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Scottish education minster: I support civil partnerships but not same-sex marriage

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  1. With ministerial responsibilities for Learning and Science, he should have no truck whatsoever with homophobic bigotry and should consider his position.

    If he’s really so in thrall to the religious nutters in the Western Isles, then he should just abstain. Voting against Equal Marriage shows an unforgivable lack of principles.

  2. bobbleobble 19 Nov 2013, 12:48pm

    Which traditional version would that be? The version where women were essentially chattels? The version where it was OK to rape your wife? The version where divorce was illegal? You don’t support the traditional version of marriage you have simply chosen to label a particular version of marriage as traditional.

    1. Beautifully said.

    2. This is a very VERY good point. Thanks.

  3. Robert in S. Kensington 19 Nov 2013, 12:48pm

    ‘Difficult issues’? Oh yes, no difficulty wanting to discriminate against gay people as long as they want to be treated as first class citizens. What’s so difficult about that? Oh yes, it’s religion isn’t it?. Bloody fool, has it not occurred to him that civil marriage isn’t traditional? No such thing in the book of fiction either.

    I’m sick and tired of these mealy mouthed politicians who say they vote according to the majority of their constituents. So by that deduction, can one assume they’d support a ban on divorce, interracial marriages and those of mixed faith or none wanted it? They vote to save their jobs first and foremost even if it means supporting bigotry. Cowards all. How can anyone respect that?

  4. who cares what you think anyway

  5. Just once I would like to see the question put to these imbeciles of what they think the “traditional” interpretation of marriage is!

    Christianity came to these islands after hundreds of thousands of years of Pagan and Celtic beliefs, where same sex partnering through marriage was common. So, why is a more recent definition by an invading religious cult considered “traditional”, while ignoring the previous traditions of the natives of these islands?

    He clearly hasn’t thought much about this, and is really saying nothing more than “I’m a Christian and I want my dictators to run the show”.

    1. I don’t know what the proof for same-sex marriages in pre-Christian Celtic/”pagan” cultures is (I thought they didn’t keep written records?), but the main point is that “tradition” in itself is not a good reason to hinder change or progress: as bobbleobble points out above, the “traditional” interpretation of marriage could just as easily argue that women should be the property of their husbands – and I seriously doubt this minister for Learning (!) and Science (!!) could or would do that.

    2. Frank Boulton 21 Nov 2013, 7:02am

      The trouble with anyone using “tradition” to assert their rights over others is that they always mean “my tradition” or “our tradition”. Other people’s traditions are automatically excluded.

      Mr. Allan said: “However, whatever happens, it is important that Scotland emerges from this debate as a place that respects all its citizens, whatever their beliefs or their sexuality may be, and I am confident that this is and will be the case.” Where is the equal respect for “all…citizens.” If people in the Western Isles can say whom we can and can’t marry then shouldn’t that be balanced by allowing LGBTI people the right to have a say in whom the people in the Western Isles can marry? We have a double standard here. He obviously thinks that some people have more right to their beliefs and traditions than others do.

    3. Absolutely agree but especially if the caveat of evidence as to our pre-Christian ancestors facilitating same-sex marriage style unions, at least some of the time in some places, as surely this sort of thing may go in and out of fashion across different times and places. I’ve been looking for evidence of same-sex marriage in ancient cultures other than North America or Africa (preferably Europe) – care to share your source?

  6. Helge Vladimir Tiller 19 Nov 2013, 1:21pm

    Yet another way of suppressing believers . I’m an ateist myself, but I sincerely wish that my religious gay, lesbian and transgender friends in Scotland ( personally I don’t know anyone— ), in a short time will be able to say YES to eachother ! The traditional way ! Goes for everyone else, too ! ( Norway )

    1. Thanks for your support, Helge! I’m sure it will pass in Scotland, despite bigots like Alasdair Allan. After all, 97 out of 128 (excluding the Presiding Officer) MSPs have pledged to support it. There are no excuses for any of those 97 not turning up to vote or abstaining after pledging to support it. Look what breaking the no tuition fees pledge did to the Lib Dems in Holyrood – and it was their Westminster colleagues at fault there!

  7. So he is making it public that he is against equality. He believes that certain of his fellow citizens are not worthy of equal treatment under the law. That’s it. Nothing more to be said about his view on this.

    1. Frank Boulton 21 Nov 2013, 7:09am

      We need to term for this sort of “equality”, so that our society can conceptualize it more easily. Why don’t we call it Orwellian equality. “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.” I won’t insult Mr. Allan by saying which animals were the most equal in Animal Farm.

