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Philip Hammond: ‘No great demand for gay marriage and it’s upsetting vast numbers of people’

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  1. the ‘lack of demand’ or ‘lack of urgency’ for marriage equality argument never makes sense to me – isn’t equality under the law one of the greatest needs? surely treating everyone fairly, something you’re taught from a very young age, should have the greatest demand. How are we supposed to have a fully functioning society where not everyone is equal?

    1. Do what I did, in the last few months any one that was conservative/ukip that I knew , I told them to sling their hook. Some going back 20 years. THE RELIEF! . No more whinging, moaning, tutting, negativity. Now when the phones goes I know it will be some one with a positive outlook on life. Try it.

  2. Vincent Creelan 17 May 2013, 11:05am

    He was nailed last night on Question Time on his voting record… the man is homophobic and would deny equality at every opportunity if he had the chance.

    1. That There Other David 17 May 2013, 12:01pm

      Chris Bryant totally hit the bullseye. I hope it made a few people watching who were possibly against the idea before stop and think who they are listening to.

      Oh, and I have to say to these “vast” numbers of people that our existence and requests for equal treatment under the law appear to be upsetting – get over yourselves.

      1. I admire Chris Bryant – he is consistently good at calling out hypocrisy.

        1. and normally in his underpants

    2. Absolutely. I hate it when anti-gay marriage MPs harp on about civil partnerships. Most of them have voted against almost every piece of gay legislation (including civil partnerships) and are quite simply ANTI-GAY. It’s hilarious to see them say “I support civil partnerships but I don’t think we should redefine marriage” when they voted AGAINST civil partnerships.

      Homophobic bigots.

  3. ” For millions and millions of people who are married, the meaning of marriage changes”


    And in any case, why should my “real sense of anger” at your idiotic and baseless rejection of what I see as my civil rights be any less significant to the government?

    Homophobic moron.

    1. That There Other David 17 May 2013, 12:04pm

      If someone’s marriage is so weak that people they’ve never met also getting married somehow threatens it they need to stop spending time with politics and start spending more time talking and listening to their spouse.

      1. Midnighter 17 May 2013, 1:18pm

        Absolutely. This is why we will always win this debate if it is allowed to happen in an open and rational forum.

        Opponents have been unable to continue to bury the issue and are being exposed for the shallow hypocrites they are. Like all bigots, actual facts are not a factor in their ‘views’ and we are expected to agree based on the volume and repetition of these.

    2. It was an unbelievably stupid remark, and it’s hardly surprisingly he doesn’t actually say how the meaning of marriage changes for people who’re already married.

      It’s akin to saying the meaning of ‘classroom’ changed in the US South when people of different races were allowed in together.

    3. He could have used the almost the same words and reasoning to oppose any social progress that has taken place over the centuries.

      i.e. “This how we have always done it and any change is just wasting time”.

    4. Interestingly, in The Netherlands, where marriage equality has started a few years ago, heterosexual couples still get married with as much, even perhaps, statistically, more, gusto as before.

  4. bobbleobble 17 May 2013, 11:11am

    How exactly will the meaning of marriage change for all of those who are married? Nobody will explain that, they simply state it as if it is self-evident. All those currently married will still be married. No one currently married will be adversely affected. Is it simply that they will hate the fact that they have to share the institution with gay couples? I can’t think of any other reason.

    This redefinition if you believe that’s what it is occurred back in 2001 in the Netherlands. As soon as the first jurisdiction accepted marriage equality the idea that marriage must be solely between opposite genders ended. The rest of the world is simply catching up to the Dutch.

    In my house there is huge demand for this. My family all demand this change on my behalf also. My friends, their families etc etc. Perhaps Hammond is only listening to the people who tell him what he wants to hear on this issue?

    1. Very well said.

      Having left the UK for The Netherlands in 1993 due to British homophobia and therefore experienced the primeur of equal marriage in 2001 at first hand as it happened here, I have never once heard any opposite sex couple complain that their marriage has been altered by the new equality.

      Popular support for equal marriage in The Netherlands, which was just over 50% at the time it was brought in in 2001, soared in the subsequent years and is now around 84% according to latest polls.

