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Baroness Jenkin: ‘Times have changed and my family would have been ashamed if I opposed equal marriage’

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  1. Now we have people who want to get married, to make a lifetime commitment, yet some of us are not sure whether we should allow that to happen.

    Exactly so. I’m so glad sensible people like Baroness Jenkin got to speak, and spoke so well. Another possibly obvious thing she pointed out was:

    … young people in their teens, twenties and thirties … just do not understand what on earth the fuss is about

    A welcome alternative to the blinkered drivel of Baroness Knight and her ilk.

  2. The voices of reason, good sense and, above all, love, have risen way above the remaining rump of bellicose dinosaurs who continue to spout their hatred in such a deeply unattractive manner – Well Done Lords and Ladies!

  3. I note that neither The Daily Mail or the Telegraph make any mention at all of yesterday’s historic vote-indeed its the first time for several months that neither paper has featured any story at all on “gay marriage”

    I guess that means – ITS OVER.

    They have been defeated.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 5 Jun 2013, 1:23pm

      They’ve made a laughing-stock of themselves. The ‘massacre’ in the Lords they were championing failed abysmally. Now they are ‘eating crow’, case of sour grapes and a very rude awakening that the public at large are way ahead of them. The majority whom they claimed opposed the legislation didn’t exist after all. They’ve given new meaning to the term ‘yellow journalism’.

  4. Jacob Dugan-Brause 5 Jun 2013, 8:48am

    At the heart of this social and religious conflict is power of personal conviction. Issues such as these are decided by which side benefits an individual most, rather than mass-action we come to expect with politics.

    Love is a far more attractive force than tradition. Love is winning out, Mr Burrowes, and tradition will be better for it.

    When I and my partner started work in Alaska in the late 80s on challenging denial of our civil right to join family in law, we were alone. Yet as few understood then — we were convinced court challenges were needed for this change to start, not only in America, but the world.

    We are so happy to see people joining the many today, openly welcoming LGBT people into marriage — this very place where love and family join.

    It has been noted ‘we are the change’.
    Thank you for your vote, Ms. Jenkin. Your change is our life made better.

  5. I’m embarrased to admit it, but reading her speech actually brought a little tear to my eye! As someone in a Civil Partnership since last September, I’ve already been told “It’s not a real wedding” and “It’s not the same”. Now thanks to people like Baroness Jenkin I’ll soon be able to stand up and say IM MARRIED! Can’t wait for wedding 2.0!

    1. Midnighter 5 Jun 2013, 11:24am

      Congrats in advance :P

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 5 Jun 2013, 1:19pm

      Agree, Nick and congratulations to you and your future husband! Maybe you will also make history be becoming the first couple to marry in our great country.

  6. Helge Vladimir Tiller 5 Jun 2013, 9:57am

    Tears in my eyes when I read this. Very honest words. This demands respect and acclamation from The Gay Community. Really Mrs. Jenkin- today young persons have a free and sympathetic attitude towards gays and lesbians. Easy to experience in my own Norway, too. FRIENDS-The future is Bright.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 5 Jun 2013, 1:18pm

      Yes indeed, Helge! All of the Tory Peers in support gave some very moving speeches. They are to be applauded and deserve our respect and gratitude. They’re not all bad. Let’s hope as time passes it will bring more of them to their senses. Some will look back with regret for voting against the Bill.

  7. Thank you Ms Jenkins.

    I would vote for you to be a member of the house of Lords when it becomes a democratic house.

    The undemocratic house of Lords is such an embarrassment to this country.

    1. I think you overlook the fact that bigoted statements were also made in the Commons by members who were directly elected. I don’t actually have a problem with the Lords as it is – the Commons can assert their greater democratic legitimacy through the Parliament Act, while the Lords can debate and suggest amendments. The Lords themselves are very conscious of the fact that they have not been elected. Having a directly elected Upper House in a similar manner to the Commons really won’t solve all that much when we will always have reasonable people like Baronesses Jenkin and King or Lords Fowler or Jenkin.

      1. Midnighter 5 Jun 2013, 11:35am

        You rather crucially omit to note that the Lords can also delay and cripple bills beyond usefulness if they so wish, precisely as some are attempting to do here.