  8. Another homophobe weaseling round in his bigotry

  9. Robert in S. Kensington 19 Nov 2013, 1:59pm

    Is it no wonder he’s a member of the Church of Scotland, need I say more?

  10. What a great way to cement your bigotry on paper for life!
    20 years from now: “Dad, why did you vote against equal marriage in 2013″?
    “I… uh…. well…….”

    Good luck with that one.

    1. We all make mistakes Mr Pink and we all do things which we later regret.

      Stop being so fatally serious.

      As to his future son or daughter turning out gay. Why would that pose a problem? Personally my dad is heavily involved in the anti-gay marriage movement while I openly support it and argue with him, but we get on fine. We are adults, which means understanding that not everybody thinks the same as ourselves and recognising that every person agrees and disagrees on at least one thing compared to every other person who ever existed.

  11. And since it’s a free vote, bigots like this man will be allowed to carry on in government despite voting against government policy. Normally, on every single other policy from health to justice to education, collective cabinet responsibility applies and they need to resign or are sacked if they can’t vote for government policy, no matter how small or unimportant the issue is. But on an important issue of equality, bigots are being given a get of jail free card. It’s disgusting.

  12. I wonder if the SNP’s official gay group, Out for independence, will publicy condemn Alasdair Allan’s views and urge the First Minister to remove a homophobic bigot like this from government.

    1. Ah. I think he is just expressing a dieing opinion and as such people wouldn’t be too concerned. In fact it’s good for the gay marriage side, support for whom is so high that it’s a foregone conclusion, but Alasdair Allan’s comments will appease his constituents. These changes happen in stages and some will cling to outdated inequalities more than others…but it’s important to appease…

      Anyhow, the outcry of dissent that would ensue if he was stripped of his position purely on the basis of how he is voting on gay marriage would cause more upheaval and discontent among the antis than there is at present. The soup is ready – just too hot to eat.

  13. A classic case of religiously-inspired bigotry. When will these braInwashed morons understand religion does not have a monopoly on loving relationships? This is about EQUALITY UNDER THE LAW. Religion has no more right to claim some sort of ownership of marriage than I do. Some people are not heterosexual but want their partnerships to be equally valid as yours. What the hell is so difficult to understand in that, you ignorant plonka?

  14. Dorian Gray 19 Nov 2013, 4:11pm

    Its so nice to read an very clear opinion, based on authentic experience, strong arguments and good style – no wonder that Mr. Allan is Minister for Learning, Sciences and Scottish Languages. Will he rest in the history as a most eloquent member in the current Scottish government ? The only free is he already now.

  15. I hope the Scottish vote him out and/or send him in for some training so that he isn’t a clueless representative making bad votes.

    1. He represents the Western Isles, an extremely religious part of Scotland. Both he and the Westminster MP for the same area (Angus McNeil of the SNP) have form in opposing gay equality and it hasn’t hurt them electorally. So both will probably be around in Scottish politics for years to come, sadly. The SNP are quite happy to put up with homophobes in the party and in government without saying or doing anything about it.

      Although the so called religious constituents of the Western Isles who’s consciences won’t allow them to support same sex marriage had no trouble overlooking Angus McNeil’s drunken one night stand with a couple of teenage girls just a few weeks before his wife gave birth, as he was re-elected after that story hit the headlines. So it proves it’s not about morals in general, or religious belief, it’s just about homophobia.

  16. Paul Brownsey 19 Nov 2013, 5:08pm

    I think it’s very likely that what is behind what he says is a fear on the part of the SNP of losing the Western Isles seat to Labour.

    1. So true. I couldn’t put it better myself. He’s covering his own back, and that of the party. It’s all about being self serving and to hell with treating people equally.

      1. He’s not the only Scottish minister expected to vote against their own party & governments policy on same sex marriage. It was reported in the newspapers today that Roseanna Cunningham has said she’ll vote against. She’s the minister who should have handled the same sex marriage legislation but refused to do so with no consequences. Fergus Ewing is also expected to vote against given his past views and actions on gay equality, including refusing (6 times)to deal with gay marriage in 2007-2011 despite being advised to do so by the relevant committee of the Scottish Parliament.

        I think a free vote is disgusting. Government ministers have to support government policy on every single other issue or they get the sack. When it comes to gay equality, homophobes are given carte blanche to do as they please and keep their plum jobs in government. It shows what the Scottish government really thinks of gay equality.