    2. Please don’t take this the wrong way but, frankly, I find this line of arguing a little disingenuous. I’m totally for same-sex marriage and my partner of now nearly 20 years and I have refused getting a civil partnership waiting for marriage to be open to us but to say that the institution of marriage will not change is not correct. It will change for the better but it will change. It will go from being an exclusively heterosexual institution to being one that is not about a specific sexual orientation. Although it doesn’t change or affect individual heterosexual marriages in terms of rights, it does change what marriage means and, although I can see why some people will for sake of rhetoric claim that it doesn’t, I find that argument weak. It will change. It will be better.
      When women gained the right to vote, it did change the meaning of citizenship because it was no longer about being a male adult, it became about being an adult person, even though no man lost his right to vote.

      1. Yes, but for people who are already married (which is what Hammond is quoted as saying) nothing will change. They will not gain or lose anything, their existing rights will not be altered a jot.

      2. bobbleobble 17 May 2013, 2:59pm

        Just like Hammond you baldly state that the meaning of marriage will change without giving any specifics. How does it change what marriage means? And surely the impetus behind the campaign to legalise SSM is that we believe that the meaning of marriage in this country isn’t reflected in the practice of marriage in this country since we are excluded from it. Women being given the right to vote didn’t change the meaning of citizenship but rather the meaning of citizenship changed and it meant women must be given the vote to comply with that new meaning.

        I didn’t say that the institution won’t change, of course it will. But I don’t see that the meaning behind it changes by opening it up to more people. You also assume that the meaning of marriage is the same for all people which is patently untrue.

        1. Specifics? I think I have said quite clearly that it changes from an exclusively heterosexual institution to one that is more inclusive and is no longer about a specific sexual orientation. It is a fantastic monumental change for the better and one that is long overdue. It means the law recognises that family structures have changed, that our society has evolved. I know we want this law to be passed but let’s call a spade a spade. If nothing was changing, there wouldn’t be a need to CHANGE the law. I think all you guys are doing is try to appease the critics by acting like nothing is changing and going “shh… It’s fine… It’s fine… Nothing is changing”

  5. Chester666666 17 May 2013, 11:11am

    There’s a world-wide demand for marriage as this isn’t just about the UK and world-wide the only ones who get upset are the homophobes
    it isn’t going to detract from someone’s marriage for there to be equality for all couples, if a hetero marriage is in trouble then it’s down to one or both within that marriage

  6. Adam Abraham 17 May 2013, 11:12am

    Upsetting a vast number of people?! WTF is this guy talking about?? I’ve spoken to a vast number of people myself and a majority of straight people I’ve spoken don’t care or are in support of equal marriage. Admittedly the gay population are split, with some not caring either way but I’ve not spoken to ANY gay people who oppose equal marriage and more gay people than not are in favour of the bill. If he’s speaking to a vast number of religious zealots and homophobes, that must be where he’s getting his numbers from. However, I strongly suspect he’s simply talking out of his ar*e, expressing his own homophobic views as the beliefs of a ‘vast number’.

  7. It’s a pity these ‘upset’ people don’t have something more important to get upset about, like the dismantling of the NHS, unemployment, the economy, FGM, paedophile gangs etc etc, rather than a simple, long overdue and not-affecting-them-in-any-way-whatsoever equality issue

  8. By his own argument he should step down as he upsets lots of people.

  9. “Mr Hammond first went public about his opposition to the measure in May of last year when he said equal marriage was “too controversial”.

    So was the decision to go to war in Iraq and yet the government at the time still pressed ahead with it didn’t they.

    Government will always deal with issues that many find controversial but that is part and parcel of the job. It is like the old saying goes, you can’t please all the people all the time.

    Hammond is nothing more than the typical Tory homophobe

  10. Jock S. Trap 17 May 2013, 11:17am

    As usual his type just don’t get it, do they?

    If people are so insecure to believe what they do about their own marriage I seriously question why they are married at all!

    I’d also repeat that Tories using this ‘bus’ as an excuse only have to listen to Mr Farage when he stated No one approached him about marriage equality.

    It throws out all UKip and other bigot MP’s arguments about marriage by showing up their own bigoted, nasty Personal opinions, not of the other people they wishful thinkingly wish!

    Stop the lies, Stop the hate and deal with the democratically chosen issues.

  11. Then stop messing about, sign it into law, and get on with the “other stuff”… its not such a big deal.. as for the millions who are upset… poor darlings.. build a bridge

  12. Certain irony that the man in charge of war says gay marriage upsets a lot of people. So do wars yet he seems very happy to pursue those.

