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Maria Miller: Surprising that England & Wales is behind so many countries on equal marriage

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  1. That There Other David 14 May 2013, 5:32pm

    Exactly the tone to take. The anti-equality people and their sinister sponsors in the shadows are desperate to pretend that each country going through this process is alone and taking some lunatic action shunned by all others. Nothing could be further from the truth and the government need to shout about that. We’re not trailblazing, we’re not even in the vanguard. We’re just catching up with other braver nations.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 14 May 2013, 6:31pm

      Exactly, David. It’s moving ahead at a rapid speed and I know that many in opposition choose to ignore it and really don’t like to hear about it, so they say nothing, let alone acknowledge it. It explains why there is little or no coverage about it by the BBC, Telegraph and Mail. It’s an deliberate attempt to play down the rapid growth of equal marriage elsewhere and to make it seem as if it’s an isolated case peculiar only to the UK. Well, it’s not going to work and Maria Miller’s message today puts the writing on the wall for the naysayers. It’s coming and they’ll just have to get over themselves and deal with it.

      1. In defense of the BBC they have reported on same sex marriage in every single country where it has passed.

        The BBC is not perfect but it is nowhere near as vile as the Mail or Telegraph who are openly hostile to us.

        1. Robert in S. Kensington 14 May 2013, 8:16pm

          That may be true but it hasn’t had any balanced interview in regard to the issue.It seems to give wider scope to the opposition, none that I have seen, perhaps you have?

    2. And now Brazil! We’ll be last at this rate!

  2. Godric Godricson 14 May 2013, 5:34pm

    Sounds good but I do doubt the committment of Cameron to equality in the face of UKIP and the Turnip Taliban

    1. Cameron will realise that there would be no end of demands from the party without one elected MP if he gave way. And I don’t think he would want history to remember him as a dinosaur who tried but failed to progress equality.

    2. Backing down now would be political suicide. He simply won’t do it.

    3. Godric, I agree that the situation IS, sadly, currently very “touch and go”.

      Cameron is currently trembling on a tight-rope. When he comes to write his biography, we will hear all about it!

  3. After reading about that odious little creep David Borrowes, it’s good to see a conservative MP who is not a hideous bigoted monster.

    1. Well Ms Miller hardly has a sterling record herself on support for equality.

      her voting record on LGBT rights is pretty shameful.

      Although at least she’s come round.

      1. True. We need to be wary of letting one issue completely overcome an entire record. Someone who supports us only half of the time – or less – is not a friend

  4. It’s hardly surprising given the naked bigotry of so many Tory MP’s.

  5. It’s also worth remembering that homosexuality was only decriminalised in Britain and Wales in the late 1990’s (1967 was only partial decriminalisation)

    Britain has always lagged behind on LGBT rights.

    1. Ooops – I meant to say England and Wales.

  6. Robert in S. Kensington 14 May 2013, 6:26pm

    Well said, Maria Miller and good that she recounted every country and American state thus far, an important comment for some of the ill-informed on the back benches and in the Lords whos only sources of information are the BBC, Telegraph Mail and C4M and the litany of other hate groups. We’ve been outdone by three British Commonwealth countries already way ahead of us, surely that would count for something and good reason to legislate EM into law as quickly as possible. If anything, I find it embarrassing. We should have been the leader in the Commonwealth, not the long-winded trailer.

    CPs have been overplayed as the be all and end of all of LGBT equality but they have no parity or universal appeal outside of the UK. They were an important first step and yes,I’ll concede that, but in reality they don’t go far enough. The class structure in the UK is bad enough. CPs have only added one more category it. It’s time for equal marriage, long overdue. They should just get on with it.

  7. Robert in S. Kensington 14 May 2013, 6:38pm

    We’ve always been behind on most social issues. Most EU countries had some form of legal union for gay couples long before we did. Denmark was the first to introduce them in 1989, imagine that far back. Equal civil marriage is inevitable because fewer countries are going to bother with civil unions/partnerships any longer, some will abolish them entirely as equal marriage continues to flourish around the world, particularly in the EU which has the largest concentration of equal marriage countries in the world.

  8. Robert in S. Kensington 14 May 2013, 6:48pm

    What shocks me is that liberal democrat Lord Lester asked Maria Miller if she should be stressing the global nature of the changes in the law for same-sex couples. Why shouldn’t she and to me it would imply that he thinks it’s irrelevant. Nothing could be further from the truth., it IS an extremely important factor because fewer and fewer countries are legislating for CPs. I’m deducing that he’ll vote no. It’s absolutely astonishing that Peers don’t quite understand that CPs will never catch on as the universal standard for gay couples.

