Reader comments · Lib Dem MP Sarah Teather to face two days of protests by Labour for voting against equal marriage · PinkNews

Enter your email address to receive our daily LGBT news roundup

You're free to unsubscribe at any time.


Lib Dem MP Sarah Teather to face two days of protests by Labour for voting against equal marriage

Post your comment

Comments on this article are now closed.

Reader comments

  1. I assume the same outraged Labour members will be staging similar protests outside the equivalent 20-odd Labour MP offices?

    Or is this a partisan thing where they think homophobia with a red rosette on is just dandy?

    1. Great comment.

      I was speaking to a Labour supporter the other day who is gay and his first comment on the same sex marriage bill was… “oh Cameron is only after more votes”. Typical Labour who only glaze through partisan rose tinted glasses. It really angers me and puts me off politics when we have brain deads like this.

      Fine, criticise Sarah Teather and protest against her homophobia but also do the same to all those Labour MPs who refused to support same sex marriage, including those who abstained. Only by doing this does it give you an inch of crediability but until then it is political posturing and I can not stand party politics getting in the way of equal rights for gay people.

      1. bobbleobble 14 Feb 2013, 2:15pm

        The view that Cameron is doing this to garner more votes is shared by many people including lots of Tories. Also why would Brent Central constituents opposed to the way their MP voted then have to high tail it up to Stoke or Bootle? This is a local protest against their local MP.

        1. Well, they could go to the constituency next door and protest Stephen Pound’s vote.

          Up in Leeds, there was grumblings about Greg Mulhollad abstaining, but you’d not know that George Mudie voted against the bill unless you’d followed the vote.

          1. bobbleobble 14 Feb 2013, 3:02pm

            But why would they since Pound isn’t their MP?

          2. It’s disingenous to state that the protest will be entirely or maybe even mostly made of residents in her constituency, or that a Labour activist in Ealing North will think “well, Teather’s not worth protesting, she’s not my MP”. Not that I’m opposed to the protest, but I think the issue of the four Lib Dem MPs who voted against it is being used for partisan advantage when local Labour opposition is in the constituency next door.

            That said, I do commend the Young Labour and Liberal Youth declarations that they will not campaign for MPs who voted against the bill, although given most of the opposition came from safe seats, it’s not going to help.

        2. From what I can tell, the protest is being organised entirely by the local Labour party (this is, of course, an LD-Lab marginal). I just don’t really know who these partisan stunts are supposed to impress – certainly not the undecided voters who will decide whether Teather keeps her seat.

          1. bobbleobble 14 Feb 2013, 3:55pm

            Who better to lead a protest against a sitting MP than the local representatives of a party that is nipping at their heels?

      2. Luke, Sarah doesn’t have a homophobic bone in her body plenty of gay people don’t or no longer support this change. Are they homophobic too? Or are accusations of homophobia just a rather tired and frankly lazy attempt to discredit anyone who doesn’t support every dot and comma of the prevailing viw of gay rights activists?

        1. bobbleobble 14 Feb 2013, 6:46pm

          She doesn’t have a homophobic bone in her body, she just thinks that allowing gay people to marry will destroy it.

          If gay people don’t support the change then that’s up to them but no gay MPs voted against the bill. But for a so called liberal politician to vote against this change on incredibly spurious grounds is something which at the very least should raise questions about how supportive she really is of gay rights. Apparently gay rights are fine until we want what she has and then it’s a no no.

        2. She’s a homophobic bigot and so are the self loathing, vile, uncle tom Gay people who do not support their own community’s civil/human rights.

    2. WELL SAID Jen . . .

      There are at THREE Labour MPs in London alone were they can congregate and protest . . .

      While they are at it . . . why not also head to the office of the Shadow Justice Minister / Spokesperson within the Labour Party who also voted against . . .

      If a Shadow Justice Minister (who looks after laws, equality etc etc etc) can’t vote for equality – what hope does the Labour Party have for the future?

      1. bobbleobble 14 Feb 2013, 6:48pm

        Again, why would they? They are protesting against THEIR MP, they are angry that the person who represents them in Parliament didn’t vote the way they wanted her to. They are therefore entitled to protest. It is for the constituents of Flello et al to protest if they want to but that isn’t relevant to this particular protest.

