Tag Archives: gay equality

Is this the most biased opinion poll question ever asked?

The Coalition for Marriage was launched last week. And as many groups do to try and drum up some publicity announce themselves to the world, they commissioned an opinion poll of public attitudes to equal marriage.

Which is fair enough. But then, it appears, a thought struck them. The UK is, by and large, a tolerant nation, with the vast majority now accepting of gay and lesbian relationships being respected and recognised. So… how to pose an opinion poll question that could produce the result they wanted?

Thankfully, ComRes (a member of the British Polling Council) did them proud. You can read …

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Lords Rennard, Carlile, and Lester, with Lynne Featherstone, defend rules on religious civil partnerships

The House of Lords yesterday dismissed fears surrounding new regulations allowing religious institutions to celebrate same-sex civil partnerships on their premises. Some campaigners hard argued that such rules could force them to do so against their will, an argument that was laid to rest by Peers. In doing so, they gave the green light to liberal religious organisations to allow same-sex couples to register their civil partnerships under their auspices.

The Lords debated Conservative Peer Lady O’Cathain’s motion to have new regulations on civil partnerships delayed because of fears that equality campaigners could use the Equality Act 2010 or the Human …

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Government takes another step towards equal civil marriage

Ahead of the keynote conference speech from Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone on Saturday afternoon, the Government has announced another step towards making civil marriage available to same-sex couples.

A public consultation on how best to do this will start in March next year, with a strong hint of legislation then following in this Parliament: “I am delighted to confirm that in March, this Government will begin a formal consultation on equal civil marriage for same-sex couples. This would allow us to make any legislative changes before the end of this Parliament” said Lynne Featherstone.

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Mike Hancock welcomes Ugandan gay deportation case deferral

Richard Flowers reported here on Lib Dem Voice last week Lib Dem MP Mike Hancock’s grave concerns for a Portsmouth constituent facing deportation back to Uganda — Robert Segwanyi is gay, and argues he was imprisoned and tortured in his home country, where homosexuality is illegal. (Michael Andrewes, Mr Hancock’s constituency researcher offered further background in the Voice’s comments thread here.)

For those who supported Mr Hancock’s campaign on behalf of Mr Segwanyi there is some welcome news courtesy of the BBC website:

‘Gay’ Ugandan asylum seeker’s deportation deferred

A Ugandan man living in Portsmouth who says he will be

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Video: Lynne Featherstone on International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

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Ed Fordham writes: Oooh… equal everyone – surely not?

Filling out a form the other day the options were single, married, divorced, civil partnerships – so I didn’t complete that question.

No other, no long-term relationship – so it clearly didn’t apply to me… I tried explaining this to the person at the desk and they were positively un-interested. But yet again it irritated me.

Surely I’m not the only person who because I can’t marry (and therefore can’t divorce!), who hasn’t had a civil partnership, but considers themselves to be in a long term relationship?

Cue Equality Minister, Lynne Featherstone and the influence of the Liberal Democrats in the Government.

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Yet another reason why gay voters are deserting the Tories for the Lib Dems

The Tories seem to be doing their best to lose the vote of gay people. Last month it was shadow Tory home secretary Chris Grayling who landed himself and his party in trouble by defending the rights of bed-and-breakfast owners to discriminate against gay couples. Then the party’s shadow defence minister Julian Lewis alleged that equalising the age of consent had increased the risk of HIV infection.

And now the Tories have had to suspend one of their would-be MPs for describing gay people as “not normal”. The BBC reports:

Tory election candidate Philip Lardner has been suspended for describing gay people on his website as “not normal”, the party has confirmed. … The primary school teacher’s name will remain on ballot papers because it is too late to remove his nomination. He will still be listed as a Conservative candidate, although a party spokeswoman said they had made clear they no longer supported him. Mr Lardner had been reinstated to the party in 2008 after a previous suspension over claims he made racist comments by portraying former leader of white-rule Rhodesia, Ian Smith, as a hero. On that occasion, Mr Lardner did not deny making the comments but suggested they had been taken out of context.

His latest suspension was provoked by comments in the “What I believe in” section of his website, under the sub-heading: “Homosexuality is not ‘normal behaviour’.” The former Territorial Army soldier wrote of his support for the controversial “clause 28”, which was introduced by the Conservatives under Margaret Thatcher and banned public bodies from promoting homosexuality.

This latest example of backwards Tory thinking perhaps helps explain the collapse in the party’s support among gay voters, with the Lib Dems the overwhelming choice of 58%. Pink News reports:

A group of 911 LGBT people, weighted demographically and geographically have been informing PinkNews.co.uk of their voting intentions since March 2010 as well as their votes in the 2005 general election. Support for the Conservative Party has fallen from 17% in 2005 to 9% today. Labour support has dropped from 29% in 2005 and in the 2009 poll to 21% today. Liberal Democrat support has increased from 20% to 58%. The Green Party have dropped from 10% in 2005 to 8% today.

Oh, and here’s another reason why gay voters might doubt the resolve of the Tory party in advancing gay equality – here’s a stumbling and mumbling David Cameron defending his party’s record in an interview for Gay Times recently:

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Cameron filmed confused and clueless in gay equality TV interview

Channel 4 tonight broadcast excerpts from a quite extraordinary filmed interview with David Cameron in which the Tory leader appears utterly confused and clueless about his party’s position on the issue of gay equality. After stumbling over his own words, contradicting himself, and admitting he hasn’t got the answer, a visibly flustered Mr Cameron eventually pleads for the cameras to be turned off so that he can compose himself.

Here’s the six-minute report in full:


(Also available on the Channel 4 website here).

That Mr Cameron has run into trouble on the issue of gay equality is wholly predictable. (That he went into meltdown in front of the TV cameras a little less predictable). Lib Dem Voice has on three occasions this year highlighted the many contradictions between what Mr Cameron says his party believes, and how the Tory party votes:

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