Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Nick Clegg’s Equal Marriage Celebration

Posted by jonathanfryer on Wednesday, 12th September, 2012

The right-wing media and a few Tory rent-a-gobs such as Peter Bone, MP, have got themselves into quite a lather over the past 24 hours because of Nick Clegg’s alleged description of opponents to Equal Marriage as ‘bigots’. The fact that he actually did not use that term (it was in an unfortunately unverified pre-release email, until spotted and removed) and indeed would never have used that term in this context has not stopped the bile from pouring out from those self-appointed defenders of the ‘sanctity’ of marriage. The hint of scandal — or if not scandal, gaffe — meant there were TV cameras outside 1 Carlton Terrace when guests turned up for a reception last night to celebrate the Equal Civil Marriage Consultation. Inside the building the paparazzi naturally gravitated towards the luvvies, including Hugh Grant, Stephen Fry, Simon Callow and Derren Brown, as well as to a positive conclave of bishops in purple, some from churches I had never heard of. But the majority of those present were the old troupers of the LGBT rights movement, such as Peter Tatchell, and an astonishing number of LGBT+ Liberal Democrat councillors and MPs. Nick Clegg spoke well, paying fitting tribute to Lynne Featherstone (also present), as the consultation — which will, one hopes, lead to legislation, though one must not prejudice its outcome — was her baby until she was shifted sideways to DFID in the recent government reshuffle. Jo Swinson is taking her place as a Minister of State for Equalities, which is a welcome addition to the LibDem ministerial team.


3 Responses to “Nick Clegg’s Equal Marriage Celebration”

  1. John Jenkins said

    Jonathan – shouldn’t that read: “she was shiFted sideways”??!!

  2. I think the problem lies in the terminology. One can sympathise with the liberal views on equal treatment of all but getting the message through can be a real problem. The word “Marriage” (like it or not) is associated with its origins of all the religions who invented the concept of marriage and its values and and its directions in the contract of marriage essentially it is implicit in the contract that it involves, procreation of society, hetro sexual relationship, family upbringing and so the society based on these concepts. To bring Homo Sexuality into is seen nothing other than “blasphemous” or “contradiction in terms” by those who practice “Marriage” with these concepts.

    So as we the Liberals approach these terms we must face up to the impact of these terms and take responsibility for the uproar that we may create amongst the public who see us as attacking their deep held values. There has to be a better way to communicate equal values without undermining other’s values at the same time!

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