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Tory Lord Jenkin: The Lords equal marriage vote was a victory for common decency

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  1. What a measured, gentle response. Thank you, Lord Jenkin!

    I want to give you a hug.

  2. And thank you, Lord Jenkin, for your fine contribution to the debate, along with that of your daughter-in-law and Lord Fowler and so many others who spoke with such clarity and reason and eloquence, not to mention common sense.

    Baroness Knight excepted, though of course she may have inadvertently assisted in the development of a welcome inclusiveness of what are now considered civilised values.

    1. Rehan – Baroness Knight did us a favour-venting her homophobic views.

      I wonder how many votes her hateful speech swung our way!

      How many “undecided” heard what that dreadful woman had to say and thought “this is really beyond the pail-I’m going to vote in favour”

  3. I applaud Lord Jenkin for what he has done and said here, but would point out that the principal source of “provocative confrontations” has been the Catholic Church and the most ironically named Christian Concern.

    I would appeal to him to address the ant-forces to stop them whipping up hate as they have in France.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Jun 2013, 4:57pm

      Have you noticed the sudden silence of the Catholic hierarchy? O’Brien has really done a hatchet-job on them.

      1. Yes, Robert. Delicious.

        That, and the realisation that they were driving a wedge between themselves and their own congregations.

      2. Your point is interesting. Note that the new Pope has not made one statement on marriage equality since being elected. Some of his Italian underlings have but he has not made one comment.

        Rattzingers in contrast nearly made anti GTBI pronouncements daily. You have to wonder whether on some level some of the Curia are actually gaining insight into the huge amount of self harm, they have done their organisation through so publicly vilifying GLBTI communities and trying to limit GLBTI access to human rights. Strategically they have shot themselves in the foot and the new Pope seems to be rebranding through focusing on more popular issues such as caring for the poor.

        I think it is pretty obvious that Rattzinger and his band of merry helpers sped up the demise of the Catholic Church power. Perhaps history should regard him as a hero ?

        1. GTBI?
          F*ck off, mate

  4. Scott Rose 6 Jun 2013, 3:11pm

    I see arrogance where gays and lesbians are being warned against making “provocations” of heterosupremacist bigots. To many heterosupremacist bigots, the mere fact that a person *looks* gay or lesbian is a “provocation” and they violently attack the person who looks gay or lesbian. The law should be fully protecting minorities against bigots. Minorities should not have to exercise caution not to provoke a bigot.

    1. On the other hand 6 Jun 2013, 3:18pm

      I suspect you to be a CI troll. If you are not, my apologies. ;)

  5. Interesting article from someone who was in power when Section 28 was made law. But what does the “recognition of the gay and lesbian community that they must try to avoid provocative confrontations” mean? Is this the same as saying that a woman is bringing rape upon herself if she wears a short dress?!

    1. On the other hand 6 Jun 2013, 3:22pm

      No it means keep the debate civilised like in the H o L . Though one or two seemed like thugs struggling not to appear homophobic.

    2. I see it as meaning that we ought to be the “bigger man” in our discourse and attempt to keep debate sensible and tone respectful. Many people already support the cause for marriage equality and such displays of measure and tolerance will prevent adverse reactions.

      1. Sister Mary Clarence 8 Jun 2013, 1:58pm

        I agree entirely with the ‘bigger man’ comment. We won, and celebrating is one thing (and we should), but gloating is ugly.

        I think we should not only celebrate the win, but celebrate the fact that our allies have shown themselves and some of those who we thought were with us, it turned out were not.

        Lord Jenkins is a good example of a dark horse who I think no one really expected to champion equal marriage, and others like Simon Hughes and that other little short Lib Deb woman, who always seemed so focused on equality when I’ve seen her on Question Time, utterly disgraced themselves.

        Marriage Equality is almost upon us and we’ve seen who are friends are. Its win win – I’m satisfied with that, so I don’t feel the need to rub anyone’s face in it.

    3. Good point, Jamesh.

      I’m wary of Mr. Jenkin’s apparent linking of his notion of “provocative confrontations” by the gay and lesbian community with his recognition that “There are still many people out there who will find it quite difficult to accept gay marriages”.