        It’s also pertinent to point out that same sex marriage is official Lib Dem policy so she didn’t just betray her gay constituents but the party that got her to where she is.

    3. Yes, for the record. Labour Party members pledged to boycott those Labour MPs who did not vote for equal marriage, and it is the policy of the party’s youth and student wings.

  2. Absolutely shocking! Hope she loses her seat at the next election.

  3. ‘Wanting to protect the link between family life and marriage’

    And by that remark you wish to exclude the LGBT community from becoming involved in having a family?

    What is wrong with you? Has your brain been frazzled by all that botox treatment? You clearly are a very deluded and insecure woman if you feel the need to protect such values.

  4. Robert in S. Kensington 14 Feb 2013, 2:04pm

    As much as it angers me that she voted no despicably in deferrence to her religoius beliefs, this is only going to play into the hands of religious nutters in and out of Parliament. We have to remember this was a conscience vote and those voting no were not going to be chastised by their party leaders or by those who voted for the bill.

    If a demonstration is going to take place, then demonstrations should take place against all those who voted no in whatever party. Why single out Teather?

    1. bobbleobble 14 Feb 2013, 2:13pm

      They may not be chastised by party leaders but that doesn’t mean they can’t be chastised by their constituents. And that’s what this is, Brent Central constituents protesting what they perceive as Teather’s incorrect vote on the matter. She’s been singled out only in the sense that she is their MP and they disagree with her actions.

      If this were a centrally proposed protest then I’d agree singling her out would be unfair but it isn’t.

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 14 Feb 2013, 3:26pm

        I concede the point. However, her vote against equal marriage was also a vote against gay families. She only believes that one man and one woman are to be regarded as the only valid family. She’s caved in to religious nutters who were bothered to contact her in bigger droves than those in support many of whom were apathetic and complacent and didn’t bother, not that she should have voted against the bill. If this was purely a conscience vote on her part, then it proves she’s no friend of the LGBT community. She complied with the catholic hierarchy’s agenda instead.

        1. bobbleobble 14 Feb 2013, 3:28pm

          Absolutely agree, her reasoning for her vote against was deeply flawed and I didn’t actually believe a word of it.

          1. Robert in S. Kensington 14 Feb 2013, 4:52pm

            Me either! Very disingenuous too.

    2. Teacher should be singled out (and I say this as a lib dem) because of her party. The lib dems are the only main party which has had lgbt equality as a major issue for some time, and by voting against she has demonstrated that social liberals have no candidate in Brent. Most lib dems I know support the party for social rather than economic reasons, and she has let us down. This is why I will consider joining this demonstration, as I believe a Labour MP in Brent would better represent the views of constituents, as well as relieve the lib dems of their second biggest burden after the Tories.

      Lastly, there is the issue that the lib dems clearly did not see equal marriage as an issue of conscience (and quite rightly). We only decided not to whip after Labour and the Tories took that decision, to make our support look more legitimate. Her vote was completely uncalled for and disappointing.

  5. I’m sorry, has everyone had a mental block after reading the first paragraph? It’s only the Labour members in her constituency that are protesting against her. It’s not a national Labour policy.

    She went against the wishes of her constituents simply to ‘protect families’.

    I for one welcome these Labour party members to do as they wish. Maybe Ms Teather will finally get it.

    1. Jock S. Trap 14 Feb 2013, 3:35pm

      Yep and anyone who wishes to ignore their constituents doesn’t deserve to be an MP.

      Will she finally get it? She’s young so maybe.

  6. Let her become a nun – she takes her orders from the Vatican anyway!

    1. Preferably, a closed order with a vow of silence would suit her and give us all a rest.

  7. Cardinal Capone 14 Feb 2013, 2:25pm

    They should leave the poor woman alone, she’s one of the nicer people in parliament and was clearly very torn on the issue. Who knows what pressure she and others were put under by the Church hierarchy.

    1. bobbleobble 14 Feb 2013, 2:34pm

      I can’t agree with this at all. She’s an MP and is responsible for her votes and her actions to her constituents who are entitled to display their displeasure with her in any legal way that they so choose. If she isn’t strong enough to stand up to the Catholic hierarchy then she shouldn’t be an MP in the first place.

