Thursday, 18 October 2012

Ostrich MP for Bournemouth on Marriage Equality

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Everyone has the right to their own opinion. That is why I don't object to politicians saying they are not in favour of equal marriage (at least you know where they stand) or say they see no need for it (there is room to show them there is a need).

I do not even mind when the politician who says such things is LGB. Not everyone who is gay wants to get married anymore than everyone who is straight. Indeed someone like Rupert Everett clearly dispises the who institution.

What I do not have time for though is politicians who say that the reason they do not support equal marriage is because there is no clamour or demand for it. That is clearly not the case or else the churches wouldn't be so strongly on the offensive to try and coral those Christian soldiers that they can in the defense of 'traditional marriage'.

Therefore I am bemused and upset when a gay politician says:

"I marvel at why we’re bringing this forward; there is no clamour for this at all within the gay community."*

I see no clamour for marriage equality - Conor Burns MP
That politician is the Ulster-born Conservative MP for Bournemouth West, Alderney and Branksome East Conor Burns.

Now I know that being an MP is a busy task and Mr Burns may not be spending a great deal of time out clubbing in the gay clubs in Bournemouth in his constituency, or the ones near this weekday office in London. But surely he can be abreast of the call from his own party's LGBTory group.

This morning on their website their lead story is  Why lobbying our MPs on equal marriage is absolutely vital. Ouch! Rather embarressing for an MP saying that there is no clamour for equal marriage within the gay [sic] community when his own party LGBT group are saying this is vital stating:
"It is vital that we speak out, because otherwise, those who would rather lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans people did not exist, or those who believe that a particular religious definition of marriage is the only one, could well, in their minority, see a great victory, regardless of whether they achieve their ultimate aim of defeating these legislative proposals."

Clearly Mr Burns needs to heed that message from those within his own party.

No maybe as he was talking to a Northern Irish paper he was meaning there was no clamour in the LGBT community here for equal marriage. Strange then that on the day it was debated in Stormont (1 October) I didn't spot Mr Burns at the front of Parliament buildings when campaigners for Equal Marriage including many from the gay community were demonstrating in favour of the motion up for debate. Joined by MLAs from the Green Party, Sinn Féin, Alliance, SDLP and UUP to talk about why they were supporting it. Nor was he in the public gallery during the debate when there were many from the LGBT community there to listen to the MLAs debate the issue below them.

It can hardly be called no clamour when we were present on the steps and in the public gallery for the first debate on a home grown motion on LGBT issues.

So maybe the Ostrich representing Bournemouth West, Alderney and Branksome East should take his head out of the sand. See and here what the LGBT community even within his own party are saying on the issue of marriage equality realise that there is a demand for it and just be honest saying that he is not in support for his own personal reasons.


* For the record, the full quote from Mr Burns on the introduction of legislation on equal civil marriage is:

"I marvel at why we're bringing this forward; there is no clamour for this at all within the gay community.

"I'm very concerned – and I'm going to need some serious convincing about this – that while the Human Rights Act remains in place we cannot give the guarantees that I would want to see that churches would not ultimately be forced under human rights legislation to conduct such ceremonies.

"I would want, if this bill becomes law, cast iron guarantees that any religious organisation who on religious grounds object to it would not ultimately be compelled to do that.

"And at the moment, given that the Prime Minister came to the House of Commons and said it made him feel physically sick that prisoners would get the vote but there was nothing he could do about it because of that law, that law’s still in place.

"So how can we have those guarantees? Until those guarantees are in place, I have massive reservations."

Yeah I could have said so much about the fact that people who have done nothing wrong apart from fall in love with someone of the same gender are being compared to prisoners by Mr Burns but there is enough in how he starts out on this line of thought to be going on with.

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