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David Cameron: We can be proud that equal marriage has been signed into law by the Queen

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  1. Robert in S. Kensington 24 Jul 2013, 7:03pm

    Fantastic, job well done and thank you, Prime Minister and to all those in and outside of government who made this happen. Special thanks to Pink News (Ben Cohen) and LobbyALord team.

  2. Helge Vladimir Tiller 24 Jul 2013, 7:10pm

    YES, Thank You from Norway as well !Thanks to every positive person who made life in Britain more human for LGBTQ people. ( Especially I remember Lord Alli- ) —and many others without mentioning their names !

    1. Only part of Britain, remember! This new marriage law only applies in England & Wales.

      That aside, I’d like to say congratulations to all LGBT people in England & Wales – maybe we’ll see a reverse Gretna Green effect if Scotland takes much longer! LOL!

      1. Helge Vladimir Tiller 24 Jul 2013, 9:35pm

        Yes, BennieM, I know that very well. Soon Scotland—and then Finland ? Grab the joy when it shows-

        1. I wasn’t having a go at you, I’m just a wee bit frustrated at people saying things like Britain or the UK now has same sex marriage. Even Ben Summerskill of Stonewall has said things like this repeatedly. It gives the false immpression that same sex marriage applies to the whole of the UK rather than just parts of it.

          But I don’t begrudge people in England & Wales celebrating this remarkable achievement!

          1. Better to be accurate than misleading. At the moment we aren’t actually even talking about equal marriage, because if there are still pension anomalies then it can’t be called equal.

          2. Yes, you’re absolutely right, Gulliver. I have no doubt we’ll get full equality throughout the UK in the end, including pensions etc.

          3. Helge Vladimir Tiller 25 Jul 2013, 4:55am

            No, no, dear Brother ! I understand. I’m an old man and sometimes I’m not being so accurate. Remember I am Norwegian- and have not been to Britain since 1971. Sad but true ! Therefore I am not so correct every time, but I’ve made some comments on this matter in PinkNews – and have been more precise before. But the main thing ; I am very happy on behalf of you all, dear sisters and brothers. And crossing my fingers for brave Scotland—–and maybe Ireland in —some years. Anyway, wonderful news from a neighbouring Country- also for the LGBT community here in Oslo, Norway !

          4. Thanks for the support and congratulations, Helge!

  3. GulliverUK 24 Jul 2013, 7:11pm

    Come back when people are actually getting married and I’ll thank you. I want to see it with my own eyes :)

    I’m funny that way :D

    1. I think you should check your previous posts Gulliver…I do believe you have previously thanked Dave albeit under duress :)

      1. You are quite right, but it was under duress so I’m not sure it counts.

        I’m often an appeaser and will do stuff to keep the peace rather than argue till the cows come home. I am grateful that he is either more enlightened than previous PMs, or has bigger balls than previous PMs, or both, but I cannot congratulate him when people still can’t get married, and when they do there will be unequal pensions. I don’t know what everybody else was fighting for, but I was fighting for totally equality, not some nearly equal rights.

        Also, because of the debates, we now know there are over 100 Tory bigots in Parliament, something we would all much rather have not known to be honest. Their presence is an affront to society and I wonder how we deal with them. It’s like that Tory party doesn’t do any checks on people when they endorse them as candidates – I mean, just look at Patel (wants death penalty back), or Davies or Davis (both twats), and that the 2010 intake.

        1. A significant number of Labour and Lib Dem MPs voted against equal marriage too Gulliver, it wasn’t a straightforward blue v. red and yellow.

          1. yes but it was majority of tory party mps that voted against equal marriage. if it wasnt for lib dems and opposition mps this law wouldnt get through

          2. GulliverUK 25 Jul 2013, 8:19am

            When you say significant, the figures were;
            Con 135 (+2 tells) against 52% against*
            Lab 22 against 9% against*
            LibDem 4 against 8% against*
            * of those who turned up and voted

            About 30% voted against in total (170 to 395)
            I wish those Labour and LibDem MPs have not voted against, but their numbers were tiny compared to the Tory MPs who voted against.