  13. PeterinSydney 17 May 2013, 11:38am

    Nasty homophobe and should be denounced very loudly for it..

    1. Don Harrison 20 May 2013, 4:04pm

      Hear Hear

  14. One slightly reassuring thing – he also said that he recognised he was in a minority and that Bill would make it into law.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 17 May 2013, 1:23pm

      Yes, and that actually contradicts his statement that there are ‘vast’ numbers against it.

  15. The very people it’s upsetting is the reason Cameron should go ahead with his plans.

  16. Someone finally remembered to bring up voting records! Amazing, I was beginning to think there was a collective amnesia. For some reason we let all these bigots say “I’m not anti-gay, but…” and ignore how many votes they’ve cast proving just that

  17. Robert in S. Kensington 17 May 2013, 12:09pm

    So glad, at long last, that someone like Chris Bryant exposed this homophobe’s vile voting record. He was also conveniently absent for the equal marriage vote on February 5th.

    This is religion at the heart of it. He’s a ‘practicing’ Anglican.

    Who are these grossly exaggerated vast numbers of whom he speaks for in the UK? They certainly weren’t that vast to effect the outcome of the very public consultation were they? More were in support than against.

    Feigning support for CPs is nothing more than justifying a ban on equal marriage. A convenient tool for many who even voted against those in 2004. I hope that is exposed in the third reading.

  18. On Tuesday the great state of Minnesota signed marriage equality laws which begin on August 1. I am sure by now you have all heard about the massive earthquakes, and thunderbolts, and parting of lake Superior due to it? I am sure you have earth about the sudden break up of millions of marriages ? Nope , nothing happened , life just went on as normal, get a grip you idiot, all people want is freedom to marry, and the equality that comes along with it.

  19. Robert in S. Kensington 17 May 2013, 12:21pm

    I’m always amazed by MPs who abstain, the ones who are hedging their re-election chances in 2015 and beyond, playing both sides. No backbone, no integrity and unfit for office in my view. They shouldn’t be allowed to vote in the third reading nor should those who voted no in my view since they nave NO interest in seeing the bill passed into law.

    Charlotte Leslie is one of them tabling the amendment for hetero CPs. She abstained during the February 5th vote. If she and others were so supportive of heteros having access to them, why weren’t they championing them prior to the vote? If she’d voted for equal marriage, she would have more credibility. The only genuine one among them is openly gay Stephen Williams although I’m surprised he never questioned why Loughton is suddenly and disingenuously supports hetero CPs which would expose his bigotry, more rights for heteros and fewer rights for gays.

    1. Some people abstained because they were absent from the vote – not necessarily their fault – should they also be excluded?

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 17 May 2013, 1:26pm

        Well then, it’s about bloody time our Parliamentary voting system were changed so that those who are absent can have their votes cast in absentia. Abstentions shouldn’t be allowed, you either vote yes or no.

        1. And what about the Lothian question?
          This is where MPs from Scotland abstain from votes which only effect England and Wales.
          It is too easy to just say yes or no, there are far more factors you have to take into consideration. The world is not black and white.

  20. Alastair James Mainland 17 May 2013, 12:30pm

    Soor Plum.
    Terrible to hear radio 4 give all the attention to his whining and not a cheap about how he was marvelously and gently, shown up by Chris Bryant.
    The fact Chris was a former vickar made his point extremely powerfull.
    Well done Chris you were fantastic.

    1. Chris indeed behaved fantastically last night! I was so impressed.

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 17 May 2013, 1:29pm

      I wish he had done this during the second reading. I hope he continues it in the third. Chris actually called Tim Loughton a homophobe during Committee Hearings but was censured for it by the Committee Chairperson.

      Marvellous though that he nailed Hammond. I wasn’t able to watch since I’m not in the country. What was Hammond’s reaction?

      1. Very good question, Robert! Hammond’s reaction was extraordinary to me. He appeared not the slightest bit ruffled. And just a few moments or minutes later he was smiling and nodding his head in placid and amicable agreement with something unrelated that Chris Bryant said! That I found amazing! Has the man such a thick skin, that he just regards revelations of his character as part of the fun. Or had he not perceived how Bryant had exposed him on national TV for the long-term proven homophobe that he is? Whatever’s the answer, when he I saw him apparently having got over it so rapidly, my immediate reaction was that Hammond is essentially, internally, callously COLD. And THAT could explain a lot about his behaviour generally.

