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Nick Clegg is ‘sad and disappointed’ ex-Stonewall boss Ben Summerskill is trying to divide LGBT community

  • Robert W. Pierce

    Holding my breath that Ben Summerskill will retract his statement. Long wait I think.

  • Jesus_Mohammed

    Even IF Evan Harris HAD said “This [LibDem support of Same Sex Marriage] is great because it puts clear blue water between us and the Tories” (and Evan Harris says he never said this), the expression does not necessarily indicate that the LibDems supported SSM purely for political reasons. I would interpret such a statement as meaning that the LibDems genuinely supported SSM AND that they were happy they had decided to support it because it also had the potential of emphasizing the differences between the LibDems and the Tories.

    • Not Telling

      Absolutely this.

      I’m not a fan of the Lib Dems for going into bed with the Conservatives, but they have always been ardent supporters of gay rights. Even if one person said this: 1. It doesn’t mean it’s the position of the party. 2. It doesn’t mean that the person who said it doesn’t support gay rights anyway.

  • JackAlison

    you know wot? Ben Summerskil needs 2b b*tch slapped and shut the f*ck up! if hes resigned from stonewall. celebrity deprivation syndrome. benny boi RETIRE!

    • Silly Old Bastard

      You’re such an angry man, and your thuggishness is far from attractive.

      • JackAlison

        ur school maam commentry as a self appointed moderator also is wanting. DONT GIVE UP UR DAY JOB!

  • Brendan Mahon

    The only reason the Lib Dems didn’t put same sex marriage in their manifesto was because DELGA, their LGBT section, only had limited time at their party conference, and chose to prioritise LGBT asylum over marriage, because guess what, people are being *killed* in other countries for being LGBT.

    And all this after Stonewall opposed same sex marriage for years. We shouldn’t even give Summerskill the time of day anymore.

  • Pet

    And there we go, attacking our allies. Wasn’t Stonewall against everything? Personally I’m more than happy to see that people were/are on our side because this is the right thing to do at the right moment. If they get some political gains, still better because that means things ARE changing.

  • Clay Poupart

    For argument’s sake, let’s say the LDs were just being “opportunistic:” WHO CARES? I don’t give a damn why someone does the right thing, so long as it gets done. People like Summerskill would rather have purity than victory. Well, screw him. People can’t live off purity.

  • Silly Old Bastard

    Clegg was very brave to put SSM on the Lib-dem manifesto in 2010.

    Well, he would have been, but we’ll forget that because now he wants the
    praise rightly due to come to him for his part.

    That’s politicians for you.

  • Robert Brown

    We all know that Stonewall were completely against the LibDems and same-sex marriage saying it would cost us too much.
    We all know that Stonewall championed against the LibDems when they advocated equal marriage.
    We all know that Stonewall only followed suit AFTER the Conservatives and Labour decided to jump on the equal marriage bandwagon and try and claim it for themselves.
    Remember that Labour had THIRTEEN YEARS to inact equal marriage and didn’t.

    • johnflondon

      …..and remember that it was Labour votes that helped deliver Same Sex Marriage. The Tories were in complete disarray.
      ….and remember that Same Sex Marriage had to be delivered in two stages. First with Civil Partnerships and then when the dust had settled with SSM.

      • Stephen_Glenn

        Actually John that isn’t quite true:

        For the Second Reading, 217 Labour MPs voted for the Bill, and 22 against. It passed by 395 to 170. If no Labour MPs had voted for (but 22 against), it would have passed by 178 to 170.

        For the Third Reading, 194 Labour MPs voted for the Bill, and 14
        against. It passed by 359 to 154. If no Labour MPs had voted for (but 14 against), it would have passed by 165 to 154.

        In the Lords, the Dear Amendment to wreck the passage was supported by 16 Labour Peers, and opposed by 160. It was defeated by 390 to 148. If no Labour Peers had voted against (but 16 for), it would have passed by 230 to 148.

