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Comment: Equal marriage campaigners should rein in their egos and go back to the grassroots

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  1. Robert in S. Kensington 2 Apr 2013, 4:21pm

    I’ve been doing exactly what you’ve been doing Chris, but we saw the apathy during the Out4Marriage campaign. We were outnumbered by the opposition. Many gay people just can’t be bothered and those merely content with CPs certainly aren’t going to do much either. They’ve been lulled into a false sense of equality and have bought into the oppositions agenda.

    Our efforts ought to be concentrating on the Lords. That’s who we should be contacting. C4M have already embarked on just such a move. I was under the impression StonewallUK were going to get involved with that, but I’ve not seen anything.

    1. Quite right, with the committee stage of the same-sex marriage bill now complete in the Commons we need to be pursuing the Lords to support the bill and, putting my very optimistic hat on, help put some helpful amendments through too.

  2. From the article: “In fact, social media discussions on the subject show that a lot of those who engage with the issue online have already made up their minds.”

    Is it just me or does there seem to be a slighly ageist mind set here? Does he really think that gay rights and marriage rights activism started with social media?

    What does he think those of us who are past 50 in the gay community have been doing all of our lives? Nothing?

    I’m sorry but this guy needs to get his head out of social media and learn about the history of gay rights, listen to the older people in the gay community before he goes spouting off about what the gay community should and should not do. There are many who have done far more for our rights before he was born.

    1. I am a bit amused – I never thought I’d see a day when it is the “younger” crowd saying “Whoa – slow down, people!”

  3. Diva Doll 2 Apr 2013, 5:06pm

    Sorry Chris, but I accuse you of the grandiosity you ascribe to others. I note also that you are a Labour supporter. Two years ago, you couldn’t find a gay Labour MP to support the coalition’s proposals on equal marriage primarily because of fear of loss of power bases within the LGBT community. Stonewall was also disingenuous in it’s lack of equal marriage support which only came really to light through beady eye media watching and social activism. Whilst your suggestions for chicken soup activism are laudable, clicktivism does work but in addition to the letter writing you suggest.
    I am quite artist in writing to MPs, Lordies etc but grand and all as I am, I am only one activist out there doing what thousands of others are doing. I also think that you need to spread your understanding of the LGBT+ demographic. For every shallow queen, there’s 3 others who are not disconnected numb-wits. If you are angry at the ego driven, just name and shame them. Shall I start, Ben Summerskill?

    1. Good post – I’ve written and received favourable responses from local MP’s but struggle to know who to write to in the Lords. You seem very skilled so perhaps you can guide me on how to find who to contact in the Lords to ‘plead my case’.
      And I don’t think our community is any more or less apathetic than the rest of the general public – its just the haters get more publicity, for whatever reason.

      1. Dave North 2 Apr 2013, 9:20pm

        I’m with you on that.

        In this “alleged” democracy we cannot contact these “lords” who lord over us and on a whim of their ancientness cut down progressive laws.

        They should all be accountable, but under this government we all know that wont happen.

        The old goons will still fall asleep at every bill pasted to them unless its affects there expenses.

        And the 26 god bother’s that no one voted for will have their stupid cults taken into account.

        1. Diva Doll 3 Apr 2013, 2:37pm

          http://www.theyworkforyou.com

          you can track the bigots when they speak and use it to contact the wider MP/Lords community. Very helpful.

          I reiterate, nothing or no one has done more a disservice to the equality cause than Stonewall and the list of LGBT MPs in Labour who thought we didn’t know better.

  4. I pretty sure there isn’t a single “marriage equality online enthusiast” who hasn’t also attempted to convince their MP (My MP had barely finished his celebratory champagne in May 2010 before my first letter was on its way to him) and those around them. I try not to be too overly enthusiastic to avoid scaring people but I’ve certainly helped several colleagues down the road of understanding. Hell, I’ve been trying to convince them since 2004 of the difference between marriage and civil partnerships.

    So yes, we all know online activism is more a hobby than an effective political strategy but don’t make the mistake of thinking its the online activists who aren’t doing the other stuff too. I suspect its, as always, the quiet ones you need to watch. Those who aren’t commenting or tweeting are likely those who might need persuading to write to their MP.

  5. Ah, how cute. But I think he needs to ‘reign his ego in’.

  6. Robert in S. Kensington 2 Apr 2013, 6:49pm

    Writing to the Lords we may need some help with . I don’t know of any published email addresses, twitter accounts as there are for MPs. This is where StonewallUK or Out4Marriage might come in very useful to start a campaign going. This should have been done weeks ago immediately after the vote on February 5th.

    Uruguay votes today and France on thursday. I wonder if this will help influence any of them as more countries get on board and one so close to home?

    1. There is quite a lot of information on
      http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/lords/?sort=3&type=4
      what it doesn’t do tell me though is who I could possibly influence and who I’m wasting my time writing to.
      I doubt StonewallUK can coordinate much – sorry – so maybe something for all those who ‘enjoy’ Pink News to come forth and help.
      Someone just tell me who to write to and why and I’ll make their hearts weep.

    2. There has been a quiet, private letter writing organisation set up immediately after the vote. But I agree it’s a shame it was created by individuals rather than the funded organisations.

  7. Dave North 2 Apr 2013, 9:37pm

    This boy clearly never lived in a time where homosexuality was illegal.

    The only TV or movie portrayals was of mincing camp men only worthy of ridicule.

    I have spent 36 years trying to get this to happen, only to be hampered by religious idiots thumping bibles.

    No manner of informing neighbors will ever help, as people have already made up their minds.

    Your efforts are to be applauded, however try being 50 and lived in my past.

    I trust nobody on this.

  8. Robert in S. Kensington 2 Apr 2013, 9:59pm

    House of Lords and opponents of equal marriage take not. Uruguay today passed equal marriage by a vote of 23-8, the 12th country. Now on to France, Thursday. Two in one week.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 2 Apr 2013, 9:59pm

      Take note, I meant.

  9. There are many ways to help the cause, using traditional media, new media, word of mouth, face to face contact… Chris has clearly taken great effort to get out and change attitudes, no doubt at the cost of his free time and money. but I would urge Chris not to belittle those who also, at personal cost, attempt to research and write thoughtful opinion pieces that help others, possibly in other less accepting cultures, to mobilise and articulate their rights. The web helps communities share ideas and connect, so don’t underestimate it.

    Perhaps the national broadcasters and the right wing printed press ( in the hands of a few sympathetic billionaire publishers) over amplify the voice of our opponents? What motivates me to write is unchallenged injustice or stupidity, most usually from BBC News. I am too angry to think of ego when Catholic bishops kick us in the teeth from the pulpit. I am more bothered about pushing the narrative in the right direction.

    1. Diva Doll 3 Apr 2013, 2:42pm

      Spot on AdirianT. The BBC is doing nothing to challenge the churches and it was sickening to hear the Archbigot of Canterbury getting so much opinion-less propping up this week across the BBC.

  10. Those things that persuade people to change their views have been well researched. Perhaps surprisingly the most powerful means is not logical argument. Putting those can have the effect of entrenching positions. What seems to be most effective is mood. If you can change that and a critical mass sign up then you’ve succeeded. The majority of people will follow a lead no matter where it takes them. Hitler taught us that! All sorts of things can help the mood to change. What’s important is to keep on saying what it is you want others to believe. Say it how you will. You’re contributing. The danger is in seeming to opponents be divided. So let’s not attack each other. That’ll take us down the road to failure; and understand the value of what’s happened historically.

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