  17. Maybe he should be asked why he wants to change the traditional definition of the United Kingdom?

  18. Dorian Gray 19 Nov 2013, 6:03pm

    Nice to read an clear opinion, based on an authentic experience, strong arguments and good style – yes, Mr. Allan is an Minister for Learning, Sciences and Scottish Languages indeed. Will he rest in the history as the most eloquent minister in the current Scottish government ? The only independent is he already now.

  19. Dorian Gray 19 Nov 2013, 6:04pm

    Nice to read an clear opinion, based on an authentic experience and not hypothetical hysteria, strong arguments and good style – yes, Mr. Allan is an Minister for Learning, Sciences and Scottish Languages indeed. Will he rest in the history as the most eloquent minister in the current Scottish government ? The only independent is he already now.

  20. Voting for re-election rather than voting on the issue ??????

  21. As a Scot who suffered well over a decade of terrible homophobic bullying in the Scottish school system, and still bears the scars decades later, I’m ashamed and horrified that our government should have such a person in such a position.

    I can tolerate the argument that all opinions deserve representation. But there comes a point where ones beliefs disqualify one from certain positions. This seems a prime example.

    What message does it send to Scottish school children who, one hopes, are there to simply, objectively learn? Facts and decency. Not prejudice.

    Simple as that. I find this a tragic indictment: however the vote goes, the position of the Scottish education minster will be forever on record.

    I wonder how he will look 100 years from now.?

    But he should not be allowed to continue in this position today. Put him somewhere where his, and his “religious” constituents, can do less harm.

    1. He’s not the only one. There’s Roseanna Cunningham and Fergus Ewing as Scottish government ministers too. Cunningham, remember, gave a speech in the Scottish Parliament during a debate on adoption and extending adoption to gay couples, saying that gay people adopting “goes against 10,000 years of nature’s design.” Alex Salmond still saw fit to give her a ministerial job a couple of years later.

    2. Aw Graham, I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had the s**t at school. I also had to experience that s**t at a Scottish Catholic school. That is very raw for me too and my biggest driving force for equality – so that children are not brought up in abject misery because of who they are (and then condemned to a high risk of mental health issues throughout their life as a result of the abuse).

      I agree inasmuch that he is morally wrong here. But I am contented that marriage will happen and if it helps burn off the steam of bigots to allow them to fairly have their say (morally bankrupt and short-sighted as they may be), then I think it best we should allow them to say their piece, make their stake in the history of a dying way of thinking. The wheel has been turning in our favour and it would take an impossible effort to have it change course.

      One needs to be careful how one effects democracy (must play by rules and laws) but also recognise where battles are already effectively won.

    3. The guy won’t last forever and as the clock ticks the discontent over gay marriage will fall into oblivion as it has in Canada, Netherlands etc, to the point where no sane person could take it seriously.

      I think I am wondering out loud really if it’s better allowing things to change as John Major put it, quite slowly, because you don’t want huge dissent. Equality has been a series of stages, unfortunately there are people who fight against it at every turn.

      I don’t mean to be patronising I’m really just thinking out loud here. I essentially agree that no homophobes should be allowed any influence in schools, as I experiences just a decade ago from one Maths and one RE ‘teacher’, the RE p***k now having a senior role as a rector (rectum).

  22. Hasn’t this guy heard of the idea that elected politicians shouldn’t just pander to their constituents’ prejudices, but actually give a lead to society?
    As others have said, he’s really just running scared of a religious vote which has no right to determine the civil law under which we all have to live. Pathetic.

  23. I hold the view that if Alasdair Allen’s aunt had balls then she’d be his uncle, I also believe that my view deserves to be recorded.

  24. MSP Alasdair Allan said: “Since the issue of same-sex marriage was first raised, hundreds of people in the islands have been in touch with me, the overwhelming majority of whom have expressed views in favour of continuing a traditional definition of marriage.”

    Is that because if marriage equality is introduced and same sex couples are allowed to marry then opposite sex couples will no longer be allowed to marry?

    1. Of course not; it’s because so many of us gays want to get married in picturesque Hebridean remotery.

      Stornoway is the new Brighton.

  25. ‘Na h-Eileanan an Iar’ is not “IN” the Western Isles. It IS the Western Isles!

    To be fair if any MSP was going to be against same sex marriage one would expect that the representative of the most traditional heartland of strict Christianity in the country, which is na hEileanan Siar, would produce the most concentrated protest. Beautiful islands and people but not very surprising that their MSP is cold to the idea.

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