliminated bigotry altogether equal marriage would still be the right thing to do. I think he misses the point.

  17. Remember his report that marriage equality was going to cost the country something like £50M. I learned a most appropriate phrase when I first moved to London: What a tosser.

  18. When will this donkey behind just follow the action of the pope and go away.

  19. Yes living somewhere with equal marriage does help to deflect homophobia a little but not a lot. Living in the U.S. their are so many different types of T.V. show’s that show Gay family’s or just a gay individual’s in pretty much different ways and this helps because if you are straight and you don’t care much about gay people or you hate gay people and you watch a T.V. show that you love and has a gay character it’s in your own living room. And when we look at african americans dealing with racism , still even having Obama as president still their is racism. Its not about living in a world without homophobia its about silencing their hate. I have an uncle who hates blacks he odes it in private or in his mind where he keeps it not infront of me. He know he cant walk around saying racist things. And its not like society agrees with him that why he does not fit in or has friends. This is what we need those who keep their hate in the shadows and laws to protect us from them.

  20. The reason it has not reduced homophobia in the uk is that the majority of decent people know it is wrong and is doomed to fail.

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