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Lib Dems’ Baroness Williams to support anti-equal marriage ‘union’ amendment

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  1. Andrew Hawkins-Kennedy 17 Jun 2013, 4:30pm

    So disappointing and to think I used to really admire her. Is this what being in the Lords does to people. Vera Brttain would be ashamed of her.

    1. She is a Roman Catholic who tried to obtain an exemption for Roman Catholic adoption agencies. What do you expect!

    2. This is the lady who objected to Salman Rushdie being honoured because it would offend muslims.

      Staunch RC. of course.

    3. This is the lady who objected to Salman Rushdie being honoured as it would offend muslims.

      Staunch RC of course.

    4. crushed by a woman I have admired – let down by her seemingly inflexible and backward belief in a non existent Deity – religion is abhorrent.
      Union – not Marriage – Inequality not Equality – What a let down.

      1. Me too. Admired her enormously ever since she helped form the SDP in 1981 and two years later I heard her give a very fine speech at a gathering in Birmingham.

        She’s lost it.

        Sorry Ms. Williams, you were great, but now I’ve scrubbed you. Good bye.

  2. Jock S. Trap 17 Jun 2013, 4:32pm

    If they wouldn’t accept (and we know they wouldn’t!) any downgrade of their marriage then nor should they inflict it on anyone else.

    All the time these bigots just want to separate us, divide us so they can have control and it’s time to put an end to it.

    Opposite sex couples wouldn’t accept their civil marriage as a ‘civil union’, nor should we.

    Mores to the point wouldn’t “leave out ‘Marriage’ and insert ‘Union’” mean all the consultation, Common’s Overwhelming majority be pointless as replacing with ‘civil’ basically means what we have had to put up with already. It takes is back not forward.

    Shame of Williams and all like her ilk!

  3. Any remaining respect I may have had for the ancient Baroness; re the NHS mainly; has now gone completely.

  4. bobbleobble 17 Jun 2013, 4:33pm

    She said that churches should beg forgiveness of gay people for how they have treated us in the past. She then went on to state that gay people shouldn’t be treated equally to straight people. Hypocrite much Shirley?

  5. Shirley, you’ve just plummeted in my estimation.

  6. Senility creeping on presumably.

  7. Lord Hylton needs to get a dictionary out and do his homework.

    The word’s original meaning meant something to the effect of “joyful”, “carefree”, “full of mirth”, or “bright and showy”.
    However, around the early parts of the 17th century, the word began to be associated with immorality. By the mid 17th century, according to an Oxford dictionary definition at the time, the meaning of the word had changed to mean “addicted to pleasures and dissipations. Often euphemistically: Of loose and immoral life”. This is an extension of one of the original meanings of “carefree”, meaning more or less uninhibited.
    Fast-forward to the 19th century and the word gay referred to a woman who was a prostitute and a gay man was someone who slept with a lot of women, often prostitutes. Sort of ironical that today a gay man doesn’t sleep with women. Also at this time, the phrase “gay it” meant to have sex.

    So gay men didn’t change it’s meaning we just took the insult and turned it around.

    1. Early homosexual rights protestors carried placards saying:

  8. No surprise the staunch catholic Shirley Williams is against SSM. She, along with baroness butler shloss proposed opt out for catholic adoption agencies and old people homes to refuse same sex couples. Her comments are typical of an old, catholic stalwart.

    By the way , many “stable” gay couples already have children!

    1. How peevish and unpleasant to seek the right for care homes to refuse SS couples.

      This debate has certainly smoked out those who talk the talk about equality but when it comes to the crunch the talk is exposed as pious waffle.

  9. Don’t like her. Never liked her.

  10. I am quite shocked and surprised. This woman is a professor emerita at Harvard University. Her distinguished husband, the moral philosopher Bernard Williams, wrote so eloquently about equality and its philosophical basis. How sad.

    1. Nothing really trumps indoctrination.

      1. I doubt she is indoctrinated, just completely off the mark! If she is a devout catholic and this relates to her reasons for supporting an amendment then she way may say she is doctrinaire.

    2. Maybe she’s getting back at the husband she felt was her intellectual superior, mocked her catholic faith and ran off with someone else. She’s just seems a bitter bitter woman. As in her sick old catholic mind you can only marry once then she’s still married to him.

  11. ‘ “She said: “Equality is not the same as sameness”.’

    …..And then completely misses the point of what she’s just said. Yes, Shirley, equality doesn’t have to mean ‘being the same’ – and that’s a reason *in favour* of equal marriage, you silly woman!

