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Comment: The part that PinkNews is proud to have played in the equal marriage debate

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  1. davevauxhall 15 Jul 2013, 12:26pm

    Well done and I’ve really enjoyed your coverage of the process as well as lobbying efforts.

  2. That Ben Summerskill is still in post after this is extraordinary, to say the least.

    Good article – you missed the bit about Summersklil claiming equal marriage would cost £10bn at a Liberal Conference fringe meeting, and been roundly called out on Stonewall spurious sums by Paddock in a PN interview.

  3. Jan Bridget 15 Jul 2013, 12:36pm

    Well done, Ben and co and everyone else who has played a role.

    Initially I agreed with Stonewall that education, in particular tackling homophobic bullying, was our main priority. Of course, we can have more than one priority and I have continued to challenge homophobic bullying in schools!

    Then I began to realise – mainly because of the homophobic response of various religious bodies – that this was, in fact, becoming a major campaign challenging religious homophobia and one that, if won, had the potential to really challenge homophobia in this country: I had known for a long time that religious homophobia needed challenging and commend the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement, Peter Tatchell and others for their work on this front.

    So you had me on board! Well done for having the foresight and thank you.

    Let’s hope we get over the final hurdle tonight. Wish I was able to join you outside the houses of parliament.

  4. Excellent article. Thanks to all those who believed in equality from the start (as well as the late converts!)

    BTW anyone remember a poll by Stonewall on marriage and civil partnerships dating back to 2003 – shortly after Ben Summerskill took the reins? Here is a reminder –

    Do you think same-sex couples should be able to register partnerships or marry?

    http://web.archive.org/web/20030804102255/http://www.stonewall.org.uk/stonewall/issue_bank/partnership/

    1. I had never seen that, dave. Fascinating. Does anyone know what the result was?

      Even if Stonewall didn’t find PN’s 98% for marriage (and Stonewall’s poll was seven years earlier), I’d be astonished if they didn’t get a hefty majority for marriage even back in 2003. But as Mr Summerskill said, Stonewall isn’t a democracy.

  5. Well done to Pink News for the part it has played.

    And bring back Jessica Geen (or someone like her). The quality of this website was far, far better when she was in charge.

    As for Ben Summerskill and Stonewall – he and it, remain pimples on the arse of the gay equality movement.

    The fact that Summerskill is still in his job shows the utter contempt in which Stonewall holds the GLBT community.

  6. Robert in S. Kensington 15 Jul 2013, 1:05pm

    Good article, Ben and well done to PN. I’ve always been a strong supporert of equal marriage as soon as The Netherlands took that first courageous step. I’ve always referred to marriage as the universal gold standard. and could never envisage CPs attaining such recognition although I support the right of those who prefer them.

    It’s quite extraordinary when you think of the vast contribution PN has made to equality and playing a major role if not key role in the Equal Marriage debate, compared to the lack of pro-activity by StonewallUK having arrived very late in the process.

    Successful passage of this Bill today is all attributed to the hard work done by PN and its readers, Peter Tatchell and various other LGBT organisations. I commend everyone for their resolve and commitment to the Marriage Bill and a special thank you to you, Ben!

  7. David Waite 15 Jul 2013, 1:16pm

    Pink News has been an inspiration as well as a superb information source on this issue. To both PN and you: Congratulations, not only on being the purpose-filled voice of the majority of your base, but also on not having to do a survey to figure out the right thing to do.

  8. Robert in S. Kensington 15 Jul 2013, 1:18pm

    Has anyone tried to register with the updated LobbyALord site? I clicked on MyLobbyALord entered my email address and password and both were rejected, although it indicated the total number of Lords I’d contacted to be at 412. I never realised just how many I’d contacted.

    1. Yes, it worked when I tried it yesterday

      1. … But not today apparently – I just tried it

        1. P.S. You deserver a medal, Robert :)

          I’ve only done 15 via the site, plus a few others directly

          1. Robert in S. Kensington 15 Jul 2013, 3:18pm

            Thanks, Dave! I was determined to contact all of them but I think more than 50% is a decent number. I never typed so much in my entire life having to alter each email tailored to whatever the Lords’ degree of support or opposition. I concentrated on the moderates mostly. Though I did send one to Lord Carey but never received a response but felt good about doing it. The majority of responses were all very positive. Lords Jenkin and Alli have been superb in the email exchange I’ve had with them, so too have Baronesses Thornton, Royall and Noakes, among others too numerous to mention.