      This linking seems to suggest that when/if we are enabled to marry we should do it in a manner that will not disturb or provoke the people who find it “difficult to accept gay marriages”!

      After centuries of heterosexuals flaunting their weddings, nay, literally stuffing them down our throats, if not every Saturday afternoon at the end of the street, then in every other film, book, and TV show, WE are not to marry in a way that Mr. Jenkin might construe as a “provocative confrontation”?

      Sorry, Mr. Jenkin, NO! The marriage we want is the marriage that enables US TOO to parade our weddings as proudly in public as heterosexuals have been doing for centuries!

      1. Good points Eddy. Some crazy cabal is voting down sensible comments here tonight!

        1. Thanks for making the supportive comment, Adrian.

          Yes, an interesting response from some PN readers.

          It hasn’t worried me because I’ve simply remembered that when Outrage went over the walls of Lambeth Palace and magnificently shook up every Bishop and Archbishop of the Commonwealth in one extraordinary go, there was condemnation from a large section of the gay and lesbian community.

          There will always be a large conservative group even within minorities.

        2. Sister Mary Clarence 8 Jun 2013, 2:06pm

          Of maybe Stuart some of us think that rubbing up everyone who didn’t agree with same sex marriage isn’t the best way forward.

          We won, and it is cause for celebration, but goading, degrading and humiliating those who did not support us isn’t going to further our cause or win us any additional support. Exacting our revenge is nothing more than an act of spite – it will lose us support, not increase it.

          My view is that we have shown ourselves to be the reasonable party. We won without stooping to lies and misinformation, as many of our opponents have done. We undoubtedly maintained the moral high ground. I for one would like us to continue to maintain the moral high ground as the weeks and months go on.

      2. Sister Mary Clarence 8 Jun 2013, 2:14pm

        I don’t think that’s what he was talking about at all.

        If you actually read his speech in support of us in the Lords, you seem to be talking about a completely different person.

        Reading some of the comments on here, I think his later comments are very pertinent. I didn’t originally think they were necessary, but reading some of the stuff posted on here, I can see his point.

        Reading some of your comments like’ flaunting their weddings’ and ‘stuffing them down our throats’, you sound bitter and resentful. It is victim mentality.

        We won a huge victory for equality. I am going to celebrate that that. I am not going to be consumed by resentment and revenge against those either those who could marry before, or those who opposed us.

        For me, its a happy time.

    4. That There Other David 6 Jun 2013, 6:34pm

      To me it sounds like he recognises that society has changed in our favour. The time for storming the pulpit at Canterbury or similar, once needed just to stop everyone ignoring the discrimination we were under, has now passed. With large strides forward in legislative protection we achieve much more now with lobbying and discussion. We are getting closer to equality now. Not there yet, but the day when we are treated the same, and more importantly feel we’re being treated the same, will come.

      1. “The time for storming the pulpit at Canterbury or similar, once needed just to stop everyone ignoring the discrimination we were under, has now passed.”

        Your optimism is cheering, David, but the extraordinary displays and demonstrations of homophobia that we have witnessed here in the UK over the course of the last year is proof that there is a great deal more storming to be done.

        Wait and see.

        Gay and lesbian weddings are NOT going to magically sweep all that British homophobia out of sight.


        It’s not even going to take decades. It’s going to take at the very least a century.

    5. I think he’s asking us to be mindful of the fact that despite our situation having improved vastly over the past few decades, our rights and even our safety is very much dependent on the good will of the rest of the population and that we ought to be careful not to push too hard too quickly lest it backfire. It’s not a comfortable thought and incredibly frustrating but true nonetheless.

      1. Don’t you think, Will, that he’s behaving rather like a smug Uncle who has just allowed the kiddies something they deserved long long ago and that the kiddies are so grateful and jubilant that they’re inclined to eagerly nod their heads in unthinking agreement with what Old Uncle is warning?

        1. No, though I can inderstand why people might find it an unwelcome observation, I think – particularly in light of his excellent speech and his obvious support of equal rights – it just advocates being gracious in victory.

