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Comment: Respect people before beliefs, Maria Miller, and we’d need no consultation

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  1. Nice article.

    Not only can I not think of anything to add, but would dearly like to rise and applaud with vigour.

    Thank you.

  2. Nice article.

    Not only can I not think of anything to add, but would dearly like to rise and applaud with vigour.

    Thank you.

  3. Wonderful article.
    Hit the nail on the head here; ‘The first step is to acknowledge that human rights come before beliefs, and that fundamental rights are non-negotiable.’
    And here; ‘But as the debate over marriage shows, our establishment puts beliefs about homosexuality above rights for gay people themselves. ‘

    Why are superstitious beliefs, ideas which can change, and beliefs that have no firm ground in reality, placed above that of the human rights of a group of people.
    It’s disgraceful.

    1. St Sebastian 3 Jul 2013, 12:19am

      ‘The first step is to acknowledge that human rights come before beliefs, and that fundamental rights are non-negotiable.’

      Absolutely. Sarah Newton, MP for Truro and Falmouth – this is not a matter for which consultation and response from your electorate should be considered because these are HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES which need (and should) to be above public sentiment.

  4. Midnighter 2 Jul 2013, 10:04pm

    On first reading I agree passionately with the points you are making.

    The only very minor exception is your comment regarding free votes; the mandate for the passage of the bill is stronger as a result of a conscience vote since this relied on a greater granularity of consensus and thus a more solid expression of democracy. Had it been whipped we’d be drowning in conspiracy theories and cries of unfair coercion from the religious camp. As it stands we also have total transparency about where our democratically elected politicians stand.

    I think you’ve done a tremendous job of highlighting the iniquities in our present system that affords undemocratic privilege to religion based on outdated precepts and historical compromises.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 3 Jul 2013, 12:03pm

      Totally agree with the conscience vote. I can only imagine the outcry from the religious loons had it been a whipped vote.

  5. If the views expressed in this article aren’t those of Pink News then I say “shame on you”.

  6. GulliverUK 2 Jul 2013, 10:25pm

    That is an EXCELLENT article – you’ve managed to capture the very essence of the issues – our rights should not be subject to faith considerations – I am sick, sick, sick of hearing about religious exemptions this, religious sensitivities that. I swear 90% of the debate has centered around that. It’s made me positively hate religious leaders – and this from someone who hates to hate.

    Well done, thank god somebody truly understands.

  7. YES YES YES!!!
    And please include the BBC in that Adrian!

    The number of so-called “discussion” programmes I have seen and heard across the BBC on the “subject” of gay people in particular is alarming.

    The BBC believe that there is ALWAYS an opposite side to the argument and CONTINUE TO PUBLISCIZE it-evem when the proponents are expressing HOMOPHOBIC beliefs!!!

    Its like saying black people have smaller brains than whites- the BBC would also give publicity to someone expressing the OPPOSITE point of view!!

    I hear James Naughtie on the Today programme once putting the argument in favour of Gay Reparative Psychotherapy- just to place “an opposit point of view”-as thought THAT was a LEGITIMATE point of view!!!

    I despair!!!

    1. GulliverUK 2 Jul 2013, 10:50pm

      BBC’s presentation skills are abysmal, and there are clearly some very homophobic people there pushing an agenda. I’m disgusted, both as a licence fee payer, tax payer, and former employee. It’s a far cry from a progressive BBC back in the late 90s. The BBC of today is no longer fit-for-purpose.

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 3 Jul 2013, 12:07pm

      I just wrote to the BBC about that and am awaiting their response. I also mentioned that we should not be paying for t.v. licences because of the imbalance of coverage of LGBT issues, especially the Marriage Bill. I can just imagine what the response will be, probably predictable. I will post their response assuming I will receive one.

  8. Excellent article, Adrian. Imagine a future where intersex people – the I in LGBTI, the I that is missing from LGBT and “LGB&T” – were also considered worthy of gaining fundamental human rights, of obtaining legal protection against discrimination, were no longer excluded from all these efforts.