            Note, these are approx figures. Some people voted both ways, i.e. for and against, which is some sort of abstension, apparently, and not against House rules – I know, I checked.

        2. I did say duress not torture…C’mon Gulliver…no-one is asking you to thank every Tory MP …but can’t you just freely give credit where credit is due regardless of your political persuasion…also waiting for your post on Alec Baldwin’s latest rant :)

  4. “I think, of an example of how to pass good legislation in good time. Many other countries are going to want to copy this. ”

    I think the UK imported equal marriage and in my opinion took their time getting there. We were the 16th? country to bring in equal marriage not the 1st and it’s going to take another yr or so before we can actually say we’re “married”. Yes ““There’s a lot more work to be done ”

    But apart from that, yes, well done to all and well done to Cameron for seeing off all those ghastly Tory homophobes (yes homophobes I’m still allowed to call them that! and that’s what they were, bigotted homophobes!).

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 25 Jul 2013, 12:15pm

      I think we are now the 16th country, john. Apparently, Brazil became the 15th in May under a court order. Their bill wasn’t legislated or scrutinised like ours was.

  5. I’m thankful for this step, but personally we’re still only halfway there.

    I grew up going to Easter and Christmas services in traditional Church of England churches, with CoE sermons, hymns etc., and singing in churches and cathedrals. Despite not exactly being particularly religious, that history means when I do get married I want to do so in a traditional church.

    Given this Act explicitly bars marriage in CoE premises (or has that changed?), that means I’m going to have to wait until that stepping stone is reached, or until the CoE goes bankrupt and some rich guy starts buying up their churches for gay marriages.

    1. Perhaps you could concentrate more on the substance rather than the style of church weddings, especially if you are — as you admit — not particularly religious?

    2. I don’t doubt that the pressure will grow within the CofE to join in. They are always boasting how “they work for the whole of society, not just for themselves” and how important it is to them that they have a duty to marry anyone from the community who wants it – so they won’t want to remain sitting on the sidelines. Obviously there will be a hell of a fight against itfrom the ultra-orthodox fundamentalists but I predict it is an issue that we haven’t heard the last of

      1. GulliverUK 24 Jul 2013, 8:30pm

        There are ‘private’ discussions going on regarding LGBT blessings, Civil Partnerships, same-sex marriages now, especially by groups like Changing Attitudes. It seems there is some promise for the future.

    3. Robert in S. Kensington 24 Jul 2013, 8:57pm

      If you recall Alexander, the CoE demanded specific protections and guarantees, hence the quadruple lock that Welby said satisfies their demands. He and the synod could have rejected the lock if it weren’t so opposed to equal marriage in the first place. It’s free to change the rules and Canon law if it so chooses at which point It is free to petition Parliament to opt back in.

      If you’re not particularly religious as you say, why would you want to have a marriage in an Anglican church even if it were possible? I would only do so if I were religious and believed in ‘traditional’ marriage which I think is a misnomer anyway. The majority of same-sex marriages taking place in fourteen countries are overwhelmingly civil ceremonies. Gay Catholics will never be able to marry in their traditional churches. Conservative Jews will never be allowed to marry in a conservative synagogue. So no country is really all the way there where we can marry until all religions allow it.

      1. GulliverUK 24 Jul 2013, 9:23pm

        The majority of ALL marriages in England and Wales are civil secular marriages, over 70% – it’s completely swung from 70% in church 30 years ago, to over 70% not in a church. We’ve heard so much talk about religion and churches but the fact is very few marriage ceremonies have anything to do with churches and religion. Basically, most people have dumped the church, just like lots of people have dumped religion.