    Same sex couples are not the same as opposite sex couples, but we are equal and should be treated so under the law.

    I’m disgusted by her bigotry. We should be just as entitled to get married as she is. Why should we be shut out from marriage like second class citizens? Maybe she’d like us to have separate drinking fountains too?

    1. Bobbleobble 17 Jun 2013, 5:03pm

      She’s like all Lib Dem Catholics trying desperately to justify voting not only against her party line but also her liberal principles in order to obey her church’s orders. The contortions they get themselves into would be funny if this didn’t matter so much.

    2. No two couples are the same, never mind whether they are opposite sex couples or same sex couples, Shirley Williams has a motor mouth and I think it just gabs away without connecting to her brain at all most of the time, she really is a tedious windbag and listening to her distorted and cracked opinion is a waste of time.

  12. I expected better from Shirley Williams. Her stand on this matter, which re-inforces potential for prejudice, has much diminished her in my opinion.

  13. That There Other David 17 Jun 2013, 4:58pm

    So she and others want to maintain the current separate-but-equal status, whilst also potentially denying the ability for our unions to be recognised outside of the UK as they still won’t be marriages.

    This amendment is attempting to make the entire Bill a complete waste of time.

    1. Beelzeebub 17 Jun 2013, 5:21pm

      It already is.

      They have destroyed and poisoned what was a simple premise.


      Parliament Act now.

      Override this house of undemocratic dinosaurs.

  14. Even though I knew this was coming, I still felt physically sick listening to her comments.

    Her speech went beyond support for the amendment and was both ignorant and hurtful, particularly her frankly ridiculous comments about the nature of commitment.

  15. Another example of religion destroying the capacity for rationality.
    Shame on you Shirley,
    Whatever happened to the Lib Dem Mantra in their Constitution which EVERY lib Dem signs up to, I quote:
    ” The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free, and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community and in which no-one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance, or conformity.”

    It would appear that that commitment has been broken by Shirley Williams.
    Would she like to explain how this is not so!

  16. Robert (Kettering) 17 Jun 2013, 5:17pm

    Just another bigoted, homophobic, unelected pompous old windbag!

  17. By here own admission her first marriage was placed under a strain by her Roman Catholic beliefs and reached breaking point when her husband had an affair and the marriage was dissolved – how she can now equate this apparently destructive relationship with parental stability solely on the basis that they were of the opposite sex is beyond me. I wonder if her daughter felt secure in that clearly painful environment.

    All couples are not the same and whether male/female, female/female or male/male the stability they create both for each other and the families they make comes from the love and support they provide each other regardless of their gender.

  18. Colin Cass 17 Jun 2013, 5:19pm

    SHAME!! On SHIRLEY WILLIAMS! I used to respect you . Unfortunately you have gone from A caring Woman to a HARD FACED CONSERVATIVE!

  19. And what democratic mandate does the unelected peer Ms Williams have?

    Oh yes. None

    She is a disgusting, unelected monster and it makes a laughing stock of Britain that these unelected geriatric hasbeens are allowed to pervert democracy.

    Shirley Williams is bigot scum.

  20. ‘…Baroness Williams argued that, as well as biological differences, men and women approach relationships differently – making opposite-sex couples the most “stable” parents…’

    so all of a sudden, every one is an expert in psychology.

    of all people in lords she is the biggest disappointment

  21. Sad to see her Labour nanny-state-knows-best roots still showing after so many years immersion in liberalism.

  22. Is Nick Clegg comfortable being in the same party as that extremist bigot Shirley Williams.

    What is he going to do to remove her from the House of Lords.

    because surely he cannot think allowing an evil old monster like Williams to remain in the LibDems is a good idea?

    1. What can Nick Clegg do?

      I’d really like to know what magical powers Nick Clegg has in your opinion. Admittedly the man is about as useful as a chocolate fire guard but really he can’t kick her out of the HoL and it’s not going to fly, kicking her out of the party because even in the commons it was a free vote.

      In addition to this, Shirley Williams is neither evil nor an extremist bigot, however on this occasion she is completely wrong. It’s the reason why so many of the above comments have expressed disappointment in her. She seems completely confused about where she stands on this issue, and it would do us all good to politely write to her and point out the contradictions in what she has said.

      Ranting and raving as above, makes you sound like a troll or a lunatic or both. God help us all if you write to the woman directly and call her an evil bigot because I think that will just convince her gay people are unhinged.