  9. Thank you Adrian, that needed to be said.

  10. John in Toronto Canada 2 Jul 2013, 10:49pm

    Marry me Adrian! ; )

  11. Many thanks for the comments, as always. To JohnUK, I agree, and I would need to write a chapter, rather than just an article on the BBC. I would have done more but feared veering too much off topic. I’ll come back to that in another piece, but see my article last year on the BBC.
    Midnighter – my struggle is that in a true democracy, once overwhelming evidence logic and observation tells us equal dignity be given to a minority group, the very idea of voting is against democracy. JS Mill’s on where government should legislate offers, for me at least, the most reasonable guide. Angela – solidarity, and I will think on your comments. Why not work on, or help someone to work on, an intersex article? John in Toronto – what can I say!?! Best wishes,
    Adrian

  12. I agree that schools should be required to provide LGBT-inclusive sex and relationship education, but that’s not just an issue for government. Complain to the schools that don’t provide it. Complain to the parents who send children there.

    With regards to the Equal Marriage Bill, the only religious exemption is that religions who don’t want to conduct same-sex marriages don’t have to. That seems fairly reasonable to me. Other than that, I can’t see anywhere in our laws that provide opt outs to religions. The Equality Act 2010 makes it clear that religious belief cannot justify discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity and the courts have upheld that. So what’s the problem?

    As for “voting on the rights of minorities is in itself a failure of democratic process.” No it’s not. How else do you pass anti-discrimination laws or provide for equal marriage without voting within the democratic process?

    1. Frank Boulton 3 Jul 2013, 1:17pm

      The Holocaust was a democratic choice. Afterwards no one disputed whether we should vote about framing legislation to prevent it happening again. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and The European Convention on Human Rights were written and signed for this purpose. The guarantee the rights enshrined in them to “all people” and not to “all people except unpopular minorities or minorities who have been excluded from these rights by a democratic vote.” The fact that Britain has signed both of these document makes voting on LGBTI rights or the rights of any other minority unnecessary. These rights have already been won. They merely need to be delivered.

    2. Actually the Equality Act 2010 DOES protect religion from claims of discrimination but only if such discrimination can be shown to be a fundamental aspect of that religion.

      So – no woman can sue the Catholic church because her gender precludes her from being a Priest because it is a well understood aspect of the RCC church that women cannot hold such offices.

      The issue you are referring to is one of personal interpretation – that people cannot cherry-pick bits of the faith, which are not universally held, and use them as excuses to be exempt from the law.

      Compare and contrast the difference between wearing a turban (one of the Five K’s of sikhism with dogmatic support) and the wearing of a cross – which christians do not agree upon and which is not endorsed by the dogma.

      If homophobia was an agreed upon principe of christianity (tempting as it is, I wouldn’t be dishonest enough to argue this) then the rules on things like the B & B case might have been different.

  13. Thank you Adrian.
    Excellent article.
    Needed to be said.
    Can’t think of anything
    to add to the above either.
    Big hug.

  14. My Ealing MP, Vikas Sharma, refused to vote on the Same-Sex Marriage Bill because he consulted a lot of religious groups in the area who – unsurprisingly – were against same-sex marriage. I asked him whether he consulted any groups other than religious ones. His answer was, “No.”

    TheyWorkForYou shows that his voting record is: “Has never voted on equal gay rights.”

    I want a different MP.

    I guess we have a way to go before we’re actually consulted on our future…?

    1. GulliverUK 3 Jul 2013, 12:41am

      I want laws where MPs can be chucked out of office if enough people agree. Once upon a time the Tory party and others agreed, but somehow they haven’t found time in this parliament to do it. Fcuking scared sh1tless I imagine. Many Tory MPs wouldn’t survive.

      1. Colin (London) 3 Jul 2013, 8:24am

        I want anyone who wants to be an MP to attend one year at university to teach them about what Parliament is for, that the rights and responsibilities of all have to be taken into account and MP’s are there not just to represent their constituents but to educate them as well moving society on in a changing world.