    1. I read the report of that as a supportive question, of the style “don’t you think it would be a good idea to stress the global nature and how quickly equality is arriving” rather than “who cares what the rest of the world thinks”. Was I mistaken? Lord Lester has a good record of voting for equal rights.

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 14 May 2013, 8:19pm

        I hope you are right and he votes yes. We will find out shortly.

  9. Jacob Dugan-Brause 14 May 2013, 6:55pm

    Being both American and British, I know that it’s America that’s ridiculed for its religious piety.

    Yet things I’ve heard in Britain of late, the recent rallying for religious sentiment whilst LGBT equality is negotiated, suggest the USA imported more than common law in its past.

    Belief is not licence to consequence. Where its teaching would deny justice or equal rights to another it is suspect in secular law. It is another voice, not a stone wall against which one smashes hopes for equality.

    So to those who say LGBT people have equality — please, there would be no need to reconcile rights cherished in marriage with LGBT couples the world over if gay relationships were welcomed and equal in its cultures.

    So I say to Mr Borrowes, “Enough!”

    We merit no legal exclusion to marriage for being gay. Your position, if not your conscience, yields to ancient prejudice toward both our rights and our love.

    Turn from this fight, David. Love must win, not ‘conscience’.

    1. Pink News massively over-reports on British opposition to equal civil marriage.

      Britain is a predominantly atheist/agnostic/barely religious country.

      There is a clear majority in favour of equality here.

      The vast majority of Britain does not care much about the issue of same sex marriage.

      It’s basically our community and the religious freaks (influential they may be, but they are small in number) having this arguement.

      1. “Britain is a predominantly atheist/agnostic/barely religious country.”

        Steve, as an atheist, I would love to agree with your statement, but I cannot, sadly. Every day I perceive evidence of the underlying religiosity of this island.

        Genuine atheists form a relatively small proportion of the British population. But, happily, it is growing. We can encourage that growth by continually refuting religious nonsense.

    2. Jacob Dugan-Brause 14 May 2013, 7:24pm

      And I should note, it’s “Burrowes” of course. My spelling error likely sprang from a charitable memory lapse to avoid reference to an ass, which Mr Burrowes certainly is not.

      My apologies.

  10. There is also a practical problem where Britain is still stuck with CPs and other countries now have civil unions and marriages.

    France introduced SSM to be legal at the end of this month, it still has PACS and unlike the UK, PACS couples are treated worse than married couples.

    France passed laws back in 2009 to treat foreing CP/unions like the French one as PACS. This hasn’t changed. Our CP is a PACS in France, it will never equate to a marriage in countries like this.

    We need to start thinking how our CPs are being recognised abroad and with more and more countries doing marriages this is much more important now.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 14 May 2013, 8:14pm

      CPs are not recognised in many countries. Even if they are, the rights conveyed through them are often not as expansive than say a PACs in France, so a CP’d couple living in France would be at a greater disadvantage. There is no demand for CPs outside the UK, they’ll never have parity with marriage anywhere and the sooner the opposition learns that simple fact, the better chance of equal marriage passing into law. The only chance of CPs having any parity would be if virtually all western countries adopted them for gay couples, but in reality, that’s never going to happen as marriage for gay couples is moving at a very rapid pace.

  11. Happy that she’s on the right side of history nowadays, but has she actually been replaced with a pod person?

  12. Common sense 14 May 2013, 10:45pm

    Maria, legislation in favour of gay marriage has only been possible with a majority of MPs in favour of it and a cross party consensus. Two years ago and before that, this was not the case. Notably, you were totally against gay marriage until last year when you were promoted to the equalities portfolio.

  13. PeterinSydney 15 May 2013, 12:56am

    And what is more distressing Australia is even further behind than where England and Wales are in legislating marriage equality. We are a disgrace thanks to Tony Abbott and Gillard. Both are hopeless leaders for Australia.

    1. Common sense 15 May 2013, 6:25am

      Totally agreed, though at least Gillard allowed a conscience vote. Abbott will not allow any of his members to discuss or vote in favour of gay marriage and that unfortunately is at the root of Australia’s failure on this issue.

  14. Well said, Ms. Miller.

    This comment should hit in the craw those who still believe that Britain is the most progressive nation on the planet. Unfortunately it simply isn’t. It’s a myth that it is.

    The next thing that Ms. Miller might say to opponents of the Bill is: “Do you want to improve this country’s international reputation in the field of human rights legislation or not?”

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