Ed Miliband: I would still love my children ‘unconditionally’ if they were transgender
Labour leader Ed Miliband has told PinkNews that he would “do his best” to support his children, if either of them came out as transgender.
The politician was responding to a question in a Q&A session with PinkNews readers – in which he also revealed that he has already attended a same-sex wedding, and that Labour supports the legal recognition of humanist weddings in England and Wales.
Dr Anthony James had asked Mr Miliband: “If one of your sons, Daniel or Samuel, was to identify as a gender different to that they were assigned at birth, how would you feel and how would you act? Would there be a difference between the two?”
Mr Miliband responded that he would love his children “unconditionally” if they revealed that they wanted to change their gender.
He told PinkNews: “I love my sons unconditionally – and I would do my best to be as supportive as possible.”
Mr Miliband is at odds with his own voters on the issue – just 30 percent of those who plan to vote Labour in May said they would be happy with a trans child, while 38 percent said they would be unhappy.
In a separate answer, Mr Miliband said a Labour Government would look into legal recognition of humanist weddings for England and Wales.
Answering a PinkNews reader, he said: “There was widespread support for humanist marriage across Parliament during the passage of Equal Marriage and across the country, including from Labour.
“We still support the legal recognition of humanist marriages and we’ll review the law for those who wish to marry with a humanist celebration.”
Humanist weddings are currently only legally recognised in Scotland.
An amendment to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act for England and Wales which would have legalised humanist was withdrawn during its Third Reading amid concerns that it would open up marriage to Pagan and Jedi ceremonies.
When asked whether he would attend a same-sex wedding, Mr Miliband revealed that he already has already attended a ceremony for a couple converting their civil partnership – and said he’d be open to more invitations in future.
He told PinkNews: “I went to the wedding party of my friends Ray Collins (Baron Collins of Highbury) and his partner Rafael just before Christmas.
“They were converting their civil partnership into a full marriage. It was a great bash and I’d love to be invited to something similar soon.”
Nicola Sturgeon has previously attended a same-sex wedding, but Nick Clegg, David Cameron and Nigel Farage are yet to publicly do so.
However, he did not back an outright ban on ‘gay cure’ therapy, when asked about the practice by Telegraph boss Lord Black of Brentwood.
He told PinkNews: “Being LGBT is not an illness and it should never be treated as something which should be ‘curable’.
“We oppose the use of ‘conversion’ or ‘cure’ therapies and under Labour public money will never be spent on them.”
Mr Miliband also did not support a suggestion to withdraw aid from countries with anti-gay laws – saying the money should be instead channeled to activists in those countries, and away from governments.
He said: “Labour will do its utmost to place overseas aid directly to groups that are meeting the needs of LGBT communities and human rights activists, rather than governments.
“It’s true that we don’t see eye to eye with some of Britain’s allies in every regard, but we believe engagement with governments on human rights is the best means of bringing change, gradual though it may be.
“We can work at this through our prominent role in multilateral institutions such as the UN, and through our own bilateral relationships. A Labour Government will always advocate for LGBT rights to be upheld by other governments.”
His Q&A session came as Labour launched their LGBT manifesto, at an event in Brighton.
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The manifesto outlined the party’s pledges to reform asylum laws, to strengthen hate crime laws and to review the gender recognition process.
At the event, Labour’s Shadow Leader of the Commons told PinkNews that the current procedures for LGBT asylum seekers were “daft”.
Click here to read Nick Clegg’s PinkNews Q&A. Q&As from David Cameron, Natalie Bennett, Nicola Sturgeon and Nigel Farage will be published soon.