        Business runs rings around Parliament. Look at tax laws, Private equity, banking, current media lack of laws after £10m+ and a public debate with a judicial review…nothing changed or will. Politicians are not fit for purpose to match business. Then you get the religious nuts….

  15. Adrian, I help assist you in researching and writing an article – a series of articles would be more appropriate – on intersex. We are also persecuted due to homophobia and we most certainly belong in the LGBTI acronym. I will find out how to get in touch with you. But first I recommend that you go to oii.org.au and begin to read up on intersex.

  16. Common sense 3 Jul 2013, 1:16am

    Sorry, but the last thing we want or need is religious martyrs claiming they have been victimised by gay activism. A little bit of flexibility to side step them and their backward beliefs will wither and die out. whereas confrontations only really serve to strengthen them and spread their awful ideas more widely.Nobody ever gave up a religious dogma through being beat about the head.

    1. The religious fanatics opposing us will find a reason to be persecuted or offended whether we oppose them or not, because their definition of ‘religious liberty’ is theocracy. How can they claim to be persecuted by treating people equal under civil law? There is no flexibility or compromise in human rights. You either have them or you don’t.

      In any case, history tells us that confrontation – the Suffragettes, Stonewall, the Civil Rights Movement, the Chartists, and so on – is a necessity for progress. The theocrats haven’t been confronted. Their extremism hasn’t been remotely challenged. High time it was.

  17. Mateusz90 3 Jul 2013, 1:35am

    You don’t have to be religious (I’m an atheist) to think that bowel sex is repellent and should not be validated in any form.

    1. JackAlison 4 Jul 2013, 3:52pm

      well mayb if u got ur head outta ur arse it could b a lil more fulfilling 4 u
      its ur cock NOT ur head that should b up there

  18. Lady Thatcher 3 Jul 2013, 1:47am

    It’s only democracy when you approve? You are utterly repugnant! Do you have any f**king idea what you’re advocating?! And you want to teach arse-sex to kids, too? Disgusting man! We must revive section 28!

    1. It delights me that morons like you are enraged by what I write. If it were not so, I would have failed. Please continue to be enraged, so that your blood pressure is as high as possible, and your life is shortened accordingly.

  19. “You don’t have to be religious (I’m an atheist)
    to think that bowel sex is repellent and should
    not be validated in any form.” < I don't indulge in this myself but each to their own. As you show, it's not only religious bigots that are against us.

  20. Colin (London) 3 Jul 2013, 8:15am

    What a great article, insightful, positive, forward looking and saying what needed to be said.

    I salute you Adrian.

    I so hope the hetrosexual media pick this article up and get it out there.

    And your comments on Baroness Warsi and other religious parties spot on Sir.

    And our young…3 or 4 kids are gay in every class in every school. And teachers put their historic religious beliefs ahead of building strong, healthy, positive, self aware kids.

    UK needs to look forward and not live in the past.

    Please everyone get this article out there to all your friends and family and politicians and bigots.

    Well done Sir.

    1. 3 or 4 kids in every class? How big are these classes, exactly? About 100 pupils each? 3.5% of the population is LGBT. The 10% myth is as old as the “gays account for 1/3 all sex abuse” myth.

      1. Colin (London) 3 Jul 2013, 3:43pm

        Dennis I may have my numbers wrong…..
        thinking about 40 per class and 7 to 10% are gay by the numbers I’v seen…..

        Fine but if it’s 2 kids per class does it make my comments any less relevant.. 1000’s of damaged people per year coming out of our schools…

  21. Jan Bridget 3 Jul 2013, 8:44am

    Probably the best article I have read on LGBT issues in any of the gay (or straight) media in Britain. Thank you!

  22. Excellent piece.
    I particularly agree with the section on sex and relationships education in schools.
    It took me ten years after leaving school to be comfortable with having a relationship – so it’s not putting it too strongly to say that the state robbed me of those years.

    1. I’m sorry to hear. It’s folks like you that must be considered when opinion pieces are written.

  23. Robert in S. Kensington 3 Jul 2013, 12:01pm

    Great article, Adrian, but I strongly urge you to send this to Maria Miller and others in the cabinet who support the Bill, as well as Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband.