  6. Geographer 24 Jul 2013, 8:01pm

    Hats off to Cameron for seeing this through, despite opposition from many of his homophobic backbenchers and the Tory grassroots. Of course, it’s just about the only policy I will congratulate him on and it took Lab and LD support to get it through. However, we’re still not quite there with regards to full equality: I still can’t marry my partner (if I wanted to) in a CofE or CinW church. As an atheist it hardly bothers me, but for gay Christians and for those of us who will not rest until religious discrimination ends, this is still an issue.

    1. Why not leave it to gay Christians to worry about? You still can’t marry an opposite-sex partner if you or he/her are divorced, after all – who’s pretending the churches have ever been concerned with equality?

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 24 Jul 2013, 9:01pm

        Exactly right Rehan, divorced straights have always been discriminated against by the CoE and RCC too. So even they don’t have full marriage equality. If I were religious, I’d marry in the Unitarian church where I am welcome. I know several divorced straight couples who married in the Congregational and Methodist churches which weren’t their churches, two of whom were catholic.

      2. Coincidentally, I attended a CofE wedding in a church last weekend. The groom was divorced. The CofE dropped its objection to marrying divorcees many years ago, Rehan. As for leaving such issues to those directly affected? Then you probably won’t bother lifting a finger to all the gays being persecuted in countries like Russia, the Islamic world and Africa either. I’m glad you can live with your conscience. I can’t I’m afraid.

        1. Not really that many years, as the Prince of Wales was not allowed to marry again in church. And what about equality for women in the CoE or the Catholic church, then?

          However, I do take your point, but people who choose to follow a religion but are unhappy with its rules are not quite in the same category of those who are persecuted for being who they are, are they?

        2. Robert in S. Kensington 25 Jul 2013, 12:44pm

          The CoE synod change its position on divorce in a vote in 2002 but with specific stipulations. Not all divorced people are allowed to re-marry in the church if their ex is still living and adultery has been the cause of their failed marriage, although the injured party would be allowed to remarry in the church. It is left to individual clergy to decide if a divorced person meets the requirements for re-marriage.

          Prince Charles second marriage to Camilla didn’t meet those requirements because both contributed to the break up of their past marriages, so were subject to a civil ceremony, although there was a blessing by the church in St. George’s chapel at Windsor.

  7. Vincent Creelan 24 Jul 2013, 8:03pm

    I was there last year (only rep invited from N Ireland) when he made the promise and explained why it was such an important issue for him, despite the cost it might prove to the party, One can not but give the man credit and praise his steadfast conviction.

  8. GulliverUK 24 Jul 2013, 8:07pm

    Um, that is not representative of the LGBT community, it’s a fake party run along discriminatory government lines.

    Peter Tatchell has worked for LGBT rights for 40 years and was very much the inspiration for the Equal Love campaign, which started the England + Wales ball rolling.

    Yet, this discriminatory government declined to invite him. They only like people who will agree with them.

    I don’t agree with Peter Tatchell on everything, like Section 5 for example, but I can’t think of anyone who has tirelessly done more for championing LGBT rights than him. It’s disgusting that he wasn’t invited – that is a very big mistake.

    We cannot be proud of a government which constantly discriminates against one of the leaders in our community. And if I remember rightly, Labour were equally as bad.

  9. Good speech, glad the man did actually stick to the promises he made, and especially glad he mentioned Peter Tatchell (a first?).

    1. GulliverUK 24 Jul 2013, 8:31pm

      didn’t invite tho. A BIG mistake. I don’t know anyone who has done more to lobby for equal marriage over the past two decades.

      1. Do you know that for a fact (the lack of invitation, I mean)? PT, if you’re reading, can you confirm?

        1. He tweeted earlier about his lack of invite.

        2. Oh, did he? Thanks, I didn’t know. That rather undermines the tenor of Cameron’s speech then. How silly of Downing Street – what would the invitation have cost them?

  10. “There’s a lot of work to be done …”

    Yes, it took six months to get through Parliament and, apparently, it will take another 12 months plus to organise the first wedding and 24 months for the bureaucrats to design a form to convert a CP into a marriage certificate.

    Don’t let up yet, David. Doing good has no end

    1. GulliverUK 24 Jul 2013, 8:34pm

      May be some Civil Servants need to be taken out and flogged a little :-p

      It does seem very, very frustratingly slow progress. And I refuse to give credit until the goods are delivered.

      All we have right now is a bunch of people congratulating themselves on something which is still in the post and hasn’t been delivered. In fact, I don’t even think it’s been dispatched yet.

      1. It went at warp speed in Westminster compared to the equal marriage Bill here in Scotland! We’ve only just begun the Parliamentary process after something like 21 months of consultions and drafting the Bill!

  11. The trouble is though that the politicians seem to have cut adrift certain groups – such as trans people – probably at least partly in an attempt to appease religious fundamentalist groups. History shows that politicians hardly ever do anything on moral grounds, it is usually through strategic necessity – through the requirements of political expediency in order to achieve their main goal which is to accrue political capital. They calculate that certain parts of the electorate are dispensable – like transsexuals and the Welsh, for instance – so they purposely deny us the right to freedom of gender identity expression; make a retrogressive clause to the so-called ‘equal’ marriage law like turning us into the property of our spouses who are given the power to deny us the legal human rights by allowing them to veto our applications for gender recognition certificates – or in the case of Wales, sell off our industry and leave us poverty-stricken.

    1. GulliverUK 24 Jul 2013, 8:40pm

      That just means the fight isn’t over – it’ll go on, and on, and on, and on, until everybody is included and everybody has equal rights, and all discrimination is eliminated.

      We also don’t know about pensions yet (survivor benefits). Those are totally discriminatory, and have been since 2005, and it’s high time they were sorted out — OR take the government to court. I prefer the latter myself — time for confrontation. That will settle it once and for all. We should not be begging the government for equal rights. Continue the ECHR court cases I say, and create more for the pensions inequality.

      So, no congratulations Prime Minister today — come back when you’ve actually achieved something. Until I see people getting married you’ve achieved nothing which changes our daily lives, and until people see us getting married you’ve change nothing in society.

    2. I think trans understanding lags behind sexuality understanding on all accounts and it’s simply a matter of playing “catch up” as usual for our trans friends regarding public institutions and attitudes

      I think people have a harder time understanding gender difference than sexuality difference because gender and sexuality are quite different, and trans and gender queer people are a lot rarer than your average “gay”.

      In that sense, cultures and laws will lag behind. But it’s all in due time!
      We need to make sure we do not forget out trans friends, ever!
      And we need to make sure we look out for our trans friends, because we owe a lot to them. They played a huge part in the stonewall riots, and have been dealt the short end of the stick time and time again.

      I say no more! No more transphobia in the hetero AND gay communites.
      Educate yourselfs and open your minds, do not fear or hate what you do not understand !

      Love Conquers Hate
      Always has, always will

  12. Although I don’t agree with his brand of politics, David Cameron has been a bit of a champion on this issue.

    1. has been a bit of a champion – classic British understatement. :-)

  13. Thank you David Cameron and all the fighters for bringing this great change :)

    But the UK is not the ‘best’ place to be gay. The truth is there is no good place to be gay. My ex bf, a wonderful gentle giant, was brutally attacked outside Liverpools main gay bar last year. And a policeman suffered the same fate a few weeks later.

    LGBT are still ridiculed and attacked everywhere we go and equal marraige is not going to change that, we still have a lot of work to do !

    Love Conquers Hate
    Always has, always will

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 24 Jul 2013, 9:05pm

      The UK confers far more personal rights and freedoms for gay people in Europe, confirmed by ILGO recently and only more so now by enactment of the Marriage Bill. Brutal, violent and fatal attacks against gay people have been committed in every single progressive country where there is equal marriage and doesn’t mean that we’re not the best place to be gay. We are!

      1. And it will be even better when every part of the UK allows same sex marriage. Some of us British citizens in Scotland (and NI too) still aren’t fully equal yet!

      2. But there is no “best”, that’s my point. It’s entirely down to personal experience. My time as a gay man in London, Montreal or Amsterdam could be a world apart from another gay man’s experience because it’s entirely down to luck. You don’t know who is going to be a homophobe until they’re spitting on you, or kicking you to the ground. This is because nobody has been educated by their schools or peers anywhere, & it’s been left entirely down to odd families and individuals to carve out acceptance and tolerance by their own means in their community

        There is no gauge, or scope, we can measure homophobia on. There is no “best” place to be gay. There are /better/ places to be gay. No-one would doubt you’re safer in Berlin than Russia as an LGBT, but you’re still not safe.

        It’s time the government took responsibility to educate people, and stamp out homophobia for good in schools, the workplace, the media, and government.

        Only THEN can Mr. Cameron say we’re the “best” place to be gay.

        1. Jan Bridget 25 Jul 2013, 2:56am

          Well said.

  14. Pavlos Prince of Greece 24 Jul 2013, 8:57pm

    For me David Cameron is first “gay” Prime Minister in the British history.

    1. GulliverUK 24 Jul 2013, 9:26pm

      I’m sure you meant “gay-friendly” ! :)

      1. Pavlos Prince of Greece 24 Jul 2013, 10:15pm

        First “gay-friendly” was John Major, I guess. David is first “gay” Prime Minister in the same way as Barack Obama is first “gay” President of United States: an important part in the process, where at the very last end, in not distant future, some indeed openly gay person will became British Prime Minister or American President (as victory of Obama 2008 maybe was impossible without Bill Clinton, first “black” President in the 90-es).

        1. gattagiudecca 24 Jul 2013, 10:38pm

          Why do you feel John Major was the first gay-friendly Prime Minister?

          1. Pavlos Prince of Greece 24 Jul 2013, 11:40pm

            The answer is very simple: after Queen Margareth every other Prime Minister can be only gay-friendly. And Mr Major in in favor of same-sex marriage. Not good enough ?

          2. But Major wasn’t gay-friendly during his time as PM, so I don’t know that he could be called a gay-friendly PM.

          3. gattagiudecca 25 Jul 2013, 9:42pm

            No. Not good enough.

            If you can give me a history of his pro-gay votes/policies/actions when he was an MP and a PM, you could still convince me!

            And I don’t understand what you are talking about with Queen Margareth

          4. (I think he means Mrs Thatcher.)

  15. I think it’s hilarious that Queen, not only head of state but also head of the Church of England, is signing this in.

    It’s great she’s doing it as head of state…. but funny she’s HAVING to do it as head of the church.

    It’s gold!

  16. GingerlyColors 25 Jul 2013, 1:54am

    The Conservatives bringing in marriage equality shows how far our society has advanced in only a relatively short time. Not long ago it was the Conservatives who opposed LGBT equality and introduced Section 28, but now most people don’t want to go down that road again.
    Britain’s experience in embracing LGBT life from the first tentative steps towards decriminalization in the mid 20th century through to marriage equality in the early 21st should be an example for other countries wishing to embark on their journeys towards tolerance.
    It has not been easy, there were setbacks such as the appearance of HIV/AIDS upon which our opponents capitalized, then of course the Local Government Act of 1988 which included the notorious Section 28 but it was those setbacks that helped galvanize our fight towards equality.
    Once marriage equality is extended throughout the UK there will be nothing left to fight for here in the UK but we can work towards LGBT equality globally.

    1. Jan Bridget 25 Jul 2013, 3:07am

      Oh, my, would that this was true. Legal equality (well nearly) is only the start. There is an awful lot more to do to get rid of homophobia. Perhaps you should volunteer to work in an LGBT youth group in the sticks/small town (in the very few places where there is one) to see what reality is like for a lot of young people?

      Is there no more racism? sexism?

    2. Compared to some countries, 15 other to be precise, we’re way behind. Even in America there are States that did this well before us! Our government, I think, felt pushed because we were so behind. And even now it’s legal we can’t marry, we have to wait a year. I don’t think ANY of the other 15 countries or any of the US States have had to this long before anyone could marry!!

  17. Michael Stevens 25 Jul 2013, 3:38am

    Well done for catching up to us here New Zealand :)

  18. i just hope when this law becomes valid, it will be free from any inequalities between gay and straight unions. otherwise the whole thing would have been pointless exercise and waste of time especially when civil partnerships were sufficient in terms of legality of gay relationships

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 25 Jul 2013, 12:30pm

      Like many who prefer CPs that are also unequal, you need to see the larger picture, i.e. portability and reciprocation of rights. There are now 16 countries with same-sex marriage, how many are there with CPs identical to ours? Not even Ireland’s is entirely equal to the UK model. There are inequalities for divorced heteros who happen to be Catholic since their church doesn’t allow them to have a religious ceremony, so they either have to seek a civil ceremony or find a non-catholic church willing to marry them.

  19. Lynne Featherstone deserved a mention.

  20. What about the Q (people who are queer by for example being non-monogamous)? Marriage is a conservative institution. Marriage is a way of drawing social distinctions by giving status to those who get married and so stigmatizing those who do not. The state should not recognise certain forms of relationship over others which is exactly what it does with marriage, encouraging certain forms of behaviour (monogamous couples) and discouraging others. Being able to choose how one lives one’s life (eg monogamous and coupled or not) without state interference is valuable. Of course having different-sex marriage and not same-sex marriage was one way of stigmatizing gay people. However, focussing on marriage is superficial in relation to the deeper problems of societal homophobia. Just look at the Netherlands to see how homophobia continues unabated more than a decade after the introduction of same-sex marriage (over 40% of Dutch people continue to find two men kissing in the street offensive).

  21. Interesting to note that the Out4Marriage campaign was thanked before Stonewall, especially as Stonewall, for reasons best known to themselves, didn’t want to join in supporting it. They belatedly insisted on their own separate “Say I do” campaign which wasn’t specifically mentioned in Cameron’s speech.

    By the way, I have it on extremely good authority that, privately, Stonewall did not consider the LobbyaLord website to be a good idea.

    Lastly – and for the future – it would be nice to see all like-minded activists join together in the common cause of equality.

  22. “Ben Summerskill and all those at Stonewall have done a fantastic job”

    Ooh, going so well before that part David.
    Stonewall only lobbied for equal marriage because they faced such a backlash when they first refused

  23. I think it’s fabulous news! BUT yet, unlike most countries, it’s going to be a YEAR before anyone of us can actually marry! Why?

    I will say I am a member of the LGBT Labour party and when I asked on twitter about this they said it was all the paper work, but they also agreed that one whole year seems over the top! And where unsure themselves why i’s going to take so damned long!!!

  24. Please do not speak for the transgender community because I as a post op female for many years do not concur that Britain is the best country in the world to be transgenered. Gay maybe, transgendered not, Not just based on my experience. I can already marry a person of the opposite sex but by law I now have to tell them of my past, which doesn’t seem fair on me and failure to do so could count as a criminal offence.

    Although not my real name, Transgendered people in Britain 75 per cent are unemployed pre and post op so what does that really say about Britain being the best place to be transgendered. It is not. I am currently bringing a legal challenge against a government department for failure to amend my original birth gender from their records when there is no longer a need to retain this information. Britain is probably one of the worst nations in Western Europe to be transgendered.

    Cameron like many gays doesn’t understand the difference between being gay and being transgender

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