    2. He did his best by putting forward legislation to turn the Lords into an elected House, but it needed support across the House and Labour decided short-term political point scoring was more important than building a democratic country.

      If you want to know why she isn’t being kicked out of the Lords, the finger of blame points not at Clegg but at Miliband.

  23. True colours shown.

  24. CHBrighton 17 Jun 2013, 6:19pm

    Yet again, a Liberal claiming to be for equality but bending under the pressure of her catholic masters. Who does she represent? We the people of Britain? Or the Vatican?

  25. This woman can talk and talk for hours sounding intelligent and saying absolutely nothing of any value, she has got it quite wrong this time.
    Just another in a long line of disappointments from Shirley Williams, she really should be out out to pasture.

    1. “put out to pasture” rather.

      1. ….or just dumped on the dung heap.

  26. The marriage equality debate has shown conclusively that the LibDems simply cannot be trusted. Their rhetoric is constantly undercut by their actual votes. They cannot be trusted to govern.

    1. PinkNews is running lots of eager coverage of the Liberal antis and saying little of the pros, despite the Liberal Lords dividing about 98% in favour on this bill. It’s like getting your news from the Daily Mail or the Guardian – you have to remember the agenda of the people you get the story from.

  27. This makes me so angry. It is so utterly contemptuous and disrespectful. I’m going to write to her, and I urge others to do the same.

    1. bobbleobble 17 Jun 2013, 8:25pm

      I’m in the process of composing a letter to her right now. I’m going to wait until I get to read Hansard tomorrow just so that I get the full story of what she said since I was unable to watch the debate today. What she said was actually genuinely hurtful towards gay couples and totally illogical.

  28. It’s so good and reassuring to see that nearly every single person who has written above has, like me, respected Shirley Williams for years but has been thrown sideways by her totally unacceptable behaviour today.

    We are all of the same mind.

    You’ve lost us, Shirley, at a key moment in our history. You could have sparkled, as you have on so many occasions before, but you’ve plummeted and crashed.

    1. Notlongnow 19 Jun 2013, 7:16am

      Well said! I too had a lot of respect for Shirley Williams but she has completely lost all credibility with me now….how sad that she allows her religious beliefs to govern her politics.

  29. She sold out on the NHS. This hardly comes as a surprise.

    1. Her decision to help end Labour’s NHS ongoing privatisation and replace it with a less profiteering system of health provision is a bit tangential!

  30. A, J,Mainland 17 Jun 2013, 9:19pm

    My thoughts exactly Eddy, I am deeply saddened by this, used to regard her as a wise reverand sage, but I’m afraid I feel kicked in the gut and shocked at her words. The seduction and deep indoctrination of the Catholic church kills the soul of many a good human mind. I truly believe there is no such thing as a liberal Catholic unless they dump one thing for the other.
    One day they may realise just how much we wished to extend the hand of love and friendship to them , just to have it burnt and scarred on moments like these. Ye jacobites by name, yer doctrines I maun blame.
    Let us not forget Sir Thomas Moore, burnt his best friend for not converting to Catholicism.

  31. PeterinSydney 17 Jun 2013, 9:25pm

    She needs to be voted against in huge numbers to stop this rot. Some of these nasty old fuddy duddies are hell bent on stopping equal marriage.

  32. Extreme Christians should not be allowed power.

  33. Well, what else can you expect from a freedom-hating socialist…

    1. Socialism or social democracy has nothing to do with this.
      It is catholicism in its most vile state, the underpinning of fascism.
      She has exibited a complete misunderstanding of religious and intellectual freedom and a betrayal of the very basic understanding of Liberty, Equality and Fellowship which is supposed to be the underpinning of her partys political beliefs and of the liberal democratic ideology and instead opted for imposition of her religious ideology on her fellow citizens.
      A shamefull and disappointing betrayal.

  34. Sadly, this is an example of why some people should retire so that they can be remembered as heroes, rahter than tarnishing their reputations.

  35. There’s one good thing about this: we’re finding out who are true supporters of equality before the law and who is not, who is a friend to gay people and who is a deep-dyed bigot–like Baroness Williams. It’s good to blow the cover off these fellow-travelling homophobes and expose their hate and prejudice to the world.

  36. Colin (London) 18 Jun 2013, 10:24am

    A woman I have so respected.

    I do not agree with her on this but have a family who are catholics. That in it’s own way speaks volumes. Logic goes out the window.