        Your concept of “directly elected” is considerably more indirect than my own ideal.

        “when we will always have reasonable people” It simply isn’t logical to make that assumption. We need stronger assurances than to gamble on good will, and as you note above, elected status can’t be used as an indicator of someone being “a good guy” in any given debate.

        While the House is not demographically representative, it is more likely than not that Lords may buck the democratic will.

        1. Perhaps I am an optimist when I think that most politicians enter Parliament to change people’s lives for the better! I do take your point though that the mode of election does not always produce the best outcomes in terms of representation.

          As for the Lords delaying bills, they can only do so twice and the Commons can override their objections. I just like the fact (and now I’m speaking as someone who lives in Australia and the UK) that many appointees to the Lords (but certainly not all) have a background outside of politics and an area of expertise, as well as the fact that they’re not paid and only debate or follow the party’s whip if they choose to. The Senate in Australia is almost wholly comprised of political apparatchiks who toe the party line. In a sense, I find the Lords to be more independent.

          1. Midnighter 5 Jun 2013, 5:30pm

            Oh I strongly agree with you regarding political background, and I feel this feeds back into the issue of the demographics of the house. I would very much hope that an alternative system would limit the opportunity for the upper house to be a retirement home for the ageing politician, and as far as possible aim for a representative mix of ages, genders, backgrounds, sexuality, disability, and so forth.

            Given the standards of some of the contributions to this debate I’m also leaning towards some sort of examination to ensure they meet a minimum requirements for a capacity to reason and depth of social awareness. Perhaps a compulsory course in critical thinking and logic wouldn’t go amiss either!

  8. I was a constituent of Bernard Jenkin at the 2001 general election (when the Tories still hated gays and wanted to retain section 28).

    I emailed him and Anne at that time was his office secretary. I asked why I should vote for him, as a gay man, when my ‘lifestyle’ seemed so abhorrent to the Conservative Party.

    Anne telephoned me and spoke for about 10 minutes about her views on gay rights (supportive) and she came across very well and spent time to explain that both she and her husband believed eventually the party would come to its senses.

    I always remember how kind she was on the phone and appreciated the call in the middle of an election campaign, she didn’t need to do it.

    Proof, if ever it were needed, that not all Tories are swivel-eyed loons.

    1. Indeed, her also Tory father-in-law made a speech notable for its excellent sense and logic on Monday too, as did Lord Fowler.

      An old friend of mine in Melbourne, a lifelong Labor supporter, is beside himself by the way our Conservatives have turned out to be more progressive and reasonable than, well, pretty much all Australian politicians.

      1. Too true! And Tony Abbott’s election will render gay rights invisible (again).

  9. Robert in S. Kensington 5 Jun 2013, 1:14pm

    Baroness Jenkin was one of the Peers I emailed on Monday. She responded with a lovely message in favour of the Bill.. Thank you, Baroness and thank you to your family for all of your support. Well done!

    Not all Tories are bad and they showed that yesterday. We hard the same spurious nonsense in the Commons and yet the vote was astounding.

    If we ever get an elected Upper Chamber, one other positive effect of that might be the removal of 26 Anglican bishops I would assume. I can’t imagine a bishop getting a positive vote from the British public, or would they be exempt and retain their current status?

    1. Midnighter 5 Jun 2013, 5:54pm

      While I’d very much like to see them given the boot, I fear you won’t shift the Anglican bishops until we ditch the state cult formally.

      If society feels religions leaders need any special voice at all (and if so lets have some seats especially for the disabled, for all races, for sexualities) then a fair compromise would be to ensure that there is proportional representation of all faiths and atheists in these special seats.

      According to the 2011 census this could perhaps be done by replacing those seats with 13 atheists, a mix of non Christians and other Christian sects, and would in fact only leave 5 of the current seat warmers :-)

  10. Baroness Anne Jenkin 6 Jun 2013, 4:35pm

    I am sincerely touched by all the lovely, generous comments on this thread. Indeed I have been delighted ( and somewhat surprised) not to have ( yet!) received any negative emails or other contact as a result of my speech/vote. Thank you for your support – and in particular to james for his lovely post. I had tears in my eyes while reading it.

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