          1. *understand

          2. Sister Mary Clarence 8 Jun 2013, 2:16pm

            Yes, that’s exactly it, I fear though, there are some very loud voices on here to whom the concept of ‘gracious in victory’ is entirely foreign.

            Its a happy time surely

  6. I would shake that mans hand. Well done Sir.

  7. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Jun 2013, 3:29pm

    Fantastic, brilliant and a huge thank you to Lord Jenkin. We should all thank him and ask him to continue his support up to and including the third reading,

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Jun 2013, 5:00pm

      Also, contact Welby from the LobbyALord list. Be polite and respectful but press the case for disestablishment. He voted against this Bill instead of abstaining along with the other bishops on Tuesday. Inundate them with the disestablishment word, one which they dread hearing and fear the most.

  8. Thank you, Lord Jenkin, for your intelligence and humanity.

    1. I was astonished to see Lord Jenkin as a signatory to this week’s letter to The Times, and giving such a positive speech. He is proof that even those perceived as hardened Tories can come to their senses. Back in the late 1980’s I was commissioning HIV & Sexual Health services in a London Health Authority of which he was the Chairperson. It was a real effort to get his support for the HIV prevention initiatives we were developing, particularly involving gay men. Just let me say – miracles happen!

      1. Paul Halsall 9 Jun 2013, 10:54am

        Norman Fowler, though, was superb in his roll as AIDS developed. We had a much better response here than in the US or France. He remains an unspoken hero of the AIDS epidemic.

  9. We should always put forward our arguments passionately but clearly, respectfully and without hysteria. Leave the hysteria to the opposition – they are much better at it and make our argument for us more often than not.

  10. Enrique Esteban 6 Jun 2013, 6:48pm

    Pls, sign to support equal marriage in Romania.
    Help to sign: prenume=first name; nume=family name; oras=city; tara=country.
    You’ll receive a mail and have to click on 2nd link to confirm.

    1. Enrique, have you asked the editor of Pink News to post a special article on this cause and petition? You should. You may find he will do it, and that will be a far better way of collecting support. Good luck.

    2. Christopher Hobe Morrison 10 Jun 2013, 7:41pm

      Is this phishing? Inquiring minds want to know.

  11. This is a moving piece by a genuine hero which, for me, captures the feeling I’ve had since the stunning victory in the Lords earlier this week that somewhere, at the very heart of British national life, the penny has finally dropped. Well done and thank you Lord Jenkin for supporting equality in such a vocal but nonetheless gentlemanly manner.

  12. How best to defeat fundamentalist based lies against us? by finding and showing stories like this:

  13. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Jun 2013, 8:43pm

    I want to share this amazing response I just received from Lord Jenkin. I may have to post it in two or three segments because it is long and in great detail explaining what will be happening in Committee. I was totally unaware of the difference between the Commons’ Committee process and the Lords. Here goes:

    JENKIN, Lord

    Dear Robert,

    Thank you for your kind words – much appreciated!

    I have not read Colin Hart’s article, but believe that your fears may be unjustified. In the first place, the Bill is not going into ‘a Committee’; the Committee Stage will be on the floor of the House where all will be able to vote. Second, I feel sure that the huge majority in Tuesday’s very decisive vote will stand pretty firm on the main clauses of the Bill. Any amendment which could have the effect of watering down the central purposes of the Bill will not get a majority.


    1. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Jun 2013, 8:45pm

      Part two…Lord Jenkin’s email continued…

      The Churches may look for a strengthening of the Quadruple Lock; the Government itself is studying the possibility of amendments to protect the position of public employees who will face a conflict of loyalties in implementing the Bill; and there will be other efforts to protect existing institutions which may be opposed to the Bill. We will hear a lot about free speech etc, etc. But we will have to wait and see what happens. I myself have been much reassured by the incredible support I have had from Peers in all parts of the House! It has been said again and again that our side won the argument hands down.

      So far as the Archbishop is concerned, I have been told by some of the Bishops that Justin Welby is very keen to deal with the issues quickly so as not to let argument fester in the Church of England and poison relations in the Church indefinitely. We need to help him.