    To digress, I’ve just learned that Lord Dear and Baroness Deech have submitted two more wrecking amendments for the Marriage Bill’s Report Stage beginning this coming Monday and ending on Wednesday.

    http://www.LobbyALord.org

  24. Sums everything up. 5 of 5 stars.

  25. Robert in S. Kensington 3 Jul 2013, 12:55pm

    Adrian, have you considered sending this to the Guardian, Evening Standard? This needs to get out into mainstream media. Excellent article though and well said.

    How about another article to the BBC the mouthpiece for the religious loons in and outside of Parliament?

    1. PantoHorse 3 Jul 2013, 1:16pm

      Agree. This is an excellent article and deserving of much wider distribution.

  26. Totally agree. It’s kind of ironic that whenever a religious extremist (of any of the three main patriarchal faiths) commits an horrific crime our MPs are up on the podium like a flash doing their Winston Churchill impressions, yet when it comes to watering down the equal marriage bill to enable get-out clauses for homphobic Godbotherers they’re bending over backwards to appease them in a way that would make Neville Chamberlain blush! Don’t they see that extremism in all major three patriarchal religions comes from the same root?

  27. Frank Boulton 3 Jul 2013, 1:27pm

    Yes, another fine article, Adrian.

    The Lords’ debate about the amendment on Humanist weddings made it very clear that the government in England and Wales still automatically regards belief systems based on the unproven existence of a supernatural being as being intrinsically more meritorious than rational belief systems based on scientific evidence. This is a hindrance to the progress of LGBTI rights. However, the fact that this debate took place at all indicates that values based on rationality will soon prevail and LGBTI people can then experience a better deal/

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 3 Jul 2013, 4:30pm

      I’ve no doubt that Humanist weddings will be up for discussion after the current Marriage Bill passes, similarly to CPs for heteros which is up for review in the autumn. It’s going to happen because Scotland’s bill already makes provisions for Humanists to have a same-sex marriage in their own country. It’s inevitable in my view. Scotland doesn’t have state religion, whereas south of the border we do. Ours is a bit more complex because of it and I’d like to see more discussion about getting the CoE disestablished, taken more seriously, not just by the National Secular Society but a national grass-roots campaign to do just that. Getting rid of state religion would remedy the anachronism of the Lords, especially with 26 Anglican bishops sitting there and having a say over our lives and rights. Either have an elected upper chamber or ideally, get rid of it entirely.

  28. Robert in S. Kensington 3 Jul 2013, 6:34pm

    This is the response I just received from the BBC in what we all call unbalanced programming in regard to the Marriage Bill.

    Thanks for contacting us about BBC News.

    I understand that you feel that reports have been biased against same-sex marriage as there are little or no representatives to put forward the gay point of view.

    In dealing with any controversial matter the BBC is required to give a fair and balanced report. Balance cannot simply be judged on the basis of the time allocated to the representatives of either side of an argument however. Account needs to be taken of the way a subject is covered over a period of time; perfect balance is difficult to achieve on every single occasion while overall it is a more achievable goal.

    Nevertheless I acknowledge that on this occasion you feel that reports lack overall balance on the subject of same-sex marriage therefore I’d like to assure you that I’ve registered your complaint on our Audience Log. This is a daily report of …..

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 3 Jul 2013, 6:35pm

      BBC response continued…

      audience feedback that’s made available to all BBC staff, including BBC News, channel controllers and other senior managers.

      The Audience Logs are seen as important documents that can help shape decisions on future BBC programmes and content.

      Once again, thank you for contacting us.

      Kind Regards

      Andrew Gilfillan

      BBC Complaints

      What a cop-out! Typical bloody response too!

      1. Well done for complaining. Logging a complaint is never a waste of time. it means someone has to read it, react to it. Don’t let the rejections get you down, keep plugging away! PS Well done to Gulliver for taking on the cranks on the Telegraph comments. It would drive me insane to do so….

    2. Jan Bridget 3 Jul 2013, 8:36pm

      That’s exactly the same response I got!

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