    Educated intelligent people fall when religion gets involved. Thats why the catholics brain wash when kids are young. Thank goodness I dumped it early.

  37. Michael 2912 18 Jun 2013, 10:44am

    Those if you who’ve expressed regret and surprise have been taken for a ride. She speaks nicely and was well brought up. Her privileged background (with all due respect to her truly admirable mother) has taken her much further than her native ability ever would. In one if his early diaries Tony Benn remarked upon her utter silliness when she was promoted to Cabinet by Harold Wilson. She said little of interest and nothing of substance. It’s worth remembering that although Catholic she divorced and remarried. Her faith seems to be as profound as her intellect.

  38. Time is due to get rid of the house of Lord’s altogether. Unelected, unrepresentative and out of touch with modern day democratic values. We elect a government with the view that they are enpowerered by us to run the state. Why then dose society feel it needs another chamber to rubber stamp everything 650 elected members vote on? Little wonder politics is slow,boring and such a turn off to many voters. Even the main chamber could do with more reform- secondary jobs or associations with companies, ‘outside interests’ ???? We pay these people to run the country and our local constituancy’s. But seem to have a holiday/recess every few weeks. This is why the LGBT COMMUNITY has had to wait the best part of half a century to go from our inital protests for equal rights to a point where we are about to legislate on equal marriage. I wish hetro sexuals could be made to endure the same process we have had to go through. Makes me sick!

    1. Prob save a lot of money, by tossing out all who vote against equal marriage

      Burn their chairs / benches in the public square as a message to them.

      FAr better and less painful, less cruel then all the burnings of “heretics” by churches.

  39. Shirley needs to look up the term Liberal in a dictionary !
    Cant believe she would vote for this amendment …very disappointed in her !

  40. George Broadhead 18 Jun 2013, 5:29pm

    Your report fails to mention (why?) the crucial fact that Williams is a staunch Roman Catholic.

    Her stance on gay marriage should, therefore, come as no surprise.

    1. wow this is a hell of a lot of outrage about someone expressing an opinion on what a word should mean

      it just shows that idealogues on the left are just as bigoted and extreme as those on the right

  41. wow this is a hell of a lot of outrage about someone expressing an opinion on what a word should mean

    it just shows that idealogues on the left are just as bigoted and extreme as those on the right

    1. Notlongnow 19 Jun 2013, 7:24am

      The ‘word’ as you put it Ian is what we are fighting for!!!!

      1. squabbling over more like

        let me ask this. what well be the punishment for those who refer to their marriages as traditional marriages. out those who identify these new toes of marriages as gay marriages

    2. James Campbell 19 Jun 2013, 3:45pm

      Unfortunately, we are not just talking here about someone expressing an opinion in the local pub or over dinner. The members of the Commons and the Lords are able to express their ‘opinions’ in a vote, denied to those who express their opinions elsewhere. The ramifications of any politician’s ‘opinion’ could be translated into law. Many of these amendments are designed to water down the legislation in order to leave clear water between (what they call) ‘traditional marriage’ and what they would like to refer to as “same sex union’. I am married to my wife and don’t see why what I can enjoy is denied to others.

  42. James Campbell 19 Jun 2013, 3:24pm

    it amazes me how the words of the uninformed trip so easily off their tongues. What experience has Shirley Williams had of the details surrounding same sex parents that she feels that she can declare that “opposite-sex couples the most “stable” parents”? I am straight, but my opinion is based on years of experience working with and advising families with children and I can report that most same sex parents are models of ‘how to parent successfully’ – something I cannot say about many opposite sex couples. In my experience, many same sex couples understand each other at a deeper level than some opposite sex couples.

  43. James Campbell 19 Jun 2013, 3:25pm

    As to her support for the semantics game being played by some amendments, I fail to see what she knows of same sex couples who have reached the stage in their relationship that they wish to make a lifelong commitment via marriage. She is in no position to advise on what a relationship should be called. ‘Union’ is certainly part of a marriage, but it describes many other things too …. ‘Rugby Union’, ‘Trade Union’, Students’ Union. ‘Marriage’ is primarily used to describe a commitment and bond between two people who love each other and may wish to further express their love by parenting a child or children – sounds like a perfect basis for ‘marriage’ to me..

  44. Fear not – her and most of her kind – their time is coming to an end. Just look at her pix.

    send her a cardboard tombstone with her name on it.

  45. Pray tell me the point of inserting ‘union’ instead of marriage? It’s not equal then is it you fools!! The whole point of this is equality!! Look up the word!!

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