Monday, 19 September 2011

On Marriage Equality, Labour Is Still Following Rather Than Leading

After failing to even discuss marriage equality during their 13 years of power (and then playing catch up during last year's summer of marriage equality movement), Labour still don't appear to have learnt their lesson

Yvette Cooper says "“We have called for and support same-sex marriage and we welcome this shift in government policy." 

Hmm... when has Labour (as a party) called for it Yvette? It's still not even party policy. You may support the Government's recent announcement but did you really call for it?  

Yvette Cooper's, and thus I assume Labour's, issue with the announcement is not the fundamental flaws. Instead they just moan about how unreliable the Government is. Given the rather rapid progress we've made on issues such as LGBT asylum seekers and relaxing the blood donation ban under the Coalition, what nerve she has to cast doubt on this Government's commitment. 

My issue has never been the Governments commitment but instead with just what it is committed to. Labour have once again failed to grasp the opportunity to wound (or woe) the LGBT rights supporters in the Coalition by pointing out the flaws and declaring their support for a more sensible expansive reform of marriage law. 

Instead they just appear to be political point-scoring. And not even managing that particularly well. Who is advising Yvette Cooper on LGBT issues? Labour doesn't lead on LGBT issues any more, nor do they even seek to compare themselves to more "progressive" parties such as the Lib Dems or the Greens but instead they ape whatever half-baked compromise the Coalition proposes! 

Come on Labour. Even LGBT Labour's press release is a damp squib. Where's your vision? Your leadership? Are you really just going to moan from the sidelines as always? 

I've been deeply disappointed with Labour's LGBT record ever since they settled for civil partnerships and they aren't doing anything to make me feel confident they would do any better if we gave them another chance.

Thankfully we have our own champions leading on this, our ever present defender Peter Tatchell. At least he sees the real issues. 

If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist

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