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Jun 2013, 8:46pm

        Part three….Lord Jenkin’s email continued

        As for the date of implementation, I do understand your impatience, but there will have to be a lot of careful preparations so that the changes can go smoothly; nothing would be worse if the first same sex marriages ran into procedural confusion because the details had not been properly worked out. The LGBT community can help by trying to refrain from unnecessary provocative actions; you are on the way to winning what you have argued for – do not put it at risk by aggressive campaigning which could only provoke the opposition to fight harder!

        You may be sure that I and others will be watching all this very carefully.

        Yours ever,

        Patrick Jenkin

        The Rt Hon the Lord Jenkin of Roding
        House of Lords,
        London, SW1A 0PW
        Tel: 020 7219 6966
        Fax: 020 7219 0759

        1. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Jun 2013, 8:50pm

          An amazing email. It proves being polite and courteous has its rewards. I can’t emphasise this enough. Please be polite and courteous whenever contacting any member of both Houses. It’s important we rise above the temptation to denigrate or insult any of them. We are winning.

          1. Colin (London) 7 Jun 2013, 10:19pm

            Thanks indeed Robert. Really insightful.

        2. Thanks for posting that, Robert – so very interesting to see that Lord Jenkin takes the trouble to answer at such length and in such detail. I have been more impressed by several Conservatives recently than I ever thought I could be.

          1. Robert in S. Kensington 7 Jun 2013, 1:52pm

            You’re very welcome, Rehan. My email to him was just as long and detailed in fact a bit longer as most of them were to the 130 I contacted. I actually surprised myself because they were all different in the way I put my thoughts down depending on the Lords’ track record of LGBT rights. It was gruelling I’ll admit, but well worth it. Receiving responses such as Lord Jenkin’s, proves that civil and polite exchange pays off, even when one differs in agreement. I received other very lovely responses from Baroness Stowell, Royall, Jenkin (Lord Jenkin”s daughter-in-law) too and of course Thornton. Great people, no matter their party affiliation. For once in my life, it has made me very proud of the Upper Chamber.

  14. Helge Vladimir Tiller 6 Jun 2013, 9:08pm

    Lord Jenkin- Truly a balanced and intelligent person !

  15. I’m old enough to remember Patrick Jenkin MP when he was a member of Thatcher’s Cabinet.

    Had I been able to do it, I’d have been one of the people back then who would have happily joined any demonstration against him.

    It would have gone something alon the lines of ‘Fldum, Pdum, Crumb’ – or ‘Scum, scum, scum’ in modern parlance.

    And then I read his speech in the House of Lords two days ago. I’d listened to it, but I needed to read it.

    The Section 28 stuff might have meant one thing back then, but his speech and his vote meant so much more these days.

    1. I applaud this man. Not just as a Conservative who spoke his mind, but as a man who decided to change his country for the better.

      And his speech as a lawmaker did it so beautifully and with so much compassion for other British people. He understands decency.

      I don’t care about his politics. I admire the hell out of the guy because he spoke to being a Britian in which we all can live.

      Thank you Lord Patrick Jenkin – you did something magnificent in defining what our country is all about.

      And it was a piece of glory.

      Thank you, your Lordship. Thank you more than you’ll ever know.

      (And no, I’m not a Conservative – but I admire the Hell out of people like you and Baronness Noakes who are.)

  16. Robert in S. Kensington 7 Jun 2013, 1:57pm

    Say what one may about David Cameron, I think the entire Equal Marriage debate has proved to be a brilliant strategy. I don’t think the opposition in the Tory party could have ever imagined there would be so much support from some of the leading Peers in their own ranks. A sort of a cathartic effect in some ways. I think the Tory MP backbenchers have been dealt a very serious blow, especially David Burrowes, Tim Loughton, Gerald Howarth and Peter Bone.

    I think StonewallUK should honour Cameron with an award to really rub their noses in it.

  17. Lord Jenkin, Cameron and Obama. All on the right side of history. Please England, stop your fixation with UKIP.

  18. Christopher Hobe Morrison 10 Jun 2013, 7:37pm

    A “tolerant and civilised community”. I thought this was what Britain was. If anyone is on the fringes it is UKIP and the Tory far-right. Common British decency and open-mindedness frequently does come through when you don’t think it will. Often it doesn’t, but where is it that what is right always comes through?

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