  21. mikeysussex 17 May 2013, 12:35pm

    There is no demand for Mr Hammond or the Tories and they are upsetting to vast numbers of us.

  22. “upsetting vast numbers of people” That would be the “vast” numbers of religious bigots then.

  23. Even ignoring the disturbing “separate but equal” feel of insisting same sex marriages can’t be called marriages, why do these people continue to try and argue that inequality was addressed by Civil Partnerships? While they grant very, very similar legal rights, there are areas they fall short. For example in certain situations, private pensions can pay less to the surviving partner of a Civil Partnership than they’d be obliged to pay to a widow/widower, this is not equality.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 17 May 2013, 1:37pm

      Yes, agreed, but they also carry no reciprocity in other countries in terms of the rights they convey once you step outside of the UK. For example, a British CP confers far more rights than the French PACS which would mean a British gay couple living and working in France would suffer a deficit, not just in France but in others that have equal marriage. This issue was raised in Committee by James Walsh, mentioning Portugal as one example where CP rights aren’t reciprocated. Unfortunately, Tory MP Tim Loughton wasn’t aware and didn’t seem to much care. Many of those against equal marriage only see the equal marriage bill through the prism of UK centricism. None see the larger and more important picture or can’t think outside the box.

      I’d like to see this issue raised in the Lords. It’s a compelling argument to pass equal marriage into law in addition to others.

  24. What struck me most during last night’s QT was that in Chris Bryant we have the UK’s finest gay role model. He shone. He was articulate, he was fair, he was on the ball at all times, he was refreshingly and proudly open, and he exhibited a fine sense of humour. So I do hope Chris never puts a foot wrong, to tarnish the fine image he’s projecting for all gays and lesbians in the UK.

    As for Hammond, well Chris Bryant showed him up in front of the nation for what he is: a proven homophobe, who has either voted against all legislation in our favour throughout his time in parliament, or who has not bothered to be present to vote.

    And, strangely, after Chris so politely set Hammond’s homophobic voting record before us, I couldn’t help but notice the permanent and somewhat malevolent twist to Hammond’s lips!

    But what a tonic last night’s QT was! After a year of homophobia, we observed a QT audience that was overwhelmingly and loudly in support of gay marriage. Wonderful. Thank you.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 17 May 2013, 1:39pm

      Well said, Eddy, I endorse your comments wholeheartedly.

    2. Michael 2912 17 May 2013, 5:30pm

      Chris Bryant’s performance was absolutely magnificent. I don’t know him but in a weird way I felt really proud if him. Let’s be careful though. He’s human. He’ll make mistakes. We all do. We shouldn’t expect the world of those who give us so much.

  25. There was no demand for a Tory Goverment but that beer stopped you !!

    1. beer = never ? I guess.

  26. Robert in S. Kensington 17 May 2013, 2:12pm

    And now some ‘christian’ blogger of ‘Straight Pride UK’ has been twittering others to march against equal marriage on May 20th, bloody nutters. It claims heteros are a minority and that we’re seeking special privileges, among other things.

    1. Extraordinary! This is the homophobic serpent entering its death throes, tossing its head this way and that, in excruciating pain, but pain all of its own invention.

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 17 May 2013, 4:05pm

        Quite! They and their religious loon minority deserve one another. We’re not asking for special privileges, just the same rights as they have been entitled to since they came out of the womb, never having to think twice about discrimination or being the subject of ridicule, dehumanisation and denigration. I bet many of them vote UKIP.

  27. A senior member of a “small government” party yet he opposes equality. I don’t know for certain but I will wager that he is in favour of of small government when it comes to deregulating working rights and conditions of employment?

    In other words anything that may increase profitability is worthy of deregulation and freedom but any deregulation that advances equality and fair play isn’t really important.
    Their only interest in freedom is when it is associated with potential profitability, nothing else seems to matter.

  28. Barrybear1980 17 May 2013, 2:46pm

    I wonder who He has spoken to in coming to the conclusion of no demand? It certainly wasn’t me or anyone I know.

    Can he provide details of who dont see the demand, along with the % of those surveyed this represents and the social demographic surveyed? I would be interested to see this in its full context.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 17 May 2013, 4:01pm

      A minority of religious loons I would think of his generation and older.