        So while the Labour votes for of course were welcome all they did was help to deliver an even bigger majority.

        • Jeremy Wright

          Stephen, this is just claptrap. I have been through this on another thread yesterday and we had backtracking from the Lib Dems yesterday. He went through and misinterpreted the same numbers, what you are saying is a nonsense because 565 members voted so we needed 283 at second reading and 267 at third reading to get it through and the Tories and the Lib Dems could get nowhere near close. It is plainly preposterous to suggest that the party delivering the most votes is the least responsible as you do, it required courage on the part of David Cameron and he pulled together with Labour to get it through in spite of the majority of his MPs not backing it. The Lib Dems were neither here nor there, if he couldn’t rely on Labour support he couldn’t do it the maths bare it out.

  • rapture

    Stonewall needs to distance itself from summerskill’s ridiculous comments and apologise to the gay community for getting it very wrong in their slow , meagre support for equality for lgbt on ssm.
    But, i’m doubtful that will occur as just very recently stonewall had lauded the controversial, reknowned for homophobia Newham college for lgbt inclusivity in one of it’s meaningless lists.

  • Jeremy Wright

    This synthetic Lib Dem rage is wearing a little thin now, given that their votes weren’t needed for it to pass. If they had pushed for an amendment that actually redefined marriage to between two people rather than an additional category of same sex marriage then maybe their warbling might be merited, but not now, they weren’t needed then and they aren’t needed by the British people. Good riddance.

    • Stephen_Glenn

      Jeremy without the Lib Dems there wouldn’t even have been a vote on it. Do you seriously think that a Conservative only Government would have put this to the floor in a vote? As for Labour they decided that Civil Partnerships were enough before the Lib Dems started to talk about equal marriage (and that talk was before the general election even if the policy wasn’t formally adopted UK-wide until after).

      Indeed at both the hustings I faced in a Scottish Westminster seat in 2010 the question was asked “do the candidates support equal marriage”. I was the only one to say not only did I support it but had helped to make it Lib Dem policy in Scotland and was looking forward to making it so across the UK the earliest opportunity (something that was acheived).

      However, this is a victory for all the parties and that includes the SNP in Scotland. The only problem we have in the UK is that not a single DUP representative on only a few (two now ex) UUP members have voted in favour so Northern Ireland is lagging.

      • Jeremy Wright

        I’d love to get hold of what you Liberals are drinking. They only have 5 MSPs in all of Scotland, real power-brokers they are! I think the Conservatives may well have done, the intake of 2010 were much more receptive than those in 2005. However, I have pointed out what we haven’t got isn’t equal marriage but an additional category of marriage it is not the same it is a step forward but it is a cop out. There are better issues to try and credit grab on than this, welcome though it may be.

        • George Potter

          The Lib Dems have 11 MPs from Scotland making the Scottish Liberal Democrats the second largest contingent from Scotland in Westminster.

  • Colin

    This is all old history and children squabbling over what indeed….. Move on please. There is still much to do. Get a focus.

  • Charles London SW17

    Resigned (at last), and now, we finally get to see the reality of Mr Summerskill, who for many years sat behind the warm media glow of his position at Stonewall. Stonewall finally has a chance to be more representative, more inclusive and more balanced. Mr Summerskill doesn’t represent me or my views (although has taken the liberty for years as being the “political voice” for the LGB community. Stonewall became predatory within the LGBT sector and I’m pleased he has moved on. Many of the staff at Stonewall have, do and continue to do a brilliant job and they now have a chance, working in partnership with other groups to grow a proper consortium and partnership across the LGB and T sectors for positive change on a robust evidence base. Unless Mr Summerskill wants to become a politician and nail his colours to a specific party – he no longer has the right “to speak in my name” – and should keep his opinions to himself and if he wants attention try to find a job in the creative sector (having had years of practice at Stonewall).

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