      I’m also absolutely sure that Teather can cope with a few Labour activists standing outside Willesden Green tube station moaning about her not voting for same sex marriage. She doesn’t need to be left alone nor should she be. This is the job she chose to do and like all jobs it comes with consequences.

    2. ^ rubbish. I’m particularly annoyed because when lived in Brent and I voted for her. Urghhh. Rather than the Labour candidate to keep the conservatives out. What’s wrong with her. I feel cheated.

    3. She should be representing her constituents NOT taking her orders from the bloody church. She’s a disgrace.

    4. If she was torn on her issue, she should have seen her GP to have it stitched together.

      Sorry, I couldn’t resist

  8. A Complete failure to represent her constituents – Sack the superstitious cow

  9. Lynda Yilmaz 14 Feb 2013, 2:43pm

    Doesn’t ‘LibDem’ stand for liberal and democratic? Well I guess that passed her by. What’s she doing being led by the Catholics? Stupid woman!

  10. and how did that whiney slurp gordon brown ever get to be prime minister?????????

  11. and how did that whiney slurp gordon brown ever get to be prime minister???????

  12. Give it to her. Her attempt to hold us down as unequal and less of a person should be met with the harshness it deserves. Use very rough sandpaper to clean that mouthy twat.

  13. If she’s going to represent Liberal Democrats she need to support liberal policy making.

    If she’s going to represent Rome, she need to resign and stand for some sort of Catholic party.

    Now off you go. Do it now!

    1. *needs x2 – ooops

  14. I am furious with Teather for not supporting the bill – I really expected better from her. However she has been a good MP otherwise and I will still vote for her in the next election (through gritted teeth). The Labour protest is pure opportunism.

    Brent is a very ethnically diverse area and many of the communities are very socially conservative. It is interesting to see Cllr Mohammed Butt saying that she has let down the local community who, he implies, all want equal marriage. If so then I hope that he will explicitly declare his support for gay marriage on every leaflet he distributes in the next council elections. He wont, of course, and I expect Teather’s decision had something to do with local social conservatism too (not that that is any excuse in my view!)

    1. bobbleobble 14 Feb 2013, 3:33pm

      I’m surprised to hear you say that you think she’s been a good MP otherwise. I used to live in her constituency and still have friends there who voted for her in 2010 but say she’s been a complete waste of space ever since.

      Oh and if Teather’s vote against was to do with local social conservatism then you can add duplicity to her list of ‘accomplishments’ since she didn’t mention that in the nonsense press release.

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 14 Feb 2013, 4:51pm

      Why would you continue to vote for her having voted against you last week? I know for some, equal marriage isn’t important but can you in good conscience support her again after this? She puts faith above everything else and that’s just not on when you’re an MP supposedly representing all constituents. I hope she loses here seat, deservedly so. It matters not if she’s supported other LGBT measures in the past. Equal marriage is arguably the most important equality bill of all, but she doesn’t seem to think so because she’s not personally affected by it. She cares more ahout the religious beliefs of others than our right to full equality. She must go.

  15. Andrew Robertson 14 Feb 2013, 3:44pm

    one word: ARSEHOLE

    1. Ashley DICKENSON 19 Feb 2013, 8:50am

      Good for Sarah Teather – despite her anti-Israel stance.

  16. I think it’s a bit unfair of Pink News to say all those lib dems weren’t present, without giving the reasons which all except 2 (or perhaps even 1) to be away. Most had shown support for EM and had legitimate reasons. One was abroad, Kennedy was caring for an ill family member and Willott had just had a baby.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 14 Feb 2013, 4:47pm

      You’d think in this day and age of modern techology, they could vote in absentia just like overseas Brits can in general elections or cast their votes before the vote.

      1. Then they wouldn’t take part in the debate though so wouldn’t that make the whole thing a bit pointless?

        At least one MP said they were waiting for the debate before they decided which way to vote (according to PN, I think). Maybe some MPs did go in thinking they would vote one way and then changed their minds after hearing the debate. Who knows?

        Or perhaps for the equal marriage vote it doesn’t matter but for others it really would.

    2. Self confessed Catholic, Charles Kennedy “says” he was caring for a family member.

      If that was his reason I can see no reason why he wouldn’t then say how much he supported gay marriage.
      He has however kept suspiciously quiet about it.