  29. This is what opponents always say… try to trivialise the issue and pretend it is not important. Ironically it argues the case to get it done quickly as it is no big deal.

  30. BBC News is still reporting the comment. Why they chose to concentrate on that particular bit of Question Time is beyond me. Unless, of course, the BBC is pandering to homophobic bigots. Let’s see if Jane Hill, who’s presenting the news at the moment, answers my tweet –

  31. this guy is homophobic it became obvois last night on Question time and hooray for Chris Bryant for exposing him.
    Get a li8fe Hammond

  32. The only people it’s upsetting are homophobes (like Hammond himself). Somehow I can’t bring myself to care all that much that homophobes are being upset by the idea of equality for LGBT people.

  33. Robert in S. Kensington 17 May 2013, 4:21pm

    To digress, the French Constitutional Council just approved the equal marriage bill. Francois Hollande is to sign it immediately! Well done, France.

    Now suck on it Hammond et al.

    1. Same Sex Marriage is upsetting a vast number of dinosaurs you mean, these dinosaurs and religous people will learn one day that time is moving on, All I ever see is the OLDER generation getting upset and making homophobic remarks and getting away with it. Discrimation is longer acceptable. The future is for eyes to see.

  34. I’m pretty sure that there was no great demand for disabled rights, but it was the RIGHT thing to do.


    There can be no other reason.

  35. Upsetting a vast number of people! All I see it upsetting is a vast number of the same old dinosaurs – Times are moving on and as soon as these dinasaurs become extinct the world will be a better place. Discrimination is either all or nothing – were not second class citizens!

  36. Upsetting people, disturbing people, poor bastards let them go to church and be a hypocrite on Sunday morning. Mr.Hammond what is disturbing, distressing and upsetting is a grandfather in the street holding up his murdered, lifeless grandchild, massacred by airstrikes of invading armies and who occupy foreign governments. Famine caused by induced War/s ignited by self interested megalomaniacs. I was going to try and rationalize to this narcissistic, sycophantic polly, but it would not upset him enough to cause him to have a thought or consider other than himself. Let me assure you Mr.Hammond if there were ever the situation where you were in a civil conflict somewhere in the world and only a gay soldier { male or female } were the only thing standing between you and death Mr. Hammond, you would be only too happy for him to risk his life for you wouldn’t you ? You are the problem Hammond and whats worse is you don’t want to be part of the remedy. You sir are a homophobic bigot.

  37. Mr Hammond – please ask yourself why this measure of equality troubles you so much – it greatly troubled Cardinal Keith O’Brien too, so much that he spoke out against gay equality whenever he could.

    100 years ago the proposals for universal suffrage upset large numbers of people who already had the vote and didn’t want to share this with poorer members of society. 100 years ago large numbers of men were very upset at the thought of sharing their voting privileges with women. And 40 years ago large numbers of white South Africans shared your ‘real sense of anger’ at the notion they should share their voting rights with their black compatriots.

    Exactly the same Mr Hammond so please think what your words say about you before you next chose to air your ignorance.

  38. justusboyz 18 May 2013, 8:58am

    Chris Bryant was bang on bringing up his voting record I dont need to say anymore it is clear by his voting record what his views are. Well im glad hes upset perhaps he can reflect on all the gay people that he upsets with his remarks

  39. Disgusting bigot, who has been well and truly rumbled. Like Margaret Thatcher before him, lucky to be in his job (he was only promoted when Liam Fox fell from grace), and openly campaigning against his leader. The Mail is touting him as a future Tory leader today. Well – he certainly has the credentials!

  40. Rudehamster 20 May 2013, 12:10pm

    When he says ‘vast number of people’, what he means is:
    ‘vast number of Catholics & Evangelical nutcases who’ve been whipped up into a frenzy by the media’.
    It’s the religious lunatic fringe that is stopping this bill, nobody else.

  41. Well, Phil, if we shouldn’t pass laws that upsent people and for which there is no demand, let’s scrap privatisation of the NHS for a start. Especially when your party lied about the policy before the general election.
    We and you know your arguments are bull. But then, rationalisations of bigotry usually are.

  42. Don Harrison 20 May 2013, 4:01pm

    Where has this man been over the last few years?

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