Former Stonewall chief Ben Summerskill has made astonishing allegations against the Liberal Democrats, claiming they never sincerely supported same-sex marriage. He suggested they acted with "cynical and opportunistic" motives. This is outrageous. I don't support the Lib Dems, but they backed equal marriage at a time when Summerskill and the gay lobby group, Stonewall, refused to do so. The Lib Dems deserve credit for their early embrace of marriage for all. Ben's petty, sectarian smears are unbecoming - and unjustified.
Of course, no one is saying that battles for same-sex marriage shouldn't be fought in the West and victories celebrated. It would be nice though, that as we toast the successes at home, we don't forget that the struggle for equality, rights and dignity continues elsewhere, and that it is not a struggle that is apart from our own.
The bullet that assassinated Harvey Milk; the ligature that loosed us of Justin Fashanu; the odium that obliterated Matthew Shepard; the rising gay teen suicide rate that claimed Clementi and Rodemeyer and thousands more throughout schools across the globe, and now DOMA and Prop8, are things that should have broken us and yet they have saved us by forcing us hidden homos into an ostensible openness.
I find the notion of forcing a group of people to accept a view they do not agree with a horrifying one. I do not believe a church should be forced to marry people they do not want to, even if its policy may seem old-fashioned or bigoted. That change in stance has to come from within the church itself, otherwise it is a disturbing expression of totalitarianism.
The House of Lords debated the government bill on gay marriage and came out with an overwhelming majority. Brilliant. Well done men in robes and we all go home? Not quite. As I listened to Lord Dear spew out his old-fashioned views on what marriage is. I thought to myself... why is this person having any say on and a potential threat to legislation? My annoyance with Lord Dear's statements is that they represent an archaic notion of the sanctity of marriage that is delusional at best and at worst misleading and fuel for the fire of homophobic rhetoric.