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Ed Miliband: ‘Young people led the fight for gay marriage and we should give the vote to 16-year-olds’

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  1. That There Other David 24 Sep 2013, 4:16pm

    Young people did not lead this “fight”. It’s been going on for decades, and a lot of those that got involved at various stages are now well into middle age.

    I fully agree that we should have more women MPs, but to attribute the advancements of LGBT rights to under 18s as if the whole campaign has only just appeared is downright dishonest.

  2. Most under young gay men that I know, don’t give a fiddlers about gay rights and seem the think that there is nothing left to fight for!

    I know that this is not applicable to all young LGBT folk, but I am just speaking from personal experience of those that I know.

    1. Yes, I’m afraid Miliband is sadly mistaken about this. In fact marriage equality was one of the topics chosen for debate at the UK Youth Parliament in the House of Commons last year. There is a vote after the debate which decides the subject they should campaign for during the year. Out of the six debates, marriage equality received the least votes and came in LAST place.

      By and large equality is, unfortunately, a low priority amongst young people.

  3. This is just a gimmick. The 16 and 17 year olds he is talking about will be 18+ come the next election but I guess he thinks he will win them over because he has said this.

    Ed you are a git.

    And I agree with what you said above TTO David.

    1. Also agree with you D. McCabe.

  4. I’m sure many of today’s young people DID add weight to campaigns which were begun by older people years ago. But I think what’s really made a difference to attitudes in many Western countries is the demise of organised religion, which has held back progress, in every conceivable way for centuries. Look at present day Russia. Putin’s anti-gay campaign is religiously-inspired.

    1. FreedomMatters 24 Sep 2013, 5:17pm

      Try to read a little history before commenting. Homosexuality was illegal in the Atheist Soviet Union until the fall of Communism. It was legalised in Catholic Poland in the early 1930′s. It was illegal until recently in Communist and Atheist China where organised religion has never been of significance. Religion was not the only or indeed the major impetus behind anti Gay laws

      1. Not sure why this comment has had net negative responses. Seems like a lucid and interesting point.

  5. I agree that 16 year olds should have the vote, but not for the reasons stated. His idea that youngsters led the equal marriage fight is curious. It’s not how I remember it

    That aside – if 16 year old is good enough to pay taxes, then he is good enough to vote.

    1. 16 year old’s don’t pay tax unless things have changed since when I was 16?

      1. Surely if they’re earning enough money to be paying tax then they pay tax. In any case, virtually everyone is a taxpayer through VAT.

  6. E. Carpenter 24 Sep 2013, 4:40pm

    I remember me and my friends at 16 – and we would not have been good voters. We were way too susceptible to demagoguery and deceit by cynical older people who just wanted to manipulate us.

    Human brains continue developing until the early twenties. The stage they go through around 17 is a major re-orienting of how humans process interactions with other people and how they figure out what other people are experiencing. Before they go through those changes, they are physically much less capable of understanding other people’s experience, and not yet capable of voting as adults.

    1. Way too susceptible to demagoguery and deceit? Sorry, but that applies to the vast majority of the British public aged 18+ too. Look at what surveys show people think about how much is spent on benefits for example. People just swallow endlessly repeated right-wing tabloid lies as truth, to the extent that British liberals have for many years been actively courting such ideas rather than challenging them.

      16 and 17 year-olds are better placed to vote on school policies than most adults (unlike most 40 year-olds, they actually see for themselves what goes on inside classrooms), and harnessing the potential voting power of Britain’s teenage ethnic minorities could be key to helping transform policing. I can see no sensible reason they should have to wait until they’re 18 for that chance. Giving them the power to vote would mean that politicians might have to start engaging with them rather than leaving them and their rights as afterthoughts.

  7. That is bit of an ageist comment. Men and women of all ages fought for the right of same sex marriage not just a selected banded few.

    On the vote well if you are old enough too be able to join the forces then they should be old enough for the electoral role. Although am unsure a lot would vote any way, some will but I thin there would be quite who would not.

  8. Under 30s vote with their hearts, over 30s vote with their heads.

    Labour know this and will gain lots of new voters if this goes though.

    The young would be blinded by all the free giveaways without thinking about the implications.

    1. “The young would be blinded by all the free giveaways without thinking about the implications.”

      I wonder if there’s any demographic for which you couldn’t make the same broad brush strokes?

  9. He wants 16 and 17 year olds to have the vote because they are more likely to vote for him.

    He is so insubstantial, I can’t vote for him. Would be like turning over the country to a students union.

    1. My problem is that they’ve deliberately depoliticized my generation to the point where they don’t know the difference between “left wing” or “right wing” and see politics as boring and unimportant and aren’t taught about it in schools at all. (they say they don’t want to influence politics in kids but that’s a load of bollocks, you can still teach them about it without being biased)

      Then they say they’re going to start fining young people for not voting too! How can you deliberately teach them nothing about politics and then fine them for not voting?! Very fishy

    2. And the Tories don’t want 16 and 17 year-old to have the vote for the same reason. I don’t see what that has to do with the substance of the matter.

