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Lib Dem MP Gordon Birtwistle defends voting against equal marriage

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  1. Perhaps we should consult the mosque then Mr Birtwistle about all future legislation? Especially any legislation concerning equality and rights. You know, just to make sure the mosque approve?

    There seems to be a small number of lib dems who are either influenced by religion or when push comes to shove their religious allegiance comes first, even before equality.
    Thankfully there are MPs who have faced up to this sort of pressure and still done the right thing.

    1. To be fair, there are a small number of MPs of most parties who aren’t prepared to vote for equality. And a large number of Tories.

      1. Yes, fair point. It’s just that most would have expected better from lib dems give their previous talk about equality and fairness.

  2. Sister Mary Clarence 24 May 2013, 11:48am

    And was the mosque being asked to carry out same sex marriages?

  3. There seems to be a small number of Lib Dems who make a living from talking piously about equality when they aren’t going to be put to the test.

    They talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk.

  4. I have voted Lib Dem for over 40 years.

    Even the tories had the guts of their convictions and actually turned up to vote against!!!

    1. John, the vast majority of Lib Dem MPs supported this legislation. A similar proportion of the Labour party opposed or abstained, though you wouldn’t think it from reading Pink News.

      The Lib Dems were the first major party to adopt equal marriage as policy, and it’s thanks to our presence in the Coalition that this is being pushed, initially by a Lib Dem minister for Equalities, Lynne Featherstone.

      I’m as mad with Birtwhistle and the other handful of Lib Dem MPs as you are, and a lot of us are looking at ways both formal and informal to censure and withdraw support from them, but I would suggest that if LGBT+ equality is an important issue for you, then withdrawing support from the Lib Dems as a whole would be counter-productive.

  5. Sister Mary Clarence 24 May 2013, 11:53am

    “The openly bisexual MP said he thought that marriage was “gender complimentary”, and that it should be between straight couples only.”

    Simon Hughes is a venal, spineless little toad.

    Civil marriage has got sh1t all to do with his ‘God’ and marriage pre-dates the religion he kowtows to.

    Another shining example of liberal politics from him.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 24 May 2013, 1:23pm

      Yes, and there’s nothing liberal about voting against equal marriage either. He should resign and defect to the UKIP.

  6. Why should the religion of your a community group or your own personal religion have any bearing on a piece of civil legislation?

    Since religion is being used to explicitly justfiy this decision, I think we should be calling for all MPs to formally renounce their religion before commencing office, since they clearly can’t separate their democratic duties from their “faith”.

    Fools like you who presume to impose your silly fairy tales on the rest of us have no place in democracy, Gordon.

    1. Wholeheartedly agree with you Midnighter….if you become an MP you should renounce your religion if you have one so is does not influence any decision you have to make in Parliament…they should be seperate…if you are not willing to do so then you should not become an MP….so many pathetic excuses in the name of religion

  7. Without reading this article, my guess is he says something like

    + My religions says no

    + I got all these letters…

    + We should have had a green paper, white one, 9 years of discussion…

    Same tired old nonsense

    Did I guess right?

    Mystic Sasha xx

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 24 May 2013, 12:20pm

      No manifesto mention, no green or white paper for the NHS reforms either, among others. Yet, not one scintilla of opposition.

    2. bobbleobble 24 May 2013, 12:24pm

      OMG, quick, tell us all the lottery numbers for tomorrow night!

      1. I’ll give them to you, sure. But you might have to wait till Sunday. I’m, er, busy…

        1. You’ll go to hell.

          (Does ANY grown adult SERIOUSLY believe such utter lunacy? Give me strength.)

  8. Robert (Kettering) 24 May 2013, 12:10pm

    Appalling decision and yet another Lib Dem who should really be in UKIP or perhaps the BNP.

    This whole Coalition has taught us one good lesson, you can’t trust the Lib Dems on anything so I for one would never, ever vote for them again as I have in the past. I’ll stick to Labour from now on.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 24 May 2013, 12:23pm

      Exactly! I shudder to think if Farron ever becomes the next leader of their party. He’ll really be taking the Lib Dems six feet under. They’re already three feet into the grave.

      1. bobbleobble 24 May 2013, 12:27pm

        Assuming opinion polls don’t change much the Lib Dems will be a very different beast after the next election. They’ll probably be wiped out in Labour areas where they’ve nicked a few seats over the years, Burnley, Manchester, London, Birmingham, Redcar etc. They may well also lose most of their seats in Scotland to the SNP. All they’ll have left is a rump of MPs in Tory areas (since the Tories are doing as badly in the polls as they are) which will drag the party to the right. Farron would be the perfect fit but the party will be a dead duck.

        1. Robert in S. Kensington 24 May 2013, 1:25pm

          Deserves what it gets too. Clegg isn’t perfect but without someone like him, the Lib Dems will eventually become irrelevant, back to the two-party system sadly.

        2. my my what an analysis.
          the only party who should be worried about the opinion polls is the labour party. its mid term, their lead in the polls hardly reaches double figures, not good enough to put millband into number will wilt as the economy improves it will be another coalition after the next election

  9. So if he received a petition of 500 from the mosque asking for sharia law, would he take that to parliament?

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 24 May 2013, 12:18pm

      He would have to wouldn’t he because the ‘majority’ in Burnley support it. Bloody loon! Breathtaking to think people like this ever get elected.