      1. Agreed, i don’t particularly approve of alcoholics lifestyles but i would never deny their rights.

  17. There’s a guy called ‘Muhammad’ who’s in favour of SSM? I’ll be buggered!

  18. Why put all this energy into focusing on one negative vote by one MP who is usually very supportive on LGBT rights issues?

    The problem is that she has been influenced by a misplaced faith in the teachings of the Catholic Church. Though it is a wonder that previously she has felt able to be so pro-gay in such circumstances.

    There was a massive majority in favour, and there is majority support in society. Why not just let this issue go concerning Sarah Teather’s vote, and get on with doing something positive instead? It is just negative energy focused at a situation that is now a historical fact and will not change. Let’s all please just move on.

  19. Say no more Catholic!!!

  20. “committed catholic” All we need know.

  21. Dennis Velco 14 Feb 2013, 6:32pm

    Thanks for this article and your reporting. What you do is appreciated.

    I posted it to my LGBT Group on LinkedIn with over 18,000+ global members to spur members to read your article and to make comment. I also scooped it at Scoop.It on my LGBT Times news mashup.

    Link to group >>

    All LGBT+ and community allies…. please come join me and 18,000+ of your soon to be great connections on LinkedIn. The member base represents 80% of the world’s countries.

    It’s core value is – Visibility can lead to awareness which can lead to equality. Come stand with us and increase our visibility on the globe’s largest professional networking site. Be a professional who just happens to be LGBT – or a welcomed community ally.

  22. It struck me when watching this debate that no parliamentarian made a vote of conscience on the issue of same sex marriage. Every one of them who were against it did so out of religious convictions and nothing else. In other words, they were not thinking for themselves, and simply tried to avoid any label of prejudice being applied to themselves by blaming their decision on God. It was a classic case of avoiding personal responsibility. If they had been honest enough to just say that they couldn’t get their heads around the issue so be it. But no, “I can’t and won’t think for myself, this is all God and God alone, and God’s laws supersede all man-made laws.”

    I suggest everyone look at The Guardian’s list of who voted what and who abstained, because if it’s religious convictions that are driving parliament, even when not obviously so, I suggest we all chose who we vote for next time very wisely.

  23. I don’t agree with what she did but to target one person as a group is bullying. I can’t agree to this tactic. She deserves to go and the voters can deal with her.

  24. The voters will decide at the next election. The Liberal Democrats getting into bed with the Conservatives will bring huge losses! Small parties suffer the consequences of being in a coalition especially if unpopular decisions have been made. You see this around the world. The same as for the Free Democrats in Government with Merkel in Germany.

  25. I got this response from the letter I wrote to her office.
    Dear Cal
    Thank you for your email to Sarah Teather MP sharing your thoughts on the Same-Sex marriage Bill. This Bill has raised strong emotions on all sides of the debate.
    As you may be aware there is a convention, almost universally observed on all sides of the House of Commons, that Members correspond only with their own constituents.
    As you are not one of Sarah’s constituents Sarah is unable to correspond with you. However, she has asked me to say that she appreciates the time you took to write and to assure you that she has read your email and will be reflecting on its content as the Bill progresses through both the houses.
    Best wishes,
    Sam Knell
    Researcher to Sarah Teather MP
    Liberal Democrat MP for Brent Central
    0207 219 8147 |

    1. Wonder if she would have the time to reply if the Pope wrote to her applauding her bigotry!

    2. Lite Speed 18 Feb 2013, 9:50am

      This is just Parliamentary BS that MP’s use all the time when they do not WANT to correspond. If that is reality why do they go on shows like QT and broadcast their thoughts to the nation. I can assure you MP’s will write to people who are not their constituents as I have personally received such correspondence.

      She has made a grave mistake and will hopefully spend the rest of her time in office having to defend it until she is booted out for bigotry. Pity as I genuinely liked her but did not know what she was. We need all religious loons out of Parliament and maybe then we can start to live in 21st century. These people are no better than those who make racist chants at football matches. And for the record I am heterosexual but understand that sexuality is not a lifestyle choice.

  26. Ashley DICKENSON 19 Feb 2013, 8:48am

    Good for Sarah Teather – despite her bad anti-Israel stance.

These comments are un-moderated and do not necessarily represent the views of PinkNews. If you believe that a comment is inappropriate or libellous, please contact us.