    2. Chris Ward 15 Jul 2013, 2:13pm

      If you’re having problems signing in, drop me a line:
      christopher.j.ward@gmail.com

      Thanks so much for all the lobbying work. 412 is an outstanding number.

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 15 Jul 2013, 3:12pm

        Chris, I managed to register and thanks for helping with that. I lobbied one more so it’s now at 413! Worth every second of my time to see it come to this truly historic day. I’m getting a bit emotional now. I can’t believe the day has arrived and that we’ll be country number 15.

        1. Sorry Robert, thought I’d responded to this! Thanks again for all your hard work. :)

  9. My only current concern now are the days PinkNews will barely update as yet again one of its staff will get married and of course everybody else wants to be there…

    New to the country and PN has been my main source for information, not only on the issue self but also to get a hang of the (somewhat over the top) political system.

    Believe it or not, but after 4 emigrations this is the third time I live somewhere while equal marriage is debated. This is by and large the best coverage I have seen. Cheers for that.

    Also: Stonewall WTF! I could have understood not wanting to make it a main priority as we have so many battles to fight but completely not supporting it is just beyond me. Personally I see this not only as the issue self though, but very much as recognition of our dignity and worth which will play a massive role in further equality and acceptance, Stonewall saw that different apparently.

  10. considering the bigots and anti gay people who are allowed to post here I wouldn’t be so proud

    1. Well the relentless churnalism about ‘US radio hosts’ and the WBC etc will attract those scum

    2. Benjamin Cohen 15 Jul 2013, 3:11pm

      We struggle with these people. Every time you report a comment, it gets banned but short of forcing people to post on Facebook, we can’t really stop them

      1. Well there is one poster who keeps posting the same thing over and over. I used to come her daily but it got too depressing. Can’t you block ip addresses?

  11. Good for you all- thanks -a good job. Looking at the amendments in the third reading today there is still a way to go on pension rights. My civil partner will get a pittance from the NHS because most of my contributions were before 1988. Although I get a full pension the survivors have still way to go.
    Always the same one big hurdle overcome and there is another not far behind. Anyway thanks for your effort- GREAT!

    1. Tim Chapman 15 Jul 2013, 4:18pm

      Yes, the pensions issue must be sorted out. I won’t have anything to do with same-sex marriage until it is also equal marriage, and that won’t happen until survivor pensions are equalised. I compromised on civil partnerships but I’m not prepared to do so with marrage. If that means my CP and I will never be married, then that’s that.

  12. Good on your- great achievement.
    There is still an area highlighted in the 3rd reading amendment which needs watching. Survivor benefits are variable. My partner will receive a pittance from my NHS pension because my contributions were before 1988. I have found other
    NHS contributors the same. Anyway for the moment well done.

  13. I echo the sentiments of the others on here.
    Thank you, Mr. Cohen and the rest of the PN team, for the great coverage over the years, and here’s to many more. (raises imaginary glass of campaign) xD

  14. Thanks Ben et al. I remember what it was like pre Prop 8, trying to convince people of the merits of marriage equality. It was hard. Even after, as we saw with Stonewall, many had a vestige interest in keeping civil partnerships and marriage as separate institutions.

    You really were an inspiration to those of us who wanted to see this happen.

    Thank you.

  15. As a Christian growing up in a Cathedral school learning that gay people couldn’t really marry, only have civil partnerships, worried me greatly.

    It gave such a strong message of inequality and upset me greatly. Indeed it was one of the big factors in keeping me in the closet.

    I reconciled my sexuality and religion just over a year ago, and have been a huge supporter of the movement for marriage equality ever since.

    Pink News has been far and away my best window to updates on this issue, and wider LGBT news (living in the countryside I’m not physically part of the community or scene!).

    I’m now in my first open relationship that people in my family know about. This campaign has forced family members to question their prejudices and I’m delighted that they’ve come down on my side. They will not be the only ones.

    I may be legally able to marry soon, which would be incredible in itself, but the social impact of this is much, much bigger.

    Thank you for all you’ve done.

  16. Sue Wilkinson 27 Jul 2013, 6:23pm

    Thanks, Benjamin, for your balanced history, and, especially for putting Stonewall in its place. And thanks to all at Pink News for spurring on the grassroots movement for marriage equality which just wasn’t there when we brought our court case in 2006.
    Sue & Celia

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