  10. So Mr Burnley, if a petition of 500 plus is signed to close down the mosque in your area, you will oblige and do your best to close it down?

  11. bobbleobble 24 May 2013, 12:15pm

    The arrogance of the straight person telling us what’s sufficient for our relationships is staggering.

    I think we also need to know how many other legislative items Mr Birtwistle has voted against on the say so of his local mosque.

    Likely a one term MP and another who betrayed liberal principles for religion.

  12. Robert in S. Kensington 24 May 2013, 12:16pm

    I’m always intrigued by these idiots who claim an MPs job is to represent the views of constituents which doesn’t mean that constituents are always right. If the majority of his constituents for example wanted foreign born immigrants banned from Burnley, does he really believe it would be right to vote for such a measure?

    I’m also suspicious of MPs who claim gays told them they don’t want marriage. How do they know if those people are actually gay? Couldn’t some just pretend to stoke the fires of opposition to the bill? Loughton was one of many who made just such a claim.

    Religion based homophobia is what this is all about.

    MPs who abstain should not be allowed a vote or a voice. It’s the coward’s easy way out to avoid confrontation and condemnation by opponents and supporters in order to maintain their seats in marginal and safe constituencies. Political careers first, peoples’ rights last.

    1. Peter Robertson 24 May 2013, 12:32pm

      “MPs who abstain should not be allowed a vote”
      Err – if they abstained they didn’t vote so not allowing them a vote seems pointless. Perhaps you meant to say that if MPs abstain on one vote they shouldn’t be allowed to vote on anything? That assumes that every question has a simple yes/no answer. As there are bound to be cases where no convincing argument has been advanced either for or against a motion, the option to abstain has to be allowed.

      1. Peter Robertson 24 May 2013, 12:34pm

        For the avoidance of doubt, I think the MP in question is contemptible.

      2. Robert in S. Kensington 24 May 2013, 1:21pm

        Yes, that’s exactly what I meant, thanks for point that out.

      3. Midnighter 24 May 2013, 1:29pm

        If no convincing argument has been proposed for or against, why can’t one default to “no”, since otherwise bills may pass on the basis of marginal apathy?


    He is merely assuming his constituents agree with him – They do not!

  14. Robert in S. Kensington 24 May 2013, 12:27pm

    If there had been far more organised pro-activism on our part comparable to the extremely mobilised opposition, people like him might not have voted against the bill. It’s the same old mantra used by all of them…’no support from constituents for the bill’. It gets them off the hook. Of course, it’s quite possible they did receive significant support but because of their religious beliefs, they voted no anyway.

    Even if all of the wrecking amendments amendment had been adopted, he and his ilk still would have voted no.

    1. bobbleobble 24 May 2013, 1:02pm

      I doubt more pro-activism would have made any difference Robert. He says quite clearly he was against this from the start. The petition from the mosque and all the other reasons are simply a smokescreen, he’d made his decision long before.

      Take Nicola Blackwood for example. She was lobbied by Oxford University students and claimed she had changed her mind and would vote for the bill. She then abstained during the second reading and voted no this time around. They do what they want to do, their mailbags are just a smokescreen, a convenient excuse.

  15. He believes the vast majority of the (straight) people in his area oppose gay people getting rights

    uh-huh human rights of minorities should totally rest on the prejudice and bigotry of those who aren’t part of the minority groups.

    And i don’t expect better from “straight choice” Simon Hughes. He may be bisexual but he still hates GBLT people

    1. Simon Hughes “still hates GBLT people”

      That’ll be why he was one of the first two MPs to oppose section 28 back when the Tories introduced it and Labour were quite happy for it to become law then?

      We could do with more of that kind of hate.

  16. Right, that’s the full set of 4 Lib Dem MPs who voted against equal marriage, each covered in their own article.

    I’m sure PinkNews will follow that up with over 100 similar interviews with Tory, Labour and DUP MPs who did the same?

    1. Midnighter 24 May 2013, 1:48pm

      A good point, Jen. In the case of the Tories, there is less hypocracy in voting against such measures under the flag of conservatism than for a party with the adjective “liberal” in their name. No such excuse for the other two you name though.

      Oh alright, I confess this comment is a shallow attempt to stave off more tedious rehashes of the same empty headed hot air ;-)

    2. bobbleobble 24 May 2013, 1:51pm

      There are two main differences between those other parties and the Lib Dems. One is the rather important fact that SSM is a Lib Dem party policy and yet these four have seen fit to vote against it. The other is the use of the word ‘liberal’ in the party name. A liberal does not vote against socially progressive legislation for religious reasons.

      So for those two reasons alone I think this gang deserve singling out.

      1. Robert (Kettering) 24 May 2013, 3:14pm

        You are 100% correct, the last thing I’d expect a Lib Dem to do is vote against “socially progressive” Bills. That’s something I’d accept a Tory and even a far left, Marxist, Labour MP might well do.

        By the way, how did “gorgeous George” Galloway vote? Seeing he’s licking the backsides of the Muslim voters I cannot see him voting for but I may be pleasantly surprised. Anyone know?

        1. He voted for at the second reading and abstained at the third.

  17. A Mosque, What an insult.

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