  10. As a 22 year old I am wondering what I really did to contribute except the usual petitions and what not? Pretty sure it was the 30+ crowd who really got the ball rolling.

    Unfortunately most of the gay people from my generation don’t care about gay rights and pretty much try to be as least “gay” as possible in their desperate need to be accepted by the “cool kids”

    In fact, most of the gay people I know don’t even know what Stonewall is….

    1. Stonewall.. that’s what they use to stop people from climbing all over Stonehenge, right?

      bah, druids.. that’s so gay.

      (obviously, joking)

    2. Thank you for the recognition Mr. Pink at least you realise that I and countless other LGBT people haven’t been sitting on our backsides for the last bunch ‘f decades.

      Quite agree that even if they know the word Stonewall they would think it s the London organisation and not know from whence it stemmed. I hope you can bring your knowledge of the history to a new generation.

      Boyfie Age 51 and 49 weeks

      1. Thank you Boyfie and I much love and respect to you and all the older folk who have paved the way and made life easier for me, quite frankly I owe you nothing less than my life!

        It’s true; they think stonewall is just a charity organization; they have no idea about the riots or anything like that. I’m doing my best to educate my generation about LGBT history and also doing my best to make them realize the fight is far from over and they have a DUTY to be fighting along side me!!! No more “keep your head down and get on with it” – we need fighters !

  11. Hmm, if I’m honest I’m not convinced by many of the policies he’s come out with at this conference. Most of it sounds like fools gold – pretty from afar but worthless upon closer inspection.
    - I suppose we’ve got a year till elections though so there’s still time for him to turn it around.

    1. To be honest am not convinced about any of the policies of this current government and certainly not anything been produced by the conservatives which is completely nasty……..

  12. Robert in S. Kensington 24 Sep 2013, 5:35pm

    Well, I daresay younger people did play a role but Labour didn’t exactly lead on equal marriage and the Tories certainly wouldn’t have either had it not been for the Liberal Democrats under Nick Clegg to endorse it as official party policy. Miliband was the last of the three to support it. Yes, without Labour votes it wouldn’t have passed but to ascribe its success to the younger generation just isn’t accurate. Peter Tatchell had advocated for it during the early 90s long before The Netherlands became the first country to legalise it.

  13. I agree that 16 year olds should be allowed to vote.

    But FAR more important than that is the abolition of the unelected House of Lords and a proper separation of church and state.

    1. You forgot to mention the monarchy sister.

  14. Dead Millipede is simply trying to give his ludicrous suggestion, designed only to boost his chances of winning an election, a cloak of moral respectability. It’s a cheap, tawdry trick to attach gay rights to lowering the the voting age. A desperate ploy from a pathetic little man.

  15. Christopher in Canada 25 Sep 2013, 2:28am

    You’re old enough to kill, but not for votin’
    You don’t believe in war, but what’s that gun you’re totin’
    And even the Jordan River has bodies floatin’…

  16. Jock S. Trap 25 Sep 2013, 10:04am

    Deluded and inaccurate as per usual.

    I cannot and will Never vote for this man.

  17. Godric Godricson 25 Sep 2013, 10:16am

    He’s just following the Scottish example to be used in the Referendum 2014. Poor Copt cat!

  18. Colin (London) 25 Sep 2013, 11:04am

    What a load of rubbish Mr Miliband. You must be so desperate.

    The young gay people I know including my niece and her friends wondered what all the fuss was about. It’s too early for them and does not affaect the way they live at the moment.

    I thank the older, the politicians etc who gave us Marriage and standing outside Parliament fighting for it and writing letters, being in Trafalgar Square with my big pink flag etc. fantastic. I so love this country.

    Please do not give 16 and 17 year old the vote. They are too young and have no idea about life in reality. They regurgitate the beliefs of their parents, teachers. They have little life experience. Another cheap political trick especially after the Syria vote one. (Shocking) We all see what you are doing playing the numbers game.

    Short term giveaways are a massive mistake. Ordinary people in this country want jobs for their kids, decent low priced housing, british made goods. TV that educates and inspires young people to a

    1. Colin (london) 25 Sep 2013, 11:09am

      get skills and the joys of work. Everything is dumbed down. Show youngsters a path through life, what they will face. Not crap TV, XFactor, BIG Brother, men and women’s magazines that promotes jealousy greed and comparing yourself to others, that money is the be all and end all. etc.

      Yes face up to unions but help them change and become relevant. They live in the past and the UK suffers just as bad as greedy employers. Other countries are doing it…learn from them.

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