“This is more of David Cameron trying to drag the Conservatives kicking and screaming into the modern world,” said Ben Bradshaw, a ranking Labor lawmaker who in 1997 became one of Britain’s first openly gay members of Parliament. “Of course, we’ll support it, but this is pure politics on their part. This isn’t a priority for the gay community, which already won equal rights” with civil partnerships. He added: “We’ve never needed the word ‘marriage,’ and all it’s done now is get a bunch of bishops hot under the collar. We’ve been pragmatic, not making the mistake they have in the U.S., where the gay lobby has banged on about marriage.”Today on Twitter he's defended these comments by stating that the fight for marriage equality is just semantics. With the interview he played into the hands of homophobes and then he made things worse when on Twitter he used one of their arguments! Marriage equality is not just semantics, but unfortunately Ben Bradshaw follows in the tradition of LGB Labour politicians of not really understanding the legislation they originally supported. Certainly he points out above his understanding that civil partnerships were a cheap ploy to give LGB folks rights without the need to fight with the religious over them. Compromising on freedom isn't really something I'm comfortable with but that's playing politics in a nutshell so he can't really complain when Cameron does it!
But on the uncomfortable nitty-gritty effects of civil partnerships on transgendered individuals he doesn't seem to have a clue. Civil partnerships certainly haven't given us equal rights for all, just a semblance of them. I won't go into too much detail here as we've got this article to refer to.
And I was a bit surprised to see Mr Bradshaw use the semantics argument for, unless I'm much mistaken, wasn't it he who got rather upset when someone referred to his civil partner as his "boyfriend"? Such a semantic problem, but words don't matter to Mr Bradshaw.
He's even gone on to use that old chestnut of "But isn't *insert issue here*
Ben Bradshaw might not think marriage equality is important, but he really needs to get with the programme, stop feeding the bigots quotes and start chipping in with LGBT activists for whom this is just one of many important issues they are working on. But that may be too much to ask given his record, and he doesn't really want to upset any Bishops after all!
If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist